As a self-proclaimed kitchen explorer, I’m always looking for delicious ways to enjoy scallops. But reheating them can be tricky if you don’t know the proper techniques.
With so much conflicting advice out there, it’s hard to know which method is best and how to tell when your scallops have gone bad.
That’s why I’ve done the research and tested out different methods of reheating scallops myself – so that I can share with you exactly what works and what doesn’t!
In this blog post, I’ll discuss safety considerations for reheating scallops as well as explore different methods of reheating them on the stovetop, in the oven, with a microwave, in an air fryer or from frozen.
Plus, I’ll provide special instructions for bacon-wrapped and pasta-stuffed scallops before revealing my top tips on how to store your scallops properly and the best way to ensure perfectly cooked scrumptiousness every time!
Is it Safe to Reheat Scallops?
Let’s start with the obvious question – is it actually safe to reheat scallops?
The short answer is yes, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with reheating scallops.
In general, foods that have been cooked and then stored in the fridge should not be reheated more than once as this increases the risk of food poisoning. This applies to all types of seafood, including scallops.
Another consideration is that scallops can overcook very easily when reheated, so it’s important to be vigilant and keep an eye on them as they cook.
When cooked at high temperatures, scallops can become tough and rubbery if reheated too many times or for too long. The same thing happens when you overcook them the first time around!
Fortunately, there are a few ways to avoid this issue and get delicious scallops every time.
Even more fortunately, you’re in exactly the right place to learn how to do it!
What is the Best Way to Reheat Scallops?
If you’re looking for the best way to reheat your scallops and ensure that they’re as delicious as when they were freshly cooked, look no further than the oven.
This method ensures that your scallops are evenly cooked throughout, whilst making it easier to avoid a chewy texture or drying them out from overcooking.
How to Reheat Scallops in the Oven
Here are the steps to follow for perfectly reheated scallops every time:
Let the Scallops Come to Room Temperature
The first thing you need to do is take your scallops out of the fridge. This isn’t actually essential – in a pinch, you can stick the scallops in the oven immediately after removing them from the fridge. But allowing them to come up to room temperature first helps to retain their flavor and texture better.
If you are able to let your scallops sit, make sure to leave them out of the fridge for no more than 2 hours. Beyond this point, you run the risk of food poisoning.
In my experience, an hour should be enough time for them to warm up before reheating.
Preheat Your Oven
Once you’re ready, preheat your oven to 275°F.
Whilst your oven warms up, line your scallops up on a baking tray. Be sure to leave a bit of space between each one – overcrowding the pan can prevent them from heating evenly, leaving you with a less desirable texture.
Add Extra Moisture and Seal it in
Once your scallops are in place, sprinkle some water over them. This step is important, as it creates steam which will help to evenly heat your scallops.
Finally, cover the tray with aluminum foil before placing it in the oven. Doing this helps to keep the moisture locked in and prevents your scallops from drying out too much.
Transfer to the Oven
Move the tray to your preheated oven and leave it in there for 10-15 minutes.
Check on their temperature after the 10-minute mark to see if they have reached a minimum internal temperature of 125°F. If so, you can take them out of the oven – otherwise, leave them for an extra 5 minutes before serving.
Reheating Scallops on the Stovetop
Whilst the oven is my favorite method, the stove is also a great way to reheat scallops, especially if you’re a bit short on time.
Here’s how to do it:
Bring to Room Temperature
Begin by taking your refrigerated scallops out of the fridge and letting them come to room temperature. This will improve their texture when you reheat them.
Just as with the oven method, this isn’t essential but is preferred for the best results.
Heat Your Pan & Add Scallops
Heat up a non-stick pan over low-medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the scallops in a single layer. Be careful not to set the heat too high as this could cause your scallops to burn or dry out.
Add a Splash of Water & Cover
Sprinkle a few drops of water over the top of your scallops before covering the pan with a lid. This will create steam inside the pan, helping them to cook evenly.
Flip the Scallops
After they’ve been in the pan for a few minutes, remove the lid flip each scallop over to make sure that both sides can cook evenly.
Check the Temperature
After a few more minutes, use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the scallops before serving them up. They’re ready to serve once they’re between 125 and 140°F.
Can You Microwave Scallops?
It’s possible to reheat scallops in the microwave oven, but I don’t recommend it.
The problem with reheating in the microwave is that it’s hard to get it to cook evenly. This means you can end up with scallops that are warm on the outside but still cold on the inside.
Not only that, but when microwaving scallops you also run the risk of them turning out rubbery and dry.
If you simply must warm up your scallops in the microwave, give yourself the best chance by following these steps:
Prepare for Disappointment!
Ok… I won’t hammer this point anymore but you really need to manage your expectations here. Microwaving your scallops might do the trick if you have no other options available, but you shouldn’t expect great results.
Get the Scallops Prepped
Before you start microwaving, move your scallops to a microwave-safe plate or container. Sprinkle them with some water to stop them from drying out too much.
Cover them with a microwave-safe lid or some wet paper towel. This will help retain as much moisture as possible.
Heat at 90%
Set the power on your microwave to 90% and let them heat for 20 seconds. Check on them and see whether they’re hot all of the way through.
If you don’t think they’re ready, heat them again for another 15 seconds.
Once they’re hot enough, take your scallops out of the microwave and serve.
Can You Reheat Scallops in an Air Fryer?
An article about reheating scallops wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t at least mention an air fryer!
Can you reheat your scallops in your air fryer?
No, not really. Whilst it’s possible the air fryer will dry out your scallops more than other methods.
How Do You Reheat Frozen Scallops?
What if you cooked up a big batch of scallops and decided to freeze them?
The great news is that it’s really simple to reheat them!
All you need is a bit of prior planning and patience.
Start by defrosting your scallops in the fridge overnight. (Don’t try to hurry the process by leaving them to sit at room temperature!)
Once they’ve thawed, simply reheat them using one of the methods I’ve already discussed.
Reheating Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Reheating bacon-wrapped scallops might sound like a daunting task, as you want to make sure that the scallops are cooked through without burning or drying out the bacon.
Don’t worry though. It’s not nearly as difficult as you might assume!
Simply follow these steps for perfectly warmed-up scallops with crisp bacon every time! sit an
Get Everything Ready
Start by preheating your oven to 250°F. Take a baking tray, line it with some parchment paper and grease it with some oil, this will help to keep the scallops from sticking to it.
Carefully place your bacon-wrapped scallops on the baking tray, making sure not to overcrowd them. Giving them a bit of breathing space helps to make sure that they cook evenly.
Move it to the Oven
Once the oven is preheated, transfer the baking tray and scallops inside.
Leave them in the oven for 10-15 minutes and check up on them. The key to this method is to ensure that the bacon doesn’t burn and go too crispy.
If everything looks ok, pop them back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so – keeping an eye on them as they cook. If you do notice the bacon start to become too crispy, take them out.
Serve and Enjoy!
Once they’re ready, take the baking tray out of the oven.
They should be piping hot throughout – you may want to let them sit and cool down for a couple
of minutes before serving.
Once they’re ready, serve and enjoy your delicious bacon-wrapped scallops!
Reheating Scallops With Pasta
A personal favorite of mine is to serve scallops with pasta – it’s a simple but tasty dish!
If you’re like me, you might have whipped up more scallops and pasta than you can eat in one sitting. There’s no problem there though, reheating it is simple.
The best thing to do is to separate the scallops from the pasta first and reheat them separately.
Once they’re both warm, mix them back together and enjoy!
How to Tell if Scallops Have Gone Bad
Before you go ahead and reheat your scallops, it pays to check that they’re still ok to eat! After all, there’s no sense in reheating scallops that have spoiled and might give you food poisoning!
The good news is that it’s quite easy to tell if your scallops have gone off. Here are the key signs you should be looking for:
Color is one of the most obvious signs that you’re dealing with spoiled scallops.
If you notice that they’re whiter or more opaque than their original off-white or creamy color, this is a good sign that they’re probably no longer safe to eat.
Another indicator that scallops have gone bad is the smell. If they smell overly fishy or like ammonia, then it’s probably a good idea to discard them.
The texture of the scallop meat can also give you an indication as to whether they’re safe to eat. If they feel rubbery or mushy, then this is a sign that they’ve gone off and should be thrown away.
Finally, the taste of scallops that are past their best is a real giveaway.
If you bite into your scallop and find that it has a very strong, fishy taste – don’t eat the rest. Throw them out – they’ve gone bad and if you eat anymore you’re increasing the risk of getting a foodborne illness.
The best way to ensure that your scallops stay nice and fresh for when you come to reheat them is to make sure they’re correctly stored.
So let’s wrap up by taking a quick look at the best way to maximize their freshness!
What’s the Best Way to Store Leftover Scallops?
The best way to store your cooked scallops depends on your plans for them.
If you know that you’re going to be eating them in the next day or so, keeping them in the fridge is the best option.
On the other hand, if you know it’s going to be a while before you fancy scallops again, the freezer is the right choice for you.
Cooked scallops can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To store them properly, transfer your leftovers into an airtight container or wrap them in aluminum foil.
This will stop odors and potential contaminants from other foods from getting into your scallops. It will also stop the fishy smell of your scallops from interacting with your other, non-fishy, food!
For maximum freshness, store the scallops in the coldest part of your fridge.
If you need a longer-term solution, cooked scallops will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
As with the fridge, be sure to move your leftover scallops into an airtight container. You can also use a freezer bag, providing you squeeze all of the air out.
I recommend labeling the contents and making a note of the freeze date so you know exactly when you should be taking the frozen scallops out to eat.