Had the good fortune to stop at the Medford, Oregon IN-N-OUT Burger last night on our way home from the International Food Blogger Conference in Sacramento.
I, of course, grabbed a half dozen extras to bring home for the fam. When I finally rolled in around 1am, I was too exhausted to eat, so the whole box went into the fridge for later, and I collapsed into bed.
This morning, I posted a picture of my treasure on Facebook, and a friend of mine replied, “Hamburgers taste horrible after being refrigerated.“
To which I replied, “Not if you know how to reheat them, they don’t.“
In retrospect, I realized (as I often do…) that my knee-jerk response, while correct, was a little snarky and not particularly helpful. Also that, while perhaps a bit of a buzz-kill, my friend was technically correct ~ a cold, congealed burger is a pretty awful thing.
God doesn’t want that.
So, in the sincere hope that nothing as glorious as a Double Double Animal Style is ever eaten chilled, or even worse, microwaved, I give you…
How to reheat an IN-N-OUT Burger
First of all…never, EVER, reheat a burger fully assembled!
Microwaving is about the worst thing you can to to both ground-beef, and lettuce. The way the microwave works in by causing water molecules to vibrate at high speeds until they get hot. This is an instant method for draining all the good juices out of a burger patty, as well as rupturing the water-holding cells in your lettuce, turning it into limp, gray, sludge.
- Take the veggies off and put them back in the fridge. If you can’t replace them with fresh, shock them in a little ice water just before serving (be sure to pat them dry.) This will crisp them back up…some.
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- Seal the buns, single layer, in a zip bag, and set aside at room temp.
3. Heat 1/4 inch of chicken stock or water in a microwave-safe container (with a lid) big enough to lay the burger/cheese patties in a single layer. Heat the liquid until steaming, then set the patties in (liquid should not cover, just be on the bottom). Set the bagged buns on top. Place the lid on and set aside for 2-3 minutes.
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- If the buns are soggy out of the fridge, you can toast them, cut sides down, in a dry pan first (optional), or if they’re just plain cheap burger buns, use fresh one (they’re like 8 for a dollar, you cheap bastard…)
- When meat has heated through, and the cheese is soft, drain the patty on a paper towel, reassemble and enjoy!
You can do the same in a liddled skillet. Just make sure it’s off the heat (move to a cold burner) before adding the meat.
Personal opinion: ANY hot sandwich, once assembled, should be wrapped fully in foil and allowed to “rest” at least 5 minutes.