As our dining guest, your health and safety is our top priority. And, when you have leftovers, we want you to enjoy them safely. Following the guidelines below will minimize risks and ensure a better experience with any leftovers you may have whether they’re from a catered event or last night’s meal. If you ever have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us here.

Safe Handling Instructions

  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of the meal (1 hour in warm weather).
  • Quickly chill leftovers in small containers allowing the temperature to reduce quicker to a safe zone.
  • Store leftovers at ≤ 40º F.
  • For hot leftovers, reheat quickly (and only once) to ≥ 165º F.
  • We recommend discarding leftovers after 3 days. However, items and your preferences may vary.

For more information, visit the USDA Leftovers and Safety website.

Reheat Instructions by item type

We generally recommend that when reheating food from Wood Ranch that you avoid using the microwave as this method has a drying effect, especially on meats. We like the oven or toaster oven as the best way to warm up food that’s left over because the reheating occurs more gently, with less moisture loss. Ideally, leave all items to be reheated as intact as possible to minimize the loss of moisture. We recommend reheating all food to an internal temperature of 165°F to optimize food safety.

Tri Tip

Tri tip is the best-selling item at Wood Ranch. When you take home tri tip as a take-out order and want to warm up the meat, it’s best to leave the meat intact. The tri tip retains more moisture if it is not sliced upon reheating. That said, sliced or unsliced, the best way to reheat the meat is to place it in two layers of aluminum foil. Before enveloping the meat in the foil, add BBQ sauce, if using it, or add a little water or beef broth. Set the oven at 225-250°F and place the enclosed foil packet on a sheet pan in the oven. If the meat is being reheated from cold, reheating will take about 30-45 minutes. If the meat was at room temperature, about 30 minutes should do it. Ideally, for optimal food safety, you’ll reheat the meat to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Steak

Assuming your steak is just out of the fridge, use a little bit of oil or butter and place the meat, unsliced, in a pan over medium heat. To warm more quickly, you can slice the steak into strips before placing in the pan. Ideally, for optimal food safety, you’ll reheat the meat to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Chicken

For chicken breast and roasted chicken, the best way to reheat the meat is to place it in two layers of aluminum foil. Before enveloping the meat in the foil, add BBQ sauce, if using it, or add a little water or chicken broth. Set the oven at 225-250°F and place the enclose foil packet on a sheet pan in the oven. If the meat is being reheated from cold, reheating will take about 30-45 minutes. If the meat was at room temperature, about 30 minutes should do it. Ideally, for optimal food safety, you’ll reheat the meat to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Ribs

The best way to reheat ribs is to place the ribs, uncut, in two layers of aluminum foil. Before enveloping the meat in the foil, add BBQ sauce, if using it, or add a little water. Set the oven at 225-°F and place the enclose foil packet on a sheet pan in the oven. If the meat is being reheated from cold, reheating will take about 30-45 minutes. If the meat was at room temperature, about 30 minutes should do it. Ideally, for optimal food safety, you’ll reheat the meat to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Ribs are the one item that can be reheated effectively in the microwave, but this tends to dry them out. If using the microwave, place the ribs on a plate safe for use in the microwave and cover with a damp paper towel. Use the microwave at half-power and start with one minute. Add time as you go until the ribs are hot. You can also add a little water to the plate which will help steam the ribs and reduce moisture loss.

Seafood

Few things are worse than overcooked seafood, so we really recommend that you avoid using the potentially overpowering microwave. Reheat fish and shellfish low-and-slow in an aluminum foil pouch in the oven or toaster oven just until heated through.

Vegetables

Although it’s more effort, vegetables are always better reheated on the stove or in the oven.
If they’re crispy roasted vegetables or French fries, return to a 350°F oven on a sheet pan just until they crisp back up. With leftover stewed vegetables or soup, a saucepan on the stove, with no oil, at a medium-low temperature will do the trick. For steamed veggies, return to the steamer briefly so they heat through, but don’t overcook.

Mashed Potatoes: Ideally, you’ll reheat potatoes either in the oven or on the stovetop. Our preferred method is to use a small pot and add a little milk and/or butter over medium heat until hot. Then add the mashed potatoes and stir to incorporate the liquid. Keep stirring until the potatoes warm up. You can also add a little olive oil at the end to loosen up the potatoes.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes: These can be reheated in the same fashion as the mashed potatoes, but if you don’t want to add liquid or fat, the oven is the best method. Set the oven temperature to 350°F. Use an oven-safe dish and put the potatoes in the dish and cover with foil. Place the dish in the oven until the potatoes get warm.