Why Reheating Pastries In Your Toaster Oven Is A Major Mistake

Croissants in a toaster oven home appliance
Croissants in a toaster oven home appliance - FabrikaSimf/Shutterstock

At first glance, slamming a tepid pastry in the toaster oven might seem like a solid move. The feigned fresh-baked aroma fills the air, making foodies swoon with glutinous bliss. (Panera Bread actually implemented this as a business practice a few years ago, calling it "Bakery Theater," and it wasn't as awesome as it might sound. More on that here.) But to reheat pastries to their prime post-bake condition, the toaster oven is actually not the best tool for the job.

Standard, conventional ovens are equipped with a heating element at the bottom. The heat rises and fills the space. Toaster ovens, on the other hand, are more like toasters inside a box. The heat also comes from the bottom and fills the space, but the appliance is designed for toasting, not for even heat distribution. That might not be immediately noticeable when you're reheating heftier foods like chicken wings or a slice of pizza, but the unevenness will show up in your delicate, flaky puff pastries. Pastries require uniform temperature distribution to reheat successfully, and in a toaster oven, they're prone to drying out or heating unevenly, leaving a cold center or burnt outside. When you bring a pastry home to enjoy later, and by the time you get to it, it's a little "blah," turn to the oven or the stove to revive it -- not the toaster oven.

Read more: 11 Cleaning Tips For Keeping Your Oven Spotless

Turn To The Oven Or Stovetop For Better Next-Day Pastries

Homemade croissants reheating on a sheet in the oven
Homemade croissants reheating on a sheet in the oven - Alexandr Vorontsov/Getty Images

To revive your pastry in the oven, preheat it to 350 degrees, place a small dish of water on the oven floor, then wrap your pastry in a layer of aluminum foil. These two extra steps will facilitate crispness for that mouth-watering flaky crust while also preventing it from drying out. 10 to 15 minutes should do the trick. For the ultimate crispy reheat, unwrap the foil after 10 minutes, exposing the top of the pastry, then bake for another five minutes. Depending on how large it is, you might want to slice your pastry in half, doubling the exposed surface area. If your reheated pastry is looking a little dry post-heat, no need to panic. Just wrap it in a damp paper towel and microwave it for a few seconds. It'll moisten right up.

Alternatively, if you don't feel like turning on the oven, you could also reheat your pastries on the stovetop. Simply warm a pan over medium heat, add a generous pat of butter, and warm your pastry in the butter for roughly five minutes, rotating frequently until a golden brown crisp appears. The added butter imparts crispy edges and a mouth-watering richness into your pastry as it warms, which can work especially well for croissants. Just keep in mind that neither of these methods works for pastries like donuts with a frosting or glaze that can melt off in the heat.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.