Mussels are a seafood item that can be eaten raw or cooked. They live in saltwater and have various varieties. If you are a big mussels fan, you would know that there’s nothing better than soft, salty mussels.
However, it’s really difficult to eat them once dried as they become rubbery and tough. One way to make mussels soft again is to reheat them, but can you reheat mussels? Is it safe?
Can you reheat mussels?
Yes, you can reheat mussels. Reheating cooked mussels in a microwave will make them prone to becoming chewy and rubbery. Therefore, we recommend heating leftover mussels on a stovetop. Reheating mussels in a microwave can remove their moisture and delicious taste, making them inedible.
It usually takes around 10-15 minutes for mussels to be cooked. People tend to throw out leftover mussels because of how tough they become once they are dried out. One way to eat leftover mussels is to reheat them the correct way.
How to reheat mussels?
The following ways describe how you can reheat mussels;
Reheating mussels on the stovetop
Before reheating, mussels make sure to remove their flesh out and throw any unopen mussels away. To ensure that the taste remains intact upon rewarming, remove the mussels’ shells as well.
To reheat on the stove;
- Warm the pan on medium-high heat and add cooking oil to it.
- Add mussels to the pan and cook them for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Make sure that you are not overcooking the mussels, as it will make them tough.
You can tell if they are overcooked by checking their flesh. If it has become tough, it means the mussels are overcooked. So, remove them immediately from the pan if you see their flesh becoming tough.
Reheating mussels in a microwave
Reheating mussels in a microwave is a bit detailed because doing it wrong can make the mussels dry, chewy, and rubbery and can remove their taste. However, with a little effort, it is possible;
- Remove the mussel shell as reheating the shell can make the mussel meat dry and rubbery.
- Spread the mussels out on a microwave-safe plate.
- Sprinkle a little water over the mussels.
- Take a slightly wet paper towel and cover the bowl with it.
- Since mussels are very tender, keep the microwave temperature really low while reheating them. Keep checking them after every 10 seconds to avoid overheating them.
- Once reheated, serve them and enjoy!
Reheating mussels by steaming
Follow the instructions given below to reheat mussels via steaming;
- Start your steamer and boil some water.
- It’s better to deshell the mussels so that they heat up properly.
- Lay the mussels out on the basket and steam them for about 1 minute.
- Serve them up!
Reheating mussels with broth on the stove
Reheating mussels with other components of your dish like soup and broth might be the best way to reheat them, as it will ensure that you don’t accidentally recook the mussels. Of all the techniques, this one might just give you the softest, juiciest, and most delicious mussels you are looking for.
To reheat mussels with broth;
- Rewarm the broth first. Bring it to boil over the stove.
- Once the broth is hot, take it out of the heat.
- Remove the flesh of mussels from the shells and add them to the hot broth.
- Stir well and let the heat from the broth reheat the mussels.
Few things to remember while reheating mussels with broth;
- Make sure that the broth in which you are adding the mussel is sufficiently warmed to reheat the mussels.
- Do not add the mussel right away into the boiling hot broth; wait for a minute or two for the boiling to subside. Pouring the mussels right away into the warm broth will lead to moisture overload, making the mussel gooey.
- Once the mussels are added to the broth, do not heat them again. This can cook the mussel and make it tough and rubbery.
- Deshell the mussel before adding it into the broth because the shell can prevent heat transfer making this method inefficient.
Reheating mussels with broth in the microwave
- Add broth along with mussels in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic coat and punch small holes in the plastic wrap.
- Put the bowl in the microwave and heat it on a high setting with 10 seconds increments.
- Serve immediately
Reheating frozen cooked mussels
Reheating frozen cooked mussels is fairly simple if they’re right up your alley! If your mussels haven’t been shucked, then cook them by steaming them for 5-7 minutes in 1 inch of water or sauté them in a pan with oil and butter over high heat. Also, remember to discard unopened shells and remove the beard.
- Place the frozen cooked mussels in a bowl and pour enough hot water in to submerge them.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and microwave for half to a full minute on high power.
- And you’re done!
How long do mussels last?
Mussels stored at room temperature can last for no more than 2 hours. If refrigerated in an airtight container, they can last for a good 2-3 days, whereas frozen mussels are good to use within 3 months.
How to store mussels?
- Take the mussels out from the bag and transfer them into a loose bag or a big one.
- Put a slightly wet towel or cloth over them.
- Put them in the freezer between temperature ranges of 34-40°F.
- Avoid storing the mussels in an airtight container or water, as this will kill the mussels.
Note: Discard any foul-smelling mussels. Also, throw away any mussel whose shell is open.
Can mussels be frozen?
Yes, both fresh and cooked mussels can be frozen. Just like fresh mussels must be cooked immediately after buying them, you should freeze mussels the same day you bought them. Please be sure that the shells of the mussels you bought are completely sealed. Discard mussels with open shells because they can damage the entire pack later.
How to freeze mussels?
Take a big or couple of small freezer bags and place the mussels in them. Squeeze out all the air from the bag. For extra protection, place the freezer bag in another bag if necessary. Keep the bag far from the freezer door to avoid temperature fluctuations.
The frozen mussels can be consumed within 3-4 months. If you are not too focused on the quality, you can use them for a much longer period as well.
Related FAQs on reheating and mussels!
Can you eat mussels the next day after cooking?
Yes, you can. To maximize the life of a mussel, refrigerate them in an airtight container, and they are good to go for 2-3 days.
Can you have leftover mussels?
Yes, it’s safe to reheat leftover mussels and eat them. Just make sure to throw out any open or really old mussel while reheating them.
How to tell if mussels are bad or dead?
If you smell a strange odor coming from the mussels, it means that they are rotting, i.e., they’re already dead.
You should look for the following signs to determine if mussels are bad;
- Mussels whose shells do not close before cooking are usually dead.
- Fresh mussels have no smell, so if a mussel has some strange odor, then it’s bad and shouldn’t be bought.
- Mussels usually open their shells after they are cooked. Hence, mussels that do not open shells after cooking are not fit for consumption.
Which months are suitable for eating mussels?
As a rule of thumb, it’s safe to eat mussels from September through April. You should stop eating them after May, i.e., in the summers.
Can I eat cold mussels?
Eating cold mussels is uncommon; however, you can eat them cold too. Just cook them, let them cool and top them off with your favorite dressing.
Final thoughts on reheating mussels!
Yes, you can reheat mussels. However, a few things must be kept in mind while reheating them. Firstly, make sure to remove their shells.Secondly, try to reheat mussels on a stove or incorporate a complementing dish, like broth. Reheating them in a microwave is difficult and might make them dry and tough.
Keep these points in mind, and reheat your mussels to perfection!