When it comes to reheating any form of meat, you really need to be careful – ensuring you are doing the right thing, and ensuring the best outcome possible.
There are few meats worse than pork for food poisoning, and this is why you really need to take the time to learn the proper reheating methods when cooking any pork product.
But what exactly are the best ways to reheat pork products, and what are the potential consequences?
Reheating Breaded Pork Chops
When it comes to reheating something like breaded pork chops, there can be a tendency to relax – namely because they have already been cooked.
However, previously cooked pork products can be just as dangerous as raw pork, and the cooked pork itself offers bacteria just as good a home to grow and thrive as the raw counterpart.
This is why following the right reheating procedure is paramount to avoid illness and have an enjoyable meal too.
Is It Safe To Reheat Pork Products?
Reheating pork products is perfectly safe, but it is important to avoid bad methods of reheating, and to follow the proper procedures.
In doing this, you will not only get a tasty meal afterwards, but you will avoid any of the unsightly illnesses and poisonings that are possible when pork is undercooked (to learn more about being able to tell if pork is undercooked, read here).
How Not To Reheat Pork Products
When it comes to any cooked pork products, there are several things you are better off avoiding.
Do Not Store At Room Temperature
This is the most important thing to remember: do not reheat pork that has been left at room temperature. Even if the pork has been covered on a countertop, there is still the potential for bacteria to grow and thrive.
This is because the temperatures of 40 F to 140F are considered to be the ‘danger zone’ for bacteria growth, and this could lead to all manner of problems down the road.
The best and safest way to store cooked pork is in the refrigerator – after which you can safely reheat it and enjoy.
Do Not Reheat Multiple Times
As with most forms of meat, you should only reheat cooked pork once – any more than this and run the risk of bacteria and food poisoning.
What’s more, with each reheating, the pork will become a little drier and less appetizing, meaning that you won’t even enjoy it as much anyway.
The important thing to remember with cooked pork products is they must be reheated thoroughly. This is important for killing any potential bacteria, and also ensuring a tasty meal all around.
It is also important to reheat slowly, so as to not increase the core temperature of the pork chops too quickly.
The Best Reheating Methods
Luckily, there have never been more ways to safely reheat food products, and this means that there are many standard processes you can follow.
Reheating In Microwave
The first thing you need to do is to remove the breaded pork chops from the refrigerator, and put them in a microwave safe dish.
It might also be good to add some moisture to the meat to stop them from drying out. To do this, you could sprinkle some water atop the pork chops, or have a thin layer of water in the bottom of the dish.
You will then need to reheat the breaded pork chops for around 5 minutes.
This might seem like a long time, but when taking into consideration the need to thoroughly reheat them, and the need for a moderate heat, this should leave the best finish for the pork chops.
Once the 5 minutes have elapsed, you then need to use a thermometer probe to check the internal temperature.
If they are above 165 F then they are more than cooked enough, and will be safe for you and your family to consume.
If the pork chops have not reached this minimum temperature, then you should continue the reheating process until they reach a satisfactory temperature.
Reheating In Oven
You could also reheat in the oven, and this generally creates the best results – at least in terms of appearance, taste, and texture.
As with anything breaded, the microwave can make them less crispy and more soggy, which is where the oven has the advantage, creating a crispier finish all round.
To begin this method, preheat the oven to roughly 170 C/325 F, as this will speed up the cooking process.
Then remove the breaded pork chops from the fridge and place them on your tray, or in an oven proof dish. For this method you could also once more add a splash of moisture just to ensure that they do not dry out.
This is a common problem with reheating previously cooked products, and no one wants dry pork.
Once you are satisfied with the temperature of the oven, place the tray on the middle shelf and allow the pork chops to cook for roughly 20 minutes.
Once again, you will need to check the internal temperature of the pork chops, and this should be 74 C/165 F. If the temperature is less than this, then you should continue heating until it reaches the right temperature.
Which Method Is Better?
For breaded pork chops, we recommend using the oven reheating method, purely because you get a better finish, have more control during the process, and can achieve the desired results much more quickly.
Why Is Oven Reheating Better?
There are several reasons why oven reheating is better than the microwave method.
The main reason is the finish, which will be much crispier and more appetizing than pork chops heated in the microwave.
Microwaves have a tendency to leave breaded products soggy, which can be off putting to say the least.
Oven cooking will also leave the center of the breaded pork chops moister than in the microwave.
This is due to how microwaves cook food – where the water molecules are heated rapidly. This can make meat drier – something that is unappealing for many people.
More Controlled Cooking
With the oven you can also achieve a much more controlled finish over your food, and you are not bound by the pretimed microwave cycle.
This means that you can make your meal to your own desired specifications, and avoid getting a finish you were not aiming for.
Do Microwaves Have Any Benefits?
Of course, microwave reheating is not without benefits.
Quicker Cooking Time
The main benefit of reheating breaded pork chops in the microwave is that the cooking time is generally shorter than oven based cooking.
This is handy to people who are on a limited time frame, or who are particularly hungry and ready for a meal.
Less Monitoring Required
You also have less risk of burning something in the microwave, meaning you do not have to monitor the cooking process like you do with an oven. This is better suited to those doing several things at once.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about breaded pork chops, and the best ways to reheat them safely.
It’s true that, when it comes to pork, you need to be really careful during the reheating process – at least if you want to avoid potentially unpleasant outcomes like salmonella and other forms of food poisoning.
So if you are looking to reheat breaded pork chops, then be sure to follow this safe method. Something tells me you won’t regret it!
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