Food

17 Leftovers You’re Probably Eating Wrong

Fire up that waffle iron!

We asked the BuzzFeed community for their best techniques for reheating leftovers without ruining them. Here are some of their tips:

1. Soup

BWFolsom / Getty Images

“For reheating soups or sauces, especially those that have become a little frozen or have become solid/coagulated, try simmering a half cup of water in an extra pot before pouring it into your dish and then stirring. Reheating it while frozen can cause uneven distribution of heat, burning the bottom.” —JinRei Gin, Facebook

2. Bread/Breadsticks

Soak it in water, just until the actual meaty part of the bread just gets slightly damp, but the crusty part feels like it’s too wet almost. If the bread has been cut into (which it usually has), just be careful with the cut part. I usually keep a spray bottle of water to evenly coat the loaf and carefully mist the cut part until it’s damp, but not soggy. Put it in a 400-degree oven for a few minutes and the bread is perfectly moist and crispy all over again.” —Alexis Beshures, Facebook

3. Fries

Eyeofpaul / Getty Images

Microwave them briefly and then put them in a sandwich press. This ensures that they’re both hot and crispy. You’ll never have soggy fries again!” —Bianca Laidlaw, Facebook

Turn them into a breakfast burrito! You throw them into a frying pan with some black beans, eggs, and cheese, warm up a tortilla, roll it up, and unleash extreme deliciousness. This has completely changed my leftovers game.” —Madi Lou Hall, Facebook

4. Pizza

“Reheating pizza slices in the microwave with a cup of hot tap water beside it will result in a crispy crust, not soggy!” —brittneymclellan

5. Cookies

Hookmedia / Getty Images

“Fresh baked cookies turn into rocks after one day. Wrap in a damp paper towel, pop in the microwave, and heat for seven seconds. They come out soft and warm as if fresh out of the oven!” —Rachelle Dunn, Facebook

6. Steak

@man_fuel / Via instagram.com

“I like my steaks medium rare, so reheating in a microwave is not an option. I heat a pan with some butter and throw that sucker in and sear on each side for a minute or two.” —Stephanie Insunza, Facebook

(And user stephaniek38 suggests cutting it into cubes before trying this tip!)

7. Rice

Warren Price / Getty Images

“Wet paper towel over rice in the microwave, it keeps it from drying out.” —shaylak2

8. Waffles

Debbismirnoff / Getty Images

“Instead of saving the extra batter of waffles, go ahead and whip them up. Then the next day pop them in the toaster — they get nice and crispy again! Plus you didn’t have to drag out the waffle iron out again.” —Kiwikatherine

9. Pasta

Tumeyes / Getty Images

Arrange food in a ring shape, leaving part of the plate exposed in the middle. This increases the surface area and allows for more of the food to be heated up more evenly!” —Angelina

“To reheat plain pasta, put it in a colander and rinse it with hot water; you don’t need to do it long for it to be warm enough to eat.” —stephmyers

“If you’ve got leftover pasta and sauce (that haven’t already been mixed together), put the sauce UNDER the pasta before microwaving it using a bowl. That way, the steam from the sauce heats the noodles without them getting soaked and it prevents it from getting dry on the top.” —Malin Aurum Vistrand, Facebook

10. Spaghetti With Sauce

@cerraleigh / Via instagram.com

Spaghetti in a tomato-based sauce should be fried up. The tomato gets a bit caramelized and the flavor is better than the first day.” —MaryAnn02

“Reheat spaghetti and sauce the next day by frying it in a pan with some butter. Take the opportunity to add some fresh Parmesan cheese to it and it’s awesome, better than freshly made!” —Lauriem1967

11. Creamy Pastas

Bwfolsom / Getty Images

“If you’re reheating leftover mac and cheese, or any pasta with a cream-based sauce, add milk and butter and put in the microwave! Works every time and it never dries out the sauce or pasta.” —c46bb78680

“It sounds gross, but if I’m reheating anything with a creamy sauce, I add mayo (or Miracle Whip) before I microwave or reheat on the stove.” —laceyw4bdc2c27f

12. Meat

Warren Price / Getty Images

Use chicken/beef/vegetable broth/stock to reheat things, especially leftover meat. Unlike water, it will add some flavor. Just make sure that they ‘match.’ (Don’t use chicken broth to reheat a beef dish.)” —Regina Sullivan, Facebook

13. Fried Chicken

4kodiak / Getty Images

“Fried chicken: in the oven at like 400° for 20 minutes, VERY important for the chicken to be room temperature before reheating.” —nataliegrace7

14. Chicken Wings

Juthamaso / Getty Images

“If you have a Griddler or panini press: wings.” —Amanda Anton, Facebook

15. Breaded and Fried Foods

Margouillatphotos / Getty Images

“A rule of thumb is that anything that is fried or has bread/is breaded goes into the toaster oven: fried chicken, French fries, eggrolls, pizza, rangoons, etc.” —chancym

“For most things that I want crispy, I use the toaster oven and reheat the food directly on the rack.” —ramiimani

16. Anything you’re not putting in a toaster oven.

Maria Jeffs / Getty Images

“Get. A. Toaster Oven. Seriously. Nothing ever comes out soggy, fries get their crisp back, annnnd it warms up pie like like a dream. Seriously.” —LC Elletson, Facebook

“I have, literally, 6 square feet of counter space in my kitchen. One-third of that is occupied by my toaster oven. My food has better texture when cooked or reheated in there, it doesn’t heat up the room nearly as much as the oven, and it uses much less energy.” —Kimberly Ann, Facebook

17. And anything you’re not putting in the waffle iron.

Rez-art / Getty Images

Repurposing leftovers with a waffle iron is next level. You can turn a pile of cold French fries into a hash-brown waffle hybrid, waffle two pieces of pizza together like a panini, or scramble an egg into leftover fried rice and waffle it for a crispy, wonderful snack.” —lisaf441284529

Submissions have been lightly edited for length/clarity.

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