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 or heat it intact.
They can be done in the oven, in a skillet, or a 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. There is something about a tortilla rolled and stuffed with beans, cheese, chicken, salsa, and sour crème that defies description, especially if you go about reheating it in the right way.
Whatever you make the stuffing with (and there are lots of options), they always seem to taste amazing.
You can also make in batches and keep them fresh in your refrigerator for a few days. When you need a quick, grab, and go meal, they are the perfect solution.
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 to date that calls for donkey meat. But the French eat horses, so you never know.
I did do a little research into why this type of stuffed tortilla might be named after a little donkey. The only thing that I found that might make some sense is that centuries ago in Mexico, a man called Juan Mendez used to sell them from his cart, which was pulled by a donkey.
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 more of a generic term as a taco, a pancake made from flour (the Spanish name for which is 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 any number of 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 with a savory sauce.
What is the best way to reheat 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 which 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.
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 the burrito is heated all the way 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.
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 that it doesn’t produce the best results. However, when you’re in a hurry, it is quick.
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.
Using the grill:
This is not for those of you who are a little impatient. But if you love the outdoor life and prepared to wait for your Tex-Mex snack to warm through using the grill method, give 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 filing 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?
Whenever you faced with a stuffed tortilla with a wet filling, there are two ways you can go. One is to reheat it intact, and the other is to disassemble it, heat the wrapper, and put the filling back in 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 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 to.
How to reheat Chipotle Burrito
Chipotle is a smoked, dried red jalapeno pepper. It gives any dish it is 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 their name from, and they have some exciting offerings, including designing your own 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.
Using the toaster:
- Preheat your toaster oven to 400°F.
- Unwrap the burrito and lay it flat on a sheet of aluminum foils 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 unwrap burrito, this will avoid the fillings and tortilla to get burned quickly.).
- When the fillings are satisfactorily heated, your snack is ready to eat.
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 makes sure that the filling will be properly warmed thoroughly.
- When the filling is satisfactorily warmed through, your snack is ready to eat.
If you prefer your filling to remain cold, simply remove it before putting the tortilla into the oven or toaster oven. 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 by the time I get back home, they’ve gone cold. It means that I’ve had to become something of an expert at reheating Taco Bell Burritos.
I’m going to share my favorite reheat methods with you, starting with using a toaster oven. How to heat up a burrito?
Using the toaster:
- Preheat your toaster to 400°F
- Unwrap the burrito, 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.
Using the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- With the burrito still wrapped in aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Reheating it likes this makes sure that the filling will be properly warmed through.
- When the filling is satisfactorily warm all the way through, your snack is ready to eat.
If you want your fillings to stay cold, remove it 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 that they are so versatile. 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 there is no mold appearing. If either is evident, it goes straight in 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 with four days. If you leave leftovers at room temperature for longer than a couple of hours, you are inviting 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 below that of 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 being 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 in the refrigerator.
I find that when packed like this, they store happily for two to three days.
How to store leftover burritos in the freezer?
- When freezing these little Tex-Mex friends, I simply tuck the ends in and roll them up tightly in a paper towel.
- Then roll them up again in aluminum foil.
- Next, I place into a Ziplock freezer bag and store 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 a crunchier shell.
- 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 ahead, 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.
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 add salsa, sour cream, cheese, along with the enchilada sauce and veggies.
- Preheat the oven to 450 °F.
- Take the wrapper off from 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 times up, take it out from the oven. Gently remove the foil and place it back in the cookie sheet.
- Bake for an extra 5 to 8 minutes, or until the tortilla is as crispy according to 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.
Also known as the San Francisco, this stuffed tortilla is mammoth, and it’s 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 of beans, cheese, guacamole, meat, salsa, and sour cream.
Both Chipotle and Pachero offer Mission Burritos.
The California Burrito is similar to the Mission, but it’s got French fries in it too. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Personally, I love them.
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.
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.