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Reheating Foods

Photography by Sina Mizrahi

We work hard at cooking and stocking the freezer with delicious homemade foods. Preserving that just-cooked freshness and taste is paramount when reheating frozen goods, so I set out to learn if thawing food before heating would be beneficial. I used frozen potato kugel for this experiment, but it translates to any precooked frozen food.

Method 1: Thaw First, Then Heat

Thaw potato kugel overnight in the refrigerator (about 20–24 hours) or on the counter until defrosted. As a safety precaution, don’t leave it out too long (over three hours).

Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Method 2: Heat Straight from the Freezer

Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove potato kugel from the freezer and place directly in the oven. Bake until heated through, about 50–60 minutes.

Note: When it comes to roasts that are slow-cooked in a sauce, the results would be similar. You can reheat it in the oven at 325°F (160°C) straight from the freezer until heated through, about 45–70 minutes, depending on the size. Make sure it’s covered to trap the steam and keep the meat moist.

For a medium to medium-rare roast, you don’t want to overcook it but rather heat it just enough. Cover the roast with foil and add 1–2 tablespoons of liquid (water, stock, etc.). Reheat in the oven at 300°F (150°C) straight from the freezer until heated through. This can take several hours, depending on its size.

My Verdict

Quality and flavor were identical. Both methods worked equally well, so it’s a matter of what works best for you. The oven raises the temperature of the dish and bypasses the need to thaw it, so I find that method more convenient.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 862)

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