Suppose you are wondering how to reheat a Big Mac. Read on if you want to learn the suggested methods for reheating this all-time favorite hamburger. Choose the best way to keep your burger tasting fresh, from the microwave to the air fryer!
Burgers are a certified institution in the fast-food industry and have been a favorite snack for elders and younglings.
Yet, unlike other popular fast food items, burgers are jam-packed with lots of ingredients, from the juicy patties to fresh vegetables and tasty dressings, to the equally delicious bread base and top that hold the ingredients together.
The Big Mac is at the forefront of these burgers, one of McDonald’s flagship and most sold food items by the famed fast-food chain.
What makes the Big Mac stand out from all other burger products is its much taller appearance than its competitors.
It’s layer upon layer of buns, patties, shredded lettuce, cheese slices, onions, pickles, and burger dressing (called the “Big Mac Sauce”).
Because of its height, the Big Mac could be consumed by tightly holding the whole sandwich before taking a big bite.
Given the appearance and flavors of the Big Mac, it is no wonder that around 2.36 billion of these burgers are sold annually.
Yet, the downside of this is that we also tend to buy more than one of these once in a while, without thinking whether we could even finish all of the Big Macs we purchased.
Sadly, some of us decide on consuming old Big Macs anyway, but could this compromise our safety?
Are Big Macs even perishable, and could we still consume a leftover one?
Could we even reheat a Big Mac and expect it to retain, if not regain, some of its freshness?
McDonald’s even released a statement in 2020 affirming this in response to the long-standing rumors that their burgers do not decompose due to a wide range of unconfirmed factors.
However, as McDonald’s explained, food can rot through exposure to moisture that could lead to a build-up of bacteria and molds, and that food that has been prepared dry will lessen its chance of having molds.
If you’re not convinced by their statement, you may want to look into this experiment by J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats four years ago.
Lopez-Alt compared the qualities of regular and larger-sized McDonald’s burgers and homemade burgers in various circumstances over time.
Interestingly, the quality of regular-sized fast foods and homemade burgers remains over three weeks.
However, this is not the case for burgers that have been stored in a ziplock bag or for big quarter pounders that both gained molds over time.
Still, these cases could be prevented through these quick rundowns of reheating procedures for your old Big Mac:
- In the frying pan: Heat up the pan. Place the patties and buns into the hot surface of the pan. Drizzle it with water.
- In the microwave: Reheat the buns and patties on low power before serving.
- In the oven: Heat up the buns and patties inside the oven for 8-10 minutes before serving.
- In the air fryer: Using hot air, reheat your Big Mac at 350°F.
Can you reheat a Big Mac?
The short answer is YES; you can reheat a leftover Big Mac.
Reheating certain food items is recommended rather than consuming old meals at room temperature to kill off any contamination of bacteria.
Yet, when should we reheat our Big Macs?
Ideally, Big Macs are best consumed for two hours after preparation inside the kitchen.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has also pointed out that food items that have been removed from cooking or cold storage should be consumed or properly stored inside the fridge within two hours to avoid bacteria contamination.
It is important to note that when we talk about Big Macs, it’s not just about the bun and the patty but also the vegetables.
This is why it is also essential to check the quality of the pickles, sliced cabbage, and onions before reheating the Big Mac to avoid complications from bad food.
How to reheat a Big Mac
Reheating a big mac is simple and can be done by using either a stove, microwave, oven, or air fryer.
Before you reheat your Big Mac, you should first disassemble the layered ingredients of the burger and put all the ingredients on a small plate.
Another thing worth mentioning is that these methods may or may not bring back the original quality of the burger but can affect the quality of some of its ingredients if not done correctly.
A step-by-step guide to reheating Big Mac
Listed below are some ways to reheat a Big Mac, as well as step-by-step procedures on how should these work:
How to reheat a Big Mac on a stove
Estimated time required: 3 minutes
For those who have access to a gas stove or similar equipment, you can make use of it to reheat your Big Mac on a frying pan.
- Frying pan
- Tongs or spatula
- Two tablespoons of water
Here’s how you could reheat your meal using this method:
- After separating the burger ingredients, put the patties and the bun base on a frying pan that has been heated on medium heat;
- Pour two tablespoons of water into the pan before covering it with its lid. Let the ingredients heat up on the pan for about two minutes;
- Add the other burger buns to the pan and wait 30 seconds until it becomes fried and crunchy.
- Sprinkle the fried ingredients with oil before removing them from the pan and arranging the ingredients back.
How to reheat a Big Mac in a microwave
Estimated time required: 5 minutes
Unlike the last one, this method is more straightforward since you need to wait for the timer to stop, ensuring that the ingredients will not be overcooked.
However, there should be careful preparation when doing this method, as the bun can deform after being heated in a microwave.
- Microwave-safe foil or paper towel
Here’s how to reheat a Big Mac using a microwave:
- Separate the ingredients and place the patties on a microwave-safe plate;
- Put the patties inside the microwave and let them be heated in low power mode for two minutes. You can also extend the reheating for up to 30 seconds to ensure that even the inside of the patties have been heated;
- After removing the patties, wrap the buns in a paper towel or microwave-safe foil and heat it for a minute on low or medium power;
- After heating both buns and patties, rearrange the burger layers.
How to reheat a Big Mac in an oven
Estimated time required: 12 minutes
Reheating a Big Mac through an oven is similar to reheating using a microwave.
However, this may require a much more extended period of time.
Listed below is the procedure for using the oven for your Big Mac:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F as you remove the bread top and lower base, vegetables, and dressing to your leftover Big Mac;
- Wrap the patties and bread bun in foil before reheating it for about 8 to 10 minutes. You could flip the foiled ingredients during the 4-minute mark to ensure that both sides will be heated;
- After removing the foiled patties and bread bun from the oven, reheat the top and bottom bread layers for 30 seconds.
- Rearrange the burger layers after heating the necessary ingredients (sans vegetables).
How to reheat a Big Mac in an air fryer
Estimated time required: 4-5 minutes
The easiest method on this list requires the use of an air fryer that cooks food through hot air.
Please note that you should not preheat your air fryer before reheating as it could get overcooked.
- Air fryer
In this case, here’s how to use the air fryer in reheating your Big Mac:
- After removing the burger from its packaging or cover, you could either separate the top bun from the rest of the burger or retain it from the sandwich;
- Place the burgers on the air fryer basket before reheating at 350°F for four minutes;
- Serve the burger after removing it from the air fryer.
How to store a leftover Big Mac
You may have read some stories on social media or have listened to rumors picked up by the media about certain burgers that have lasted for a very lengthy period.
These stories have sparked rumors, or even conspiracy theories, about why burgers from McDonald’s or other fast-food chains do not rot.
Yet, as we have already discussed, burgers can have an enduring quality for quite some time, depending on their moisture content and how well they are stored.
You could store your Big Mac at room temperature but only for up to two hours.
After that, your food could become unsafe for consumption as bacteria and molds could start growing.
However, this would also depend on the storage conditions of your Big Mac, as these food items do not quickly perish.
Still, the best way to store a leftover Big Mac is by refrigerating it, but you should still consume it immediately to experience the best quality that this food could offer!\
How long will a Big Mac last?
The FSIS recommends that all food items be consumed or stored properly within two hours after purchase before potential bacterial contamination.
This rule can be applied to your Big Mac sitting on your table or cupboard at average room temperatures.
Refrigerating the Big Mac could also aid in the preservation of the snack for up to three days.
Lastly, Big Macs that have been put inside a freezer should be consumable for up to two months.
The bottom line
Despite the growing indifference towards fast food, Big Macs are still a guilty pleasure.
Who doesn’t want the towering goodness brought by its juicy patties, alongside fresh and crunchy vegetables, tasty burger dressing, and tender buns?
However, we could only consume so much of these Big Macs that leftovers could either be unsafe or degrade their quality over time.
Knowing the proper storage and reheating techniques for the Big Mac ensures that food will not be thrown away easily.
However, if you’re still unsure of the condition of your beloved burger, you could discard it and buy another one if you wish!
You might like to learn how to reheat your hamburger or how to toast hamburger buns like a boss!
- Big Mac
- Air fryer
- Separate the top bun from the rest of the burger or retain it from the sandwich.
- Place the burgers on the air fryer basket before reheating at 350°F for four minutes.
- Once done, assemble again and serve the sandwich immediately.