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The Best Way To Reheat Arancini [I Test 5 Methods]

Arancini are so delicious straight out of the fryer (or oven, but I do enjoy a treat!).

But once they’ve cooled, it’s a different story.

Arancini can be a little tricky to reheat. That’s why I decided to conduct an experiment to find out what reheating method:

  • Delivers the crispiest arancini coating (no sogginess in sight)
  • Gets the arancini ball hot all the way through (no cold blob in the middle)

In this article, I explain how to reheat your arancini to get them as close to freshly cooked as possible.

I also cover some best practices for storing, freezing, and defrosting arancini.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

What’s the best way to reheat arancini? The best way to reheat arancini is using a combination of the oven and microwave. First, microwave the arancini for 10-20 seconds. Next, reheat the arancini in a preheated oven (350°F/180°C) for 5-10 minutes or piping hot. Avoid using a baking tray in the oven and opt for a wire rack instead.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

A note on my experiment

I got several portions of arancini from my local Italian (scoffed a few) then left them in the fridge overnight. The next day I tested five different ways of reheating them.

I tested:

  • The oven
  • The air fryer
  • The microwave
  • Deep frying
  • A combination of the microwave and the oven

What was best?

Deep frying worked well but was the most effort.

The air fryer and the oven were the next best options but took the longest (to speed the process up, I suggest putting the arancini in the microwave for 10-20 seconds before).

I wouldn’t recommend the microwave as a solo method. It produced soggy, lifeless arancini. 

Reheating arancini in the oven

To reheat arancini in the oven, preheat it to 350°F (180°C) while you microwave the arancini for 10-20 seconds. Put the microwaved arancini on a wire rack in the oven and heat them for 5-10 minutes until they’re hot all the way through. If you skip the microwave step, the arancini will need slightly longer. 

The oven is the best way to reheat arancini because it’s not too drying, and you get a crispy outside. It’s also great for reheating big batches or arancini in one go.

How to reheat arancini in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Microwave the arancini for 10-20 seconds (optional but recommended for larger arancini).
  3. Place the arancini straight on a rack in the oven (don’t use a baking tray).
  4. Heat the arancini for 5-10 minutes until the whole ball is heated through. Larger arancini will need longer than small ones. If you skip the microwave step, you’ll need to add a few minutes to reheating time. Frozen arancini will need 15-20 mins. 

You can test the temperature of the arancini with a meat thermometer, or you can stick a knife into the center and feel how hot it is when it comes out.

If the knife is hot to the touch, then the arancini are ready.

The microwave trick helps speed up the reheating process. 

The bigger the arancini, the longer the oven will take, and the outside might start to burn or dry out before the middle is fully heated.

The microwave will warm the middle, so gives it a head start and prevents any problems. 

My arancini (which were pretty big) took 15 minutes to reheat without the microwave, but only 8 minutes after 10 seconds in the microwave. 

If you have bite-sized arancini, then the microwave won’t be as helpful.

Using an oven rack rather than a baking tray is preferable because it means the bottom of the arancini won’t go soggy.

If you do use a baking tray, line it with parchment paper to prevent any sticking.

My verdict

The oven gave a crispy outside and a melt-in-your-mouth inside reminiscent of yesterday’s fresh arancini. I would recommend it as a method, and a big plus is that there’s no limit on how many arancini you can reheat at one time.

My only complaint was that it took too long, but the microwave trick helped that.

Reheating arancini in the air fryer

To reheat arancini in the air fryer, preheat it to 350°F (180°C) while microwaving the arancini for 10-20 seconds. Arrange the microwaved arancini in the air fryer basket and spritz them with some oil. Heat the arancini for 4-8 minutes. If you skip the microwaving, they’ll need a bit longer.

The air fryer is quicker than the oven because the heat is super-charged.

This is great for convenience but does mean you need to be careful not to overcook the arancini and dry them out.

How to reheat arancini in the air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Microwave the arancini for 10-20 seconds (optional, recommended for large arancini).
  3. Arrange the arancini in the air fryer basket so they’re not touching.
  4. Lightly spritz the arancini with oil (optional).
  5. Heat the arancini for 4-8 minutes, depending on size. Frozen arancini will need 12-15 minutes.

The outside of the arancini will heat up a lot faster than the inside. Don’t be fooled by a boiling hot crust. 

Always check the temperature of the middle of the rice ball. You can use a food thermometer, or you can stick a knife into the arancini. If it comes out hot to the touch, the arancini are ready.

The microwave step is to speed up the reheating process. Large arancini can take a long time to heat up in the middle.

By microwaving them first, you give them a head start and can reduce your heating times. 

It’s most useful for bigger arancini. Bite-sized arancini won’t benefit as much.

The oil spritz is also optional but can really help to get the crunch back into your arancini balls.

If you baked them, there won’t be any oil in the coating, so I recommend adding some.

If you fried the balls originally, you can skip the oil because there should be enough residual oil already in the coating.

You don’t want the arancini to be too crowded in the air fryer basket, or the crumbed outside won’t crisp up properly.

If you have a large number of arancini to reheat, you’ll need to do them in batches. 

My verdict

The air fryer crisped the outside of the arancini up brilliantly, better than in the oven! Sometimes the air fryer can be too drying, but since the inside of the arancini is well protected, this wasn’t a problem.

If you have an air fryer, this is a perfect use case.

Reheating arancini in the microwave

To reheat arancini in the microwave, place the arancini on a microwave-safe plate, making sure they’re not touching. Then, microwave them on high in 20-second intervals until they’re heated through.

I don’t recommend using only the microwave to reheat arancini for two reasons:

  • The coating won’t crisp up.
  • The arancini might explode and create a mess in your microwave.

However, I understand that sometimes it’s your only option. 

How to reheat arancini in the microwave:

  1. Place the arancini on a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Reheat the arancini balls in 20-second intervals until they’re hot all the way through.
  3. Let the arancini rest for 60 seconds before serving immediately.

20 second intervals are short enough to minimize the risk of any explosions because you’ll be able to feel when the arancini are getting too hot. 

30-40 seconds will be enough for small individual arancini, while a bigger one or multiple smaller ones might need 60 seconds.

Another downside of the microwave is that the arancini will lose its shape. The cheese melts very quickly, and the outside softens, which leads to a slight collapse. 

My verdict

Acceptable if you’re the only one eating the arancini and it’s your only choice, but I don’t recommend the microwave in any other circumstances.

The outside of the arancini was soggy. There was zero crisp, which ruined the whole essence of the rice balls.

What about using the microwave in conjunction with the oven?

The only time I recommend using the microwave is if you plan to crisp the arancini up in the oven or the air fryer afterwards.

In this case, heating the arancini in the microwave for 10-20 seconds first will give the middle section a head start and reduce the overall heating time.

You won’t see any adverse effects after only 10 seconds.

Reheating arancini by deep-frying

To deep fry your arancini, heat some oil in a deep pan until it reaches 350°F (180°C). Then carefully drop the arancini into the oil and heat it for 1-2 minutes, depending on the size. Once it’s done, leave the arancini to cool on a wire rack for a further minute before serving.

Deep frying gives you the best crunch, but it’s a lot of effort and the most unhealthy method.

How to reheat arancini in a deep fryer:

  1. Heat a few inches of frying oil in a deep pan (enough to completely cover your arancini).
  2. Monitor the temperature of the oil.
  3. When the temperature reaches 350°F (180°C) you can add the arancini.
  4. Heat the arancini for 1-2 minutes, depending on size.
  5. Take the arancini out of the oil and leave it to rest on a wire rack for 1 minute before serving.

The best oils for deep-frying have a neutral flavor profile and a high smoke point.

Vegetable oil, peanut oil, and canola oil are all great for deep frying.

The best way to measure the temperature of the oil is to use a meat thermometer, but if you don’t have one, there are a few tricks you can use.

My favorite one is to throw some bread into the oil. How long it takes to brown correlates to how hot the oil is.

If the bread browns in 15 seconds, the oil is roughly 350°F (180°C).

You can also use a wooden spoon. Put the spoon into the oil. If bubbles start to gather around it, the oil is hot enough.

My verdict

The deep-fried arancini had the crispiest coating, but it wasn’t worth all the extra effort of heating up the oil and the subsequent clean-up.

The oven and the air fryer produced similarly crispy results with much less work.

How to store arancini 

To store leftover arancini, wait for them to cool to room temperature before arranging them in an airtight container so they’re not touching. You can keep the container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To keep the coating as crispy as possible, line the container with a paper towel. 

The paper towel will absorb any excess moisture. You could also line the container with uncooked rice. Rice readily absorbs moisture from the air, so will stop the breadcrumbs from getting too soggy.

You want to avoid any of the arancini touching because this will encourage sogginess.

You can separate the layers with a paper towel or parchment paper if you need to layer the arancini up.

Can you freeze arancini? 

Leftover arancini freeze well. Lay room temperature arancini out on a baking tray so they’re not touching, and put the tray in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Once the arancini are hard to the touch, transfer them to a heavy-duty freezer bag. They’ll last for 1-2 months in the freezer. 

The flash freezing step ensures the arancini won’t stick together in the freezer bag, so you can take out the exact amount you want instead of defrosting them all. 

Before you put the freezer bag in the freezer, squeeze as much air out of it as you can.

This will protect the arancini against freezer burn. I use a straw to suck all the air out, works a treat!

To provide even more protection, you can individually wrap the balls in plastic wrap.

Can I reheat arancini from frozen?

You can reheat the arancini straight from frozen in the oven or the air fryer. Preheat the oven or air fryer to 350°F (180°C) and heat the rice balls for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the arancini.

If you want to thaw the arancini before heating them, you can put them in the fridge overnight or submerge the freezer bag in a bowl of cold water for half an hour. 

You can also use the microwave, but I recommend only partially defrosting them in the microwave then crisping the arancini up in the oven afterward.

How to make arancini in advance

Aranci are the perfect party food. They’re small, delicious and you can make them in advance!

The best way to make arancini in advance is to prep them up until the point of cooking and then freeze them.

Flash freeze the arancini balls on a baking tray before transferring them to a bigger container.

On the day you want to cook them, defrost the arancini in the fridge and cook them according to your recipe.

You can also cook the arancini and then leave them in the fridge for a few days before reheating them in the oven.

Or you can freeze the arancini cooked, but you won’t get that just-cooked crunch upon reheating.

The BEST Way To Reheat Arancini

Arancini are so delicious straight out of the fryer (or oven, but I do enjoy a treat!).
But once they’ve cooled, it’s a different story.
Arancini can be a little tricky to reheat. That’s why I decided to conduct an experiment to find out what reheating method:
– Delivers the crispiest arancini coating (no sogginess in sight)
– Gets the arancini ball hot all the way through (no cold blob in the middle)
In this recipe, I explain how to reheat your arancini to get them as close to freshly cooked as possible.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person
Calories 210 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion arancini
  • 1 spritz oil optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Microwave the arancini on full power for 10-20 seconds (optional but recommended for larger arancini).
  • Place the arancini straight on a rack in the oven (don’t use a baking tray).
  • Heat the arancini for 5-10 minutes until the whole ball is heated through. Larger arancini will need longer than small ones.
    If you skip the microwave step, you’ll need to add a few minutes to reheating time.
    Frozen arancini will need 15-20 mins.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 210kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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