How To Reheat Arancini

Deep fried, stuffed, and served with sauce, the Scisilian staple arancini is a deliciously warm and hearty treat. When they’re piping hot, the ragu or cheese fillings are moist and inviting. The rice around it is almost breadlike, but not quite as dry, and the crisp deep-fried coating ha350s a great crunch. 

When you’re ready to return to the delights of a previous day’s Italian feast, how does one reheat arancini? Sure, it’s entirely possible to just chuck it in the microwave without a second thought, but to what end? Is that the best way to reheat arancini? 

The very best way to reheat arancini is to deep-fry it again. It takes a bit of effort, but the payoff is well worth it. Besides that, the oven and the air fryer will yield favorable results, and you can pair the air fryer method with the microwave to speed things along. 

How To Reheat Arancini

When you reheat arancini, what you want to avoid is a soggy, lumpy mess of partially heated rice and a clumpy middle. Depending on what is in the middle of your ball, you will also want to keep an eye out to ensure the cheese melts properly and doesn’t stay congealed. 

Deep Frying 

This method may be the most work, and it might not be the healthiest method of the available options. However, it will deliver the best result, with a hot interior and crunchy exterior. 

How To Reheat Arancini In A Deep Fryer 

  1. Fill a pan a few inches deep with a cooking oil. Ensure that there’s enough to at least cover your arancini. 
  2. Use a thermometer to monitor the oil’s temperature. Wait until it has reached 350F/180C. 
  3. Once the oil has maxed out at that temperature, use tongs or a frying spider to lower your arancini into the oil. Be careful to avoid splattering or sizzling oil. 
  4. Refry the arancini for 1-2 minutes. Larger ones will need more time to ensure the heat has penetrated through to the center. 
  5. Remove your pieces from the oil and set them on a wire rack. Allow them to set and cool for 1-2 minutes before serving. 

This technique is labor intensive and requires a lot of cleanup for such a short cooking process. However, the coating was the crispiest and the center was reheated to perfection. 

Tips

  • When you deep fry, reach for an oil that has a high smoke point. Your best options include vegetable oil, peanut oil, and canola oil. If you want to impart more flavor into the arancini, peanut oil will give a nutty complexity to the dish. 
  • A meat thermometer is the best way to maintain pinpoint accuracy with your oil temperature. If you don’t have one, though, you can still decipher when the oil’s hot enough. 
    • One trick is to stick a wooden spoon into the oil and watch for bubbles. If bubbles start to gather around the spoon as it is partially submerged, it is likely hot enough. 
    • Another way to tell is to toss a slice of bread into the oil. Use the seconds it takes to brown the bread to measure how hot the oil is. The benchmark for 350 degree oil is about 15 seconds. 

In The Air Fryer 

The air fryer is a countertop appliance of unending convenience. One place where it will always come in handy is in heating up fried foods. The fluid movement of air within the basket makes it a breeze to keep your fried foods crispy while revitalizing them to next-day goodness. 

That skill doesn’t stop with chicken nuggets and mozzarella sticks, however. Arancini will fare beautifully in the air fryer. Using an air fryer is much like the deep frying method, however it will require much less work and cleanup. Because it uses less oil, there won’t be any additional fat or calories added to an already dense meal. 

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The result might not have that same satisfying crunch that the deep frying method will, but it’s still going to be deliciously crisp. Take heed, however, that the super hot air within the air fryer could overcook and dry out your arancini. 

How To Reheat Arancini In The Air Fryer 

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350F/180C. 
  2. Arrange your arancini in the basket, leaving plenty of breathing room between each one. You should ensure that they’re not touching, and that their sides are not touching the basket interior. 
  3. For added crunch, you can lightly spritz the arancini with oil. This is optional, however, as the pieces will crisp up adequately without it. 
  4. Heat the arancini for 4-9 minutes. If you’re using ones that are straight from the freezer, shoot for 12-15 minutes. 

When this is cooking, don’t let the steaming hot crust fool you. Being the first thing that’s exposed to air, of course it’s going to heat up the fastest. Arancini are dense, and it will take some time for the heat to break into the soft center.You can check the center with a meat thermometer if you’re unsure. Alternatively, poke a knife into it and feel the temperature when you extract it. If it’s too hot to touch, the arancini is heated in the center. 

If you have particularly large arancini, consider letting them take a spin in the microwave first. What this does is allow the middles to get a jumpstart on heating up, thus reducing your overall heating time. To save even more time, you can multitask and get this done while the air fryer is preheating. 

Simply pop the arancini in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. Any longer and you’re risking the steam from the center creeping up to the fried surface and making it soggy. 

If you’re using smaller arancini, there’s no need to take this extra step, though. It won’t change the end result much in either direction. 

Tips

  • Take the way the arancini were cooked is something you can take into consideration when subjecting them to the air fryer. if your arancini were fried, they will already have oil in the coating. Because of that, you will not need to add any additional oil when you set them into your air fryer. Baked arancini, however, would benefit from a light spritzing of oil to add additional crunch to the final product.
  • If you have quite a few arancini to reheat, it would be in your best interest to heat them in a batch. That way you can prevent overcrowding them in the air fryer basket, allowing the air to flow freely and heat everything evenly.

In the oven 

It takes a little bit more time, but heating up your arancini in the oven is a decent way to make sure that they are completely crisp, and nice and hot on the inside. It will take about 5 to 10 minutes, however the final result is certainly worth it.

How to reheat arancini in the oven

One preheat your oven to 350° f or 180° c. Two place your arancini directly onto your oven rack. You won’t be using a baking tray for this. The reason for this is because the open air flow keeps the bottom of the arancini from getting soggy. Three heat the arancini for 5 to 10 minutes, until it seems as if the entire ball is completely heated. Depending on the size of your arancini you might need more or less time.

This method is wonderful for reheating arancini. It lets the center get deliciously melty, without becoming molten hot. The air flow in the oven makes it so that the coating is crisp and crunchy. It might not be quite as densely crunchy as the deep fried method, however just as with air frying, it is much less to clean up. The length of time that it takes is well worth the final result.

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Like with the air fryer method, you can let your arancini take a quick spin in the microwave prior to setting them in the oven. This is for the same reason; it gives the arancini a head start into having a completely heated center. 

The process is the same: set the arancini into the microwave and heat it for 10 to 20 seconds.

With the addition of your microwave, that 10-15 minute cook time could be reduced to 8-10 minutes. It may seem like a negligible difference, but it’s worth taking into consideration if you are in a rush.

In The Microwave

If you don’t have access to an air fryer, an oven, or all the rigmarole needed for the deep frying method, then your best bet is to use the microwave. It is, after all, a very convenient way to reheat anything, if not always the most advisable. Though, that convenience comes at a price, that price being that you will wind up with a soggy arancini.

There is another risk associated with reheating your arancini in the microwave. That risk is that your arancini might become overheated on the inside, and could even explode in the microwave as it heats. This means a substantial mess for you, and the loss of your delicious Italian meal.

How To Reheat Arancini In The Microwave

  1. Set your arancini on a microwave safe plate. If you are reheating more than one, be sure to grant space between each of them. 
  2. Heat your arancini in 20 second intervals. Once the 20 seconds are up, open the microwave and check for doneness. You can stick a knife into the middle of the arancini to see if it is hot all the way through, or you can even cut it in half if you are really unsure. If the arancini is not done yet, send it in for another 20 second interval.
  3. Once this process is completed, and your arancini feels nice and hot on the inside, allow it to sit for 60 seconds.

On average, a few small arancinis will only take 30-40 seconds overall. On the other hand, a bigger one, or a lot of smaller ones, can go all the way up to a full 60 seconds before they are completely ready to consume. 

What you might notice when you reheat your arancini in the microwave is that it will lose its shape. Some Sicilian arancini, namely ones that are made in Eastern Italy, are formed in a conical shape. That conical shape is inspired by the Etna volcano. No matter the shape of your arancini, though, that structure will not remain sound as it is reheated with the microwave. 

This is merely a cosmetic change, and won’t impact the overall taste more than the rest of the microwaves heating process already has.

Unfortunately, using the microwave will not allow for any crispness to retain in the arancini. The outer coating will become soggy, however the cheese inside will be decadently melty. If your arancini has a ragu filling, as long as the ball has completely heated through, the meat and sauce should be nice enough to eat. 

The place where the microwave is most helpful for reheating arancini is when you are using it in conjunction with an air fryer or the oven. In those cases, the microwave is a handy tool for speeding up the overall cooking time and ensuring that the center of your arancini is pleasantly heated through.

Keeping Arancini Crispy When Storing 

Reheating arancini can be a tricky process, but there are ways that you can make it easier on yourself. Keeping your arancini crisp starts with how you store it. Once you’re ready to store away the remnants of the meal to revisit tomorrow, take a few extra steps to ensure they’ll reheat perfectly. 

In The Fridge

When you find you have just far too much arancini to finish, you can store it in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before lining them up in an airtight container. For the best results, ensure that they are not touching.

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This container of leftover arancini will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. After that, it is best to discard them as they are no longer safe to eat. Or particularly tasty, for that matter.

An additional trick to keeping the arancini crispy once you go to reheat it is adding a paper towel on the bottom of your container. What happens is that the paper towel absorbs any excess moisture that will leak off of the arancini. Then, when you go to reheat it, you’ll decrease your risk of soggy coatings. 

Another option is to line the container with uncooked rice. Rice is always eager to soak up moisture from the air, and it will stop the bread crumbs from becoming a sopping mess in the refrigerator. That, however, is the same reason you want to ensure that your arancini are not touching when they are in the refrigerator.

In The Freezer

As with many fried foods, the way to ensure that your arancini will stand up to thawing and reheating is to store it properly. 

One crucial step to this process is flash freezing. Flash freezing entails placing the arancini on a baking tray uncovered, before sticking them in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours.

After the initial flash freeze, arrange your arancini into a freezer safe bag. If you want to ensure additional crispness when you reheat, you can individually wrap your arancini in plastic wrap before you put them together in the freezer bag. 

This is also helpful if you only want to eat one or two at a time, instead of heating up an entire batch at once. Thawing, freezing, rethawing and refreezing any food will ensure a loss of quality as time goes on. It could also be potentially unsafe, as the food will have reached the bacteria danger zone at each thawing. 

In your gallon freezer bag, use a straw to suck out all of the air. The less air that is in the bag, the better chance you will have at avoiding freezer burn. If you have a vacuum sealing device, this would also be a perfect time to use it.

Freezer burn isn’t harmful to you, however it is a bit harmful to the food. Foods that have experienced freezer burn will suffer from a loss of quality, both in terms of texture and taste. Arancini will last, ideally, for one to two months in the freezer. Though, it is likely that they will all be eaten up before that time.

Conclusion

It might be hard to believe that there would be a scenario in which one has too many arentini. These delicious balls of rice and meat or cheese, surrounded by a crispy, crunchy, fried coating, are a delicious Sicilian staple that anyone can enjoy.

If, however, you have simply made or ordered too many of these delicious treats, you can still reheat them while retaining what made them so delicious in the first place.

The technique for reheating arancini that takes the most work, but will end with a ball that is wonderfully crunchy and perfectly melty on the inside, is to deep fry them again. While it does have the downside of cleanup and prep time, the end result is delicious, and tastes almost as much as it did the same day.

The next best way to reheat arancini is to use an air fryer. It will make the outside coating completely crispy, and leave the inside as heated as you’d like it to be.