Look, we love the air fryer, and we cannot do without our oven, but the microwave has been a kitchen standard for a long time for a reason. It’s quick and easy and it takes very little thought.
Sure, some of the foods we put in the microwave don’t always turn out well, but we have also had some huge successes, especially with leftovers, getting the job done so we can enjoy our favorite dishes.
Which brings us to this article on our four favorite leftovers that reheat well in a microwave. If you find one you like, all you have to do is click on the link below to get the full instructions for a delicious, quick, easy, leftover meal or snack.
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What Is a Microwave?
All the way back in 1945, a scientist discovered the concept of microwave heat generation after observing a radar experiment. It would be 30 years later, in the 1970s, that microwave ovens hit the market for residential kitchens at an affordable price, after several fits and very expensive starts.
Today, you really can’t have a kitchen without a microwave. They’re just too convenient, they don’t take up much space, and they are super affordable for every budget.
Inside the oven, a device called a magnetron channels electrical energy from the power source to a heating element. A flow of electrons then sends microwaves throughout the appliance using an antenna.
How Is a Microwave Different from a Traditional Oven?
In terms of health, obviously the traditional oven does not emit radiation or draw on elements of radiation in any way.
The conventional oven uses still air to heat food with a heating element located inside the appliance. It has functions like broil and bake that allow foods to be heated directly or indirectly through increasing the temperature in a large, closed metal box.
There is nothing wrong with using an oven, of course; it simply often takes longer and more involvement to get similar results.
The microwave, on the other hand, is often the quickest and easiest appliance to use, particularly for reheating leftovers, and it is also often the cleanest, as you usually reheat your food in the bowl or on the plate that you are going to eat from.
Why Are Microwaves Good for Reheating Leftovers?
That’s really it.
Also, they’re small and easy to put on a countertop. For a lot of people who don’t have space for an oven, or for those who cannot afford an air fryer, or even for people who just want one appliance to heat and reheat all their foods and liquids, the microwave really is the most convenient appliance to work with.
And it will get the job done efficiently. You can reheat your coffee or tea, your soup or sauce, without worrying about a huge mess on the stove or getting out a bunch of extra dishes.
Sometimes, quick and easy is the way to go.
Our Four Favorite Foods to Reheat in a Microwave
Which brings us to our four favorite foods to reheat in a microwave when you just want to dive back into your favorite foods with no muss and no fuss.
There is just no easy way to reheat crawfish because you don’t want it to be rubbery, but it is usually already sitting in some sort of broth or soup, so the microwave is your best bet. As a bonus, you can get it done quickly and efficiently, especially if it is indeed part of a larger seafood boil or brothy dish.
In a matter of minutes, you have piping hot, still moist and succulent crawfish fresh out of your microwave oven, in the soup or sauce that is also heated through.
It’s a real win/win.
Mac and Cheese
You really can’t go wrong with mac and cheese. It is a staple food, a comfort food, and it is great fresh or as leftovers.
But it can be hugely messy if you try to use most appliances. It involves several dishes, constant supervision to prevent burning, and too many opportunities to get it wrong.
The microwave is ideal to avoid all these potential headaches. Just a bit of mixing and a few minutes of patience, and you’ll have your creamy, cheesy goodness just like the moment it originally came out of the pan.
Corn on the Cob
A handheld side dish in most cases, it can be hard to figure out the right approach to heating up corn on the cob as most approaches will either dry it out, burn it, or turn it into a mushy mess.
The microwave is the best appliance to reheat leftover corn on the cob because it will only take a few minutes then you can throw some butter on top and get to chomping!
The big danger with trying to reheat rice is either getting it all stuck together or burning the bottom. It can be such a pain to get it right when all you’re trying to do is heat up your side dish to enjoy with your favorite meat, sauce, or soup.
The microwave will get you what you want and what you need and help you avoid the problems that can come with reheating rice, all in under 5 minutes.
How about you? What are your favorite foods to reheat in your microwave? Do you have any tips and tricks for using the microwave to get the best results? Let me know in the comments.