How to Reheat Calamari [5 Different Ways]

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Calamari or Squid, as it is otherwise known, is always a favorite choice for seafood lovers. It’s caught in most parts of Southern Europe, mainly in the Mediterranean Sea, and this is where it is said that the best calamari comes from.

The general rule for cooking calamari should either be done quickly or very slowly; anything in-between this will result in tough and chewy calamari. Reheating calamari isn’t a tricky process, and the same cooking methodology should be applied, super-fast or slow.

Below are a few suggested ways to reheat your calamari.


How to Reheat Calamari in an Air Fryer

The air fryer is an excellent piece of household kitchen equipment to have. It’s quick, relatively safe, and doesn’t use too much power. To reheat your calamari in the air fryer, simply preset the machine to 300°F/150°C and allow it to warm up.

Once it has reached the correct temperature, place the calamari tubes on the tray making sure they are evenly spaced. Place them in the air fryer and reheat them. They shouldn’t take more than 4 minutes to be entirely done and ready to serve and eat.

This method of reheating is excellent for both grilled and fried calamari. The most prominent mistake people make when using the air fryer is reheating the calamari for too long, drying the tubes out.

Ensure you monitor them on your first attempt. Once you are happy with your timing, you will be on your way to enjoying countless reheated calamari meals.

How to Reheat Calamari on the Stove Top 

When referring to the stovetop for reheating purposes, we are referring to a frying pan to either rewarm the tubes in shallow oil or to toss them through a warmed pan if the calamari has been marinated. You don’t want to burn the herbs and spices it was cooked in.

The other method is if the calamari is in a stew of sorts, which will require you to reheat the stew slowly until all the ingredients are hot and warmed through. 

For the shallow oil method, you want the non-stick pan on medium heat. Pour in about 1/3″ of oil and allow the oil to get hot. Once hot, gently add your fried tubes to the oil, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, or else this will cool the oil down too fast, which will result in soggy, oily calamari.

Once the tubes are frying nicely, flip them over to heat the other side through, remove from the oil and drain on some kitchen towel to get rid of any excess oil.

If your calamari has been cooked and marinated, it’s important not to burn any of the marinade as this will make everything taste bitter. The best way is to gently toss the calamari in the pan as it is warming on the stovetop. Once pan and calamari are hot, you can remove and eat.

How to Reheat Calamari On the Grill

Reheating your calamari on the grill is a very quick and tasty method to use. This is provided you have a warm grill going; we wouldn’t waste time warming up your gas grill or lighting a fire just for a reheating purpose.

However, if you have a hot grill going, then toss the tubes in some olive oil and place them on the outer sides of the gride to warm.

You don’t want the calamari to burn as it will go very bitter. Once the calamari tubes have some lightly colored grill marks on them, you can flip them over to repeat on the other side. Once warmed up, remove them from the heat, give them a good squeeze of lemon and serve.

How to Reheat Calamari in a Deep Fryer

The deep fryer method would only really be used for calamari that was deep fried initially. Set your deep fryer to 300°F and allow it to warm up.

If you don’t have a home fryer, you can use a pot on the stove, but please be careful of this method as hot oil isn’t a joke! Heat the oil in the pot to 300°F; this can be measured using a thermometer. 

The following applies to both scenarios; once the oil is hot, slowly add the crumbed calamari and allow it to fry. Don’t fry the calamari for too long as the crumb will burn and not taste great at all.

Once the tubes are hot, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen towel. Enjoy with some aioli or lemon mayo while they are still hot.

How to Reheat Calamari in a Microwave

The microwave is a great quick and hassle-free way to reheat the calamari; the only thing you should watch out for is not letting the tubes dry out too much. The best way to prevent this is to cover the bowl or plate with a lid or plastic wrap. This will ensure the tubes stay tender and juicy. 

Set the microwave on a medium setting 600W and warm the calamari for 2-3 minutes. If you need to go longer, then warm for further 1-minute intervals. Once hot, plate immediately and eat.

How to Reheat Calamari in a Steamer

The steamer is a great way to reheat calamari that has been cooked and left in a tasty dressing or marinade. The steam created is gentle enough to heat the calamari thoroughly without drying it out.

The gentle steam is also great for reheating these types of calamari because the marinades or dressing won’t burn or reduce and concentrate, which generally makes for a bitter-tasting result. 

Place your steamer over a simmering pot of water and allow the steamer to build up some steam. Place the calamari onto the steamer shelves and cover.

It is advised to use one of those light steamer net covers for the base of the basket, but if you don’t have one, then greaseproof paper with a few holes cut in them is the next best thing to use.

Steam the calamari for about 5-6 minutes until it is hot all the way through. The beauty of the steamer is that you can remove it from the pot and let it stand for a while until you are ready to eat.

Tip and Tricks When Reheating Calamari

  • The general reheating rule is quickly or slowly, as in the case of a stew.
  • If the calamari is in a marinade or sauce, warm it slowly in the pan or pot to prevent burning. A steamer would also work for this type of calamari as well.
  • When reheating deep-fried calamari, it’s best to use the deep fryer or microwave method.
  • Always drain the calamari on some kitchen towel once you remove it from the oil.
  • Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan or fryer when reheating, as this will cause the tubes to soak up excessive oil.
  • Make sure the steamer has a good amount of steam before you place the calamari into it.
  • Line the steamers with a cut-out piece of greaseproof paper, or use one of those steamer nets to line the base. 

How to Store Properly

It’s important to know how to store leftover calamari once it has been cooked. The first rule is to make sure that the calamari has completely reached room temperature before you place it in the fridge or freezer.

If this is not dine, the chances of it turning bad are great. If you plan on reheating it later, place the calamari in the fridge in a suitable container with a lid covering it. You can comfortably reheat and eat it for the next two days without any issues. Apply one of the following above methods to reheat.

If you choose to freeze the calamari, lightly toss the cooked calamari in some olive oil and place the tubes in a suitable container or zip lock bag. Make sure you defrost the calamari the night before in the fridge; you can then reheat the calamari using your chosen method from the above.

To Sum Up

Calamari is delicious, and yes, it can be enjoyed a second time around if there is any left! Our preferred method to reheat calamari is to use the deep fryer for the deep-fried calamari leftovers and use the steamer for any marinated calamari. You can then use the microwave if you’re in a rush and need to eat on the run. 

There are a few main things to get right to ensure you get the tastiest reheated calamari and none of them are complicated to do. So, once you have decided on your preferred method or methods of reheating, master them, and you will have perfectly reheated calamari every single time.