What's the best way to reheat a burrito? I like it hot, and over the years, I’ve had a go at reheating them in several different ways. There are various ways you can reheat a Burrito. You can deconstruct it before warming it or heat it intact.
They can be done in the oven, skillet, or microwave. The contents of your tortilla and the way you reheat it will give you different results, and you might like to play around a little with each method to see which you prefer.
This iconic piece of Mexican cuisine is special for so many people. Something about a tortilla rolled and stuffed with beans, cheese, chicken, salsa, and sour crème defies description, especially if you go about reheating it correctly.
Whatever you make the stuffing with (and there are many options), they always taste amazing.
You can also make them in batches and keep them fresh in your refrigerator for a few days. They are the perfect solution when you need a quick, grab, and go meal.
Some people are happy to eat their Burritos straight out of the refrigerator - but for me? I like them hot, and over the years, I've had a go at reheating them in several different ways.
Burritos are one of the most in-demand items on the menus of Tex-Mex restaurants. The origin of the words comes from the Spanish "Burro," which means donkey.
A Burrito is a little donkey. I have yet to come across a recipe that calls for donkey meat. But the French eat horses, so you never know.
I researched why this type of stuffed tortilla might be named after a little donkey. The only thing I found that might make sense is that centuries ago in Mexico, a man called Juan Mendez used to sell them from his cart, which a donkey pulled.
The flour pancake was wrapped around a meat mixture to keep it warm. Senor Mendez's customers took to calling the snacks "Burritos." Sounds fair enough to me.
In Mexico, they are sometimes called "Tacos de Harina," which is a generic term for a taco, a pancake made from flour (the Spanish name for Harina), with some sort of stuffing inside. I'll stick with the burrito.
They are very popular here in the US, where they are eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and in between snacks. The flour pancake is wrapped around different fillings, forming a cylinder.
They are typically steamed or grilled and eaten hand-held like a hot dog. Sometimes they are served "wet" by placing them on a plate and covering them with a savory sauce.
What is the best way to reheat a burrito?
A Burrito is a great snack. Once eaten, never forgotten. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer to eat them warm. That means if you're anything like me and you've got one that has subsequently gone cold, you will want to reheat it.
But like anything you cook or reheat, you need to know how to do it properly. In the case of Burritos, if you don't reheat them in the right way, they will end up as something of a mushy mess.
On the other side of the coin, do it right, and you will be eating your Mexican tortilla as fresh as if you had just bought it. I will let you in on a few tips.
Method 1 Using the oven:
Most connoisseurs of the burrito will tell you that the best way to reheat it is in a conventional oven, something that Katsuji Tanabe, the famous TV chef and owner of six top Tex-Mex style restaurants in North America, agrees with.
How to reheat a burrito in the oven:
- Warm your oven up to 225°F.
- Take your Mexican stuffed tortilla out of the refrigerator and wrap it loosely in aluminum foil.
- Gently place into the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
- Using oven gloves, take the package out of the oven, and check that the burrito is heated through. The best way to do this is to use a meat thermometer. You're looking for a temperature of 165°F.
- Once it's up to temperature, remove the foil and enjoy.
Method 2 Using the microwave:
Like many of us, your first port of call when warming up any sort of snack is probably the microwave.
I can tell you that it does work but doesn't produce the best results. However, when you're in a hurry, it is quick.
How to reheat a burrito in a microwave
To get the best results from reheating your stuffed burrito in a microwave; you should copy chef Tanabe's method, which goes something like this:
- Place your burrito on a microwave-safe plate.
- Lightly sprinkle a few drops of water on the tortilla to moisten it.
- Microwave it for 60 seconds.
- Leave it in the microwave for 45 seconds to allow the heat to spread evenly.
- Flip the Burrito over.
- Moisten it on the now exposed side with a few drops of water.
- Put back into the microwave and heat for a further 60 seconds.
- Allow it to stand for 30 seconds.
- Remove the snack and, if you have one, use a meat thermometer to check that the filling has reached 165°F.
Method 3 Using the grill:
This is not for those of you who are a little impatient. But if you love the outdoor life and are prepared to wait for your Tex-Mex snack to warm, using the grill method gives you more power.
If we refer back to our expert chef, Tanabe, he maintains that the indirect grill method is the way to go. This is what he says.
- Light only one-half of your grill.
- Put your burrito on the UNLIT side for about 30-seconds.
- Then transfer the stiffed tortilla to the LIT side of the grill so you can get some nice scorch marks on the wrap.
- After a couple of minutes, use your meat thermometer to see if the filling has reached 165°F. If it has, it's ready to eat. You've waited long enough - enjoy!
How to reheat burrito with sour cream
Who doesn't love a good dollop of sour cream in their burrito? But what to do when you want to reheat it?
There are two ways you can go when you are faced with a stuffed tortilla with a wet filling. One is to reheat it intact, and the other is to disassemble it, heat the wrapper, and put the filling back later.
Chef-man Tanabe says that if removing the sour cream is a problem, you can leave it in but add extra when you serve it up.
Using a conventional oven once again, here is the process Tanabe recommends:
- Warm your oven to 225°F.
- Wrap your snack loosely in aluminum foil
- Place it in the oven for approximately 30 minutes
- As before, take your heated burrito out of the oven using gloves, and check the internal temperature with a cooking thermometer to ensure it has reached 165°F.
- If all is well, unwrap and tuck in.
By the way, now is the time to add that extra sour cream if you have a hankering.
How to reheat Chipotle Burrito
Chipotle is a smoked, dried red jalapeno pepper. It gives any dish added to a great smoky, hot flavor. It can be made into a powder or a sauce. For lovers of Tex-Mex, it is an indispensable seasoning.
It's where the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain got its name, and they have some exciting offerings, including designing your burrito.
If you ever find yourself in the enviable position of having some cold Chipotle Burritos to reheat (be they beef, chicken, bean, or hot salsa), you can do it in one of two ways.
1 Using the toaster:
- Preheat your toaster oven to 400°F.
- Unwrap the burrito and lay it flat on a sheet of aluminum foil with the stuffing side up. This will ensure that all of the fillings are warmed.
- Place the tortilla in the oven, with the exposed fillings facing up, and heat for 8 to 12 minutes. (Tip: put aluminum foil on top to loosely cover the unwrapped burrito, this will avoid the fillings and tortilla from getting burned quickly.).
- When the fillings are satisfactorily heated, your snack is ready to eat.
2 Using the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- With the burrito wrapped in aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Reheating it like this ensures the filling will be thoroughly warmed.
- Your snack is ready to eat when the filling is satisfactorily warmed through.
If you prefer your filling to remain cold, remove it before putting the tortilla into the oven or toaster. When the tortilla is warm enough, replace the filling and re-roll.
How to reheat Taco Bell burritos
Making your burritos at home is fun. I've been doing it for a while now, and I've come up with some pretty good results.
But somehow, they never quite match up to the real deal, which is why I still love to get take-outs from Taco Bell.
The only problem is that my local Taco Bell isn't exactly local, so they've gone cold when I get back home. It means I've had to become an expert at reheating Taco Bell Burritos.
I will share my favorite reheating methods, starting with a toaster oven. How to heat a burrito?
1 Using the toaster:
- Preheat your toaster to 400°F
- Unwrap the burrito, and lay it flat on a sheet of aluminum foil with the stuffing side up. This will ensure that all of the fillings are warmed.
- Place the tortilla in the oven, with the exposed filling face up. Loosely cover with aluminum foil on top and bake for 8-12 minutes.
- When the filling is nicely heated through, it's time to eat.
2 Using the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- With the burrito still wrapped in aluminum foil, place it in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Reheating it like this ensures the filling will be properly warmed through.
- Your snack is ready to eat when the filling is satisfactorily warm all the way through.
If you want your fillings to stay cold, remove them before putting the tortilla into the oven or toaster oven. When the tortilla is warm enough, replace the filling, roll, and eat.
Outlets like Taco Bell offer some delicious Burrito fillings. But the great thing about these beautiful Mexican stuffed pancake rolls is their versatility. You can put anything in them.
Why not throw in some pork or shrimp? How about a little rice and some pinto beans? Peppers, lettuce, cheese - whatever springs to mind - within reason.
How long can you keep leftover Burritos?
Going by my own experience (I'm still here - alive and kicking), you can keep a Burrito in your refrigerator for up to three days.
I haven't gone beyond that, and whenever I think about taking one out to reheat it, I check it to see if it smells okay and that no mold appears. If either is evident, it goes straight into the trash.
You could try the 2:4 rule. The what? Let me explain.
The 2:4 rule says that you should refrigerate leftovers within two hours and eat them within four days. If you leave leftovers at room temperature for longer than a couple of hours, you invite bacteria to grow.
If you leave leftovers in the refrigerator for more than four days, it's likely to spoil.
It's not an exact science, just a guideline. You might be able to push it a little, but the golden rule is to smell and inspect it before eating.
What is a 4-hour 2-hour rule?
The 4-hour 2-hour rule relates to food stored at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. In other words, a controlled temperature is below standard room temperature.
It's a guideline used by commercial establishments rather than people at home. Find out more about this on the yumpu.com website.
The United States Department of Agriculture refers to room temperature, i.e., between 40°F and 140°F, as the "danger zone."
The USDA recommends that precooked foodstuffs (including Burritos) should NOT be left out at room temperature for more than two hours. Any longer and it may be unsafe to eat.
They also issued an override, which says that where the temperature is constantly above 90°F, the timeframe reduces from two hours to one.
Fact Source: How Temperatures Affect Food at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
How to store leftover Burritos?
I always store any leftover Burritos by wrapping them in aluminum foil and sealing them in a Ziplock bag before putting them in the refrigerator.
I find that they store happily for two to three days when packed like this.
How to store leftover burritos in the freezer?
- When freezing these little Tex-Mex friends, I tuck the ends in and roll them up tightly in a paper towel.
- Then roll them up again in aluminum foil.
- Next, I place it into a Ziplock freezer bag and store it in the freezer. Don't forget to write down the date.
I find that this method works well for up to three months. Any longer, and you run the risk of freezer burn.
Reheating frozen burritos
There are two ways you can reheat Burritos after freezing them. When you use the microwave method, this yields a softer tortilla, while reheating in the oven results in a crunchier shell.
1 Using microwave:
- Remove the aluminum foil but leave the stuffed tortilla wrapped in the paper towel.
- While wrapped in a paper towel, put it in the microwave and heat for three minutes.
- Let it rest for a couple of minutes to ensure it doesn't scold your mouth when biting into it.
- If you remember to plan, take your little pals out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
- Then they will only need about one and a half to two minutes to microwave. Not much time-saving, but I think the result is better.
2 Using the oven:
You can skip the thawing process when reheating in the oven. You can dress up the frozen burrito by placing it in the cast-iron skillet and adding salsa, sour cream, cheese, and enchilada sauce and veggies.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Take the wrapper off the burrito and wrap it with aluminum foil.
- Grease the baking sheet by spraying some oil. Put the burrito in and slide it down into the oven.
- Bake the burrito for about 40 to 45 minutes. Once it times up, take it out of the oven. Gently remove the foil and place it back on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for an extra 5 to 8 minutes or until the tortilla is as crisp as your preference.
Types of burritos
There are many different types of Burritos. If you buy them from a Tex-Mex establishment, you will find, for example, that what Chipotle and Taco Bell serve up are quite different, and other Tex-Mex joints are different again. Let's take a look at a few.
1 Mission Burrito
Also known as the San Francisco, this stuffed tortilla is mammoth and filled with lots of rice and other lovely goodies.
The tortilla itself is made from steamed flour. It gives them a gorgeous, chewy texture that keeps the filling nicely in place. Fillings comprise beans, cheese, guacamole, meat, salsa, and sour cream.
Both Chipotle and Pachero offer Mission Burritos.
2 California Burrito
The California Burrito is similar to the Mission but has French fries in it too. Don't knock it until you've tried it. Personally, I love them.
3 Wet Burritos
Lots of Tex-Mexes offer wet Burritos. These come smothered in sauce - usually red or green. They are a bit like big enchiladas. I advise you to eat them with a knife and fork unless you don't mind messing up your shirt.
4 The bean and cheese Burrito
I can't give you a brief round-up of these gorgeous Mexican stuffed tortillas and not mention the bean and cheese variety. It's just somehow the perfect combination—gooey heaven.
Whether you are eating in a restaurant, on the go, or in the comfort of your own home, this scrummy Mexican food classic is hard to beat.