How to Reheat Fried Chicken

One of the most well-liked meals in America, fried chicken, is the peak of cooking satisfaction. It’s no wonder! The crisp-skinned heavens can’t leave anyone indifferent, especially when eaten with a savory side dish.

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When it comes to leftover fried chicken, one question arises: ‘How to make it taste hot and crispy as if it came out of the deep fryer five minutes ago?’

Luckily, we have several foolproof methods of reheating fried chicken so that it will stay crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Want to enjoy the taste of your favorite dish in every bite, even after a while? Keep on reading and find the best tips for reheating fried chicken.

Useful Tips for Reheating Fried Chicken

spicy fried chicken wings

Before we start with various methods of reheating fried chicken, consider some useful tips to do it perfectly and make it crispy no matter what.

  • First, don’t start reheating your chicken straight after removing it from the fridge. Leave it outside for at least 15 minutes until your chicken reaches room temperature. Thus you’ll ensure that the inside and outside of the meat cook evenly. Also, this will help prevent pieces from drying out.
  • Second, avoid overcrowding your cooking vessel. Make the space between chicken pieces evenly and prevent any overlapping. This will guarantee each piece crisps up nicely.
  • Finally, depending on the size of each piece, reheat them at different speeds to prevent your chicken from drying out or not warming up enough.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Oven? 

There’s no golden rule to follow when it comes to reheating leftover chicken. However, doing it in the oven is considered the best method. So here we go!

First, take your fried chicken out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Such a chill-off moment will help the meat reheat evenly and prevent it from losing too much moisture.

Now, preheat your oven to 350 °F and place a wire rack on the baking sheet. Arrange the chicken on the rack in one layer so that hot air circulates on all sides and the chicken doesn’t get soggy on the bottom.

The perfect cooking time will be different depending on the type and size of your chicken cuts. Cook for up to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 150°F. Now, increase the oven temperature to 400°F and cook for another 5-8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. 

Important note: keep an eye on the cooking process to prevent your chicken from drying out.

Serve with your favorite sauce and bon appetit! 

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer?

air fryer with fried chicken

If you are an air fryer owner, consider yourself lucky. You have a chance to turn a cold fried chicken into a crispy pleasure without adding any oil.

As with the previous method, take the meat out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to prevent it from drying out.

Now, arrange the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and be sure to leave enough space between each piece of fried chicken. Also, don’t hesitate to add some vegetables (of your choice) to make the meal even more lip-smackingly delicious.

Set the heat between 350° F and 400° F and air fry the meat for about three minutes, then flip the chicken and continue cooking for another two minutes. Mind reheating the chicken only you plan to eat, as two-fold reheating can cause it to dry out.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken on the Stovetop?

One more time-tested way to reheat fried chicken is a stovetop. Take a skillet or a heavy-bottomed pan (they tend to retain heat well) and fill your capacity with about two inches of canola, peanut, or vegetable oil.

After bringing your chicken to room temperature, heat the oil until it reaches 300°F over medium-high heat, and then use tongs to put a few pieces into it. Avoid overcrowding the pan, as this will bring down the temperature of the oil.

Cook until the meat becomes crispy, about two to three minutes on each side. Before eating, place the chicken on a wire rack and let it cool for about five minutes.

How to Reheat Chicken in the Microwave?

chicken leg in microwave

The fastest and the most convenient method of reheating chicken is undoubtedly a microwave. However, faster doesn’t always mean better. In this case, a quick go-round in the microwave may turn your initially crispy chicken into a soggy something with an unappealing exterior.

Still, if you are in a hurry and want to give your microwave a try, let’s do it as well as possible. 

First, take the same steps of letting your chicken sit at room temperature as in the above methods. 

Take a paper towel and cover the plate to prevent the chicken from getting excessively soggy. The towel will absorb some of the moisture. 

Go on with microwaving the fried chicken in 30-second intervals until it becomes warm. Flip it intermittently. Mind not overheating your chicken to prevent it from drying out.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Toaster Oven?

Just like with the microwave, a toaster oven is also not the best choice for reheating fried chicken. Be ready to get chicken pieces heated unevenly, being hot on the outside and cold on the inside.

However, if you find dealing with the oven too energy-consuming to turn on the oven or don’t have any other options, give a toaster oven a chance.

First, preheat the unit to 400°F. Use foil to line the toaster oven tray. Cook leftovers at room temperature for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure all sides become crispy as you like.

How to Reheat Frozen Fried Chicken?

frozen chicken wing

We recommend two effective ways of reheating frozen fried chicken. Follow the instructions below to do it properly. 

In the first method, you need to put your meat on a paper-towel-lined plate and microwave it for about three to six minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Thus your chicken will reheat and defrost both quickly and safely.

Go on with baking your leftovers in a preheated 400°F oven for up to 10 minutes until the outsides become crispy. 

In the second method, you’ll need only an oven. Preheat it to 375°F and place your chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover leftovers with more foil to help the meat defrost evenly and prevent it from burning. 

Bake until all pieces have reheated completely. Depending on the type and size of your chicken pieces, reheat them from 30 minutes to an hour — smaller ones like chicken wings take less time to bake, while larger pieces like breasts can take up to an hour. 

When the chicken is ready, take the foil away and leave your leftovers in the oven for about five minutes to achieve the level of crispiness you are striving for.

The Bottom Line

And that’s a wrap. 

With our list of the best tips and methods of reheating fried chicken, you may be sure you’ll surprise everyone with the results and ensure your reheated fried chicken to be as crispy as if it came out of the deep fryer five minutes ago.

An oven, an air flyer, and a stovetop are considered the best options for reheating chicken leftovers. Take your time and follow the instructions to do it properly. 

Remember that a microwave and a toaster oven are your last stops. Still, with our advice, you can reach that desired level of crispiness anyway. Bon appetit!

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How to Reheat Fried Chicken

Eight great ways to reheat fried chicken
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 322 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • fried chicken

Instructions
 

  • Reheat Fried Chicken in the Oven
  • Reheat Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer
  • Reheat Fried Chicken on the Stovetop
  • Reheat Chicken in the Microwave
  • Reheat Fried Chicken in the Toaster Oven
  • Reheat Frozen Fried Chicken

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal
Keyword how to reheat fried chicken
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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