Chili is often made in large batches, so it can be enjoyed for future meals. Taking a little extra time to reheat chili will pay off in the quality of the food, but it’s also important to get that chili to right temperature for safe eating, and to store the food properly from the start.
Bring It to Temperature
The USDA recommends that all leftovers be heated to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating. Bringing food to this temperature helps kill off any harmful bacteria that may be present. Always use a food thermometer to check your temperatures.
Reheating on the Stovetop
One of the easiest ways to reheat chili is to place it in a pan and warm it up on the stovetop. If the chili seems dry from being in the fridge, add a little water or broth to give it some moisture. Use the low to medium settings on the stovetop to bring the food up to 165 F. Since chili is typically a dense food, heating it at a high temperature can cause the food to scorch. Stir frequently to make sure all portions of the food get cooked and to further prevent burning.
Using the Microwave
Microwaves also work well for reheating small amounts of chili. Place the food in a microwave-safe container and place a lid loosely on top to allow steam to vent. Cook on the high setting for one minute then remove the lid, stir the chili and cook for another minute or until the food is heated through. Allow the chili to stand for one minute before checking to make sure the temperature is at 165 F.
Safe Storage Makes Safe Leftovers
As with all cooked foods, storing them properly in the first place helps give you all those tasty second day-meals. Always refrigerate cooked foods within two hours of serving. When storing a large pot of chili, don’t place the whole pot in the fridge, break it down into smaller containers before refrigerating. Storing chili in smaller portions will allow it to cool much more quickly to a safe storage temperature of 40 F or below.
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