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How to Reheat a Sad, Soggy Burrito

It’s a delicate task, but it can be done

There’s something unusually sad about a half-eaten burrito. Its previously-perfect packaging, a now-soggy tortilla, has been compromised, and its insides are spilling out. It’s no longer the convenient, hand-held bean log it once was — now it’s just a depressing pile of mush, ready to fall apart come the next strong wind.

It’s been through enough already, so trashing it isn’t an option. But how can something so close to death be brought back to life? Only a panel of serious experts would know, so we gathered them together and asked them how they reheat their burritos. Let’s hope they’re miracle workers.

Karina Castañeda, manager at El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana: I like to have it tightly wrapped in aluminum foil, because if any part of it is wet, it’ll stay inside and it won’t stick to the pan. It also traps all the heat in.

Then I throw it on the stove, on a flat griddle. I put it on low, and you kind of have to just babysit it. Start on one side, and then it’s kind of like barbequing, where it’s slow and you turn it. Imagine it being a rotisserie chicken, but you’re the rotisserie — you turn the burrito.

This is the best way, because the burrito will be nice and crispy on the outside, and if you do it low enough on the heat, and slowly — and you turn it properly — it’ll be nice and crispy and gooey and melty and delicious on the inside.  

If you have a wet burrito and an oven, cover the burrito, put it in the oven and then broil it.

Devin Feldman, who does social media for a major fast-casual Mexican chain: I put mine in the microwave for about a minute, kind of like a slice of pizza. The goal is to get the inside to warm up. Then, I throw it on a pan for one to two minutes per side, until it’s golden brown. The microwave will soften the tortilla, so the goal on the pan is to crisp it up.

Jeffrey Pilcher, author of Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food: The only advice I have is not to reheat a burrito at all. Make one small enough so you can eat it in one go.

The meat tube eaters of r/Burritos:

  • “Wrapped in foil on a fairly low temp in the oven.”
  • “The foil keeps it from drying out by keeping the moisture from escaping. The low temperature ensures the outside doesn’t overcook before the inside warms up, and you wanna use an oven because reheating meat in a microwave makes it rubbery.”
  • “Fry it in olive oil on low-med heat on all seven sides.”
  • “If frozen, I defrost it, then place it in the microwave for one minute. Then I place it in my toaster oven on a tray with no foil covering my burrito. You may want to place some non-stick foil on the tray so the burrito won’t stick. Set the temperature for 225 and warm it for 20 minutes.”
  • “Never let it get cold.”

Well, there you have it. I wish your leftover burrito a very speedy recovery.

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