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Microwave, air fryer or stovetop? Expert reveals the best way to reheat your favourite meals
The Good Stuff
The Good Stuff

Microwave, air fryer or stovetop? Expert reveals the best way to reheat your favourite meals

As tempting as the microwave is, it's probably not the best option!

It’s summer time and that means plenty of big family dinners. Whether it’s a BBQ, a roast or something simple, you’ll probably have some leftover food. 

Reheating leftover food may sound easy but, if you don’t know what you’re doing, getting the meal back to its original glory can be tough. 

That’s why CNN’s food writer Casey Barber shared how she reheats her leftovers and recommends how to get your favourite foods nice and warm again. 


Casey explains that microwaves reheat food by making the water molecules in the food vibrate, which is completely different to ovens and stovetops. 

This means that foods that are mainly liquid should be reheated in microwaves. That includes soups and stews, vegetables and “starchy foods such as rice or potatoes”. 

Any other foods being reheated in the microwave will most likely lead to “disappointing” results, Casey writes. Instead, “you’ll have a more satisfying experience if you try and replicate the original cooking method as much as possible.”

Air Fryer

The 2020s have seen the air fryer become a kitchen must-have. Their simplicity and convenience make your favourite meals taste good even days after being cooked. 

Casey says that they’ll reheat pretty much every meal “in a manner that keeps proteins juicy instead of dried out or rubbery.”

She recommends “reheating your dishes at 180 to 190 degrees Celsius until you find the sweet spot that works for you.”


Simply getting the frying pan out and chucking it on the stove is a great way to reheat certain dishes. 

“Skillets and stainless steel pans are my preferred method for reheating pasta, curries, stir-fries and other simmered or saucy dishes,” writes Casey. 

She suggests adding “a splash of water or broth” to ensure the saucy texture returns to your dish. 

“Add a few tablespoons of liquid to the food, then cover and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. If the food starts to stick before it's heated through, add more liquid as needed.”

Good luck with all your reheating missions this summer and beyond!