Read this before you press the ‘START’ button.

Hector Manuel Sanchez

For most people, a microwave oven is as essential in a kitchen as a stand mixer or a food processor. And while it is a handy thing to have when you need to steam vegetables or even bake a mug cake in minutes, not everything should be heated in a microwave. Read on to find out what to avoid.

Eggs

Leftover scrambled eggs, fritattas, and omelets will turn rubbery when reheated in the microwave. Your best bet is to gently reheat egg dishes in a low oven (300˚F to 320˚F) until warmed through.

Pasta

Leftover pasta tends to absorb moisture and dry out in the refrigerator. And microwaving it will only make it even more dry. Add moisture and reheat cooked noodles on the stovetop. Place the leftover pasta in a stockpot or skillet over medium. Add two tablespoons of water per serving to the pan (and a tablespoon of oil, if desired) and use tongs to toss the pasta around in the pan so that the water coats the noodles as evenly as possible. Continue cooking until the pasta is hot.

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Casseroles

Casseroles, especially ones containing pasta or a breadcrumb or cracker topping, are best reheated in a 350˚F oven, not the microwave. Make sure to place the dish on the countertop while the oven preheats; glass or ceramic dishes can shatter if placed in the oven directly from the refrigerator. Heat until hot and bubbly, shielding the top with aluminum foil if necessary.

Pizza

While some people prefer their leftover pizza cold, others like to warm it up. If you’re in the latter camp, you’ve probably been reheating pizza in the microwave your whole life. Sure, the microwave is the fastest way to a steaming hot slice, but it can also make the crust flabby and overly chewy. For a crisp crust, reheat pizza slices in a low oven (300˚F to 320˚F) until warmed through.

Fried Foods

Like pizza, the microwave will destroy the crisp and crunchy texture of fried foods like chicken nuggets, French fries, and fried fish. For best results, reheat pizza slices in a low oven (300˚F to 320˚F) until warmed through.

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