We’ve all enjoyed doggy-bagging it home from a restaurant, or not quite managed to polish off the whole of that takeout. In this situation, the optimal move is to refrigerate the leftovers and heat them up the next day to carry on the deliciousness. However, it is important to remember food safety as much as possible, and there are some foods that you should never reheat, no matter how delicious – here are 10:
Rice is one of the most popular staple foods in the world, and is particularly popular as a side dish with curry. But, you need to beware when it comes to reheating rice, as it can harbor a lot of bacteria. You have to make sure you don’t leave rice at room temperature as spores can multiply and produce poisons.
One of the most popular and versatile meats in the world, chicken is a delicious, high protein choice for anyone. However, like with all poultry, it is important to understand that chicken does contain trace amounts of salmonella. This can be a problem when it comes to reheating in the microwave, as chicken doesn’t heat evenly.
Bad news potato lovers – reheating your spuds can actually make you ill. But the issue here is less to do with reheating, and more to do with the fact that if potatoes are left at room temperature for too long they can develop bacteria that may cause botulism, and this may not be killed by reheating.
Apparently, reheating mushrooms is a bad idea and can actually wind up causing you an upset stomach if they have been left at room temperature. If you absolutely have to reheat mushrooms, you need to make sure you do it at a minimum of 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eggs are another one that most definitely should not be reheated, and it is recommended that they not be left out of the refrigerator for longer than a couple of hours. Zapping your plate of scrambled eggs in the microwave is fine, though, if it’s only just gone cold – they just might not be quite as nice.
Your baby is still growing and developing every day and, at this stage, it is important to make sure you protect them as much as possible. Reheating breast milk is a big no-no, as the reheating process creates hot spots in the milk that can burn your baby’s throat.
Seafood is always a tasty choice, but it should always be enjoyed fresh where possible. Reheating seafood can be unsafe for your health, especially if left at room temperature! It can pick up all sorts of bacteria that can cause a lot of foodborne illnesses that are enough to put you off for life.
Believe it or not, reheating spinach is actually a pretty bad idea according to the European Food Information Council, and it’s something you should try to avoid where possible. The nitrates in spinach can turn into nitrosamines which can be carcinogenic in nature. This can impact the body’s ability to carry oxygen around.
Anything fried and crispy becomes soggy and damp when you try to reheat it, making a once delightful and delicious dish a horrible mess. If you are looking to reheat fries and get them tasting as crispy and delicious as they were the first time round, you should try reheating using a skillet or air fryer.
Ketchup makes the list, but not for reasons relating to food poisoning or sogginess. Reheating tomato sauce in the microwave is actually one of the best ways of ruining your microwave, and will make an enormous mess that is likely to take ages to clean up. Who eats hot ketchup anyway?
Beets are a vibrant, delicious and unique addition to any salad, but you need to be careful about reheating beets. There are a number of issues to consider here, such as the fact that reheating diminishes the taste and texture, as well as the fact that it can turn the nitrates toxic, which can be hazardous to your health.
Try to make sure you avoid reheating carrots as well. Carrots are a wonderful part of any meal, or great to enjoy as a raw snack, but once they are cooked, you must exercise caution. Much like beets, carrots are high in nitrates, and this can cause them to become a health risk if and when they are reheated.
Something else you need to think about when it comes to foods you should avoid reheating is turkey. Whilst the delicious and lean white meat is a wonderful substitute for chicken, reheating it can dry out the meat, leaving it leathery and flabby tasting, not to mention the fact that salmonella can also be a problem.
Leafy greens are an excellent choice for a salad, or to go on the side of a main meal, but you need to exercise caution when choosing what to do with them. Leafy greens are nitrate-rich vegetables, and this means that reheating them in the microwave can turn them toxic, and release carcinogenic properties.
Much like regular potatoes, we all know sweet potatoes can be a delicious staple food. However, we have to be careful when it comes to reheating them, as this can lead to further problems with things such as warm temperatures promoting the growth of bacteria, which can be hazardous to your health and well-being.
Hot peppers are probably something you either love or hate, and those who love them will want to enjoy them with pretty much anything. However, you need to make sure you avoid reheating them in the microwave, as this can release the capsaicin (which gives them their spice) into the air, which can burn your throat and eyes.
Fully loaded nachos might be all the rage in the sports bar, but they are not the right choice for reheating at home the next day. This is because of the fact that your nachos will be loaded with things like guacamole, sour cream, and jalapenos, and all the moisture will soak into the chips, leaving them a gloopy mess when reheated.
Pizza is, in many ways, the national dish of the USA, and is enjoyed by 98% of Americans. But, the problem is that reheating pizza can make it lose its magic, and will result in a mushy crust and a soggy topping that has lost most of its flavor. Unless you really love it, or you absolutely have to, try to avoid reheating pizza.
Often what makes a sandwich stand out is the delicious raw garnish that you use for it, and this is something that does not translate well to the reheating process. The problem here is that reheating typically ruins your garnish, and negatively impacts the flavor of the sandwich long-term too.
Because of the chemistry of starch molecules, warming bread up in the microwave simply does not work, and instead, you are going to be left with bread that either breaks down and melts, or comes out of the microwave even harder than it went in. Nuking bread to try to enjoy it after the fact is certainly a mistake to avoid.
Food that’s already been reheated
Food that has already been reheated is a big no-no in terms of reheating it again. This is going to lead to a spread of bacteria, and could cause food poisoning, or other unpleasant stomach problems. Make sure you avoid this as much as possible, and dodge the unpleasant after-effects.
Though they are not commonly eaten, turnips can be a great addition to some meals, particularly in things like stew. But, you need to be aware about the risks that come with reheating turnips. Because of the high volume of nitrates found in this delicious vegetable, reheating will make it toxic, and so should be avoided where possible.
Processed meats aren’t always a culinary favorite, but they definitely have their place. They often contain things like chemicals and preservatives to help them last longer. The trouble is that this is all going to be negatively impacted by reheating these meats, and they can be made worse for your health in the process as well.
Red pasta sauce
Red pasta sauce is a common favorite, and when properly cooked it winds up a delicious part of your meal. However, you need to make sure you don’t reheat, because the nature of the tomato in the sauce means the steam forms in bubbles at the top of the sauce, and can erupt all over the place if stirred.
Celery is another option that is delicious when it comes to things like salads, or as a healthy snack with a dip like hummus, but reheating is not recommended. In addition to spoiling the texture of the celery, there is also the fact that celery contains nitrates, which can turn toxic when reheated and release carcinogenic properties.
Grapes make the list because of their unusual effect on microwaves. Essentially what happens is that they actually trap the microwaves, creating an electromagnetic field that eventually turns into plasma! This is really pretty to witness, but not great for the health of your microwave, so unless you’re planning to get a new one, avoid grapes.
Frozen meat should never, ever be reheated in the microwave, as you cannot ensure it will heat evenly, and it’s impossible to cook safely from frozen. If you are defrosting it, you need to leave it in the fridge overnight, and it should then be cooked thoroughly in the oven to make sure it is safe.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest and most nutritional foods you can possibly eat, and it contains plenty of folate and vitamin C. Unfortunately, this goodness is all stripped away and destroyed when reheated in the microwave, so this is something that you have to try to make sure you avoid as much as possible.
Coffee becomes more acidic as it cools down, which causes a more bitter taste, and this is only worsened by reheating it, which ends up stripping all the flavor from the drink. If you want to enjoy the full and unfettered flavor of coffee, the best thing you can do is to make a new one from scratch.
Oils can be essential for cooking and dressing, but walnut oil is something you want to avoid reheating as much as possible. This is because reheating it can significantly reduce the flavor of the oil, as well as making it bitter to the taste, and this is something you very much wish to avoid where possible.
Grapeseed oil has a very low smoke point, and this means it is incredibly susceptible to heat. This means that reheating is off the cards, and is likely to ruin the flavor of the oil and make it taste unpleasant, as well as removing any kind of nutritional value in the process too.
Radishes are a great way of being able to bulk out a salad, and they can be a great option for your food, but it is important to understand that you can’t reheat radishes, and this is generally to do with the high levels of nitrates that are found within them, which can become toxic when reheated.
Parsley is one of the best garnishes you can use to help season your food, but it’s important to take care when you are looking to reheat your parsley. The delicious herb is sensitive to heat and can even explode when it reaches a certain temperature – something to be avoided at all costs.
Bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, is a wonderful addition to things like stir fries, but reheating it can reduce a lot of the water-soluble vitamin C that is contained within, as well as losing quite a bit of folate in the process as well. Make sure you avoid reheating this where possible.
Dalda oil is another type of oil that you should try to avoid reheating as much as possible. This is to do with the unhealthy levels of omega-6 fatty acids found in this hydrogenated oil, and this can make the oil highly carcinogenic, which brings with it plenty of health concerns.
Kale is one of the best superfoods that you can try, and it makes a huge difference to your diet. This is why you have to try to avoid reheating kale as much as possible, because it contains a lot of nitrates, which can become toxic, and this can, of course, lead to plenty of health concerns.
Flaxseed oil has a very low smoke point as well, and this is why you need to try to avoid using it for things like cooking, frying, and baking. There are plenty of use cases for an oil like this, but it is important to make sure you avoid reheating it as much as possible in order to avoid this happening.
Though you can cook a hard boiled egg in the microwave, it is never a good idea to reheat an egg in the microwave. This is because hard boiled eggs can explode in the microwave when they are reheated, and this is something you need to try to avoid as much as possible.
Hazelnut oil also has an incredibly low smoke point, making it sensitive to heat, and this tends to mean that if you reheat it, it will become rancid. This is obviously something you would prefer to avoid, so you need to come up with some alternatives to this as much as you can.
Nutritionally similar to olive oil, avocado oil brings with it health benefits, but you need to be wary about reheating it. The oil is very versatile but reheating can damage the effective elements within the oil, and make it taste nasty in the process as well; make sure you avoid the temptation to reheat.