I need to feed 10 people a Hungry Man TV Dinner each (please don't ask why--it's too long a story) and I have only 1 microwave oven. I need everyone to eat pretty much at the same time, but this is not possible since it will take 8 minutes for each TV Dinner to heat up. So, my solution is to to spend 80 minutes heating all the frozen meals, and leaving it for three to four hours until mealtime comes. My question is: Would reheating an already heated TV dinner alter the taste and texture (like get dry and hard)?

  • TV dinners used to have instructions on how to reheat in the oven. I have no idea if they still do or not. The only reason that I can think of that they might not recommend it would be if they changed the plastic used in the trays. (I've run into cases when 400°F softened the plastic trays from Wegman's ... who also used to have oven instructions on heating stuff from their catering department but didn't this last time around). – Joe Jan 10 '16 at 17:35
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    How are you going to store them in between? This is a huge thermal mass, so your fridge will be working hard if you stack them in there... and leaving them out on the counter, worst if stacked, for 3 hours after heating them will leave them at the top end of the danger zone uncomfortably long... – rackandboneman Jan 10 '16 at 17:36
  • At the very least, you could set the oven to its lowest setting (usually around 200°F), microwave them individually, then set them in the oven. Although holding for 3 hrs means that they'll dry out some in that time if you have an electric oven. – Joe Jan 10 '16 at 17:37
  • Oh ... and don't think that you can get away with borrowing a friend's microwave to make it go twice as fast. My place of work's rec center did that when they decided we weren't allowed to use the ovens, stove, or indoor grills anymore after their 'renovation' (turned the @#@!% place into a conference room). They put both microwaves on the same circuit, so as soon as we started warming things, we blew the circuit ... and they had no clue where the breakers were. (luckily, that year Wegman's still gave oven instructions) – Joe Jan 10 '16 at 17:39

I would try pre thawing them all so they don't take so long to nuke when the time comes. So maybe defrost them in the fridge a few hours before so you aren't microwaving from frozen. And just stack them in the oven to stay warm while you nuke the rest.

The crazy part of me would disassemble the meals. 1: all veg in a pot. 2: all mash potato in a pot. 3: all meats on an oven tray 4: heat it all up on the stove and oven 5: re assemble all meals onto clean trays or clean plates.

But I'm kinda crazy. And it might not be easy if there is gravy involved.

Also if you haven't already purchased said meals why not just get a bag of frozen veg, a box of instant mash potato and a frugally priced meat option of your choice to just make dinner for all at once. (But maybe not an option for you)

That's all my ideas :) good luck!

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    Agreed: if you're going to essentially thaw them, let them cool, then reheat again, you might as well do it on purpose, in a safe way. – Cascabel Jan 12 '16 at 0:15

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