The Step You Really Shouldn't Skip When Reheating A Fast Food Burger

Considering that a whopping 119 billion pounds of food are wasted in the U.S. every year — almost 40% of the food produced — anything that helps us reduce waste is helpful (via Feeding America). And one of the easiest ways to avoid throwing out food is by taking home any leftovers you might have after eating out. Restaurants are no strangers to food waste, as Move for Hunger shares that a half pound of food is wasted in these establishments for each meal. Whether you box fast food items or have your server make a doggy bag, it's always worth it to bring your leftovers home.

Once you get it home, however, it may be tricky to figure out how to reheat your food while preserving that restaurant-quality taste. Most people throw them in the microwave (and there's no shame in that), but if you don't mind getting a little creative, alternative methods can make for tastier leftovers. For example, Better Homes & Gardens recommends using the air fryer, toaster oven, or oven to reheat pizza or fried chicken saying these methods will prevent making these foods mushy. You can even make an entirely new meal, like turning leftover risotto into a classic Italian fried snack. And if you're looking for the absolute best way to reheat a burger, don't forget this crucial step.

Deconstruct leftover burgers and heat their components separately

We love burgers for their juicy patties, soft buns, creamy cheese, and crisp lettuce. But if you throw a leftover burger in the microwave and expect the same texture it had last night, you will surely be disappointed. Pantry and Larder recommends reheating it in a frying pan, or in the oven if you have to heat up multiple burgers at once. Foods Guy claims that the oven is the best move, as it allows for even heat distribution. Whichever way you choose, make sure to deconstruct the burger before reheating. If you heat up your leftover burger as-is, some components will remain cold, especially the ones in the middle.  

Lacademie recommends separating the meat, buns, and vegetables, and scraping off as much sauce as you can. And while you certainly can reheat and reassemble them, it may be worth it to add fresh condiments and veggies rather than bother with the old toppings. Next, toast your bun — Pantry and Larder suggests either in a pan or toaster — and fry the patty for a minute or two. If you go with the oven method, as Foods Guy suggests, place the meat and bun on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about six minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once that's done, all you have to do is reassemble and chow down.