How do you reheat leftovers without a microwave?

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A Megan-simple solution: buy an AWESOME microwave.
A Megan-simple solution: Fuck it, buy a microwave.
We just moved into a lovely older house that we’re planning on renting for at least a year. It doesn’t have a microwave, and I’m inclined to keep it that way for health and environmental reasons. (Also, I’m cheap and don’t want to buy one.)

I am seriously at a loss, however, for how to heat up leftovers — especially meat — without making them rubbery and dry. If anyone can help, I thought it would be the Homies.

Any tips for this erstwhile cook? -Allie

Despite Megan’s dependance on her microwave, we’ve talked about the reasons why it’s cool to NOT own one. But now let’s talk about microwave work-arounds. Homies, what ‘chu got?

Comments on How do you reheat leftovers without a microwave?

  1. Fried rice has become my go-to recipe for leftovers
    Most everything can be reheated in the oven and tends to taste way better than the microwave

  2. Speaking of repurposing leftovers, my favorite thing to do with leftover rice is make rice pudding!

    We’re usually lazy enough that leftover rice still in the saucepan just goes in the refrigerator as-is, so I take it out, add a generous splash of milk, crack in an egg, add a dollop of butter, a handful of brown sugar, a handful of raisins, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla (I’ve never measured a single ingredient, but it’s always worked). Mix it up and heat it until bubbly and thickened, and serve warm. I’ll make a sweeter/richer version for dessert, or a less-sweet, less-rich version for breakfast.

    I’ve even come to the point where sometimes I’ll get up and make rice fresh for some tasty breakfast rice pudding, if I don’t have the leftovers.

  3. Our microwave died on us suddenly in the midst of a budget crisis, and three hand-me-down covered Corelle casserole dishes and a few recycled pie tins convinced us not to bother replacing it. Crispy on aluminum, not crispy in the Corelle. Done.

  4. We, too, are without a microwave after moving into our condo. There’s no room for one and I’m ok with that.

    Yes to the toaster oven. I tend to make a lot of casseroles and those are just fine being reheated in a small saucepan on the stovetop with a little bit of added moisture. Especially leftover fried rice form Chinese delivery- I also add the lobster sauce to the rice and it gets REALLY good (I love a good Chinese take out night), but just a bit of water will help steam the leftovers back to life. Low and slow!

    I’m also getting a little better at making only enough for one meal sometimes. My husband and I both work at places with microwaves, so you can always bring your leftovers for lunch!

  5. OMG! I love this post! I just moved into an old travel trailer that has no microwave (and at the same time decided not to use a microwave ever again for health reasons), and I’ve been at a loss dealing with this same question. I’ve been eating my leftovers cold (blech)! Thanks to everyone for the great advice!

  6. I generally try to reheat leftovers in a similar way to how they were originally cooked. So if it’s pasta that was cooked on the stove. I reheat it on the stove, with a bit of water, butter or sometimes bacon grease. If it’s an oven dish, I reheat it in the oven. Just be sure to add a bit of water when reheating.

  7. My husband and I have never had a microwave, and didn’t grow up with them. We use the stove-top for things like pasta (even lasagna,… it just gets… erm… scrambled) and a toaster-oven for things like a slice of quiche.

    We haven’t had a problem with meats. If it’s a big chunk, it goes in the toaster-oven (counter top little thingy) if it’s sliced/chunked with a sauce, it goes in a frying pan.

    Good luck!

  8. Just found this thread, and it’s wicked old, but I didn’t see it mentioned yet – double boil it! Take a big pot, put your leftover container in it, and fill it with water until, like, 1/4 or 1/2 inch away from the top of the container. I don’t even bring the water to a boil, just a constant simmer.

    Really, works for nearly everything. I am well endowed with glass containers – I wouldn’t do it with flimsy plastic tupperware – but some hard tupperware works well too.

    It reheats without burning. It’s…. beautiful. It may waste energy, though, so be mindful.

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