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How To Reheat Fried Chicken Safely At Home

How To Reheat Fried Chicken Safely At Home

Last Updated on 26th August 2022 by Pauline Loughlin

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.

Does fried chicken reheat well?

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!

Our site is packed with great guides to help chicken lovers with every from marinating chicken to how to bake chicken with parchment paper and the best way to cook frozen chicken wings. Be sure to check them out.

Today, we’re looking at 10 ways to reheat fried chicken wings 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 (reheating)!

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.

Plate of Cooked Chicken Fillets Ready to Reheat In Oven

How to Reheat Fried Chicken In The Oven

Active Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Here’s how you can reheat fried chicken in your oven, Remember that your chicken should be fully cooked and fresh and have been stored for no longer than 4-5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. You can read our guide on how to correctly store cooked chicken.

Instructions

    1. Take the fried chicken out of the fridge and set it on the counter.
    2. Allow all of the pieces to reach room temperature
    3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    4. Place the chicken pieces on an oven-safe baking sheet and line them up with aluminium foil
    5. Lightly brush with some melted butter or spray with light oil (optional)
    6. Place the pan in the oven on the centre rack for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
    7. Check on the chicken frequently because the pieces may heat at different speeds.

Notes

You can also try the same method above but placing the chicken in a brown paper bag to prevent the chicken from drying out. The key is to continually check the chicken and remove from the oven as soon as the temperature of the chicken reaches 165F for 30 seconds.

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.

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.

Plate of Cooked Chicken In Microwave

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Microwave

Active Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Fried chicken officanados will sneer at the thought of reheating chicken in the microwave, but sometimes when you got to dash and need that hicken hot and good to go. It's the only way.

Tools

  • Microwave
  • Paper Towel
  • Microwave Friendly Plate
  • Butter or Light Oil Spray (optional)

Instructions

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

Notes

That really is all there is to it. You know how to use a microwave so this isn't rocket science but the key is not to over cook the chicken, microwaves are notorious for drying chicken out so that's why I recommend you check every 30 seconds and use a thermometer to ensure the temperature is 165F all the way through.

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.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken In An Air Fryer

Another efficient way to reheat reheat fried chicken in air fryer and you can also cook chicken thighs in 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.

Chicken Nuggets in an Air Fryer
Yield: 6-8 Pieces

How to Reheat Fried Chicken In An Air Fryer

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 1 minute
Difficulty: Easy

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

Tools

  • Air Fryer
  • Paper Towel
  • Light Oil Spray

Instructions

    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.
    4. Reheat the chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes.
    5. Shake the basket occasionally to ensure even cooking throughout

Notes

Don’t stack the chicken on top of each other or over-crowd the air fryer. Otherwise, the chicken won’t get as crispy.

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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.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in a Toaster Oven

When it comes to the best method for reheating fried chicken you would only consider using a toaster if it was a last resort.

Chicken Toaster Bags

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in a Toaster Oven

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

You can reheat chicken in a conventional toaster, it's tricky but can be done if you have a toaster with wide slots.

Tools

  • Toaster with wide slots
  • Toaster Bags

Instructions

  1. Place your chicken in the toaster bag
  2. Cook for 2-3 mins and check temperature
  3. Remove the chicken from the bag and rotate
  4. Toast for a further 2-3 minutes until reheated thoroughly

Notes

This can be a tricky method unless you have a toaster with very wide slots.

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Toasters are not really meant for reheating food but since the introduction of the toaster food bags it’s not as silly as it may sound.

You would need to have an ultra wide mouthed toaster and your chicken would need to fit neatly in the bag. If you get past that stage then it just may work.

If you have ever reheated chicken using a toaster then please we would love to hear from you.

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. We also have a guide that covers how to cook frozen chicken wings.

Some Reheated Frozen Fried Chicken

How to Reheat Frozen Fried Chicken

Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Tools

  • Thermometer
  • Greaseproof Paper
  • Airtight Storage Container

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 250F
    2. For best results allow the chicken to defrost naturally in the fridge
    3. Or you can cook direct from frozen
    4. Brush with melted butter or spray with light oil
    5. Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray
    6. Bake for 35-40 minutes
    7. Check temperature with a thermometer

Notes

Results may vary when cooking chicken from frozen. If you are not in a rush I suggest you remove the chicken from the freezer, place in a sealed container and allow to defrost in the fridge. then cook once deforested.

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 oven or a microwave.

Southern Fried Chicken Wings
Yield: 4

How to Reheat Fried Chicken Using A Grill

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Materials

Tools

  • Grill
  • Melted Butter
  • Light Oil Spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill on a medium setting
  2. Lightly brush the chicken with the melted butter or spray with oil
  3. Grill for 3-4 minutes
  4. Turn and grill for a further 3-4 mins

Notes

This is the simplest and our method for getting nice crisp and crunchy fried chicken, be careful not to overcook or burn the chicken.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken Using A Skillet 

Using a skillet to reheat fried chicken is a great option as you add water to the skillet prior to adding the chicken which will help to keep the chicken moist and tender.

Skillet Wings Frozen
Yield: 4

How to Reheat Fried Chicken Using A Skillet

Active Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Tools

  • Skillet Pan
  • Melted butter or LIght Oil Spray
  • Food Thermometer
  • Paper Towels

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter or spray the skillet with oil
  2. Place the chicken in the skillet
  3. Cook for 7-8 minutes
  4. Continually turn the chicken pieces.
  5. Place on a paper towel to cool

Notes

This method can have mixed results as content with the skillet can be limited.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in a Deep Fryer 

Can you reheat chicken in a fryer? You can but the biggest challenge here is avoiding over cooking the chicken. You are essentially cooking the chicken twice. Reheating your leftover fried chicken in a deep fryer is an excellent way to restore its initial crispiness. 

Deep Fryer Fried Chicken

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in a Deep Fryer

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Tools

  • Dep Fat Fryer

Instructions

    1. Take the fried chicken leftovers out of the fridge and let them come down to room temperature.
    2. Preheat the fat fryer to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit
    3. Put the chicken pieces in the deep fryer.
    4. Let it cook until it gets a golden brown

Notes

Because the chicken is already cooked it should only take a few minutes to reheat through. Avoid overcooking the chicken and making it dry by testing the internal temperature every minute or so.

How to Reheat Kentucky Fried Chicken

There’s no doubt that a homemade fried chicken dinner paired with a baked potato, sweet potato (how to peel the perfect 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 for Reheating Fried Chicken

  1. Brush the chicken with olive oil before reheating it for an extra crisp.
  2. Always measure chicken’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
  3. Insert the thermometer in the fleshy part and never touch the bone.
  4. Store the leftovers in a Tupperware container as it absorbs moisture.
  5. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Reheating Fried Chicken

What is the best way to reheat fried chicken?

Based on the results from the methods above I would say that fried chicken tastes best when reheated either under the grill or deep fried.

How do you reheat fried chicken to make it crispy again?

The best way to keep your fried chicken crispy is to deep fry it in very hot oil. As long as the chicken is quite fresh and hasn’t been left in the fridge for several days this can make your chicken as crispy as the day you bought it.

Can you reheat fried chicken the next day?

Fried chicken will be fine for 2-3 days in a sealed container in a fridge. However, the longer you leave it the less crispy it will taste when reheated. I suggest no more than 24 hours if you really want to make your leftover fried chicken crispy again.

References

How many times can you reheat food – https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/how-many-times-can-you-reheat-food-safely/

Left overs and food safety – https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/leftovers-and-food-safety

I Really Like Food | Website | + posts

I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here

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