Arancini balls, sometimes known as risotto balls, are a breaded, cheesy Sicilian staple. They are delicious fresh out of the fryer, but once they’ve cooled, how do you reheat arancini balls properly?
There are several methods for reheating arancini balls, such as using the oven, an air fryer, or a deep fryer. The best method to retain the crispy texture is to use a deep fryer, although this takes longer than the other methods. For a quick option, you can combine using an air fryer and a microwave to reheat fast without resulting in soggy arancini balls.
Best Methods for Reheating Arancini Balls
While there are several different methods to reheat arancini balls, the goal is to retain their crispy texture. Popping them in the microwave might seem like a quick, easy option, but can result in soggy, unappealing arancini balls. While our suggested methods may take a little more time, the delicious, perfectly crisp arancini balls are well worth the wait.
Reheating in an oven is one of the more convenient ways to make sure your leftover arancini balls get an even crisp all the way through. It allows the cheese-filled center to become melty without overheating, and the airflow in the oven keeps the breaded outer layer crisp. To use this method:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place the arancini balls directly on the wire rack to allow for proper air circulation
- Heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the arancini balls are heated all the way through
To shave a few minutes off of this process, you can put the arancini balls in the microwave for about 20 seconds before placing them in the oven. Then cook them for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how large they are. This may not seem like a huge time difference, but it’s worth looking into if you’re in a time crunch.
Deep Fryer Method
Although it isn’t the healthiest method, deep-frying produces the best results when reheating arancini balls. The deep fryer method will give you perfectly heated, crisp arancini balls in less time needed than using the oven method, but it does require much more cleaning up. To use this method:
- Fill a pan or skillet with enough oil to completely cover the arancini balls
- When the oil reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit, use tongs to place the arancini balls in the oil
- Allow them to sit for 1 or 2 minutes before removing them using your tongs
- Place on a wire rack for an additional 2 minutes to cool before serving
When using this method, take caution to avoid getting burned by oil splatter. Use an oil that has a high smoke point, such as canola, peanut, or vegetable oil, and monitor the oil’s temperature using a meat thermometer.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can determine if the oil has reached the correct temperature by sticking a wooden spoon or chopstick in the pan and waiting to see if bubbles gather around it. If bubbles gather around the wood, the oil is likely hot enough.
Air Fryer Method
You can use an air fryer for results similar to a deep fryer without having to worry about the calories from added oils. This method may not result in the same crunch as using a deep fryer, but the arancini balls will still be crispy and deliciously melted in the middle. To use this method:
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Arrange the arancini balls in the air fryer basket, making sure to leave a little space between each ball
- Heat the arancini balls for up to 15 minutes until they are thoroughly heated
If you wish, you can spritz the arancini balls with oil before placing them in the air fryer, but this isn’t necessary. This method will produce a satisfying crisp with or without the added oil. Additionally, you can cut a few minutes off of the frying time by sticking the arancini balls in the microwave beforehand. Like with the oven method, simply pop the arancini balls in the microwave for about 20 seconds before placing them in the air fryer basket.
Can you reheat arancini balls in the microwave?
Yes, you can reheat arancini balls in the microwave, but this option will produce the least satisfying results. Firstly, the outer layer of the arancini balls will not properly crisp in the microwave and secondly, the filling may heat too quickly and explode.
If you still wish to reheat using a microwave, simply place the arancini balls on a microwave-safe plate and cook in 20-second increments until they’re heated all the way through. Allow them to cool for a minute prior to eating to ensure you don’t burn yourself on the heated filling.
How do you store arancini balls?
Keeping your arancini balls crisp while reheating can be aided by storing your leftovers properly after cooking them. Prior to storing them in either the fridge or freezer, make sure they cool to room temperature.
Store the arancini balls in the fridge by placing them in an airtight container lined with paper towels, ensuring that the balls do not touch one another. They can keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you’d like to store leftover arancini balls longer, you should flash freeze them first by laying them on a baking tray – again ensuring that they do not touch – and placing them in the freezer uncovered for 1 to 2 hours. After this, you can transfer the arancini balls to a freezer-proof bag and keep them frozen for up to 2 months.
One potential issue with freezing arancini balls for storage is freezer burn. According to the FDA, freezer burn is not a food safety issue, but it can drastically affect the quality of the food once you reheat it. To avoid freezer burn, simply suck the air out of the bag prior to placing the leftovers in the freezer.
Can you reheat arancini balls from frozen?
You can reheat arancini balls from frozen using any of the methods described above, although you will need to allow for a longer reheating time depending on how large the arancini balls are. You can thaw them before reheating by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or submerging the freezer bag in a bowl of cold water for about half an hour.
Arancini balls are a delicious Sicilian treat, and with proper reheating, you can enjoy leftovers for several days without losing their perfectly crispy, melty quality. You can reheat them by re-frying them in a deep fryer, or by using an oven or air fryer. Microwaving is an option as well, but should only be used in conjunction with the oven or air fryer method to avoid soggy arancini balls.