You can reheat leftover meat in the oven, on the stove or in the microwave. The trick to keeping it moist is to choose the best method for the type of meat. In many cases, adding a small amount of oil or liquid during the reheating process can prevent meat from drying out.
In all cases, the leftover meat must be heated until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of the reheating method or the type of meat.
To keep cooked meats, such as pork chops, tender during reheating, keep the heat low. Remove the meat when it is between 155 and 160 F to prevent overcooking. The temperature of the meat continues to rise after you remove it from the heat source, just as when you originally cooked it.
In most cases, you should thaw frozen leftovers in the fridge before you reheat them. You can reheat leftovers from frozen, but it takes longer.
To reheat leftovers, a toaster oven is often more efficient and better suited to the task than a full-size oven. This is especially true for servings for one to four people.
Meats best reheated in a toaster oven include:
- Fried, such as fried chicken or chicken wings;
- Roasted, such as pork or pot roast;
- Grilled, such as burgers or barbecued meats.
An oven or a toaster oven is less likely to dry meat out during reheating, because the slow, even cooking process provides gentle heat.
To prevent foods from drying out:
- Tent with aluminum foil prior to heating
- Do not set the oven temperature higher than 350 F.