How to Reheat Seafood Boil: Step-by-Step on Stovetop
If you are looking for a fast, easy, and delicious way to heat up your leftover seafood boil, read on! I’ve got a simple tutorial on how to reheat seafood boil for you below that is a walk in the park—or should I say a walk on the beach?
Mmmmmm seafood boils! It’s a party, a feast, and an exciting culinary experience all rolled into one! Indulging in this special, one-pot meal always transports you straight to the seashore, even when you are simply preparing it at home. There is no better way to feed a large group than a seafood boil, but chances are, there will still be some left over.
So, what do you do with your leftover boil? Why, you reheat it and enjoy it again, of course! If you don’t know how to reheat seafood boil, you’re missing out. And I’m going to help you with that. But before we climb back into that pot, I’d like to ask…
What’s in Your Boil?
One of the greatest things about a seafood boil is how versatile it is. You have an endless selection of ingredients, some of which are nearly always seafood. Common choices include lobster, crab, shrimp, and crawfish. You might also find clams, mussels, and even fresh fish in the boil.
But it is never just seafood. Sausage, chicken, and other proteins sometimes go for a swim in that pot as well. So do a variety of vegetables. Corn on the cob and potatoes are classic add-ins, but many other veggies make an appearance, too. And then there’s the seasoning. Most of the time, your boil is a tiny sea of flavorful broth, fragrant with spices that elevate all those other ingredients and make your taste buds very happy indeed.
But the best thing about a seafood boil? Everybody gets to pick out the ingredients they want to eat! There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Plus, nobody bats an eye when you tear into all that juicy goodness with your fingers. Got some melted butter on your chin? Good! You’re supposed to! As long as you keep the sand between your toes and off your plate, you are doing it right.
And speaking of doing it right, it’s about time we got down to business. But before we get to the actual instructions on how to reheat seafood boil, we have to talk about one critical point: If you want to enjoy that leftover meal a second time, you’ve got to store it right.
The Right Way to Store Your Leftover Seafood Boil
Ditch the Broth
First and foremost, you never want to store your leftover seafood boil in the broth it was originally cooked in. As delicious as it may have been, it is not an option to reuse unless you have enough room to store it separately in your fridge, and most people do not. If your leftover boil ingredients are sitting in liquid, they are going to get mushy. (In fact, your ingredients should come out of that liquid as soon as they are done cooking. Every minute they sit in that hot liquid, they’re overcooking.)
Ditch the Bag, too!
Sometimes, seafood boil comes in a boiling bag. If you’ve got one, I would recommend ditching the bag as well. Why? Because you need to allow your leftovers to drain and come to room temperature. They will do that faster if they are not still all heaped together in a bag.
An Airtight Container is a Must
Once your leftovers are drained and cooled to room temperature, put them in an airtight container and store them in your fridge. An airtight lid is a must unless you want your entire fridge to smell like fish! (You cannot go wrong with this great, nested set of containers from Joseph Joseph.)
You can keep your leftover seafood boil in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that, harmful bacteria begin to grow that will make it unsafe to eat. Then, you won’t be learning how to reheat seafood boil; you’ll be learning how to treat food poisoning!
The Best Way to Reheat Seafood Boil
You could reheat a seafood boil in your oven, but the oven tends to dry everything out, especially fish. You could also do it in your microwave, but that will dry everything out too, and the microwave also tends to make seafood rubbery. (Plus, the smell of microwaved seafood is a crime against humanity!)
If you absolutely need to know how to reheat seafood boil in the oven or microwave, you’ll find a quick explanation of that in the FAQs at the bottom of this article. But today, we’re focusing on the best way to do it, and that’s the same way it was cooked in the first place—in a pot of boiling liquid on your stovetop. Plus, that is also the easiest way, so why bother with anything else?!
How to Reheat Seafood Boil On the Stovetop
- Put a pot of water on the stove that is big enough to accommodate all the leftovers you want to heat up. (A pot with a strainer is your best bet.) Bring it to a boil on high heat.
Tip: You can use plain water, but adding seasonings to the pot at this point will help revive the flavors of your leftovers. I’m a huge fan of Old Bay Seasoning for seafood boils, and I love Knorr’s Fish Stock Cubes. I usually throw in some bay leaf and onion too.
Some people like to add wine, lemons, and even beer to the pot as well. If you want to know how to reheat seafood boil and make it taste really wonderful again, don’t skip adding that extra seasoning!
- Once your water is boiling, add your leftover seafood boil to the pot. It can go in loose, or in a new boiling bag if desired. (The directions for how to reheat seafood boil are the same with or without the bag.) Once the liquid returns to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for just 3 minutes. That’s it! Remember, everything is already cooked; you just want to warm it up.
- Lastly, take your boil out of the pot and it’s ready to serve once again.
Serving suggestions: Fresh lemon wedges, melted butter, crusty bread, and a green salad are always great accompaniments!
Frequently Asked Questions
I want to know how to reheat crab boil. Will these instructions work for that also?
Yes, these instructions work for any combination of seafood boil ingredients.
Can I use these instructions on how to reheat seafood boil to reheat fried shrimp?
No, that’s a different process. An air fryer works best for reheating fried shrimp. See my tutorial for how to do that here.
Can I freeze leftover seafood boil?
Yes. Put it in a ziplock bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. It will keep in your freezer for 2-3 months. But be warned, freezing tends to make everything a little mushier, so it won’t have the best texture once you thaw and reheat it. You could also separate the ingredients and use them in other ways.
Is there anything else I can do with the seafood boil broth besides throwing it out?
You can refrigerate the broth and use it again (within 3 days), but you never want to use broth that was sitting out unrefrigerated for more than a few hours. Harmful bacteria will be forming, and yes, they will be present even if you reboil the liquid. However, you could freeze and repurpose it. It makes a great base for soups, stews, rice dishes, and more. I would recommend using portion-size containers or freezer bags. It will keep in your freezer for up to six months.
I need to know how to reheat seafood boil in the oven?
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread your seafood boil out on a lightly greased (butter or olive oil is best) baking sheet. Add a few tablespoons of water, and cover tightly with foil Then, heat in the oven for about 15 minutes.
I need to know how to warm up seafood boil in the microwave?
Spread your boil leftovers out on a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of water, and cover with a lid or some microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on low (30% power) for 30 seconds and check to see if it is hot enough. If not, flip your leftovers around and repeat until it reaches your desired temperature.
Are there instructions on how to reheat seafood boil more than once?
No. You should never reheat any leftovers a third time because you could get food poisoning. So for food safety reasons, there are no instructions for how to reheat seafood boil more than once.