Can I Reheat Carnitas? Tips on Which Method Is Best

If you’ve never had carnitas, you’ve been missing out! But, of course, if you’ve had them, you can’t wait to have them as leftovers.

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Whether you want to heat them for tacos or just to eat with rice or on a salad, you likely want to get them on your plate now! However, you may have concerns about whether it’s even possible, about whether it’s safe, and how to get this job done.

Fear not. I have all your answers here!

Can You Reheat Carnitas?

Should You Reheat Carnitas

Let’s begin at the beginning. Can you even reheat carnitas?

Yes. Of course, you can.

When it comes to carnitas, which are pork, our biggest concern is going to be not drying it out. Pork is delicious when it is prepared correctly, but it can be a nightmare when it is overcooked and dried out.

However you decide to reheat it, you’ll want to ensure you don’t overheat it.

The truth is you can reheat pretty much any food that has been frozen or refrigerated. The trick is to use the right appliance with the food you’re working with.

For example, foods that have been breaded or fried are often best reheated in the oven or in an air fryer. Foods that have been baked or grilled are usually best reheated back in the oven or back on the grill.

With carnitas, we are probably going to be best reheating it in the air fryer.

But let’s run through each appliance to be sure we’ve covered all our bases.

Should You Reheat Carnitas?

Should You Reheat Carnitas

Before we get into the how, we have to get into the should.

After all, pork is a meat that can carry contaminants that can make you sick, and you don’t want to deal with food poisoning while trying to enjoy a delicious meal.

Fortunately, it’s unlikely you’ll make yourself sick with leftover carnitas, but just to be sure, the guidelines say to heat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

But of course, you should always do your own research. To get you started on that research, check out this article on reheating leftovers by Healthline.

How to Reheat Carnitas in the Oven

Reheating carnitas in the oven can be a snap!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Place the carnitas chunks separated out on the sheet.
  4. Bake the carnitas for about 20 minutes and check the temperature.
  5. Serve as you like and enjoy!

How to Reheat Carnitas in the Microwave

Reheating carnitas in the microwave is an approach that can lead to dried out, tough meat, so take care!

  1. Place carnitas pieces on a microwave-safe plate and cover the carnitas with a damp paper towel.
  2. Heat the carnitas at full power for 1 minute then mix the carnitas around on the plate.
  3. Heat again in 30-second increments until the carnitas are heated through.
  4. Serve as you like and enjoy!

How to Reheat Carnitas in an Air Fryer

Reheating carnitas in an air fryer is a great way to get this job done.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the carnitas chunks into the air fryer spread out so they’re not touching. This will allow the air to circulate around the meat fully.
  3. Heat for 5-10 minutes, checking the temperature after 5.
  4. Serve with your favorites sides or tortillas and enjoy!

How to Reheat Carnitas on a Grill

Carnitas are not one of those dishes I would send you running out to your grill to reheat, but if you are outside with your grill already fired up, you can get this dish back into great shape.

  1. Preheat your grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place your carnitas in an aluminum dish and pour a cup of chicken broth and a bit of orange juice over the meat for moisture.
  3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place the dish on the grill. Close the lid and heat for about 45 minutes.
  4. Serve with your favorite sides or on tortillas and enjoy!

How to Reheat Carnitas in a Toaster Oven

While it may seem crazy to reheat carnitas in a toaster oven, you can totally get it done this way!

Toaster ovens have been the saviors of college students and new apartment dwellers for decades.It’s just like a conventional oven, but it cooks faster and hotter.

  1. Preheat your toaster oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a shallow baking dish with aluminum foil and spread out the carnitas on the foil.
  3. Bake the carnitas for about 20-30 minutes and check the temperature.
  4. Serve with your favorite sides or on tortillas and enjoy!

How to Reheat Carnitas in a Pan on the Stove

Finally, heating carnitas in a pan on the stove can be a great way to get this meat heated quickly and on your plate in no time.

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat on the stove.
  2. Add a bit of olive oil to the pan.
  3. Once the oil starts smoking, add the carnitas to the pan.
  4. Mix the carnitas around the pan with tongs for several minutes until the pork gets crispy.
  5. Serve with your favorite sides or on tortillas with some salsa and enjoy!

Winner! – The Best Way to Reheat Carnitas Is Using the Air Fryer

Look, you really can’t go wrong with any of these approaches to reheating carnitas, except for maybe the microwave.

But the truth is the air fryer will get your carnitas crispy on the outside and keep them moist and flavorful on the inside, and it can get this job done in almost no time flat. You can’t beat that.

So, of course, the air fryer wins. A close runner up is probably the stovetop if you don’t have an air fryer. Anything else will just take too long!

What do you think? Do you have a favorite way to reheat carnitas? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.

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