How To Reheat Fried Chicken Safely At Home

There’s nothing like biting into a piece of fried chicken. Something about tasting that juicy, tender meat underneath a satisfying crispy breading is simply unforgettable.

But what if the leftovers from last night’s dinner are calling your name? Is munching down on a cold drumstick the only way to answer the invite? Absolutely not.

Sure, it’s faster to just grab a piece from the fridge and eat it, but let’s get real, nothing beats warm fried chicken!

Today, we’re looking at 10 ways to reheat fried chicken so you can learn how to reheat fried chicken without drying it out. We’re also sharing tips and techniques on how to fried chicken so it stays crispy. Without further ado, let’s get cooking!

How to Reheat Fried Chicken In The Oven

The most preferred method when it comes to reheating fried chicken and keeping is definitely by using the oven. In fact, this is one of the best ways to reheat fried chicken without drying it out.

If you’re planning on trying the oven method, you need to know how long to reheat fried chicken in the oven.

Generally speaking, this process should take you about 30 minutes. As a rule of thumb, thicker pieces will heat at a slower rate than smaller pieces. When the chicken pieces are warm all the way through and crispy on the outside, they’re done.

Here’s how you can reheat fried chicken in your oven:

  1. Take the fried chicken out of the fridge and set it on the counter. Allow all of the pieces to reach room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Place the chicken pieces on an oven-safe baking sheet and line them up with aluminium foil.
  4. Place the pan in the oven on the centre rack for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
  5. Check on the chicken frequently because the pieces may heat at different speeds.
  6. Take the chicken out and serve hot. Avoid overcooking them as they may get dry.

Alternatively, you can try the following method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grab a brown lunch bag or paper bag and evenly place the chicken pieces in it.
  3. Carefully seal the opening of the bag.
  4. Place the bag on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Again, don’t over bake it to avoid drying out the chicken.
  6. Take the bag out and tear the sealing. Serve warm.

Using an oven to reheat fried chicken can be a bit timely, but it’s still pretty simple. Not to mention, once you get a taste of the warm, crispy fried chicken, you’ll know it was well worth the wait.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Microwave

If you’re running on a tight schedule, microwaves can be your best friend. These appliances are the “go-to” kitchen tool when oven cooking is just not possible. Keep in mind, however, that the resulting texture won’t be the same as when you use an oven.

While this is not the preferred method for professional chefs, us regular people love the speed and convenience of using a microwave. If you’re opting for the microwave route, you should expect that the fried chicken will turn out soft and soggy compared to the crisp skin you can get when you use an oven.

Follow these steps to reheat fried chicken in the microwave:

  1. Take the fried chicken out of the fridge and let it sit out for around 10 minutes. This is so it can approach room temperature, which helps prevent the chicken from losing moisture as it heats up.
  2. Place a paper towel over the plate so it takes in some of the moisture. This will help minimise the sogginess of the chicken.
  3. Microwave the fried chicken in 30-second intervals until it gets warm all the way through. Take care not to over-microwave the chicken or it’ll dry out.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken In An Air Fryer

Another efficient way to reheat fried chicken is by using an air fryer.

The main advantage of this method is that the air fryer significantly reduces the amount of oil you need for cooking while maintaining the crispness of the chicken on the outside and the juiciness of the meat on the inside — just like when it was first cooked.

Leftovers often taste dull with a soggy texture, especially if you use a microwave. However, it’s a different story with an air fryer since your fried chicken will be nice and crispy.

Here’s how you can reheat fried chicken in your air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Take out the chicken and wait until it reaches room temperature to achieve the maximum possible crispness.
  3. Once the chicken falls to room temperature, space out the pieces evenly in the air-fryer tray. Don’t stack the chicken on top of each other or over-crowd the air fryer. Otherwise, the chicken won’t get as crispy.
  4. Reheat the chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t forget to shake the basket while.


How to Reheat Fried Chicken in a Toaster Oven

When it comes to the best method for reheating fried chicken, the oven and the toaster oven come neck to neck for the first spot. If you’re familiar with using toaster ovens, then you may want to stick with this way to make sure your leftover chicken stays crispy.

You can reheat your fried chicken in a toaster oven using the following steps:

  1. Line the baking sheet of your toaster oven with aluminium foil.
  2. Set the temperature of your toaster oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and let it pre-heat for a couple of minutes.
  3. Place fried chicken pieces on a plate and cover it with a paper towel.
  4. Microwave the fried chicken for around 1 minute to 1 minute and 45 seconds.
  5. Remove the plate from the microwave and put the chicken on the baking sheet.
  6. Place the baking sheet in the toaster oven for about 2 to 3 more minutes.
  7. Let the chicken sit until it’s warm enough to touch.

How to Reheat Frozen Fried Chicken

You worked too hard to make some homemade fried chicken to just throw out the leftovers. Luckily, you can freeze the leftover pieces for later. To make sure you get the same finger-licking goodness when you reheat those pieces, here’s what you should do:

  1. Thaw the frozen leftover pieces of chicken in the microwave until their temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (as measured with a food thermometer).
  2. Follow the same directions we mentioned above for reheating fried chicken in the oven:
  • Put the chicken on an oven-safe baking sheet lined with aluminium foil.
  • Place the pan in the oven on the centre rack for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Make sure to check on the chicken regularly as they may heat at different speeds.

As a general rule, thicker pieces will heat up more slowly than smaller pieces. Just make sure that the chicken is crispy on the outside and warm all the way through.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken Using A Grill

If you’re wondering how to reheat fried chicken tenders or how to reheat fried chicken steak, this method using a grill makes a good alternative if you don’t feel like using an oven or a microwave.

  1. Set your grill on medium and heat the chicken for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken should be around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken Using A Skillet

Another easy way to reheat leftover fried chicken is by braising it using a skillet.

  1. Place the fried chicken pieces in a skillet.
  2. Add some water.
  3. Cover the skillet with a lid.
  4. Blot your chicken pieces on a paper towel to remove excess grease before serving.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in a Deep Fryer

Reheating your leftover fried chicken in a deep fryer is an excellent way to restore its initial crispiness. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Take the fried chicken leftovers out of the fridge and let them come down to room temperature.
  2. Heat some oil in a deep fryer up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Put the chicken pieces in the deep fryer.
  4. Let it cook until it gets a golden brown colour and a crispy crust.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken by Steaming

If you’re more concerned about getting your fried chicken leftovers warm all the way through than making them crispy again, then the steaming can work well for your needs.

Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Grab a sufficiently large pot and boil some water in it.
  2. Find a dish that fits well when placed over the water pot then place the fried chicken in that dish.
  3. Cover the dish, and use it for steaming.
  4. Be careful not to let the water in the pot dry out.
  5. Serve hot.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken Using a Ziploc Bag

Yes, you read that correctly; there’s a way you can reheat fried chicken using a Ziploc bag. Here are the steps:

  1. Heat some water in a large pot until it reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the fried chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag and seal it well. You want to prevent water from leaking in.
  3. Lay the Ziploc bag in the water pot.
  4. Depending on the chicken piece, take out the bag from the water pot after it’s done. As we mentioned before, chicken breasts and thighs will take more time to reheat (for about 15 minutes) while legs and wings will be done within 10 minutes.

How to Reheat Kentucky Fried Chicken

There’s no doubt that a homemade fried chicken dinner paired with a baked potato, sweet potato, or corn on the cob is a winner, but sometimes, you just got to hit the drive-thru.

If fast-food fried chicken leftovers are sitting in your fridge right now, you don’t have to eat them cold. It’s pretty easy to reheat Kentucky Fried Chicken or any other fried chicken from a fast-food chain since they generally serve similar types of meat.

Just follow any of the methods we mentioned above and you’re good to go.

Tips on Reheating Fried Chicken

  • Brush the chicken with olive oil before reheating it for an extra crisp.
  • Always measure chicken’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
  • Insert the thermometer in the fleshy part and never touch the bone.
  • Store the leftovers in a Tupperware container as it absorbs moisture.
  • Sauce or gravy on top of chicken leftovers can save the dish.

What to Avoid When Reheating Fried Chicken

We’ve talked about all the ways you can reheat the fried chicken, but now it’s time to discuss what not to do when reheating fried chicken.

When you’re figuring out how to reheat fried chicken you need to think about how you can maintain the flavour of the fried chicken while making sure it doesn’t leave you sick.

According to food and health experts, the oven, the stove, and the microwave are among the safest ways to reheat the fried chicken.

Additionally, don’t leave leftover food out for too long, and make sure you heat it well enough. You want to avoid landing in the “danger zone” temperature range, as designated by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). Within this range, bacteria can grow to dangerous levels that can cause various illnesses.

You should also consider how long you can keep the fried chicken in the fridge and decide whether or not the amount of leftovers is worth it.

Wrap Up

There you have it, 10 ways to reheat fried chicken that are easy to follow and provide satisfying results.

That being said, if we had to pick out the best way to reheat chicken without drying it out and still keep it crispy, we’d choose the oven-baking route.

Not only does oven-heating allow for through warming, but it’s also one of the healthiest ways to get the job done.

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Pauline is a mother of four, when she isn't cooking up new dishes for her family and friends, she likes to dine out at newly-opened restaurants (especially tapas!) and review them in her blog posts.
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