Can you reheat fried eggs? Use the microwave to reheat them. Check everything you need to know about fried eggs - especially reheating them.
Cooking eggs today means that next morning's breakfast or lunch ready and waiting. It's a great little time saver for those busy mornings.
Cold eggs are great for a working lunch, and as far as breakfast is concerned, it doesn't mean you have to look forward to a cold egg brekkie.
Most people tend to cook eggs for immediate consumption.
But if you are someone who is wondering whether or not you can cook eggs in advance, store and reheat them later or the next day, the answer is yes, you can, and if you read on, I will explain exactly what to do.
Can you reheat fried eggs?
Having leftovers after meals happens in many households. If you've got a large frying pan, frying several eggs at once takes no longer than frying one or two.
But think twice before throwing leftover fried eggs away. They can be reheated.
Granted, they won't be quite as good as when they were freshly fried, but you can get a decent result when you use your microwave to reheat them.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about fried eggs - especially reheating them.
Reheating fried eggs on the microwave
If you have any leftover fried eggs, the best way of reheating them is in your microwave. It's not the only way, though.
You can, if you prefer, use a skillet. The big problem, though, is making sure they don't turn out rubbery.
You just need to keep a careful eye out during the reheating process. Rubbery egg whites are a common occurrence with reheated fried eggs, so keep that in mind.
Step by step instructions
- Place the eggs onto a microwave-safe plate or dish and cover with a slightly damp kitchen paper towel. It helps to protect the integrity of the egg and minimize any change in texture.
- Microwave for about 15 seconds.
- Flip the egg over and microwave for the same amount of time. You aim to get the internal temperature of the egg up to 165°F.
It's as easy as that. The key thing to remember is covering (or wrapping) the egg in a paper towel. It not only helps to prevent the white from becoming rubbery - it also helps with retaining moisture.
Reheat fried eggs - on the stovetop
- Put a small quantity of butter or oil into a frying pan or skillet and place on your stovetop over medium heat until the butter melts or the oil develops a sheen.
- Place the eggs into the pan and fry for approximately one or two minutes over medium-low heat.
- Don't flip the egg. Let it sit there and warm through.
- Try not to overcook the egg, or it will lose some of its flavors.
Reheating various types of eggs
It's safe to eat reheated eggs, providing that when you first cooked them, the internal temperature got to 160°F. It is also important that they should be stored correctly.
Generally, reheated eggs and other egg dishes are safe to eat as long as they have been initially cooked to 160°F and adequately stored as per the FDA entitled "What You Need to Know About Egg Safety."
Guidance from the USDA says that when cooking raw eggs, they are done and safe to eat when the yolks and the whites become firm.
It is important to negate any risk of getting food poisoning from nasty bacteria like Salmonella.
The symptoms to watch out for with foodborne illness include cramps, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.
When eggs have been cooked as recommended, they should be transferred into a shallow container or dish and allowed to cool.
Once cool, store them in your refrigerator at a temperature no greater than 40°F. It is best to eat them within three or four days.
To minimize the risk of causing illness by eating reheated eggs, you should cook them until their internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Reheating various egg dishes
1 Boiled eggs
It is best not to try microwaving cooked eggs in their shells due to the risk of them exploding.
Instead, put the boiled eggs into a heat-resistant dish, pour hot, boiling water over them until they are completely submerged, put a lid and allow the eggs to sit for ten minutes.
2 Omelet and quiche
Egg dishes that contain multiple ingredients are best reheated in an oven. Use an oven-safe or dish and place it into a pre-heated oven at 350°F.
If the egg dish has been refrigerated, cook for 15 to 20 minutes. If straight from the freezer, extend the cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.
3 Poached eggs
Fill a pan half to three-quarters full with water, bring to a boil, and set to simmer.
Lower the pre-poached eggs until fully submerged and reheat for one or two minutes before removing.
4 Scrambled eggs
The fastest way of reheating scrambled eggs is in the microwave.
Put the pre-cooked scrambled eggs into a microwave-safe dish, and nuke for between 20 to 30 seconds burst.
Flip halfway through to ensure the eggs are heated evenly. Repeat the process until the egg is thoroughly warmed.
5 Sunnyside up fried eggs
When reheating pre-cooked sunnyside-up fried eggs, it's best to microwave them.
Grease a heat-proof plate and warm it for 30 seconds in the appliance.
Then, place the eggs onto the pre-heated plate. Nuke for a further 30 seconds, then let the egg rest for one minute to ensure the yolk doesn't explode.
How to store fried eggs
When pre-cooking eggs for later use, it is important to store them correctly. Fried eggs that have been cooked over are easier to store than over-easy.
It's easier to maintain the egg's texture and make it simpler when it comes to reheating.
Storage-wise, you can refrigerate or freeze them depending on the length of time you intend to store them. Either way won't change the result when it comes to reheating.
Follow these steps:
- Pack each egg individually in a paper towel or plastic food wrap.
- Transfer all of the wrapped eggs together in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.
- Store in your fridge for up to five days or in your freezer for up to four months.
Is reheating eggs toxic?
When you reheat eggs, they don't magically become toxic. Referring to the USDA website, they are pretty clear about the safety of reheating eggs as long as you follow their guidelines.
Firstly, when fresh eggs are cooked for the first time, the internal temperature must reach 160°F. The USDA maintains that eggs should be cooked firm, including the yolks.
With scrambled eggs, if you will not be eating them straight after cooking.
Transfer into a shallow container and refrigerate them immediately so they can quickly cool.
Eat within three days. If they are still around on day four, throw them away.
When microwaving pre-cooked fried eggs or stovetop warming pre-cooked scrambled eggs, they need to reach an internal temperature of 165°F. You can use a food thermometer to check this out.
If you observe these guidelines, you will drastically reduce the chances of reheated eggs making you ill.
According to the CDC website, one in fifty US citizens per annum is faced with a contaminated egg.
What happens when you reheat eggs?
When any food (including egg) is reheated, the consistency, taste, texture, and nutritional content can all be affected.
The NCBI website, for example, confirms that when vegetables are cooked, their vitamin content lessens considerably.
As far as eggs are concerned, some research confirms nutritional and compositional differences between raw and cooked. Raw wins every time.
But when it comes down to reheating pre-cooked eggs, there is hardly any change.
However, the texture of eggs, when reheated, can change significantly. They often become dry and chewy, and sometimes the flavor is slightly affected for the worse too.
But as far as safety is concerned, providing cooked eggs are stored correctly and at the right temperature, they are perfectly safe to eat when reheated.
Checklist when buying eggs
You can find the first box to tick on your checklist, starting with the best quality eggs. Other checkpoints include.
- Only purchase eggs that are on display in refrigerated cases or shelves.
- Always open the carton to ensure none of the shells of the eggs are cracked.
- As soon as you arrive home, pop the eggs into your fridge, which should be set to a temperature of 40°F or less. If your fridge doesn't have an inbuilt thermometer, you can buy them as standalone items.
- It is best to store fresh eggs in your fridge in their original cartons.
- Eat within three weeks to enjoy them at their best.
A word of warning: The expiry date on the carton may not be as accurate as it should be.
Signs that eggs are fresh
Most families always have some eggs in their fridges. Whether for frying, poaching, or scrambling, they are among the most versatile foodstuffs on the planet.
Most people tend to pick their eggs by their grade, size, and the expiry date printed on the cartons. However, that might not be the best way of deciding how fresh they are.
1 Decoding the lot code
A carton of fresh eggs should have a "sell-by" date stamped on its side. But that is not what weñre looking for here. Next to the "sell-by" date, there should be a three-figure code.
You might think it's some serial number, but it's a "Julian date," and it is the surest way of deciding how fresh the eggs inside the carton are.
Starting at zero and ending at 365, each number represent the day of the year the eggs were packaged.
So, if you spot a carton stamped with a Julian date of 001, the eggs inside were washed, graded, and boxed on the first day of the year, and so forth.
There is also a "P" code usually found next to the Julian date. The letter P followed by four numbers, and it indicates from which farm or factory the eggs came.
The USDA specifies that eggs can stay on the shelves of grocery stores and supermarkets for up to 30 days after boxing.
In other words, when you see them in stock, and they are still within their expiry date, they might already be several weeks old - ouch!
So when the FDA says you can store fresh eggs for up to 3 weeks in your fridge, if they were already 29 days old when you bought them, and they are still in your fridge after three weeks, they would be seven weeks old.
Not exactly what I would call fresh!
What's the importance?
The freshest eggs taste the best as long as they have been correctly stored. The older they get, the more the quality of the eggs will deteriorate.
They will lose their natural moisture and also their inherent carbon dioxide. It means the whites will get thinner, and the yolks will break that much more quickly.
Once past its expiry date, the risk of acquiring food born illness from an egg is much more likely.
So, to pick the freshest eggs, go by the Julian date.
- If you are shopping for eggs early in the year, go for a lower Julian date - 012 is better than 359.
- If you are shopping for eggs later in the year, go for a higher Julian date - the higher, the better.
2 Sink or float test
Not you - the eggs! Popping an egg into a pan or bowl of water and watching whether it floats or sinks determines how old the egg is.
There are three things for which to look.
- When the egg sinks, turns on its side and remains at the bottom, it is nice and fresh.
- When an egg sinks and stands upright on the bottom or at an angle, it's a week or two old but safe to eat.
- If it's a swimmer, or more correctly, a floater, it's too old and needs to be thrown away.
Pour two cups of cold water into a bowl and in it dissolve two tablespoons of salt. Plop in an egg. If it a sinker - great. If it's a floater - discard it.
What makes these tests work?
As eggs get older, their shells get more porous. The increased porosity allows air to pass through.
The more air accumulates inside the shell, the bigger the pocket of air separating the egg's membrane from its shell. Eventually, the pocket contains enough air to make the egg float.
3 Egg white test
If you are about to crack eggs before cooking or adding them into a recipe, you aim to bake and verify their freshness; this next test is ideal.
- Gently crack the shell of an egg and carefully pour the contents onto a plate.
- Next, inspect the egg-white. It should look a little opaque, and it shouldn't spread out too much. Rather, it should look quite thick and be a little sticky.
If it looks clear, runny, and watery, it is not fresh. As eggs age, their whites become thin, liquidy, and they begin to lose their consistency.
The other thing to look for is the shape of the yolk. The yolk of a fresh egg will be nicely domed and rounded, whereas an old egg will be much flatter.
4 The odor test
The smell of rotten eggs is quite distinctive. It is sulfurous. Once smelled, never forgotten. It's the smell that stink bombs emit, which you might remember from a misspent youth.
You might catch the whiff of a really old egg before you crack the shell. If you don't, as soon as you break it, you sure will.
Bin or Use
An egg that fails to pass any of the tests mentioned above should be gotten rid of. If it's borderline on the sink or float test, you can probably get away with it if you hard boil it.
Hard-boiled eggs are easier to shell after cooking because, thanks to the air between shell and membrane, the shell comes away remarkably easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any cooked egg dish can be refrigerated and stored safely for up to three days or four days.
If storing a large number of eggie leftovers, like scrambled eggs, for example, it’s best to distribute between several small shallow dishes to allow faster cooling.
Yes, you can. It’s best done in a microwave. Microwave for 15 seconds, flip over and repeat.
Ideally, they should be heated so that the internal temperature measures 165°F.
Eggs are a bit like glue. Egg white is used in baking to seal the edges of pies and other pastry crusts. That’s why fried eggs can easily get glued to the bottom of the frying pan.
The science behind the sticking is all about the eggs’ proteins creating chemical bonds with the pan.
Nonstick pans work because the coating prevents this bond from happening, in the same way, adding oil or butter oil into the pan before introducing the eggs does.
You can even cook fried eggs in a cast-iron skillet as long as it is well oiled and the egg is kept moving as it cooks, but it can be tricky.
Nonstick frying pans are the key. If you’re cooking a couple of eggs, an 8″ omelet pan is ideal. Plenty of room to move the eggs around and flip them like a pro.
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