A single burrito may be a bit much to eat all at once so if you have any leftovers, it helps to know how to reheat them properly. There are five simple ways that you can do this and each has its own merits so choose wisely.
You could use the microwave, as you would to reheat most foods, yet you may be surprised to learn that you can use the stove and oven too. If you have a toaster oven or an air fryer then you use them too to reheat a burrito.
Quick Answer How Do You Reheat A Burrito Properly?: There are essentially five different ways to reheat a burrito, to get a leftover piece warmed up and ready to eat again. The quickest way is by the microwave which is typically the simplest way of reheating anything. If you have the time then the oven will take the longest but can be the most rewarding method to return the crispness back to a burrito and ensure that it is evenly heated. You could also use the stove, the toaster oven, and an air fryer if you wanted it ready within a quarter of an hour.
|Method||Total Preparation Time|
|Stove||5 to 7 minutes|
|Toaster Oven||8 to 12 minutes|
|Oven||30 to 45 minutes|
|Air Fryer||6 to 8 minutes|
On The Stove
Total Preparation Time: 5 to 7 minutes
A seemingly unconventional way of reheating a burrito may be in a skillet pan on the stove, but hear it out. If you want more control over how every element of your burrito is reheated then this could be the ideal option as a more hands-on approach.
You would need to unwrap the burrito which may mean the outside becomes a little too toasty yet you will soon be able to find out how warm the inner contents are by simply hovering your hand over it.
Just try not to expect that you can re-roll the burrito as the whole of the outside may be crisped up and can break easily.
Add More Contents
You may even welcome cooking the burrito on the stove as you can add more ingredients to the filling. Maybe a few slices of peppers and onions where you can reduce their crunchiness by leaving them on the pan for a few minutes.
Perhaps a further helping of cheese so it’s warm and melted by the time the rest of the contents are fully reheated. You can also add a few more herbs and spices if you want to create a new taste infusion in your reheated burrito.
Using the stove is the easiest way to revamp your leftover burrito if you have other leftovers in the refrigerator that you want to incorporate.
The easiest option is some freshly grated cheese yet if the burrito was overwhelmingly full of meat then add some vegetables to even it out.
If you wanted to try a different type of burrito then mix up the filling and see if you like it. The next time you buy a burrito you may want to try a different type just because you found a new favorite.
Be Careful With Wet Leftover Burritos
Trying to unroll a burrito for reheating on a skillet pan on the stove may prove tricky if it is already too wet.
While you may be able to remove the outer paper or foil, the actual burrito itself may simply be too soggy to retrieve as the filling has had time to moisten up its surroundings.
If that’s the case then keep the burrito as intact as you can and reheat it while wrapped as the filling will still get heated up but you will not lose the overall shape. You can even use a lid on the pan to keep the heat in so the filling warms up as the outside toasts up.
- You will want to use a large skillet pan that comes with a lid and place it on a medium heated stove
- A soggy leftover burrito can quickly attach itself to the pan so add half a teaspoon of vegetable oil to prevent it from sticking
- Try your best to unfold the leftover burrito so you can lay it tortilla side down with the filling facing up towards you
- At this point, you can remove the cold ingredients such as salad vegetables, guacamole, and sour cream to store in the refrigerator
- Try to use a wooden spoon to spread the filling around so that it is evenly heated. You can add some freshly grated cheese or sprinkle on some seasoning, herbs, and spices to mix in too
- Drop the lid onto the pan to keep in that heat and moisture
- You will only need to cook the burrito for around five minutes initially. Do remember that removing the lid will be letting that heat escape but check it first. If the filling is warmed up and the outside of the leftover burrito is crisping up then it is done. If not, give it another five minutes and check that you can still slide it across the pan
- Remove the leftover burrito from the pan, return the cold ingredients and try to re-roll it
In The Toaster Oven
Total Preparation Time: 8 to 12 minutes
A toaster oven may be the ideal option if you like the outside of your burrito to be crispy. While it is still an oven, a toaster oven will be far quicker than a normal oven as the heating mechanism is more direct.
Consider this option if your burrito looks a little on the soggy side and you want to return it to a state where you can comfortably hold it.
The main point of using a toaster oven is to return the crispiness so if it remains crisp, you may want to consider another option like the microwave.
How many burritos you can reheat at once in the toaster oven depends on the size of the burritos and the capacity of your toaster oven. You may be able to fit in two as long as you do not have to stack them onto one another.
You can treat your toaster oven as a conventional oven too by wrapping the leftover burrito in a layer of aluminum foil before applying heat. However, with the extra layer, you will be delaying the reheating and you may well have to wait as long as you would with the oven.
Unwrap The Leftover Burrito
As a wrapped leftover burrito can come out toasty, you want to apply a more even distribution of heat. You should still be keen to remove the cold elements of the burrito, including any sour cream, guacamole, or salad vegetables, yet the filling may be compromised.
This can be easily rectified by unwrapping the leftover burrito and exposing the inner filling to the heat though this may mean you can only do one at a time as you would be using up more space.
- Preheat your toaster oven to 400°F (205°C)
- Roll out some aluminum foil, just enough to cover the go on the bottom, underneath the leftover burrito, then another layer to cover the top
- Place the leftover burrito on top of a layer of foil and unwrap it so that the filling is facing up towards the heat
- Remove the cold ingredients from the burrito and store them in the refrigerator
- Grab the second piece of foil and gently place it over the top of the leftover burrito
- Reheat the leftover burrito for around eight minutes and then check it. Depending on how big the leftover burrito is, you may want to dedicate at least 15 minutes but check it regularly
- Remove the leftover burrito, return the cold ingredients, wrap the burrito up and enjoy
Due to the leftover burrito being unwrapped, it can be a bit tricky to form it back into a burrito. What you may find is that if you do not unwrap the leftover burrito, the contents of the filling are left lukewarm while the outside is toasty and you have created a tostada.
In The Oven
Total Preparation Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Yes, reheating a leftover burrito in the oven takes the longest time though it can be the most rewarding method.
You can expect the burrito to be evenly cooked and you can also use the bigger space (compared to a toaster oven or skillet pan on a stove) to reheat multiple leftover burritos at once.
The extended time is to enable you to avoid browning or burning the leftover burrito but to ensure it is thoroughly cooked inside. This is because the oven uses hot dry air which can brown the exposed outer shell and dry out the filling.
To ensure that the hot dry air fails to dry out the burrito, cover it with a layer of aluminum foil for reheating. This additional layer protects the burrito from the more vicious effects of the heat and keeps the moisture in.
You can also rely on the aluminum foil to keep the leftover burrito intact and prevent any leaking filling from burning on your baking tray.
- Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C)
- Make sure that you remove any wrappers that may be around the leftover burrito as these can melt with the outer shell and be quite unpleasant
- As an optional step, you can remove the cold contents from the leftover burrito such as any tomato or lettuce, guacamole, or sour cream, and then rewrap it
- Cover the whole leftover burrito in a layer of aluminum foil and leave it on a layer of parchment paper on a baking tray
- Leave the leftover burrito in the oven for around half an hour until you are satisfied with how hot it is
- Remove from the oven, put back the cold ingredients you removed earlier, and then enjoy
Do remember that though you can reheat several leftover burritos at once in the oven, how long each one takes to reheat depends on the individual size.
If you have a combination of large and small burritos then be wary that the small ones will be reheated far quicker than the large ones. You may also have to turn over the large leftover burritos a few times to ensure that one side is not overly cooked.
In An Air Fryer
Total Preparation Time: 6 to 8 minutes
If you have cooked a fresh burrito in an air fryer before then you may be aware that the cooking method can change the flavor. Maybe you want that but you would certainly get a soft middle and a crispy outside which can prove irresistible.
The air fryer is ideal for cooking a whole burrito yet can also work for reheating a leftover one, as all the contents are covered.
- Preheat your air fryer to around 320°F (160°C)
- Partly unwrap the leftover burrito and remove any cold ingredients to store in the refrigerator and then rewrap it
- Brush the outside of the wrapped leftover burrito with some oil (coconut oil and olive oil tend to work well)
- Gently place the leftover burrito into the basket of the air fryer. If you are reheating several at once then ensure that there is some room and a gap between them to prevent them from sticking together
- Air fry the leftover burrito for around six minutes and check to see how crispy the outside is and how warm the filling is inside
- Turn the leftover burrito over and leave it in the air fryer for a couple more minutes to ensure an even cooking
- Carefully remove the leftover burrito, return the cold ingredients, and enjoy
In The Microwave
Total Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Easily the quickest way to get a burrito smoldering again is to use the microwave. You should also be able to reheat a leftover burrito in an office as it is likely that the communal kitchen will have one.
If you have two leftover burritos at hand then you may have to exert some patience as both may not fit. Anyway, it may only take a couple of minutes for them to be reheated and ready to be enjoyed.
Even if this is the most convenient way of reheating anything, there are still some tips you can employ to ensure that it is heated the right way and remains moist. The microwave is one of the more reliable means of reheating food as it rotates via the turntable.
That way there is less chance of a hot spot and you should get a more even distribution of heat. If you can keep the cooking time modest and use a damp paper towel, your leftover burrito will still impress.
Keep The Cooking Time Modest
The longer a leftover burrito is kept in the microwave, the more chance it will dry out as it loses a significant amount of moisture.
You do not want a tough leftover burrito so cook it in intervals and check it rather than giving it a full two minutes only to be disappointed after. It may only be the case of adding a minute or so after checking but it can make a difference.
Use A Damp Paper Towel
To keep the leftover burrito moist, you can introduce a damp paper towel as a neat trick. Simply wet the paper towel in some water until it is moist but still in one piece after being wrung out.
The moisture will make its way into the leftover burrito and cancel out any possible dryness. Eventually, the moisture will leave the paper towel so it should be crisp enough to be easily removed and not stuck to the leftover burrito itself.
- Unwrap the leftover burrito and ensure there is no foil or paper stuck to the outside
- You could remove the cold fillings such as sour cream, salad vegetables, and guacamole so they remain cold in the refrigerator
- Cover the leftover burrito with a damp paper towel to keep it moist, including the opening
- Ensure that the whole leftover burrito is on top of a dish or plate and not directly on the turntable
- Microwave the leftover burrito on high in intervals of 30 seconds (45 for larger burritos)
- Turn the leftover burrito over at the end of each cooking interval and check how warm it is. You may want to put it back into the microwave for another 30 seconds or so
- Once done, remove the dish or plate from the microwave and then remove the paper towel
- Place the cold ingredients back into the leftover burrito and start eating
How To Tell Your Leftover Burrito Is Done Reheating
While you may be happy that your leftover burrito has crisped up on the outside, it may not have finished reheating on the inside.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that you check the internal temperature before biting in as you could be harboring some nasty bacteria otherwise.
If you have a meat thermometer then get it out as you will want to check that the contents are fully reheated, especially if it contains beef, chicken, or any other meat.
The USDA states that the internal temperature should hit 165°F (75°C) which is ideal for reheated chicken. If the meat is yet to reach that temperature then you should return it to your heating device until it has.
Even if the leftover burrito comes out so hot you have to blow on it. If you are concerned about food safety then it is better to be safe than sorry and check it first.
How To Stop A Leftover Burrito From Getting Soggy
There are various methods to prevent and stop a leftover burrito from getting soggy. This can depend on the contents as meat that is covered in sauce will contain more moisture which can quickly create a soggy burrito if left unchecked.
First, you want to give your burrito the chance to cool down as any warm ingredients, when wrapped, will add moisture to the entire burrito. Once cooled down, roll your burrito tightly to remove any excess moisture and keep it as dry as you can.
You will want to wrap your leftover burrito in a layer of aluminum foil anyway. Not only will this keep it clear of any other foodstuffs, but it will also preserve its condition and keep it chilled.
Once you are ready to reheat the leftover burrito, you can simply use the same sheet of aluminum foil. To remove any sogginess and return your burrito to a crisp state, try using an air fryer, conventional oven, or a toaster oven.
How To Transform Your Leftover Burrito Into A Chimichanga
You may not actually want a leftover burrito, you may want to create something different altogether. If you have ever had a chimichanga, you may have recognized how close it resembles a burrito yet only the cooking method is different.
If you are used to deep-frying food then grab your leftover burrito and revamp it into a chimichanga.
- In a large saucepan, heat up a layer of oil around an inch deep to 365°F (185°C). You may want to use a cooking thermometer to check
- Remove any cold ingredients from the leftover burrito such as salad vegetables, sour cream, and guacamole. You can store these in the refrigerator
- Carefully lower your leftover burrito into the oil and fry it for a couple of minutes until golden, crispy brown
- Use some tongs to flip over the leftover burrito and do this slowly to prevent any hot oil from spilling out
- Fry the leftover burrito for another couple of minutes until the reverse side has crisped up.
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of deep-frying a leftover burrito to create a chimichanga is how hot the oil is. If it is too hot, you can burn the outside of the leftover burrito quite quickly before the filling has had a chance to be reheated.
Too low a temperature and the leftover burrito can absorb the oil, become even more soggy, and even fall apart.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Properly Store Leftover Burritos?
If you want to ensure that your leftover burrito is stored safely, you may want to read up on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Specifically their Food Safety and Inspection Service that has presented guidelines on how to look out for the internal temperature of food which is crucial for reheating leftovers.
Firstly, you need to wrap and store your leftover burrito in the refrigerator and then eat it within a recommended amount of time. This is primarily to avoid bacteria being given the chance to grow and making you ill.
The guidelines state that food that is kept between the temperatures of 40°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C) will be problematic. A common name for that temperature range is the ‘danger zone’ and with good reason too.
You can leave a burrito out at room temperature for an hour or so but after that, it needs to go into the refrigerator. If the leftover burrito has been left out all day then it is probably best to throw it away, but in the refrigerator, you can keep it for a couple more days.
Once you have decided to store your leftover burrito, wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil which you can keep on for reheating. Try to find an airtight container or a Ziploc bag where you can store the rewrapped leftover burrito in.
With two layers of wrapping, you will not only prevent bacteria from getting in but also moisture from getting out.
At this point, you can also remove the cold ingredients such as salad vegetables, guacamole, and sour cream as you can return them to the leftover burrito once it has been fully reheated.
You may even use a paper towel to soak up some moisture if the leftover burrito has many wet ingredients in it. The paper will absorb the moisture and prevent it from going into the wrap which may compromise the structure.
As long as the leftover burrito is airtight, it should remain moist in the refrigerator. If you want to freeze the leftover burrito then ensure that it only contains meat, beans, and cheese as salsa, sour cream, and salad vegetables do not freeze well.
There is the crucial point that before you wrap up a leftover burrito to put it in the refrigerator, you have to wait until the filling has cooled down.
Wrapping a leftover burrito while still warm can keep the heat in, warming up anything next to it in the refrigerator, and creating even more moisture through condensation.
The filling is also important as dry fillings typically give the leftover burrito more time in the refrigerator, up to four days.
However, if the fillings in the leftover burrito are typically wet and include sauce, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole then you can only expect it to last a couple of days before becoming overwhelmingly soggy.
What Sides Should I Serve With Leftover Burritos?
You could create a whole new meal with a leftover burrito, if you treat it with the right sides. These can include typical tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole.
You could involve some refried beans or even incorporate them into the leftover burrito before you reheat it. Seasoned rice is a good option to bulk up the meal or the leftover burrito itself though a chopped salad works well alongside one too.
Can I Reheat My Leftover Burrito With The Sour Cream Still In?
This is a hot topic amongst those who enjoy their burritos yet struggle to finish them off. In the initial creation of the burrito, the warm fillings are thrown in with the cold sour cream put on the top.
This creates a nice difference in texture and heat, it can also be a relief to any spices that are involved.
When you do reheat your leftover burrito, the sour cream will heat up along with the rest of the contents. Therefore that contrast of heat will be lost if you keep your sour cream in.
What is generally considered good practice when reheating a burrito is to scoop out the cold ingredients, including the salad vegetables, the guacamole, and the sour cream to store them separately in the refrigerator.
Once your leftover burrito has reheated, you can return the cold ingredients and it should have the same effect as a newly bought burrito.
What Is The Best Way Of Reheating A Leftover Burrito To Prevent It From Going Soggy?
If you do want to crisp up your soggy leftover burrito then reheating it in the oven is your best bet.
You should still wrap up the leftover burrito in a layer of aluminum foil to keep it soft yet you can remove it halfway through the cooking process if you want the outside of the burrito to be crisped up.
The aluminum foil also helps to keep the filling inside instead of spilling out and burning when exposed to the heat of the oven. If you do want to use the oven for reheating your leftover burrito then preheat it to around 250°F (120°C) and leave it for about half an hour.
- Aluminum foil
- Parchment paper
- Preheat your oven: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove any wrappers from the burritos: Make sure that you remove any packaging or wrapping from your burritos before you place them into the oven.
- Cover the burritos in aluminum foil: Wrap your burritos individually in aluminum foil.
- Cook burritos into the oven: Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and put your burritos on top. Place everything into the preheated oven. It only takes half an hour for the burritos to warm up again (depending on their size).
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