Reheating chips (and other foods)

Filed in Blog by on July 23, 2009 24 Comments
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Reheating chips to reduce food waste sent to landfill

Reheating chips to reduce food waste sent to landfill

A while ago I wrote about our zero waste takeaway. Little Miss Green had visited the chip shop and treated herself to some chips.

With eyes typically larger than her belly, she couldn’t eat them all and I fed them to the birds, believing them to be non-salvageable.

Some things are great reheated the following day such as curry, chilli and stews.

Other things need to be tossed when uneaten such as scrambled eggs and erm, chips.

Two of you jumped on the story and told me that you could in fact, successfully reheat chips.

I have to say, I was a little unconvinced by this. I was quite sure that chips were one of the few things in life that were obscene when reheated. But after proving to myself that porrage was indeed perfectly edible when reheated I decided to give it a go.

With my faith in you in hand I chucked the old soggy chips on a baking tray and put them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Et voila.

Perfect chips.

It had to be a fluke, surely

Yesterday I had the opportunity to try it again.

I popped the chips in the oven for ten minutes and served them up with lunch.

little Miss Green said ‘Mmmm, this looks delicious Mummy; thank you’. And the plate was cleared.

So there you have it. you CAN reheat chips; not only are they ‘ok’ but they are delicious.

With porrage and chips officially edible the following day (although probably best not served together), do you have any other foods that can be reheated successfully to help us all save on food waste?

Just don’t mention scrambled eggs…

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (24)

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  1. Reheated chips are delicious. Pizza is good too. Although I am more fussy if it contains meat and would rather eat such things cold due to the usual food hygiene issues regarding reheating meat what has already been cooked several times over.

    Oh dear, am now feeling hungry again. And I really am in the mood for chips. πŸ˜€ x

  2. Cindy J says:

    I am a busy single mom to a 3 year old boy. I make, freeze and then thaw out homemade bread as well as homemade waffles every week. I make them in big batches and pull one or two waffles, or 1/2 loaf as I need it. This saves time and reduces food waste. If I have veggies that are going to go bad, I steam them and usually puree them in my food processor and then freeze them. Then, I pull them out and heat them up to use as a base in soups or stir frys, etc.

  3. Cindy J says:

    Oh yes, if I have potatoes or yams that will go bad, I slice them up just like in your photo, bake them on an ungreased cookie sheet until done, cool, and pop them in the freezer. A quick reheat in the oven at a later date, and I have yummy, healthy french fries!

  4. There isn’t much that won’t reheat if done correctly. The main thing to remember is that all food must be piping hot, but especially meat.

    I regularly cook extra when making certain dinners so it can be plated up for DH to take to work, as well as the leftovers of other meals. Gives me a good supply for him that way.

    I have even in the past cooked a full English but with omelette eggs and frozen that for him to take when he’s had an early start.

    .

  5. Deb from Boston says:

    I agree w/ Maisie – it’s all a matter of how you reheat – ie french fires/ aka chips – are better in the oven (or toaster oven for less energy use) then the microwave, same with pizza, we prefer to reheat on the griddle not the microwave. When visiting my mom this weekend she confessed to cooking extra mashed potatoes just so that she can make patties to fry.
    Now – my 18 yo daughter is a bit odd and got in the habit of eatting her food cold/ at room temperature because she wanted last night’s dinner leftover to pack for school lunch. Now she never reheats.

  6. tammy says:

    I love CHIPS, though here in the USA we call them fries. And I am the Queen of reheating anything including chips! I really love to reheat them in my toaster oven and can really make them quite fancy by sprinkling on a little cheese and a dash of chili powder. YUMMY

  7. greenlady42 says:

    Actually, cold scrambled eggs make a good sandwich filling, with a bit of mayo or soft butter, plenty of black pepper and whatever else takes your fancy – ripe tomatoes sound good and maybe some form of cheese ! after all we eat cold hardboiled eggs and cold fritatta/tortilla ( omelette kind not corn chip/wrap kind ) is delicious !

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @Almost Mrs Average: Mrs A; I always get the pizza too crispy for reheating; perhaps I should do it with the fan off or something. Mind you, pizza rarely gets leftover here πŸ˜‰

    @Cindy J: Hi Cindy; welcome to the site. I loved reading your ideas; especially about pureeing veggies and then freezing them for soup bases – that is an excellent idea – thank you!

    @maisie dalziel: Maisie; my favourite Queen of organisation and reuse; I always love hearing your stories about food – you inspire me so much!

    @Deb from Boston: Mmmm, extra mashed potato fried the next day is a wonderful comfort food; I’m right there with your Mum on that one! Loving your daughter’s idea; that’s frugal on the electricity!

    @tammy: Hi Tammy; you mentioned the toaster oven like Deb – is that what we call a grill? I hadn’t thought of using that to reheat, but I guess it would work well because it’s a dry heat.

    @greenlady42: Mmmm, I might just be able to get my head around the cold scrambled eggs idea when you describe it like that. I guess it’s just glorified crushed hard boiled egg after all; isn’t it? What a great idea – thank you!

  9. Thankyou kind lady!!

    There is actually a system which alot of cooks in USA use called OAMC.(Once A Month Cooking)

    Basically you cook for a day then only have to reheat or add fresh veggies to an already prepared dinner; abit like hm tv dinners.

    I haven’t tried this approach as yet, but do like the idea of having things that can be pulled and just need reheating.

    After having written about the pre-cooked breakfast I made one on Friday evening so DH and DS1 could take with them into work on Saturday. I also do my version of a McMuffin, toasted breakfast muffin, rasher of bacon, some omelette style egg, wrap and freeze; these can be put in the fridge the night before and just need nuking for approx 2 mins in the morning for a lovely hot breakfast.

    I also always cook double quantity of new potatoes when boiling so we can have fried the next day, even with just an egg makes a lovely dinner.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @maisie dalziel: Hi Maisie; part of me loves that idea, another part of me baulks at it. I’m just not sure if I’m ready for that sort of organisation. It does make sense on many levels though.

    At the moment my focus is on emptying cupboards and the freezer and then I will definitely consider this. Pre kids I used to spend a day making a base for a curry sauce which would last for weeks in the freezer – I just batched it down and had a ‘real’ curry whenever I wanted it.

    We love left over potatoes too. My latest thing is one-pot cooking; that’s fun and saves on washing up πŸ˜‰

  11. Greenlady says:

    Another idea, or rather couple of ideas, for those that don’t want to go the full OAMC hog ( and let’s face it , it is a brilliant waste, time and money saving concept but putting it into pratice is quite something else, it can be more faff and stress than its worth ). Firstly, rather than once a month menu planned rigors, plan once or twice a week bulk cooking, just a couple of dishes each time, which can be partly eaten that day and partly stashed in the freezer in individual portions for later use. This combines a certain doable amount of planning ahead with flexibility, ideal.

    This dovetails nearly into the second idea and will be familiar with users of the MSE forum, which is ” building blocks ” for the freezer : ie making up a stash of portions of basics for future use, sauces, mince ( meat or veggie ) mixes, soups, chillies, curries, spuds ( I know there are people that say potato allegedly doesnt freeze well, all I can say is that I’ve been freezing potato topped stuff like sheperds pie and also stuffed spuds for years and they are just fine ), cooked fruit, veggie bakes etc. This can be done as and when you can allot the time and ingredients but provides a nice little treasure pot in the freezer squirrelled away for future use and can be used to use up bargian stuff that would go off otherwise and reduces waste πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Greenlady,

    I do versions of your second idea.

    When making a crumble topping I make 4 lots and freeze the other 3 in tubs so can be just pulled out when needed.

    I also regularly freeze mashed potatoes, which then get used as toppings on pies or even added back in to fresh mash, if an extra portion is needed.

    Mrs Green,
    I do a large pot of ratatouille base when courgettes etc are plentiful in my veg box, freeze in tubs and then can add to whatever as extra veggies or even just to use with pasta etc.
    I also do a curry based veg base as well, again large pot then frozen in tubs; so easy to just add to the meat and then serve.

    At the moment I am also trying to eat from the freezer more to be able to defrost it before I want to start adding in apples and blackberries come Sept.

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @Greenlady: Loving your ideas; thank you for sharing. Doing a complete day of cooking is very overwhelming, but the odd extra portion here and there is what I am going to go for once my storecupboards and freezer have been run down – that will probably take until the end of the year LOL!

    @maisie dalziel: Maisie, how do you freeze mash and then add it to a freshly baked, say, Shepherds pie. I’m thinking of the texture of a frozen mashed potato – how do you actually spread it over the pie mix?
    I love the ratatouille base idea; there is so much I can utilise when I’m ready – thank you!

  14. Greenlady says:

    Hi Mrs Green, I’m not sure how Maizie does it but what I would do with frozen mash portions is defrost thoroughly, make sure the underneath layer of mince or what have you is cool, then top whatever it is with the mash. This goes for fresh stuff also, best to let both layers cool down a bit or else if you put cold mash on hot underneaths it will sink ! πŸ˜€ and to freeze in the first place I just put in normal freezer containers according to what size I have.

  15. Mrs Green says:

    @Greenlady: Oh I see – you defrost it first. Thank you – doh!

  16. @Mrs Green: Thanks Greenlady, that is exactly what I do.

    If adding to fresh make sure it is thoroughly defrosted, heat in micro and thenjust stir through thoroughly as soon as the fresh is mashed, so it takes on the butter etc added to the fresh.

  17. I’m going to trust you all and try reheating some sweet potato chips left over from yesterday. I didn’t want to throw them out as they are too delicious but was concerned that it would be a problem….. you’ve convinced me that it won’t…. will know in 15 mins πŸ™‚

  18. Mrs Green says:

    @Mark Smith – Plymouth Wedding Photography: Well we hope you’re still alive Mark, and are busy spreading the word about reducing food waste by reheating chips.

  19. Jane says:

    We find it very difficult to calculate how much we should ask for at the fish and chip shop. We’ve now got the fish right (don’t think it comes in so many sizes) and we have half a one each but the chips… I’ve now discovered re-heating them in the microwave (when away from home as I haven’t got one) and then poaching an egg to go with them. A healthier version of one of those favourite meals that you can only indulge in very occasionally!

  20. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: fantastic – LMG has takeaway on a Monday night after kickboxing and more weeks than not there are leftovers; I just reheat everything; fish and all… no food poisoning yet πŸ˜‰

  21. Gabrielle d'Ayr says:

    Just wondering at what temperature you pop the chips in the oven? Suppose also you could do this with fan ovens? Thank you!

  22. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Gabrielle; thanks for stopping by! I have a fan oven and I heat them at about 160 until they are heated through. It’s quite scary how much oil comes out of them πŸ˜‰

  23. Patricia says:

    hi there, to save your electricity i put them in a dry frying pan and they turn out even better, nice and crispy to.

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