Use An Oven Grill To Refresh Fried Foods

Warming up fries and other fried food in the microwave is better than eating them cold, but microwaving tends to make fried food limp and soggy. Use your grill for good-as-new reheating of fried foods.

Photo by onlinehero.

Lifehacker reader gzusphish shares the following tip for using your oven to reheat fried foods:

Revitalize limp french-fries and other fried goodies by putting them in the oven on broil. Use aluminium foil to hold them; put the as close to the upper burner as possible; keep an eye on them; and turn/remove them when they're sizzling all over.

It makes sense that some top-down heat on oil-soaked fried good would breathe life into them more effectively than microwaving them from the inside out, forcing moisture to the surface in the process. Have a food or kitchen hack of your own to share? Let's hear about it in the comments. Thanks gzusphish!


    For Australians; broiler = griller.

    Microwaves don't cook from the inside out.

    That is all.

    Being a chip fiend for many years (a genetic trait, apparently) I too discovered the secret to reheating chips and battered goods without re-frying them was using the grill.

    However, I found a couple of variations that yielded me better results than using the grill alone. The best method I've trialled is:
    1. Using Low/Mid (300-500W) power on your microwave, set the chips or miscellaneous fried goods on a plate and zap for 30 seconds to a 2 minutes, depending on quantity and thickness of food. When you see a steady stream of steam coming off the top, stop and open the microwave door. If the steam keeps rising for between 10-20 seconds then decreases, you're right. Much longer, however, and the oil will sink into the food, depriving you of some crispiness. Then follow the above instructions for grilling (make sure you pre-heat your grill, it needs to be red hot to blast heat onto the food), and finally re-salt/season to your taste. Enjoy!

    The light microwaving starts to boil some of the water retained in the food, slightly steaming it and getting it more moist, or in the case of chips, fluffy in the middle. The grilling process re-boils the oil, hardening the outside, thus making it more crisp. Using this method results in a chip of roughly 85-90% of original deliciousness (mmmm, science).

    If you have a convection microwave, all the better, and if you've got a convection microwave with a built-in grill, better still. Just make sure you heat up the grill element for about 5 min before putting the food in, using the microwave-grill combination for between 45secs-3min depending on food, then flip the food and run it at grill for 3 or so minutes. When the oil has been bubbling on the surface for about a minute you can turn it off, leave the food in for another minute, then remove and gorge.

    ...and while you're at it, get some whole-egg mayo, tiny smear of wasabi or mustard, chopped or minced garlic (about a clove's worth), 5 or so drops of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of salt, and a herb of your choice (thyme/rosemary/marjoram, although I prefer dill ATM) and blend in a stick blender for 20-30secs. Serve with fried-zapped-grilled goods and wallow around in your own corpulence.

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