Last Updated on May 2, 2022 by Share My Kitchen
You might be curious how to heat up calamari that you have made or ordered recently. Calamari can be delicate, especially after it has been cooked. You need to strike the right balance to avoid a tough, soggy piece of battered squid.
For this article, different methods to reheat calamari have been tried and tested to find the one that gives the best crunch and least chewy results.
How To Reheat Calamari
These are some of the reheating options:
- In the oven: this is the best overall
- Using an air fryer: the best method, IF you have one
- In the microwave: this is the one you need to avoid
- Refrying: this method is not that great
Ready? Let’s get started.
Best Way To Reheat Calamari
How do you reheat calamari? The best technique to reheat your leftover calamari is using the oven. Start by preheating the oven to 370°F (190°C), and spread the calamari on a wire rack. Then spray the calamari lightly with oil, and heat them for about 10 minutes, or until they are hot to the touch.
Calamari tastes best when it is fresh. Don’t worry, reheated calamari can still taste great (if done correctly), but nothing will compare to fresh, delicious calamari.
Remember, also, that squid can be delicate and easy to overcook.
Reheating elevates the possibility of overcooking the squid and it will become chewy. However, you shouldn’t notice a large change in texture as long as you are careful and do not heat it for too long.
Reheating Calamari in the Oven
Preheat the oven to 370°F (190°C), and spread your calamari on a wire rack. Then, spray the calamari lightly with oil, and heat them for about 10 minutes or until they are hot to the touch.
The oven’s dry heat is just right to reheat the leftover calamari rings. This method keeps the outside crispy, while allowing the inside to cook evenly without overcooking it.
How to reheat calamari in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 370°F (190°C), or 450°F (230°C) when reheating frozen calamari.
- Next, spread your calamari rings on a wire rack.
- Spray the calamari rings with a light coat of oil. (optional)
- Then place the calamari in an oven for 10 minutes, or until they are hot to touch.
- Serve them immediately.
You can also use a baking sheet to hold the calamari if you don’t have a wire rack. However, you will need to flip the calamari halfway through the cooking process for the batter to evenly browned on both sides.
Should you use oil spray
Although oil spray is not necessary, keep in mind that it gives the rings an extra crunch. You may use an oil spritzer to ensure a light coating. It’s not a good idea to pour the oil on top since too much oil will be added and make soggy patches.
Calamari should be reheated on a high heat to reduce the time it takes to cook in the oven. Those that are heated at a lower temperature will take longer to bake, leading to a higher chance of overcooking.
The calamari became good and crispy, and the squid was not too chewy. This method is great for larger portions, where the air fryer is not sufficient.
Reheating Calamari in the Air Fryer
First, preheat the air fryer to 350°F (180°C). Then, place the calamari in the basket of the air fryer, and spray with a light coat of oil (optional). Moreover, remember not to overcrowd your air fryer to avoid soggy calamari. Heat the calamari for 3 to 4 minutes, then serve while it’s still hot.
This is one of the BEST methods because it is the fastest way to reheat calamari. However, not everyone has one, so it is ranked after the oven method.
How to reheat calamari in the air fryer:
- Begin by preheating your air fryer to 350°F (180°C) or 400°F (200°C) when your calamari is frozen.
- Place the calamari into the air fryer basket.
- Spray the calamari with a light coat of oil. (optional)
- Then, heat the calamari for 3 to 4 minutes, or for 6-8 minutes for frozen calamari.
- Serve while it’s still hot.
Don’t overcrowd the calamari in your air fryer basket since this could make the batter soggy. It’s best to make several batches if you have lots of calamari to reheat.
It is completely optional to add oil. The batter should be able to hold residual oil to crisp up the calamari. However, a few extra drops of oil will not hurt.
The air fryer gave the best and crispiest results, but the ones reheated in the oven are not far behind. It also took the shortest amount of time. However, the air fryer is not as efficient for larger batches of calamari.
Reheating Calamari in the Microwave
An important tip to remember: microwave and fried foods don’t mix.
The microwave heat cannot crisp up foods, so any fried food, even calamari, will become soggy and tough after being reheated.
However, using a microwave is undeniably convenient. So, it’s no surprise people will try to reheat their food in it. The results were exactly as expected. The rings were more floppy than crunchy.
In addition, the outside batter became extremely limp for the first few seconds. While the rings were floppy, not crunchy.
Then, after the calamari had cooled, the batter became hard and chewy.
The end results looked unappetizing and tasted exactly how it looked: limp, soggy, and old.
Reheating Calamari by Refrying
Refrying is often recommended as a method to reheat fried foods since it expectedly gives you a crispy exterior.
But refrying can be dangerous as it is an extremely harsh method of reheating. So, this will not work because squid is a delicate fish.
Besides, frying your calamari the second time will definitely give you overcooked, rubbery food.
Although the outside of the fried calamari is crispy, the squid inside was tougher to chew than other methods. And the calamari was only fried for 5 seconds.
The calamari should be reheated gently, not recooked. Any method that recooks the calamari is bound to destroy them.
Other Ways to Use Leftover Calamari
Are you tired of eating plain calamari? Here are some ideas for your leftover calamari:
- Toss the calamari in a salad
- Remove the batter of the calamari, then add them to soup or pasta.
- Chop the calamari and add them to fried rice
Adding de-battered squid to seafood pasta with prawns and clams is a wonderful idea. Although you could leave the batter on, this becomes too soggy and gives the dish an unsavory texture.
How to Store Calamari?
your refrigerator. Just place the calamari in one layer, so that it is not touching. Then, use a paper towel to separate any subsequent layers. The paper towel absorbs any excess moisture. This way, the calamari can be kept for up to 3 days.
The calamari can also be laid out on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. It is always best to keep the calamari separate and not touching. Otherwise, the batter may become too soggy.
Wait For Calamari To Cool Down
You should also wait until the calamari has cooled completely before you seal it up in the airtight container. If the calamari is still hot, condensation will form on the lid. This can drip down and make the calamari moist.
However, calamari that has been left at room temperature for more than an hour should be thrown out. At room temperature, bacteria can quickly build up in shellfish and fish. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Can You Freeze Calamari?
Start by placing the calamari in one layer on a cookie sheet, and flash-freeze them for about an hour. Then, after an hour, transfer the calamari into a heavy-duty freezer bag and take out any air. You may keep the calamari frozen for up to 3 months.
The batter’s quality, however, will begin to decline after three months.
Flash freezing the calamari makes sure that it doesn’t stick to each other when placed in the bag. This way you won’t have to use the entire bag once.
Freezer burn is the main problem when freezing calamari. You need to reduce the air contact with your calamari in order to avoid this. As such, it is recommended to use a freezer bag that has all of the air removed.
You may use a straw to get as much air out of the bag as possible. It works better than squeezing.
Although this will be even easier if there is a vacuum sealer to use. This can ensure you that your calamari is safe from freezer burn.
Remember to flash freeze the calamari before vacuum sealing them, so that the rings don’t collapse from the pressure.
Then to reheat the frozen calamari, set the oven at 400°F (200°C), and place the calamari on a wire rack or baking tray. Heat them for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to flip the calamari halfway through cooking if you are using a baking sheet.