Seafood dishes are often large and it’s common to have leftovers. The key to reheating seafood is to prevent it from becoming soggy, rubbery, or too dry.
There are various ways in which you can reheat seafood, whether it’s been fried, boiled, or baked. You can reheat your leftover seafood in the oven, microwave, toaster oven, skillet, broiler, or stovetop.
Reheating Seafood in the Oven
Ovens distribute an even amount of heat, making this the best way to gently reheat any type of seafood.
- Preheat oven to 275oF
- Lightly grease a baking sheet or casserole dish
- Place leftovers on the sheet or dish
- Splash with water
- Cover with foil
- Heat the seafood for about 10-15 minutes, turning it once halfway through the cooking process
- Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of your seafood. Thicker fish may take up to 20-25 minutes
- The USDA recommends the internal temperature of leftovers be a minimum of 165oF
Reheating Seafood in the Microwave
If possible, skip the microwave. Microwaves heat food at high temperatures that can result in dried out, tough, rubbery, stinky seafood.
If you absolutely must reheat your seafood in the microwave:
- Lower the power mode to 30-40%
- Add a splash of water to your food
- Cover it
- Microwave in 30-second bursts until heated
Reheating Fried Seafood
Your best chance at keeping your fried food crispy is a dry heat. As with non-fried seafood, it’s a good idea to stay away from the microwave.
Reheating Fried Seafood in the Oven
The oven is the best method for reheating fried seafood.
- Preheat oven to 350oF
- Line an oven-safe baking sheet or dish with aluminum foil
- Place the fried food on the baking sheet or dish
- Heat for about 10-15 minutes
Reheating Fried Seafood in a Skillet
This method heats your leftover fish in a matter of minutes so it’s important to keep a close eye on it.
- Heat the skillet on high
- Add oil and then the fried fish
- Reheat the fish for two to three minutes. Turn over a few times to get both sides covered
This is a good method but may leave your kitchen smelling fishy.
Reheating Fried Seafood in a Broiler
A broiler is a good method for you if you want to keep your fish crispy and ready in under five minutes.
- Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. If you’d like, you can spray a small amount of oil or cooking spray on the foil
- Turn oven to broiler setting
- Put the fish in the oven and broil for 1-3 minutes on each side
Reheating Fried Seafood in a Toaster Oven
A toaster oven is great if you only have a few small pieces to reheat. You can follow the same steps you would for an oven for this method.
- Preheat toaster to 350oF
- Line baking sheet with aluminum foil
- Place leftovers on a baking sheet
- Bake for about 8-10minutes
Reheating Fried Seafood in a Microwave
Reheating Fried Seafood on a Stovetop
- Place skillet on stove over medium heat
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil into the skillet
- Put leftover seafood into the skillet and sauté for 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Turn over halfway through cooking
- Remove food from the pan when it’s browned on both sides and hot all the way through
Reheating Seafood Boil
Your seafood boil is best reheated on the stove or in the oven. As with the other methods mentioned for seafood, it’s best to stay away from the microwave here too.
Reheating Seafood Boil Bag on the Stove
- Bring ¾ water to a boil
- Place the seafood boil bag in the water for about five minutes or until it resumes its original condition
Reheating Seafood Boil Bag in the Oven
- Preheat your oven to 250oF
- Place seafood boil on a baking sheet and heat for 10-15minutes
Reheating Seafood Boil Bag in the Microwave
The microwave is a convenient way to reheat your seafood boil, but be sure not to exceed the time, or it will cause the fatty oils to break down.
- Place the bag in a bowl and microwave for seven minutes
Reheating Seafood Boil Without a Bag
If you don’t have a bag, the oven is the best way to reheat your seafood boil.
- Preheat your oven to 275oF
- Place the leftovers on a casserole dish
- Splash with water and cover with foil
- Heat in oven for about 10 minutes
Reheat, Reuse or Repurpose
One of the great things about leftover seafood is that you don’t need to reheat it again to enjoy it. Consider repurposing your seafood into a new dish. Some seafood like salmon or tuna taste better cold in a vegetable or pasta salad, on a sandwich or in a cream cheese spread. Other types of leftover seafood can be repurposed in recipes like crab cakes, gumbo, chowder, and soup. You can even whip up your favorite pasta and throw your leftover fish into the warm sauce.
How Long Are Seafood Leftovers Good For?
You can safely reheat seafood for up to 4 days after it’s been cooked. Furthermore, discard any leftovers that have been unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour for food in temperatures greater than 90 degrees to avoid bacterial contamination.
There are many ways to reheat your seafood, but the steady and even heat of an oven is your best bet for keeping your seafood from getting dry, rubbery, or fishy and keeping it almost as tasty as it was when served fresh.