How to reheat takeaway

Updated April 17, 2017

So you couldn't finish that amazing lobster pasta from that Italian restaurant you went to last night. Or perhaps you ordered that massive rib-eye steak and it was more than you could handle in one sitting. Luckily, most restaurants will package your leftovers and give them to you to take home. It is relatively easy to reheat leftovers at home, but there are safety precautions to keep in mind to ensure that your food still will be safe to eat.

Reheat leftovers in the microwave. Just about anything can easily be reheated in the microwave. Place leftovers in a microwave-safe dish. Place in microwave and cover with a microwave-safe plastic lid. Reheat the food in one-minute intervals for the best results. Between each minute, stir food that can be stirred, and flip and rotate other foods if possible. This will allow you to constantly check to see if your leftovers are done and prevent them from being overcooked. Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the food has been reheated to 73.9 degrees C (165 degrees Fahrenheit) for safe consumption.

Reheat leftovers in the oven. This works well for leftover meats, potatoes and pizza. Place leftovers in an ovenproof dish or tray. Cover foods that dry out easily, such as leftover turkey, with aluminium foil. For the best oven results, heat foods on high temperature between 176 to 232 degrees C (350 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit), for roughly about 10 to 15 minutes, or longer if your leftover portions are large. This will allow your food to reheat quickly, while retaining moisture that can be lost if you reheated more slowly. Stick a meat thermometer to ensure the internal food temperature of meat is 73.9 degrees C (165 degrees F).

Reheat leftovers on the stove. Foods such as pastas, vegetables and soups work best for reheating on the hob. Pour leftover soups and stews into a small saucepan or pot and reheat on medium heat until the soup is hot throughout. For pastas and vegetables, add a little butter or margarine to a saucepan before tossing in the leftovers. Reheat over medium, tossing frequently, and check the temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure that the meat has been reheated to 73.9 degrees C (165 degrees Fahrenheit).


If meat that you want to reheat looks really dry, add a little chicken stock over the meat before reheating.

Place a small microwave-safe container with water in the back of the microwave when you are reheating pizza in the microwave; the crust will remain soft, rather than becoming tough and hardened.

Things You'll Need

  • Microwave-safe containers
  • Microwave-safe lid
  • Oven-proof dishes
  • Oven trays
  • Saucepans
  • Butter
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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.