In this article, learn how to reheat a burrito multiple ways to ensure optimal results.
Who doesn’t love a burrito, right?
It doesn’t matter what kind it is. I love them all.
Burritos are one of those foods that can be good reheated or just plain nasty.
It depends on the ingredients in your burrito and how you choose to reheat it.
You have several options when choosing to reheat a burrito. You can deconstruct it before reheating or reheat it as is. Burritos can be reheated in the oven, skillet or microwave with varying results, depending on the ingredients your burrito contains and which reheating method you choose.
Today, let’s take a look at burritos and how to reheat them to get optimal results.
First, let’s make sure we are on the same page as to what a burrito is as the way we reheat will in part depend on the ingredients.
WHAT IS A BURRITO?
Here in the U.S., a burrito is a popular Tex-Mex dish that’s also popular in northern Mexico.
The origin of the burrito is a hotly debated topic but it appears most likely to have originated in a central Mexican state named Guanajuato.
In the United States, burritos are eaten for dinner, lunch, snacks, and even breakfast.
A burrito is made by wrapping a flour tortilla into a sealed cylindrical shape around a variety of ingredients.
Burritos that are steamed or grilled are usually hand-held when eaten.
But sometimes a burrito can be served “wet”, meaning it is served on a plate and smothered with a savory sauce.
Yummy! Smothered burritos anyone?
The ingredients can vary widely based on an individual’s food preferences but generally, they can contain a combination of the following ingredients:
- Protein (beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, beans, bacon, sausage)
- Vegetables (guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, lettuce)
- Grain (rice, corn)
- Dairy (cheese, sour cream)
- Savory and spicy sauce if served wet or smothered
In the United States, burritos are popular make at home meals but are equally popular at restaurants.
Burritos one of the more economical menu items available from such popular restaurants such as Taco Bell, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Chipotle’s.
Before we explore the various ways of reheating burritos, we need to make sure we are all on the same page because not all burritos are created equal.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BURRITOS?
In the United States, there are many variations of burritos.
For many of us Americans, a burrito can consist of meat, cheese, beans, rice, guacamole, cilantro, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream as well as peppers and onions.
However, there are many other variations of burritos. Some of these are:
- Mission Burrito (large, steamed tortilla wrapped in foil and eaten with your hands)
- California Burrito (usually marinated beef or chicken with crispy french fries and lots of cheese)
- Traditional Mexican (small, hand-held with beef and refried beans)
- Breakfast Burrito (eggs and meat like sausage, bacon, chorizo, cheese)
- Smothered/Wet Burrito (stuffed with traditional ingredients but topped with red, green, or brown sauce)
- Kogi Burrito (tortilla filled with fish and Asian ingredients)
- Chimichanga (may contain many traditional ingredients but is deep-fried)
As you can see, the ingredients of your burrito can vary widely. This can also seriously impact your success when reheating.
First, let’s deal with the ingredients that are usually served cold.
HOW TO REHEAT A BURRITO WITH SOUR CREAM, GUACAMOLE, AND OTHER COLD INGREDIENTS
By cold ingredients, I am talking about items such as sour cream, tomatoes, guacamole, lettuce, and cilantro.
If your leftover burrito contains these ingredients, you have two choices:
First, you could deconstruct your burrito and remove the cold fillings.
To do this, carefully unwrap your burrito and remove any ingredients you do not want to be heated.
Then reheat the other ingredients, add back the cold ones, and rewrap.
Your second option is to reheat everything together and “deal with it.”
You may have soggy lettuce but it will still be safe to eat.
Once you’ve decided how to deal with the cold ingredients, you can choose which method to reheat your burrito.
Let’s look at the fastest, most popular method of reheating leftovers, the microwave.
HOW TO REHEAT A BURRITO IN THE MICROWAVE
I’m sure you know not everything reheats well in the microwave and burritos are not an exception.
You will probably not get optimal results reheating your burrito in the microwave but if you’re like me and HATE spending a lot of time reheating your food then you will likely settle for less than optimal results.
Items you need to reheat your burrito in the microwave:
- Damp paper towel
- Microwave-safe plate
- Instant read thermometer
Here’s what I do:
- Remove the burrito from any foil or paper wrappings.
- Carefully unwrap your burrito and remove cold toppings, if applicable.
- Place the burrito on a microwave-safe plate. Carefully, refold your burrito.
- Cover with a slightly damp paper towel.
- Cook on high for 45 seconds – 1 minute.
- Turn or roll the burrito over if you refolded it.
- Replace damp paper towel.
- Cook for another 45 seconds – 1 minute.
- Temp your burrito in the center.
- If it reads 165°F, you’re done.
- If it doesn’t continue rotating and heating it in 30-second increments until it reaches 165°F.
I know this sounds like a lot of work. I get it. It can be a pain.
That’s why I avoid reheating burritos whenever humanly possible. 😉
If you don’t have a microwave, you can also reheat your burrito in the oven/toaster oven.
HOW TO REHEAT A BURRITO IN THE OVEN
Items you need to reheat your burrito in the oven:
- Aluminum Foil
- Oven Mitts
- Baking Sheet
- Internal Oven Thermometer
How I reheat a burrito in the oven:
- Preheat oven to 225°F -275°.
- Loosely wrap in aluminum foil.
- Place wrapped burrito onto your baking sheet.
- Set an internal oven thermometer to 165°F and insert the probe into the center of your burrito.
Remove from oven when internal temp reaches 165°F.
- Use mitts to remove.
- Unwrap and enjoy.
HOW TO REHEAT A BURRITO IN THE TOASTER OVEN
This is probably my second favorite way to reheat a burrito. It isn’t quite as fast as the microwave but is it faster than the oven!
Ready for this?
Wrap your leftover burrito in foil.
Preheat toaster oven to 350°F
Bake until the internal temperature reached 165° F
Yep, it is the same as the oven. The only difference is that it takes the toaster oven less time to preheat than the oven. 🙂
HOW TO REHEAT A BURRITO ON THE GRILL
Yep, you read that correctly.
Yes, you can reheat a burrito on the grill.
Is it my go-to method? Not in a million years!! But, I can actually see an occasion where this might be beneficial.
Let’s say you premake a bunch of burritos for a party and can’t reheat them in the oven because you have other goodies cooking, you may want to try the grill.
Now, if this is the case, I would definitely experiment with a few before your party to ensure everything turns out perfectly on party night.
Here’s how to reheat your burritos on the grill.
Light one half of your grill. You know the old direct heat, indirect heat thing.
Place your burritos on the unlit half of the grill (indirect heating).
After about 15 minutes, flip your burritos.
Continue grilling until the internal temperature reaches 165°F
Turn your grill off.
Carefully remove the burritos and enjoy them!
Note: If you want your burritos more steamed, you can wrap them tightly in aluminum foil before placing them on the grill.
HOW TO REHEAT A BURRITO USING THE SKILLET
So, lastly, let’s talk about how to reheat a burrito in the skillet.
There are times when reheating a burrito in a skillet will produce satisfactory results and times it will not.
First off, if you have cold items that you don’t want to be reheated like lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and sour cream, this should not be your go-to method.
While you can unfold and remove those items from your burrito before you begin the reheating process, it will be impossible to unfold your burrito after it has been grilled on the skillet.
Reheating your burrito in the skillet causes the tortilla to become crispy making it nearly impossible to unfold to replace the cold ingredients without the tortilla cracking.
Reheating a burrito in the skillet will produce similar results to Taco Bell’s grilled stuffed burritos.
If you’ve decided you want to try to reheat your burrito in the skillet, here’s what you do:
Grab your favorite skillet.
Add just enough oil or nonstick spray to keep your burrito from sticking.
Turn your range on medium-low or low heat (more explanation below).
Cover with aluminum foil or a lid.
Flip every 2 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (probably about 5 minutes).
Let’s talk about your range setting. I know you probably want me to tell you exactly what setting to reheat on, but I can’t.
Each range is different and each burrito is different in size and ingredients so here’s what to keep in mind:
You want to allow the fillings on the inside of your burrito to heat up before your tortilla is burnt to a crisp on the outside so low and slow is better.
Think maybe 3 or 4 on an electric range for an average-sized burrito.
If you have a very large burrito with lots of meats and beans, it will take longer to reheat than a smaller burrito with fewer fillings.
You will need to experiment.
Let’s say you cook grilled cheese and you know a medium setting of 5 or 6 on your electric range will burn your bread before the cheese is melted then you most definitely want a lower setting to reheat your burrito.
It doesn’t take much to burn the tortillas.
And remember, in addition to a low setting on your range, flip the burritos often to prevent burning!
As you can see, reheating a burrito can be a pain unless you simply pop it into the microwave and don’t expect optimal results.
So which way do I recommend here at Cost-Effective Kitchen?
I don’t. Call it sheer exhaustion, impatience or sheer laziness. It doesn’t matter.
I hate to take the time to properly reheat burritos. But when I have to, it is always in the microwave.
I can make a fresh burrito in the microwave quicker than I can properly reheat one, so why bother?
I can deal with a little soggy lettuce but I try to avoid the need of reheating a burrito in the first place
Here’s what we do at my house when I serve burritos:
My kids know if you take it, you eat it or it becomes breakfast or a snack the next day.
I encourage my kids to take smaller helpings and to go back for seconds or thirds if they are still hungry rather than overfilling their plates and not being able to finish.
We handle things a little differently when we eat at a Mexican restaurant.
My kids know we expect them to eat everything they order at a restaurant because it is expensive.
But we don’t expect them to eat everything on their plate once they are full but we do expect them to eat their leftovers the next day.
Here are the rules we follow at restaurants:
If your meal will not reheat well, lay off the chips and salsa until you have finished your meal.
If there are parts of your meal that won’t reheat and others that reheat well, eat the part of your meal that doesn’t reheat first.
By following these simple rules, both at home and at restaurants, we avoid the hassle of needing to reheat burritos.
Have you had success reheating burritos? What is your preferred method?
I’d love to hear from you!