Found yourself with some extra gyro meat? You’re in for a treat.
From pitas to sandwiches to the humble breakfast hash, there are plenty of things you can do with leftover gyro. (More on this later!)
In this article, I’ll be detailing five different gyro reheating techniques.
I’ve personally tried each method with the aim of reinvigorating gyro meat’s succulent texture and signature seasoning.
I’ll also discuss the best way to store gyro for maximum freshness.
A note on my experiment
Over the weekend, I made some gyro on a vertical rotisserie and sliced it to serve in fresh pitas.
I had quite a bit of leftover meat, which I stored to reheat for dinner the next day.
Then I caught myself wondering about the best way to reheat it.
I didn’t want to send up with dry, chewy, lifeless meat.
I explored five different reheating methods for restoring my gyro’s flavor and texture.
- Reheating gyro meat in the microwave (quick and convenient)
- Reheating gyro meat in the oven (good for large portions)
- Reheating gyro meat in a skillet (adds a nice crisp but can be greasy)
- Reheating gyro meat in an air fryer (good results but can turn meat dry)
- Reheating gyro meat by steaming it (unexpectedly pleasant results)
The gyro I heated in the microwave was moist and evenly warm, but I felt the flavor suffered a bit.
The oven took a while, but I could heat a big portion all at once to fresh-tasting results.
Frying gyro in a skillet restored a nice crunch, but the extra oil can turn it greasy.
The air fryer also gave me crispy results but rendered the meat slightly on the dryer side.
I also steamed some leftover gyro which retained most of the meat’s flavor while keeping it moist.
Note: For my experiment, I reheated gyro meat on its own. If you’re reheating meat in a pita, for example, disassemble it first and reassemble it once your meat is warmed.
I recommend only reheating gyro sliced off its rotisserie and properly stored within the recommended two-hour timeframe.
A full gyro cone may cool and stand (uncovered) for extended timeframes.
This creates a risk of some sections of the meat contracting bacteria.
Reheating gyro meat in the microwave
Pat down your gyro meat with a paper towel to remove excess grease. Spread it out on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a piece of damp paper towel. Reheat the gyro on full power (high) in 15-second increments. Depending on your portion size, 30 seconds should be sufficient to warm it evenly.
If you don’t have a paper towel on hand, you can cover your gyro loosely with plastic wrap instead.
How to reheat gyro meat in the microwave:
- Pat down a portion of leftover gyro meat with a paper towel to remove excess grease.
- Place your portion of the gyro on a microwave-safe plate.
- Cover it with a piece of damp paper towel.
- Warm it on high (full power) in 15-second increments.
- Once piping hot (around 30 seconds per portion), remove and serve immediately.
Covering your leftover gyro meat with a damp paper towel steams the meat and keeps it moist.
Spreading your portion out on the plate will ensure that the meat is heated evenly.
You can also turn it at the 15-second mark to make sure it’s warm on both sides.
Thinly sliced gyro meat heats quickly, so keep an eye to ensure you don’t overdo it.
If you’re making pitas or wraps, assemble them beforehand so you can add your warm gyro meat when it’s ready.
I can’t fault the speed, ease, and convenience of this method, so I would probably use it again.
However, while the meat stayed moist, I found the flavor was a bit dulled.
If you’re in a hurry, this method will work perfectly well.
Good if you’re using your meat in a pita or wrap with other condiments or sauces.
Reheating gyro meat in the oven
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread your leftover gyro meat out on a baking tray and add two tablespoons of liquid (water or stock). Cover the baking tray with foil and heat the meat for 5 to 10 minutes. Once hot, remove and serve immediately.
The ideal temperature for the reheated gyro is 165°F (75°C). You can test this with a meat thermometer (if you have one).
Alternatively, wait until your meat is steaming before you remove it from the oven.
How to reheat gyro meat in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Spread out your leftover gyro meat on a baking tray.
- Add two tablespoons of liquid, like water or stock, to the base of the tray.
- Cover it with foil.
- Heat the meat for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once steaming, remove and serve.
Covering your leftover meat with foil will lock in moisture and prevent the gyro from drying out.
The added liquid will evaporate and steam the meat in the process while amplifying its flavors.
Do not reheat leftover gyro more than once.
You can mix around or turn your gyro meat at the halfway mark if you want to ensure even heating.
This is one of the slower methods I tried, but the meat came out tasting great and tender.
I like the convenience of the oven for reheating a large portion of leftovers in one go.
Reheating gyro meat in a skillet
Add one tablespoon of cooking oil to a skillet. Warm up the pan and oil on medium heat. Next, add a portion of leftover gyro and warm it for 20 seconds. Stir it around in the pan, and then leave it to fry for a further 20 seconds. Once the meat is hot, remove it from the skillet and serve.
Use less fat if your meat is already quite oily.
If your meat is dry, you can cover the skillet to create a bit of steam.
How to reheat gyro meat in a skillet:
- Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a skillet.
- Warm the skillet on medium heat on the stove.
- Add a portion of your leftover gyro to the hot oil and fry it for 20 seconds.
- Stir the meat around in the pan, and then fry for a further 20 seconds.
- Once hot, serve immediately.
Because gyro meat is so thinly sliced, high heat can burn it. Medium is more than sufficient.
Pan-frying adds a bit of crispiness to the meat, but too much oil will leave it greasy.
Move the meat around as you heat it to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
This method is excellent for gyro meat prepared ahead of time, which can then be pan-fried as needed.
I loved the bit of crispiness that this added to the meat.
That being said, I can see how just a bit too much oil can leave it greasy and unpalatable.
This method is also quick, barring the washing up of the greasy pan afterward.
Reheating gyro meat in an air fryer
Set your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Line the fryer basket with parchment paper or foil with the ends folded up. Place your portion of gyro meat in the basket and warm it for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove it and serve immediately once the meat is steaming or at plus-minus 165°F (75°C).
Check on its heating progress at the halfway mark to ensure you don’t burn your thinly sliced gyro.
How to reheat gyro meat in an air fryer:
- Set your air fryer to preheat at is 400°F (200°C).
- Line the fryer basket with parchment paper (or foil) with the ends turned up.
- Spread out a portion of gyro meat in the basket.
- Fry it for 2 to 3 minutes, checking at the halfway mark.
- Once your meat is steaming, remove it and serve immediately.
Spreading out your meat in the fryer basket will ensure even heating.
To prevent sticking, you can spray the foil or paper with a bit of cooking spray (it adds extra crisp, too!).
Turning up the parchment paper or foil ends will make it easy to lift the meat out of the basket and reduce your clean-up requirements.
If you’re making pitas or wraps, you can also flash-fry them in the air fryer once assembled.
If you want crispy meat, this is the method to try.
It does turn it a bit drier than any of the other methods, though.
I loved this method for its speed and convenience.
Reheating gyro meat by steaming it
Set up your steamer or create a makeshift one using a pot and a sieve, wire rack, or colander. Bring some water to a simmer on medium heat until visibly steaming. Spread out your leftover gyro in the steamer, and warm it for 3 to 4 minutes. Once hot, serve immediately.
For more even heating, you can cover the steamer basket while the meat warms up.
How to reheat gyro meat by steaming it:
- Set up a steamer or create one using a pot and a sieve, wire rack, or colander.
- On medium heat, bring water to a simmer (not touching the steamer basket).
- Spread the meat out in the steamer and warm for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Once hot, remove and serve immediately.
Steam heating locks in the moisture of the meat and keeps it tender and succulent.
As this is an indirect heating method, you’re less likely to burn your gyros.
Add a bit of extra seasoning if you’re concerned about dulled flavors.
I was pleasantly surprised by the good results from this method.
The meat was flavorful and tender and warmed all over.
My reheated meat was also less greasy than some of the other techniques I tried, as excess fat drips off in the process.
How to store gyro meat
Store thinly sliced fresh gyro meat in the fridge in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for 2 to 3 days. Make sure you cool the gyro meat to room temperature before sealing the container to avoid a build-up of condensation.
You can opt to wrap leftover gyro meat in heavy-duty aluminum foil if you want to save fridge space.
If your gyro came in a pita or with a side, remove and store the meat separately.
If the meat is quite greasy, pat it down with a paper towel before storing it.
Can you freeze gyro meat?
Gyro meat freezes well, making it a great choice for bulk cooking or prepping ahead of time. However, I recommend that you slice it before freezing it to make it easier to reheat. It will thaw faster and make portioning simpler. Gyro will retain its best quality in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
How to freeze gyro meat:
- Slice your gyro thinly (if not already sliced).
- Spread pieces out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Flash-freeze the gyro slices for 2 to 3 hours or until no longer soft.
- Place in a heavy-duty freezer bag and remove the excess air with a straw (or vacuum seal).
- Use within 2 to 3 months.
To flash-freeze multiple gyro slices at once, separate several layers of meat on a baking tray with parchment paper.
Flash-freezing prevents the gyro slices from sticking or clumping together.
Removing the excess air from the freezer bag lowers the risk of freezer burn.
To thaw gyro, leave it in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Alternatively, you can thaw frozen gyros in the microwave.
Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and defrost it on medium heat in 15-second increments.
To reheat frozen gyros in the oven or air fryer, follow the abovementioned methods, but extend the timeframes until the meat is piping hot.
What to do with leftover gyros meat
Gyro is a really versatile form of meat.
Its spicy, succulent flavor works beautifully in many Mediterranean-inspired dishes, as well as a few American favorites.
Have you been wondering what to do with leftover gyro? Here are a few ideas:
Traditional gyro and tzatziki pitas: You can’t go wrong with the original. Create delicious pitas (perfect for lunch or dinner) with your leftover gyro meat, fresh tomatoes, onion, and tzatziki. Easy and always a crowd-pleaser.
- Gyro steak wraps: A slightly healthier alternative to pitas. Just replace flatbread with a wholewheat wrap and double-cream tzatziki with a low-fat version. For this recipe, chicken gyro works just as well. If wraps aren’t your flavor, pop gyro into a taco instead.
- Gyro breakfast hash: Gyro is a treat at the breakfast table. Add some gyro meat to a crispy potato and pepper hash for a fresh twist on an old favorite. Serve with poached eggs.
- Gyro omelet: If you feel like a luxuriously filled omelet, create an indulgent filling with cheese, leftover gyro meat, chives, parsley, and cream.
- Gyro fried rice: Finely chopped gyro meat tossed with eggy fried rice and cilantro is always an easy-to-make but delectable treat.
Is it safe to reheat gyro meat?
Gyro meat is safe to reheat, provided you stick to the following precautions.
Always make sure it’s not previously reheated. Meat products like gyro should only be warmed up once.
Make sure that your place of purchase is a reputable vendor that adheres to health and safety rules.
Finally, make sure you store your gyro meat in the fridge as soon as possible and definitely within two hours of cooling to room temperature.
How long does gyro meat last?
Use the following guidelines for safely storing leftover gyro meat:
Room temperature: Gyro meat should be stored in the fridge or freezer within two hours of cooling to room temperature. Meat products are at high risk of contracting bacteria if left out in the open air for too long.
Refrigerated: Leftover gyro meat will last in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
Frozen: Once frozen, gyro meat will retain its best quality for 2 to 3 months.
The Best Way To Reheat Gyro Meat
In this short recipe, I show you the very best way to revive your leftover gyro meat.
- 1 portion gyro meat
- 2 tbsp water or stock
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Spread out your leftover gyro meat on a baking tray.
Add two tablespoons of liquid, like water or stock, to the base of the tray.
Cover it with foil.
Heat the meat for 5 to 10 minutes.
Once steaming, remove and serve.
Serving: 100gCalories: 217kcal