Tip: Reheat Meat in a Cast Iron Skillet

published Mar 23, 2010
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

We are always looking for better-tasting methods of reheating leftovers — especially meat. We hate that dry, funky taste cooked chicken and pork acquire when they’re reheated in the microwave. Our current favorite way of reheating cooked meat is in a cast iron skillet!

We simply heat up a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and smear it with a little vegetable oil. Then we add our cooked meat (in this photo, roasted pork loin with herbs and garlic) and sear it for a few minutes, turning it frequently.

We find that this method of reheating meat seems to preserve its flavor best, and even adds new layers of flavor with all that searing action. There’s a fresh golden crust on the outside of the meat, and the inside is warm although not completely hot and overcooked.

If we know that we’ll have meat leftovers from a meal, sometimes we will even undercook a portion of the meat a little to allow for more room to sear it later without overcooking. We’ve done this pork loin and pork chops, and even with little strips of leftover steak — those just need a quick toss in the skillet.

This really is the best method, we think, for reheating meat that was quickly cooked to begin with — as opposed to braised or stewed meat, which is much more forgiving. Braised or stewed meat can be gently reheated in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave.

What’s the best way to heat up leftover meat? Do you have a favorite way to reheat chicken, steak, lamb, and pork?

Related: Roundup: Our Favorite Reheating Tips