If you enjoy a good seafood boil as much as we do, then it’s not surprising that you’ll cook it often. With the number of ingredients, it can turn into quite a big meal which means you’ll have leftovers. Often leaving leftovers for later, or the next day, adds more flavor to the dish as the flavors settle and mix. Just heat it up again, right?
Many people however believe that seafood boil is one of those dishes that you shouldn’t reheat. This is loosely based on the fact that seafood can make you ill if not stored and reheated correctly. What then is the correct way to safely reheat a seafood boil without spoiling the flavor?
This article will highlight the best ways to reheat and reserve a delicious seafood boil. This meal is so mouthwatering and flavorful, that there’s no reason you should waste leftovers. That being said, let’s jump in and find the best way to reheat a seafood boil.
What is Seafood Boil?
It needs to be said that in this instance, the name doesn’t do the dish any justice. Seafood boil sounds very boring at face value. However, if you’ve ever had some, you’ll agree that it‘s interesting and tasty.
Essentially, a seafood boil recipe consists of lobster, prawns, shrimp, crab, crawfish, mussels, oysters, clams, corn, potatoes and sausage which is boiled in a seasoned broth. The ingredients are then tossed in some butter with a sprinkle of parsley. It’s served in a large square dish with lemon wedges. Pour the remaining butter and pan juices over the ingredients.
There’s no fixed rule about the ingredients or the amount of seafood you add. Many regions have their own versions of the recipe. A consistent aspect though seems to be the Cajun flavor that’s mixed in the broth or added as spices in the butter sauce.
Also Read: What Are Steamers Seafood?
Recommended Reheating Methods
Fortunately, reheating a seafood boil is as easy as cooking it. When reheating, only dish out the amount that you wish to serve immediately. We’ve listed the best ways to reheat below.
1. Reheating on the Stove
Essentially, reheating on the stovetop is very efficient since it only takes 10 minutes to reheat. It can also easily be done in one pot without too much fuss.
- Fill a large pot halfway with water and allow to boil.
- Add ingredients to a boil bag. If the food is already in a boil bag, place the bag in the boiling water and allow it to reheat.
- Heat the bag for about 10 minutes. Gently shake the bag around after about 7 minutes to ensure there are no cold spots. (Be careful, as the bag will be quite hot at this point)
- Once the contents in the bag are completely heated, remove the bag from the pot and place it on a cooling rack. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then serve on a serving plate or casserole dish. Pour the juice from the bag over the meat and add fresh lemons and a sprinkle of parsley.
2. Reheating in the Oven
If you have stored your seafood boil in an airtight container and not a boil bag, then the best form of reheating is the oven. It’s also a great method to use if you’ve stored the boil directly in the casserole dish as you can then just pop it in the oven, without additional dishes.
- If you’ve stored the seafood boil in a boil bag, you can place an oven pan half-filled with water in the oven and place the bag in the pan. Then reheat for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- If you’ve stored the leftovers in a container, move the seafood to the bottom of the casserole dish if you didn’t already do this during storage. Keep the veggies and boiled eggs on top. Be sure to spread all the contents evenly to avoid cold spots.
- To prevent the boil from drying out, pour 1 or 2 cups of water into the container.
- Cover the casserole dish with foil to keep the heat and flavor from escaping. As the water starts boiling, the food will heat and since you’re trapping the steam, it will remain succulent and juicy. Any starchy ingredients such as potatoes or veggies will all stay moist and tasty.
- Reheat at 300°F for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Halfway through steaming, lift a corner of the foil and check if there’s sufficient steam.
- After 20 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and remove the foil. Let the dish rest for 5 minutes and serve. Add fresh lemon wedges, parsley and a few sprinkles of your Cajun spice if necessary.
3. Reheating in the Microwave
You might be wondering why microwave heating isn’t the first choice for reheating since it’s quite possibly the fastest way. The truth is microwave heating can easily overcook seafood or vegetables. It’s also common to have cold spots in your dish because of the way microwave ovens heat food. So, only opt for this method if there’s no other heating option available.
- Place some water in a microwave-safe container and place the seafood boil bag inside.
- Move the contents around in the bowl, making a space in the centre of the contents to help create even heating.
- Wrap microwave-safe plastic film over the container. (Avoid using foil)
- Heat the seafood boil for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the container, check for cold spots, and continue reheating if necessary.
- Dish the contents into a serving dish or platter and add fresh lemon wedges and parsley.
- You can add a little heated Cajun flavored butter if you need additional sauce.
4. Reheating Without a Boil Bag
If you’ve opted not to use a boil bag, then the best method for reheating is by using the oven. This will prevent the seafood meat from drying out. Follow the steps we’ve listed in our oven method.
5. Reheating Seafood Boil in a Pan
One of the most common questions asked by many people reheating seafood boils for the first time is, “Can I reheat in a pan?.” Well, sure, but you need to be careful.
Of course, if you’re going to use a pan, you’ll use the stovetop method. The only real problem with reheating in a pan is that if you’re not careful, the meat will start cooking again. This can hamper your tasty flavors or give the seafood a rubbery texture.
We recommend using a boil bag in a pot of water for best reheating results. If you have no alternative but to use a pan, put a little water in the pan and when it starts heating, add the boil and keep stirring to ensure it heats evenly and doesn’t start cooking again. The maximum time in the pan shouldn’t be 5 minutes. A deep pan where a boil bag can rest in will also be more ideal than a normal frying pan.
Why is Seafood Boil So Popular?
Seafood boil is a popular dinner choice for large gatherings. Depending on the amount and size of the seafood you’re using, you can end up with a huge feast. This flavor combination of seafood mixed with Cajun spices and butter-rich sauces creates an aromatic and spicy dish that’s served in a casserole dish or even on a large tray lined with butcher paper.
How Should you Store Seafood Boil?
Many people deliberately cook a large quantity of this delicious dish to enjoy it again the next day. By leaving the spices to marinade in the butter and seafood juices, the dish is even better the next day.
However, if you’ve ever cooked seafood, you’ll know that improper storage can make it spoil very quickly. Since seafood boil can contain a wide variety of different seafood and vegetables, the combination of enzymes and amino acids is what causes the spoiling.
To store seafood boil overnight, follow these few crucial steps:
- If you’ve cooked a large quantity, rather than place it all out on the party table, only place a small amount out and replenish it if necessary. Seafood starts going bad after about 3 hours of standing out at room temperature. Bear in mind that boiled eggs and other cooked ingredients can speed up the onset of bacteria.
- If you intend to reheat the boil, the easiest way to store will be in an airtight, food-grade boil bag. Store in the fridge at a temperature of 40°F.
- If you’ve served the food in a casserole dish, store in the dish with the seafood at the bottom and veggies like potatoes and corn on top.
Pro tip: Some cooking experts suggest storing the veggies and meat in separate bags. This will prevent cold spots during the reheating process and also keep the flavors intact.
Read More: Is Seafood Good For You?
With the easy methods we’ve listed in our article, you can safely add as many seafood and vegetable ingredients to your dish without fear of any leftovers spoiling. Choose the reheating method that’s most convenient to you and your seafood boil will be as tasty the next day as it was when you cooked it!