I don’t know about you, but whenever I order a Bloomin’ Onion as an appetizer at a restaurant like Outback Steakhouse, there’s no way I can finish the whole thing. These enormous deep-fried onion blossoms are meant to be shared by a table of hungry diners. More often than not, I end up taking my leftover Bloomin’ Onion home.
But reheating this crispy fried appetizer can be tricky. You want to revive the crunch and make it taste as close to fresh as possible. The last thing you want is a soggy mess of limp fried onion petals. Here I’ll share the best ways I’ve found to reheat a Bloomin’ Onion based on my trial-and-error efforts over the years.
The Appeal of the Bloomin’ Onion
Let’s start with why Bloomin’ Onions are so crave-worthy in the first place. These crowd-pleasing apps feature a whole large onion that’s been cut to resemble a flower, with each onion slice acting as a “petal.” The onion is dipped in a light tempura-style batter, then deep-fried until it achieves a perfect golden-brown crispiness. The contrast of the crispy exterior against the tender, moist onion layers inside is what makes it so addictive!
When freshly fried and served alongside a creamy dipping sauce, the crunchy onion petals are irresistible. You get that satisfying crunch with each bite. But once a Bloomin’ Onion sits around and starts to lose its crispiness, it just isn’t the same. The key is finding the best reheating method to bring back that just-fried texture and taste.
Importance of Reheating Bloomin’ Onions
You want to eat your leftover Bloomin’ Onion within 3-4 days for food safety reasons. But beyond that, the sooner you reheat it, the better it will taste. As the onion petals sit, they start to lose their crunch and absorb moisture. Reheating is important to:
- Restore the crisp, fried exterior
- Reduce any sogginess that developed during storage
- Bring back the fresh onion flavor that fades over time
- Kill off any bacteria that multiplied during fridge storage
While a freshly cooked Bloomin’ Onion is hard to beat, you can get pretty darn close with the right reheating techniques. Now let’s explore the best ways to revive your leftover fried onion to its original glory!
How to Reheat a Bloomin’ Onion
From the microwave to the oven to the deep fryer, you have options when reheating a Bloomin’ Onion. Here are the methods I’ve found to work best based on preserving that signature crunch and flavor.
Reheating in the Microwave
The microwave can actually do a decent job reheating your Bloomin’ Onion if you use a few tricks:
- Use cardboard for better results. Fold a piece of cardboard accordion-style so it fits under the onion. Use a knife to cut tiny slits so it’s easier to fold evenly. This will allow air circulation underneath.
- Place onion in a microwave-safe dish on top of the cardboard.
- Microwave on medium to low heat, checking every minute until the petals are crispy and browned.
The microwave’s low, even heat helps crisp up the exterior of the onion petals without overcooking the interior. The accordion cardboard lifts the onion away from moisture, preventing it from getting soggy. Just keep an eye on it and stop heating as soon as it looks browned and sizzling.
Reheating in the Oven
The oven also does a great job of evenly crisping up the entire Bloomin’ Onion all over. Here’s how to use the oven:
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Place a wire rack on top of a baking dish to allow airflow and drain grease.
- Put Bloomin’ Onion on rack and bake for 10 minutes.
- Switch to broil for 1-2 minutes watch closely until sizzling and crisp.
The initial oven heating crisps up the petals, then a quick broil gives it that nice browned crunch. Just keep an eye on it while broiling to avoid burning. The elevated rack allows the onion to reheat evenly all over.
Reheating in a Frying Pan
For a more hands-on approach, a frying pan on the stovetop also does a great job reheating a Bloomin’ Onion. Here’s my process:
- Detach the individual onion petals from the whole onion head.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches, add petals in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until hot and sizzling.
Pan-frying lets you closely monitor each batch of onion petals, turning them frequently for even browning. The direct stovetop heat gives them a satisfying crunch. Just don’t overfill the pan or they’ll steam instead of fry. Work in small batches for the best texture.
Reheating in an Air Fryer
An air fryer is a great option for reheating Bloomin’ Onions to crispy perfection. Here’s how to use one:
- Brush onion petals with a little oil to prevent drying out.
- Set air fryer to 375-400°F.
- Check periodically, and cook until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes.
The hot circulating air evenly reheats and crisps up the exterior while keeping the onion tender inside. The air fryer gives great results in a short time without needing to preheat like a conventional oven.
Reheating in a Deep Fryer
For the absolute closest results to a freshly fried Bloomin’ Onion, you can’t beat reheating it in a deep fryer. Here’s how to deep fry reheating right:
- Preheat oil in deep fryer to 350°F.
- Carefully lower Bloomin’ Onion into hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes until hot and crispy.
- Drain excess oil by placing in a colander lined with paper towels.
The hot oil will instantly crisp up the exterior breading and onion layers for that signature crunch. Just fry it briefly to heat through without overcooking the interior or making the coating greasy. Draining afterward prevents excess oil absorption.
Tips for Reheating Bloomin’ Onions
Aside from choosing the right reheating method, you can ensure the best results by storing and handling your leftover Bloomin’ Onion properly.
After getting your leftovers home from the restaurant, store the onion properly to maintain quality:
- Place in a glass container lined with a paper towel.
- Fold paper towel sides over onion to absorb moisture.
- Ensure airtight seal on container before refrigerating.
This keeps your Bloomin’ Onion crisp and prevents sogginess from fridge moisture. An airtight seal retains freshness longer.
Recommended Fridge Time
Only keep your leftover Bloomin’ Onion in the fridge for 4-5 days maximum. The taste and texture will deteriorate quickly beyond that window.
Reheat ASAP for Best Quality
Even when stored properly, the onion petals will lose their crispy texture over time. For optimal flavor and crunch, reheat your Bloomin’ Onion as soon as possible within the recommended 4-5 day window.
With the right reheating techniques, you can revive leftover Bloomin’ Onions nearly to their original glory days after frying. While the oven provides the most even results, the microwave, stovetop, and air fryer all offer quick and effective options as well. Just focus on crisping the exterior without overcooking the interior.
Follow proper storage advice to maximize the shelf life. But don’t wait too long before reheating for the best flavor and texture. Now that you know the secrets to reheating success, get ready to keep enjoying those addictive crispy onion petals again and again!