Why You Should Never Reheat Pork Roast In The Microwave

It seems to be a no-brainer to put your leftovers in the microwave. The miracle of modern technology allows us to zap our frozen food into a hot-and-ready meal in one minute. Yet, some foods are better microwaved than others. Take microwaved pizza, for example, that tastes unbearably chewy once it cools down. Or a meal-prepped rice bowl with uneven temperatures throughout, resulting in ice-cold chunks of chicken and sizzling hot vegetables. The World Health Organization explains the science behind this phenomenon: microwaves are more easily absorbed by water molecules than fat molecules, which results in uneven heating. So while microwaving is powerful, it isn't always the heating method of choice.

This is always the case for a pork roast or any meat roast in general. Although microwaving is the lowest-effort method for reheating your roast, you might have to take the extra step of using your stove or your oven. Like microwaved pizza, pork roast tastes significantly worse when microwaved instead of any other method. But aside from the common culprits, there is a more glaring issue with microwaving a pork roast.

The Warmed-Over Flavor

If you have ever reheated chicken, beef, or pork in the microwave, you might be familiar with that horrid, meaty stench that wafts out. Well, this smell is called warmed-over flavor, and its scent is so putrid that no lime juice or seasoning can mask it. It essentially makes reheated meat taste raw and sulfurous, which results from the rapid breakdown of lipids, per food scientist Margaret Tims Younathan.

Younathan's study further shows that microwaving meat as opposed to reheating it in the oven results in higher levels of malonaldehyde, which contributes to that gross odor. You can only imagine that a pork roast would perish in both flavor and texture if it were to be reheated in the microwave. M. Susan Brewer at the Swine Extension of the USDA also notes that the warmed-over flavor varies with the kind of meat you are reheating, with fish being the most prone due to its high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Of course, after fish comes chicken, then pork, but pork is still susceptible to that off-putting stench. So salvage your leftovers and reheat your pork roast in the oven to yield the best results. The same rule applies to reheating ribs.