Gumbo is a popular Creole dish that often includes chicken, sausage, or seafood. It’s most often eaten in Louisiana and Canada, and includes a wide mix of cultures such as Hispanic, African, French, and Cajun. It is made with roux and is perfect as a warm winter stew when it begins to get chilly outside.
Often, gumbo tastes much better the next day after the flavors have been stewing together overnight. Reheating gumbo is simple and can be done by either using the microwave, stove, or a crockpot.
Is Your Gumbo Good to Reheat?
The first step to reheating your gumbo is to make sure that it hasn’t spoiled. Gumbo shouldn’t be left out for longer than 2-4 hours at room temperature, and doing so leaves room for bacterial growth.
Gumbo can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days, but can be left in the freezer for about six months. It should always be cooled before storing.
Gumbo without shellfish often keeps longer than gumbo with shellfish.
Reheating with the Microwave
Reheating with the microwave is a quick and simple way to enjoy gumbo as leftovers. It can all be done in one bowl, which is a benefit over the other techniques. How do we reheat gumbo in the microwave the proper way, though?
- Set the gumbo out to thaw if it has been frozen.
Allowing the gumbo to thaw first improves its taste and texture once it’s reheated. Only once it is mostly thawed is it ready to be reheated.
- Serve the rice into the bowl.
Be sure to use a bowl that is microwave safe and, preferably, ceramic. If the rice has also been left in the fridge, pour a couple drops of water in the pour to let it steam. This will soften the rice.
Heat the rice for one minute or until it is softened and warm.
- Add the gumbo.
Once the rice is heated, remove it from the microwave and add the thawed gumbo.
- Heat the bowl of gumbo and rice.
Place the bowl of gumbo back into the microwave and heat it in 30-second intervals for one to two minutes. Between intervals, gently stir the gumbo to ensure even distribution of heat.
- Let it cool.
Once the bowl of gumbo is hot enough, let it cool before eating. It if isn’t completely heated, repeat step 4 until the desired temperature has been reached.
Pros and Cons of Reheating in a Microwave
Reheating gumbo in the microwave has very strong pros and cons, and many are dependent on your personal preferences.
Generally, microwaves do not evenly distribute heat. This means that the gumbo may be hot in some areas but cold in others, which is unpleasant to our senses.
On the plus side, reheating gumbo in the microwave is much quicker than the other alternative methods. It saves the hassle of washing many dishes other than a bowl and a spoon. It is also convenient to take your gumbo with you to work or school and allow it to thaw before lunch time. Gumbo can be heated and enjoyed at any place with a microwave available.
Reheating with the Stove
Reheating with the stove is the most foolproof way to eat gumbo the next day. Unlike the microwave, it can be done to reheat large amounts of gumbo at one time.
- Thaw out the gumbo.
- Transfer the gumbo to a pot.
Put the gumbo into a saucepan or pot and spread it evenly throughout the dish. Adding a bit of water to the gumbo to help it steam and add moisture.
- Heat it up!
Turn the stove to medium-high and cover the pot of gumbo. Once it begins to simmer, stir the pot and cover it again. Turn the stove to low and let it cook for 15 minutes.
Rice can be heated in a similar manner by adding water, covering it, and putting it on the stove on medium. Spoon the rice into a bowl and pour the gumbo on top. Once the bowl has cooled down, it’s ready to serve.
Pros and Cons of Reheating on a Stove
Reheating gumbo on the stove is the way to go for those who want to eat gumbo as if it was just prepared. The delicious smell quickly fills the kitchen, and can easily be poured and served to many at a time.
While reheating gumbo on the stove may be best for those needing to feed many people at once, it initially requires higher maintenance. Watching it simmer before setting the timer and stirring it doesn’t allow it to be thrown together and taken to work. More dishes have to be washed when reheating on the stove as well.
Reheating with the Oven
Reheating gumbo with the oven is a great way to lock in all of its flavors and slowly warm it to preserve it’s hearty taste for days or months at a time.
- Thaw out the gumbo.
- Preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 375°. At this temperature, the gumbo can simmer and stew without becoming too hot or burning.
- Pour the gumbo into a serving dish.
Using the dish that the gumbo was originally made in works perfectly fine, but be sure to check that your dish is oven safe.
- Bake it!
Once the oven has been preheated, cover the gumbo and place it in the oven for 15 minutes. Once the timer is up, stir the gumbo and heat it for another 30 minutes.
- Let it cool and enjoy.
Pour the gumbo into a serving bowl over rice, and enjoy the seemingly fresh-baked gumbo.
Pros and Cons of Reheating in the Oven
Reheating gumbo in the oven, much like reheating on the stove, is a great way to feed many people at one time. It doesn’t require much overlooking, and it can be left in the oven for a longer period of time than the other methods.
Although gumbo reheated in the oven can be left alone for a while, it takes longer than microwaving it or using the stove. It isn’t practical to heat a small portion of gumbo in the oven, but it can be done.
Choosing a Method that Works for You
There are many options when you come to a crossroad wondering how to reheat your gumbo. Based on your needs and time available, you can find the perfect technique that works for you. No matter which way you choose, you will be left with a hot and delicious bowl of gumbo.