How To Reheat Lechon (And Keep It Crispy AND Juicy)

How To Reheat Lechon (And Keep It Crispy AND Juicy)

Slow roasted and succulent Lechon is adored by countless meat lovers worldwide. Its juicy texture is perfectly complemented by its light and crispy skin, and the dish typically takes hours to prepare. But, it’s quite common to have plenty of Lechon leftover after special meals and gatherings.

While many people choose to reinvent Lechon leftovers by transforming them into new dishes, many wonder if they could simply reheat leftover meat without altering its taste. Lechon can be quite tricky to reheat, as improper heating methods can lead to dry meat and chewy crackling (skin). 

Leftover Lechon can be reheated in the oven, in an air fryer, or on the stove. The meat and crackling can also be separated and reheated individually to ensure that the skin is light and crispy. Microwaving is not recommended for Lechon meat. 

How To Reheat Lechon

stuffed lechon pork belly

The main concern when reheating Lechon is the risk of ruining its contrasting textures. The meat should be tender and juicy, while the crackling should be light and crispy. This contrast demands more attention to detail, as overlooking each component’s needs could ruin the presentation and overall taste. 

Some people prefer to separate the meat and the crackling beforehand to ensure each component is just right. In these cases, the crackling should ideally be heated in the oven separately. But, a few reheating methods work very well for those who want to revive leftover Lechon while keeping its components intact. 

The most important aspect is that the Lechon is sufficiently reheated throughout. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, observing the temperature in multiple areas. It should be heated all the way through to the center after each reheating method. 

How To Reheat Lechon in the Oven

Reheating leftover Lechon in the oven is the simplest and most effective way to guarantee juicy meat and crispy crackling. This method demands some foil and close monitoring, as this will preserve the Lechon’s delectable meat juices. 

To reheat Lechon in the oven: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Sprinkle some salt over the leftover Lechon.
  3. Wrap the Lechon in foil from the bottom upwards, leaving an opening at the top. This will ensure that the Lechon’s base does not scorch, while guaranteeing crispy crackling by allowing excess moisture to escape. 
  4. Reheat the Lechon in the oven for around 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove the foil and continue heating the Lechon until it is golden and crispy. This step will allow the Lechon’s exterior to crisp up while preserving its juices. 
  6. Remove the Lechon from the oven. 

How To Reheat Lechon in an Air Fryer

lechon meat in air fryer

Air fryers are great for those who want to preserve the Lechon’s aesthetic, as you do not need to separate the meat from the skin before reheating. Since air fryers apply heat from all sides, this reheating method will preserve the Lechon’s juicy meat while reviving its crispy, golden skin.

To reheat Lechon in an air fryer: 

  1. Set the air fryer to 375°F.
  2. Sprinkle some salt over the leftover Lechon.
  3. Place the Lechon in the basket. This will allow excess oil or moisture to drip down.
  4. Reheat the Lechon in the air fryer for around 10 minutes or until it is golden.
  5. Remove the Lechon from the air fryer and serve. 

How To Reheat Lechon on the Stove

You could reheat leftover Lechon on the stove if you don’t mind separating the meat from the crackling. Lechon meat will need to be altered slightly before using this method, and the crackling will need to be reheated in an oven or air fryer to revive its crispy texture. 

To reheat Lechon on the stove:

  1. Use a wok or saucepan and set the stove to medium-high.
  2. Add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan and wait for the oil to get hot before adding the meat. 
  3. Add the Lechon meat to the pan and sprinkle it with salt. Step back for a moment to avoid hot oil splashes.
  4. Turn the meat pieces periodically so that they brown and caramelize on all sides. 
  5. Cook the meat for 1-2 minutes until it has achieved your preferred texture.
  6. Remove the meat from the stove, top it with the reheated crackling, and serve. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about reheating Lechon? We’ve got answers!

How do I store reheated lechon?

Reheated Lechon meat should be left to cool till room temperature before being stored. It should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, kept separately from different meats and foods. The crackling should be stored separately to prevent it from becoming chewy or soggy. 

Can I reheat lechon  multiple times?

Lechon meat can be reheated multiple times, provided that the meat is still safe for consumption. Although, it may become dry over time, and one may need to add additional oils or sauces to revive the dish before serving it. 

How long does it take to reheat lechon?

It typically takes around 10-15 minutes to reheat Lechon, including preparation time. Heating Lechon meat on a stove only takes a few minutes, but reheating the crackling separately may take more time using this method. Using an oven will take longer since it takes time to preheat, and using an air fryer offers great results in shorter time frames.

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