Are you a seafood lover, and just like other seafood, you just can never have enough of calamari? If that’s the case, I bet you always cook or order huge calamari servings only to see that you have leftovers. And here is the dilemma: it seems that most seafood dishes are practically hard to reheat properly. You are always forced to choose between texture and flavor.
So, can calamari be heated again without changing its flavor and texture? Calamari can be heated in a variety of ways, but an air fryer often works the best since it maintains the calamari’s texture without sacrificing the coating’s crunch. And another thing is that the best way to reheat calamari actually varies depending on how it was initially prepared.
How to Store Calamari Properly?
If you want to warm up the calamari again, you must first store it correctly. Also, since it is a meat-based ingredient, it is highly perishable. So, if you don’t store cooked calamari properly, the quality of it will deteriorate very quickly and cause you food poisoning, which can even lead to death!
1. Storing in the Fridge
- Let your cooked calamari sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to cool it down. When the temperature of the calamari becomes lukewarm, you can put it in the refrigerator (partially covered) to totally chill it down.
- Once cooled, store the cooked calamari in an airtight container.
- Keep the calamari in the refrigerator, away from any raw meats and fresh produce. They’ll be fine for two to three days.
2. Storing in the Freezer
- Let the cooked calamari cool at room temperature. But it shouldn’t sit outside for too long, especially on hot or muggy days.
- Put the calamari in an airtight container. To help prevent freezer burn, wrap the container in a layer of aluminum foil.
- Cooked calamari can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
|Calamari Storing Tips|
|1. To store calamari, the temperature of the fridge or freezer should be stable. The temperature in the fridge should be below 40ºF, and the temperature in your freezer should always be about 0ºF.|
2. Avoid storing cooked calamari in a discolored or odor-containing container. They are quite absorbent and will soak up the flavors.
4 Best Calamari Reheating Methods
Calamari is always best when eaten fresh. Although reheated calamari is still wonderful (if done right), it cannot compete with the luxury of fresh calamari.
I am a calamari lover, and I always cook or order more than my family can eat or that I can finish in one sitting. So, reheating is my go-to method to enjoy the leftover calamari, which is why I have tried all the possible methods of reheating these delicious squid. And, based on my experience, I recommend the techniques listed first to last.
To rate and rank the methods, I considered how easy the method is, how crispy the calamari is after warming, and how fresh it feels to eat after reheating.
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The Best Method: Reheating Calamari in an Air Fryer
If you ask me which home appliance is the best to reheat calamari, I won’t take a second to say an air fryer is. Using the air fryer is probably the best method for most types of calamari, be it baked, stuffed, deep-fried, or pan-fried. It can equally reheat and re-crisp things.
So, if you have an air fryer at home, follow the steps below. And if you don’t have one, it is high time you buy one, it is worth the money, and we also have other methods for you.
- Set your air fryer to 350°F.
- Place the calamari in the air fryer basket. If you want, you can use oil for a light coating.
- Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket unless you want to eat soggy calamari.
- Select the reheat function and heat the calamari for about 3 to 4 minutes. Once you are done, serve your calamari with some side dishes and enjoy.
The 2nd Best Method of Reheating Calamari: Using an Oven
If you have a bigger portion of leftover calamari and want to heat all of them, using an oven is better than using an air fryer as it can’t accommodate too many calamari at a time. Yes, the oven takes longer than any other method, but it requires significantly less effort.
Steps for reheating fried calamari in the oven:
- Prepare your oven at 320°F oven temperature. This low temperature will allow the calamari to be heated, and you can avoid overcooking.
- Next, put your leftover calamari in an oven-safe dish.
- If you want extra crunch, spray oil for a light coating. Now, place it inside the oven.
- Depending on the serving size of your dish, heat the calamari for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Now you are ready to serve and enjoy your nice, crispy calamari.
3rd Method: Reheating Calamari in a Microwave (Fastest Result, Compromised Texture)
Whenever we are in a hurry or hungry, the microwave is the home appliance we put our faith in to reheat food. Though using a microwave is the fastest method, reheating calamari in the microwave is not recommended, especially if it is stuffed or has a crunchy texture of any kind. That’s because the microwave can’t heat fried and crisp food properly and turns dishes rough and soggy.
However, if you still want to reheat calamari in the microwave, then either select the reheating function of your microwave if it has this function or reheat the calamari in the microwave for a few minutes on a lower power setting (or a medium setting).
The reheating time will vary based on your portion size and microwave power.
4th Method: Re-frying Calamari (The Result Won’t be Great)
If you have leftover fried calamari, you might be thinking, “Why not just re-fry them to bring back the initial texture?” Well, you can do so, but keep in mind that re-frying is a harsh method of warming up delicate ingredients like squid.
Your calamari will almost surely be overcooked and rubbery if you fry it again. The squid inside the fried calamari will be notably rougher than that from the other reheating techniques but will have a good crispy outside.
But if you are willing to try re-frying your calamari, here is how you can do it.
- Set your frying oil temperature to 320ºF. Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature.
- Place your cooked calamari in the heated oil and let them fry for 4–10 minutes. The heating time actually depends on the serving size and thickness of the calamari
- When they have been fully reheated and re-crisped, remove them from the pan and serve them.
As squid is a very delicate ingredient, it is prone to overcooking. Reheating increases the likelihood of overcooking the squid, causing it to turn chewy. However, as long as you’re careful and don’t overheat the calamari, you shouldn’t notice a significant textural change.
And if we come to deciding which method is the best for reheating calamari, I know it will vary from person to person and depend on which appliance they have at home. So, if you can’t agree with my suggestions, I hope you will try all the methods and find the one that suits you best.
Monica Nash is the seniormost writer at limitlesscooking.com. She is excellent at designing the content, and she understands how the audience will receive each piece of work. And yes, she cooks very well! Her 3-year of experience and dedication make the whole team energized.