What’s better than an order of greasy french fries with your burger? A side of crispy onion rings, of course! But what happens when you have leftover onion rings that you just can’t throw away?
You put them in the fridge for later.
The question for the next day is, then, can you reheat those delicious rings? Yes, you can!
In this article I’ll walk you through the top 4 ways to reheat onion rings. I’ll also explain why microwaving them isn’t a good idea if you want to enjoy them at their best.
Can You Reheat Cooked Onion Rings?
You most certainly can reheat onion rings. In fact, most of the time you can reheat them so that they bounce back to the same crispy texture they had when they were first served.
All you need to reheat them is an oven, a stovetop, a toaster oven, or a microwave. You do not need to add extra oil.
The point of reheating is to reuse the oil that’s already on the onion rings. Heating the dried oil will work to bring your onion rings back to their former, crispy, crunchy glory.
Remember that before you reheat your onion rings, you should take them out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before you intend to reheat them.
How to Reheat Onion Rings
In the Air Fryer
One great way to reheat onion rings is to air fry them. The air fryer is a foolproof way to ensure that your rings come out crispy and delicious.
- Spray the onion rings with a thin layer of cooking spray. Make sure that the layer is even.
- Turn your air fryer up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and set the onion rings in the air fryer basket. Air fry for 10 minutes. Like you would with cooking them in the oven, you’ll need to flip them after 5 minutes so that both sides receive an equal amount of heat.
- When your onion rings begin to regain some of their golden color, you’ll know that they’re ready. At this time, remove them from the air fryer and serve.
On the Stovetop
You might be wondering: can I reheat onion rings using a pan while still getting them to stay crispy? Luckily, the answer is yes! This method is the most popular. However, you have to know how to do it properly.
If your onion rings are homemade, the reheating process is similar to the one you used when you made them initially. The difference is that it doesn’t take as long since they are already cooked.
- Heat a dollop of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan. Vegetable oil works best for this because it works well with high heat. Be sure that it has heated completely before placing the onion rings inside the pan.
- Pan fry the onion rings for a few minutes, flipping them occasionally so that they don’t burn. This also ensures that both sides of the onion rings get crispy.
- Once the rings are crispy, remove them from the pan and place them on a paper towel. This will help drain the excess oil from the onion rings so that they aren’t greasy. It also gives them time to cook off enough to eat.
Remember that since the onion rings are cooked already, there’s no need to wait for them to get any more brown. Allowing them to brown will only burn them – and chances are, you won’t even notice that they’ve become slightly burnt until you bite into them and get the undeniable burnt flavor that comes with burnt food.
Keep them in the pan only long enough for them to reach a good temperature before taking them off the heat. Don’t let them sit in the hot pan, either, as they will continue to cook until the pan cools. Transfer them to a plate right away.
In the Oven
Using the oven is another great way to reheat onion rings. Using the oven helps ensure that your onion rings stay crispy and don’t gather too much moisture, which can result in a soggy texture.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the onion rings in an oven safe dish that’s large enough to arrange the onion rings in a single layer. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- Place the dish of onion rings in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter which rack you place them on.
- Check the onion rings every few minutes to monitor how brown they’re getting, paying careful attention to the edges.
In the Toaster Oven
Onion rings can also be reheated in the toaster oven with relative ease.
- Preheat your toaster oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the onion tings on a baking sheet that you’ve lined with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a reusable non-stick cooking pad. Make sure that the onion rings have space and arrange them in a single layer.
- Heat them up for 10-15 minutes until they are heated through and become crispy. For extra crispy onion rings, leave them in for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from the toaster oven and let them cool for 2 minutes before eating.
Can You Reheat Onion Rings in the Microwave?
Can you reheat onion rings in the microwave? Well, technically the answer is yes. Perhaps the real question though, is whether you should.
Heating onion rings in the microwave takes away from their crispy texture and can leave them soggy and crumbly. This is because fried food doesn’t fare well in the microwave. Why? Because the microwave heats water molecules that are in the food, turning them into condensation. This condensation is absorbed into the crispy exterior of the onion rings, leaving them soggy.
One way to potentially prevent or minimize this is to wrap your onion rings in a paper towel before microwaving them. This is thought to absorb some of that moisture, helping the crispy exterior remain intact.
In some cases, onion rings that have been reheated in the microwave can burn. This is because the microwave concentrates its heat, which is why the bottom of the plate that your rings are on is likely going to be hotter than the edges of the plate.
Ultimately, we’d recommend avoiding using the microwave to reheat any crispy or fried food if you can. It’s just not worth ruining your onion rings over.
If you must use the microwave, though, here’s how to do it.
- Arrange the onion rings in a single layer on a plate and wrap them in a paper towel.
- Set your microwave to run for 10 seconds on the highest power setting.
- Heat in one-minute intervals until your onion rings have been heated evenly.
How to Reheat Frozen Onion Rings
To reheat frozen rings:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray the onion rings with cooking oil before placing them on a lined baking sheet.
- Add any additional seasonings and be sure to place them far enough apart that they all receive the same amount of heat. Cover them with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, flipping and rotating them half way through. For crispier onion rings, cook for a few extra minutes – just be sure to check on them regularly.
Can You Reheat Onion Rings Twice?
It’s best to reheat onion rings once.
Reheating them more than once not only compromises their texture and flavor but also puts you at risk of becoming sick.
The risk of sickness comes into play when you consider how long your onion rings remain in the fridge for between reheating. The longer they stay in the fridge, unused, the higher the chances are that they have spoiled.
How To Fix Reheated Onion Rings That Have Gone Soggy
If your onion rings have gone soggy, one quick fix is to pop them into the toaster oven or a dry frying pan.
The extra heat added to the outside of the rings works to crisp up the outer breading, while leaving the interior soft and warm.
The longer you leave your onion rings to cook, the dryer they become, which is important to note when you consider how easy it is to completely dry something out.
How to Use Leftover Onion Rings
Now, if you aren’t a fan of eating leftover onion rings by themselves, there are a few ways that you can use them before they become food for the birds outside
One popular method is frying an egg inside of an onion ring, making a quick and delicious breakfast, lunch, or snack. The crunchy coating and salty flavor of the onion ring pair well with the egg’s thinner, softer consistency and mild flavors.
Another great option is reheating your onion rings and chopping them up into small pieces. You can then sprinkle these pieces on the top of salads or soups. Onion rings go wonderful with a homemade chef’s salad, complete with a hard-boiled egg and crumbled bacon. When using this method, the best dressing is something with a light flavor such as honey mustard or a vinaigrette.
You may also consider making poutine but replacing the french fries with leftover, reheated onion rings to serve as comfort food.
Allow your onion rings to warm up on the counter, then pan fry them to crisp them up, and mix them with bacon, cheese and gravy. Broil the dish until the cheese has melted.