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51

"Cooking" is often a chemical process. Denaturing proteins, gelatinization, causing chemical reactions like browning, or even causing state changes like evaporation. In many cases for these reactions to happen, we need to overheat the food. (Cook it and let it rest to cool off back down to undo some of the changes that were made and/or bring it back down ...


31

It has nothing to do with the microwave and everything to do with the volatility of aromas and flavors in coffee. Even coffee kept warm for 4 hours won't taste very good. In my experience, stale brewed coffee results in a more pronounced acidity, if left out to cool, or a woody, muddy, bitter kind of flavor, sometimes with more pronounced acidity, if held ...


25

It takes quite a while for a pot of hot soup to cool down to 40°F in the fridge. Several hours, sometimes, depending on the shape of the pot and the volume of soup. If you're heating and re-chilling the same soup daily, it's going to spend a lot of time in the danger zone. From a safety perspective, you'd be much better off making a pot of soup every few ...


22

YES! If food is quickly heated and kept above 140F/60C, microorganisms can't grow in the food. Professional kitchens use steam tables to keep food warm at this temperature throughout a day's service. If the product is cooled quickly (generally using an ice bath), then it can be used for more than one day. Another approach is often used for stocks and ...


15

@Cos is right, a pizza stone is great - so is a pizza screen in the oven. If I don't want to heat up the oven (big oven, little piece of pizza aways seems like a waste), then a cast iron pan over medium heat on the stove with a lid does pretty well.


15

If a dish, any dish, leftovers or otherwise, has raw chicken added to it, then is cooked until said chicken is fully cooked, it is then safe to eat. There is nothing from what you describe that justifies assuming that the way the dish is handled would be unsafe.


15

I called General Mills, the makers of Hamburger Helper, and asked if there had been any changes to their recipes in the past 3 years. The representative (Thanks Kathy!) told me that the only recent change happened in 2016 when they stopped using artificial flavors and colors and switched to an all-natural formula. (see What does "natural" actually ...


14

Your microwave isn't exactly cooking your food from the inside out. Instead, what is happening is that some parts of your food that happen to be on the interior are being heated faster than those parts of the exterior that you observe. This sort of uneven heating is intrinsic with how microwaves work. Microwave ovens cook unevenly because a pattern of ...


13

I would suggest opening the sandwich so the filling is facing up, removing any toppings that you would prefer to remain cold, and sticking it in an oven or toaster oven for a bit. That gets the heat to the center of the sandwich immediately, though you'll want low heat (maybe 250F?) and not to heat it very long or the bread will get too toasted. It won't ...


11

Because it is made from pastry dough. Pastry dough (and any other kind of dough) gets ruined by a microwave. See this question for details of what will probably happen. The only exceptions for dough in the microwave is pasta (which is supposed to be boiled in water anyway) and some kinds of very soft batter, which can be eaten immediately as a "microwave ...


11

Much of the flavor and aroma of tea comes from volatile oils/compounds. The heat applied to tea leaves while steeping them is key to releasing those volatile compounds but when you reboil the tea, a large portion the flavor compounds in the water are likely just going to be vaporized. The end result is the reheated tea will have very little 'tea' flavor ...


11

If you're going to reheat pasta, microwaving is a good way. Adding a few drops of water and covering helps the texture if it doesn't have sauce already on it. You can actually do something close to a stir fry - heat some oil and use it to cook tasty ingredients (onions, garlic, herbs, spices) and then stir in the pasta (and things like olives or sweetcorn ...


9

The method I used in the past (which might not be the best way) is to lightly fry the food initially, drain it of all oils, and put it in the refridgerator until it is almost time to serve the large amount of food. Then you can finish deep frying the batches. The initial frying will dramatically reduce the time it takes to refry each batch. I found this was ...


9

Officially, its unsafe. This is largely due to the fact that the time spent in "the danger zone" is cumulative. You may be killing off bacteria, but during their lifespan they may release toxins and spores that you may not kill. Every time you reheat the bits of leftovers, they're adding up time in the 'danger zone'. Addionally, soup is only good in the ...


9

They're meatballs. It's a crockpot. Why bother refrigerating them or cooking them in the oven? Just brown them in the oven under broil and then set the crockpot on low and cook them overnight in the sauce. They'll be perfectly done, perfectly safe, and delicious in the morning. A few extra hours won't hurt them at all and then you won't have to worry ...


9

If you have a pre-cooked burger patty, I'd suggest heating it in a frying pan / skillet over a high heat, add a splash of water and then cover with a small heat-proof bowl (a cloche), or a lid on your pan. The water will steam the burger back into life, adding moisture and trapping the heat to more thoroughly warm it through. I also use this technique when ...


9

Uncooked pasta (fresh, partly dried or fully dried) needs to be boiled in water because it needs to absorb water in order to become soft. Pasta which has already been fully cooked, ready to eat, and then cooled down (i.e. leftovers) already contains enough water. So it can be reheated in any way you like. However, microwaving pasta leftovers without a sauce ...


8

In addition to Jason's excellent answer, I'll add that if you're leaving coffee out for 4-6 hours before reheating it (from morning to afternoon) then the oils in the coffee have probably gone rancid as well. Coffee oils are highly volatile and require only a few hours to go rancid. This is why press-pot coffee often tastes vile no matter what quality ...


8

I have always had the most satisfactory results from preheating the oven to 400F with a pizza stone and then setting the cold pizza on the hot stone for 8 to 10 minutes?


8

According to Spanish winemaker guru the Marqués de Griñón, you can safely warm a bottle of wine to serving temperature (12ºC-14ºC). Put the microwave at high for two seconds for every ºC you want to raise the temperature. Also here Edit: I looked up the reference in his book. It says to heat a bottle out of the fridge (where stored after opening) in the ...


8

There are probably several factors which lead to the perception that chinese food heats less evenly in a microwave than on the stove top. There are lots of types of Chinese food, but due to the mention of sauce on the original question, I am going to assume its a dish with meat and vegetables in a sauce, like (as often available in US Chinese restaurants), ...


8

The truth is, there really is no good way to reheat such sandwiches. The bread will have gotten soggy while the sandwich was in the refrigerator, and the densest part (which requires the most energy to get hot) is on the inside. The option which is probably the least poor is to use the microwave, as more of the energy will be transmitted to the filling ...


8

From an article entitled The Forgotten Inventor Of The Chicken Nugget on BusinessInsider.com Baker’s prototype nugget, developed with student Joseph Marshall, mastered two food-engineering challenges: keeping ground meat together without putting a skin around it, and keeping batter attached to the meat despite the shrinkage caused by freezing and the ...


8

I haven't tried that, but in theory, a standard custard should be capable of rebaking. However, it will be a tricky matter, much trickier than the first baking. For example, the temperature at which certain proteins in the egg coagulate depends on the speed at which the egg is heated. As a side effect, it is much harder to get a good custard starting with ...


8

I would recommend separating the crackling from the meat and re-heating both separately. The meat can go into the oven (or the microwave), the crackling can go under the grill (aka broiler).


7

You do get some reflection of microwaves off a glass or plastic cover (Table 1 here) Material Reflection Transmission Metal 0.88 0.00 Glass 0.38 0.60 Plexiglas 0.16 0.83 Don't use metal lids. Neither glass nor Plexiglass plastic absorb much of the beam. The question then becomes: Does reflection ...


7

What you're concerned with when it come to food spoilage is the toxins bacteria produce, not the bacteria. While heating it will kill the bacteria, the toxins are typically proteins which will not be destroyed until your food has been turned to charcoal. Heating it will thus not increase the shelf life. On the contrary: heating and the cooling means your ...


6

If you mean like a potpie or a TV dinner? Yes you're fine, go for it. If you're really worried about it here is the rule. (been a few years since I took serveSafe) When reheating foods you want the internal temperature to reach 165 degrees F. (74C) for 15 seconds. In practice (at home NOT at the restaurant) just get it nice and hot. Note: Homemade foods ...


6

I haven't tested all of the methods you mentioned, but from my experience, there is some variation depending on the type of fried food you're making. For latkes and falafel, I find that they turn out best if I fry them, place on a wire rack over drip tray or on a layer of paper towels, let excess oil run off for a few minutes, and then transfer to a low ...


6

No, it won't change the aroma compared to conventional heating. Generally, heating does change aroma. But it changes in the same way in conventional heating and in microwave heating (given that you heat to the same internal temperature, which can be very different time and power settings for different types of heating devices). What microwaves change is ...


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