Rice dishes can be really hard to reheat right, and if you have some leftover jambalaya, the last thing you want to do is risk reheating it wrong and ruining it altogether. Special care needs to be taken when reheating jambalaya, ensuring it keeps its great quality as when it was first cooked.
What is the best way to heat up jambalaya? You can choose to use either the microwave, the oven or the stove. All three methods have their pros and cons, but if done properly, you should be able to heat up your jambalaya right and enjoy all the wonderful flavors.
Read on to continue learning how to reheat jambalaya.
How to Reheat Jambalaya
Below are three ways to reheat jambalaya. The best way is up to you!
Reheating Jambalaya In The Microwave
The microwave is the quickest way to reheat your jambalaya, and if you have stored the leftover jambalaya in a microwave-safe container, you do not have to worry about washing up any additional dishes such as a baking tray or pan.
Here is how to reheat jambalaya in the microwave:
- If it is not already stored in one, place the leftover jambalaya in a microwave-safe dish.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap or with a damp paper towel.
- Heat the jambalaya for 30 seconds, or until steaming hot.
- Allow it to sit for 30 seconds, to allow the heat to distribute evenly.
- If there is a large portion of jambalaya, you will have to repeat the heating until it is heated throughout.
- Serve the jambalaya immediately, and discard any leftovers.
Pros of using a microwave
The most obvious pro for using the microwave is that it is the quickest way to reheat food. A minute is almost all you need for warmed up jambalaya.
You do not need to wait for the microwave to heat up, and if you have stored the jambalaya in a dish that can be placed in the microwave, there won’t be much cleaning up to do either.
Cons of using a microwave
Using the microwave can be risky when heating up a dish such as jambalaya. If the jambalaya contains shrimp, it might turn out rubbery when heated up in the microwave.
You need to place plastic wrap or a damp towel over the jambalaya to ensure it doesn’t dry out in the microwave either, or the rice may become hard and crispy.
Reheating Jambalaya In The Oven
The oven is possibly the best way to reheat jambalaya, but only if you do it right. It does take a little bit longer, but it will be worth the wait.
Here is how to reheat jambalaya in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the jambalaya into an oven-safe dish, and cover it with aluminum foil.
- You might need to add some water or brother to the jambalaya to prevent it from drying out. Just a tablespoon or two will be enough, you do not want to drench the rice.
- Place the dish in the oven and allow it to reheat for around 30 minutes, but this will also depend on the size of the portion, and whether the jambalaya is still cool from being in the fridge.
- Once it has heated up thoroughly, serve it immediately and discard any leftovers.
Pros of using the oven
The oven will give the most consistent reheating for the jambalaya, and with the use of aluminum foil, it will not dry out. Adding a tablespoon or two of broth will further prevent the jambalaya from drying out.
Cons of using the oven
The oven takes longer to reheat jambalaya than other methods. You first need to wait for the oven to heat up and then wait around half an hour for the jambalaya to be heated through thoroughly.
Reheating Jambalaya On The Stove
The stove is great to use to reheat jambalaya. It takes less time than the oven, but a little longer than the microwave. You will need to transfer the jambalaya from its storage container to a frying pan, but that is easy enough.
Here is how to reheat jambalaya on the stove:
- Place the jambalaya into a suitable frying pan.
- Turn the stove onto medium heat and allow it to warm up.
- Add a tablespoon of broth or water to the jambalaya to prevent it from drying out.
- Allow the jambalaya to reheat for up to 5 minutes, or until hot throughout.
- Serve the jambalaya immediately and discard any leftovers.
Pros of using a stove
The stove is quick enough, and you are able to ensure that the jambalaya is kept moist by adding broth or water as it warms.
Cons of using a stove
The stove can take quite long, compared to a microwave, and you will have some extra cleaning with having to wash an additional pan. You also run the risk of the pan becoming too hot and the jambalaya sticking and burning.
Risks Of Heating Up Rice Dishes
Rice is one of the more problematic foods when it comes to reheating. Some people believe you should never reheat rice, but it is, in fact, fine to do so, as long as you take proper precautions.
Rice may contain Bacillus cereus which is a bacteria that can survive some cooking processes. This bacteria is a common cause of food poisoning and is often associated with cooked or reheated rice. If you are exposed to these bacteria and become ill from it, you will experience the symptoms often associated with food poisoning.
If proper and safe methods are not followed when cooking, storing and reheating rice, the bacteria may grow on the rice and then result in food poisoning.
Here is how to properly prepare, cook and store rice, which is applicable when cooking and reheating jambalaya.
- Wash your hands – You should always wash your hands both when preparing and cooking food. Remember to also keep any utensils that have touched raw animal products which may be in the jambalaya separate from the rice.
- Cook thoroughly – You need to make sure that the rice reaches a high temperature when being cooked. The danger zone for bacteria growth is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so ensure that the rice is cooked at a temperature higher than this. Serve the rice immediately after cooking.
- Cooling – You can further prevent bacteria growth by cooling the rice down quickly after being cooked. To do this, you can either divide the food into shallow containers and sealing them with a tight lid or placing the rice in a fridge or freezer (jambalaya freezes much better than plain rice). You can leave the jambalaya or plain rice to sit out at room temperature to cool, but do not leave it for more than an hour.
- Storage – If you are keeping jambalaya leftovers in the fridge, you should dispose of it within 4 days. It should be stored in an airtight container. If you are freezing the jambalaya, it should be kept in the freezer for up to 4 months. Once again, it should be kept in a freezer-friendly airtight container or in a freezer-friendly sealable plastic bag. Rice and jambalaya need to be kept at a constant temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and any leftovers which have been at room temperature for over 2 hours need to be thrown away.
Can I reheat jambalaya for a second time?
You should avoid reheating jambalaya for a second time. This goes for all food, it should be cooked, stored correctly, and then only reheated once.
Reheating the jambalaya for a second time runs a higher risk of bacteria growth, and with rice, this risk is even higher.
You should only reheat as much as you are going to eat, and either freeze or refrigerate what is leftover to enjoy at a later stage.
Does jambalaya freeze well?
Jambalaya is one of the few rice dishes that freezes well. It will taste great if frozen and reheated again, although it might not taste as fresh as it did when it was first cooked.
You also need to ensure that the jambalaya is stored properly in the freezer, and is kept in an airtight container or plastic bag that will prevent freezer burns.
How do I thaw jambalaya?
The safest way to thaw jambalaya is to leave it in the fridge overnight. This way, the jambalaya will defrost slowly, but it will not be exposed to temperatures that might result in excessive bacteria growth that could lead to food poisoning.
Jambalaya is a great dish to make ahead and freeze or to make in bulk and keep portions in the fridge or freezer to enjoy at a later stage. You can choose to reheat jambalaya using the microwave, the stove, or the oven, all with their pros and cons.
By following a few simple storage and reheating steps, you can enjoy some warm and tasty jambalaya at home in almost no time at all, tasting nearly as good as the first time around.