The meatball is the type of food that can help define and complete a dish. At the same time, they can also serve as your main entrée. Needless to say, this is a feat that very few dishes can pull off. We would be hard-pressed to name dishes that could do the same. They embody the definition of comfort food.
Unsurprisingly, meatballs can be made from all sorts of ingredients. The choice is up to you whether you want to make meatballs with classic choices like beef and pork or if you wish to go the non-traditional route with chicken, lamb, or turkey. Whichever you choose, properly cooked meatballs can deliver a supremely satisfying dining experience.
That said, it can never hurt to always have meatballs handy in your kitchen. Since you can never really know when the need would arise, it will always be a good idea to make them in big batches. This way, you won’t need to make them from scratch every time as you can just reheat them whenever you need to.
So how do you reheat meatballs? The best way to reheat meatballs is by reheating them in the oven at 350 degrees Farenheight for about 15 minutes. It’s important to make sure that the internal temperature of the meatball reaches 165 degrees F before serving.
Of course, it should go without saying that there are right and wrong ways to reheating meatballs. So, be sure to keep reading as we show you everything you need to know about how to reheat meatballs properly.
How To Store Cooked Meatballs
Of course, before we can proceed to the actual heating instructions, we’ll first need to look at the proper storage procedures you need to follow when dealing with meatballs. After all, you want them to last long enough to reheat them.
That said, listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions about storing meatballs.
- Can You Leave Cooked Meatballs at Room Temperature? – As a rule, you should get rid of cooked meatballs left for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Remember that refrigeration and freezing prevent the growth of bacteria. These harmful microorganisms will grow rapidly in temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F. This means that leaving your meatballs out for too long can cause them to spoil.
- How to Maximize the Shelf Life of Meatballs? – You can put cooked meatballs in the fridge to extend their shelf life. For your safety and the quality of your meatballs, remember to put them in shallow airtight containers. Alternatively, you can also use heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap to tightly wrap your meatballs before putting them in the refrigerator. Remember, properly refrigerated meatballs can last up to 4 days.
- Can I Freeze Meatballs? – Yes, this is the most effective way to prolong their shelf life. To do this, just put your meatballs in a freezer-safe food storage bag (these are our favorites), label it, and then put them in the freezer. If you do not have these freezer-safe bags than you can follow the same instructions with the refrigerator method and use airtight containers or heavy-duty aluminum foil to wrap the meatballs. If done correctly, your meatballs will be safe to eat for the next 3 to 4 months.
The actual shelf life of your meatballs will vary primarily on the storage method you used.
For instance, while frozen meatballs are good for 3-4 months, once thawed and put in the fridge, they will last for as long as 4 days.
You will need to refrigerate freshly cooked meatballs within two hours of cooking, or else you risk spoilage.
Before we delve into the process of reheating, you must always give your meatballs a freshness test. Check to see if they smell or look funny. A gross and slimy texture coupled with a sour smell indicates that your meatballs, throw them out immediately.
So, now we have reached the heart of the matter. When it comes to reheating meatballs, remember that you have to achieve a balance. Both overheating and under-heating can lead to their own sets of problems and will inevitably have a detrimental effect on your dish.
To be more specific, overheated meatballs will become dry and rubbery. Meanwhile, you will notice that meatballs which were not heated well enough will have a cold or frozen center.
Remember that you can only use specific heating methods in specific scenarios.
It is important to note whether you are heating meatballs with sauce or without sauce. After all, the heating process will always have an effect on your dish’s texture and flavor, so always use the appropriate one.
Method 1: Oven Method
This is the method to use if you are working with meatballs without sauces. Just remember that the oven method is essentially heating the meatballs from the outside in.
The last thing you want is to overcook the exterior as you will end up with a burnt ball of meat with a sad and frozen center.
That said, it is a fairly easy and quick method to follow. Just follow these steps:
- Preheat your oven to a temperature of 350°F
- Take a baking sheet or an oven-safe deep dish and place your meatballs.
- Insert meatballs into the oven.
Reheating your meatballs will take 12-18 minutes. That said, keep a close eye on its internal temperature and make sure that it has warmed all the way.
Once the center is well-heated and has an internal temperature of 165°F, take them out and serve.
Method 2: Stovetop Method
If your meatballs are swimming in a sauce, then we recommend that you try this method. Needless to say, slowly heating your dish on the stovetop is the best way to go.
After all, letting the meatballs and its sauce simmer is the most effective means of reheating them without the fear of drying them out.
Just follow these steps:
- Take a pot and put it on the stovetop. Make sure that you are working with a low flame.
- Carefully transfer everything on the pot, including the meatball’s sauce, then cover.
- Be mindful of the sauce and constantly stir. The meatballs and the sauce should be heated all the way through within 20 to 30 minutes. Just be careful not to let the sauce come to a boil.
It is also worth noting here that you can reheat frozen meatballs directly using this method.
However, because of the thaw, you may be left dealing with excess water as the ice melts. If this dilutes the sauce during the reheating process, then be ready to adjust the seasoning as needed.
Method 3: Microwave Method
This is another effective method of reheating meatballs. As you would expect, the microwave method comes in handy if you are in a rush and want to get things done in the quickest way possible.
You will need to take extra precautions as the microwave method is much easier to mess up compared to the other two.
As you know, microwaves are incredibly powerful appliances. So, be careful when using them to reheat your meatballs.
As a rule, you need to use a lower heat setting for your microwave. We recommend setting its power levels at 70 percent so that you can avoid overheating. Otherwise, you will end up with dry and chewy meatballs.
That said, make sure to follow these steps to avoid any problems:
- Prepare a microwave-safe container, line the bottom with paper towels to prevent excess liquid from affective the meatball’s texture. Carefully place the meatballs atop the lining.
- Cover the container with a moist cloth to prevent the loss of moisture.
- Adjust the microwave’s power setting and put it at medium or 70% power.
- Heat the meatballs for 1 minute then the check internal temperature. If it reaches 165°F, then they are done. If not, reheat for another 15 seconds.
- Take meatballs out when done and serve immediately.
This guide explained everything you need to know to properly reheat this wonderful dish.
So, whether you want to try the oven method, the stovetop method, or the microwave method, always remember to follow the steps we have presented here.
Next, we wanted to answer a couple of related questions so that you leave here with all of your questions answered.
Can You Reheat Meatballs Twice?
In general, food shouldn’t be reheated twice. However, if you’ve stored and reheated your meatballs properly, then you can reheat them a second time.
If you’d like to read an in-depth guide about reheating meat twice, we suggest this article.
What Do Meatballs Go With?
As a dish, meatballs are undeniably versatile. Remember that they work well enough on their own. However, you can also opt to pair them with a wide array of foods perfectly.
Listed below are just some of the good recipes that become great when combined with this awesome dish:
- Mashed Potatoes with Meatballs
- Spaghetti with Meatballs
- Meatball Soup
- Rice and Meatballs
- Egg Noodles with Meatballs
- Meatball Sub
- Meatballs with Red Roasted Potatoes.
The list above is far from comprehensive. After all, you can add meatballs to virtually any dish you can think of and make them significantly better. Aside from being incredibly sumptuous, meatballs are also incredibly easy to make.
Making them in advance and reheating them later only makes perfect sense.
Meatballs can be used for a wide array of recipes and dishes. That is why it can never hurt to always have them on hand.
Up Next: Can You Cook Frozen Ground Beef?