One of the many great things my mother always taught me was batch cooking and freezing food. It’s only now that I’m fully able to understand the wisdom behind it because there’s nothing better during a busy weekday than opening your freezer and finding out all tonight’s dinner needs is a quick spin in the microwave and you are good to go.
Especially for frozen food like burritos. I mean what’s not to like about burritos? They are a healthy option filled with protein, veggies, and cheese. Not to mention the unlimited flavor combos you can make.
But whether you prefer batch cooking and freezing like me, or the convenience of buying ready-to-eat frozen meals, knowing how to properly microwave them can make a world of a difference to their taste, texture, and presentation, from bleh to yummy.
So if you are a newbie to microwaving frozen foods, especially burritos, or have even given it a try with not-so-mouth-watering results, then you’ve come to the right place.
Read on ahead as I spill the secrets on how to get a perfect microwaved burrito every time.
How to microwave a frozen burrito?
Microwaving frozen burritos is no rocket science. All you need to get a frozen burrito ready to eat is:
- Turn on your microwave
- Unwrap the burrito’s foil packaging
- Place the frozen burrito on a microwave-safe plate
- Cove with a damp paper towel to retain moisture and prevent the burrito from drying out.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute, then flip over and microwave again.
- Let it rest for a few minutes to allow it to come to room temperature and let the heat disperse inside the burrito equally.
- Take a bite and enjoy.
How to microwave a frozen burrito better?
The secret tip that I would give anyone who wants to know how to make sure that their burritos get soft (and not soggy or dry) on the outside and well heated from the inside is to make sure to incorporate MOISTURE.
There are several ways you can add moisture to your frozen burrito, all of which have been tested out by yours truly.
You can either use :
- A microwave steamer
- A damp paper towel
- In a pinch even giving the burrito a quick rinse under water will work
I personally prefer using a microwave steamer because the steam can easily penetrate inside the tortilla and heat the fillings and it doesn’t dry out the tortilla on the outside either. A win-win situation.
Even if you use a microwave steamer, remember to wrap the tortilla in a paper towel though.
How long do you microwave frozen burritos?
It takes approximately 2-3 minutes in total to microwave a frozen burrito.
However, this time can vary with the microwave wattage, size and number of the burritos, and whether the burrito was thawed out beforehand or not.
Generally, when reheating burritos, follow these guidelines:
- Set the microwave to the reheat setting.
- Place the frozen/defrosted burritos in the microwave, on a microwave-safe plate.
- Set the time for around 1 minute. After the time is up flip the burrito over and proceed to reheat for one further minute.
Bear in mind that these steps work for when you have one burrito to heat. For any additional number of burritos, you might have to add more time accordingly.
Are frozen burritos precooked?
Yes, frozen burritos are precooked.
That’s what makes them such great convenience foods. They are healthy and ready to eat. A quick spin in the microwave to heat them and they are done.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that you get your burrito to an internal temperature of 74℃ or 165℉ to be considered safe to eat.
Can I thaw a frozen burrito in the microwave?
Ideally, you should keep your frozen burritos in the refrigerator a night before you plan to eat them so they are allowed to defrost naturally.
However, if a sudden burrito craving does strike you, you can still use your microwave on the thaw setting first to defrost it and then again to reheat it.
Thawing your burrito is in fact preferable because it can prevent your burrito from getting soggy compared to when you heat it directly from the freezer to the microwave.
How to thaw frozen burritos in the microwave?
Here’s how you should thaw your frozen burritos in the microwave:
- Unwrap the burrito from the foil packaging.
- Wrap it in a paper towel.
- Microwave it on defrost for seven minutes per side. This will thaw and slightly warm the fillings.
- And you are done, now you can get ready to reheat it
Troubleshooting microwaving burritos:
Have you hit a roadblock trying to defrost your burritos to perfection?
Despite following all the above steps to a tee?
Don’t worry, it happens sometimes. That’s why I’m listing down some common problems (and their solutions) you may encounter while trying to microwave burritos.
- My burrito filling is still frozen but the outside is defrosted.
This happened to me the very first time I tried frozen burritos. My first reaction was “Maybe I didn’t heat it at a high enough temperature” Big mistake.
The burrito exploded when I heated it to a hotter temperature and I got sauce all over my microwave.
After some research, trial, and error, I found that:
- Thawing before cooking helps prevent this situation
- Or cooking them at a lower power setting for longer will work just as well. For example, instead of 3 minutes on high, try 4 minutes on medium.
- Alternatively, place a glass of water inside the microwave along the burrito to create steam and heat it thoroughly from inside.
- My burrito got soggy while microwaving.
Sometimes, when using homemade frozen burritos, we put in ingredients like salsa and sauces or veggies, that release a lot of water when defrosted. This is what makes the tortillas wet and in turn your burritos soggy.
To prevent this from happening here are a few simple steps to follow:
- Avoid saucy ingredients like sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, and raw tomatoes. They are the culprits responsible for releasing water when thawed and can make your burrito soggy. You can serve them on the side when you are done with the reheating.
- Always stir fry your veggies, at high heat for a couple of minutes, so that their water content dries out and allow them to cool and come to room temperature before you fill your burritos.
- Wrap them in plastic wrap tightly, to prevent any frost from forming on the tortilla then cover in aluminum foil before freezing.
- My burrito doesn’t get crisp in the microwave.
If you prefer to eat your burritos with a crunchy shell, then a microwave can’t do that for you.
Microwaves work by agitating the water molecules in the food to create steam, which softens the tortilla in a burrito.
However, you can still get a crunchy exterior if you defrost your burrito in the microwave till the fillings are all nice and soft then use a toaster oven to get that crunchiness.
Or heat a skillet on a stovetop, add a tiny bit of oil and your defrosted burrito and cook it till it turns crunchy on all sides.
Alternative ways to reheat frozen burritos
- Using a toaster oven: Unwrap the burrito from the foil packaging and place the burritos in your toaster oven (a regular oven will work just as well). Bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes or until heated all the way through. Let cool slightly before digging in.
- Using an air fryer: Preheat your Air Fryer to 375°F. Unwrap and place frozen burritos into the air fryer for 20minutes, flipping every 5 minutes. Remove from the air fryer, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
While there are several ways to reheat and enjoy your favorite frozen burritos, using the microwave remains the easiest and the quickest, giving you an instant ready-to-eat solution for your hunger cravings.
But failure to follow the proper reheating methods may leave your burrito with a hard and dried-out tortilla or even with a cold center filling.
Before starting to microwave a burrito, always remember to defrost, moisten and then microwave to get the best possible outcome.