Can I Reheat Fried Chicken? Which Method is Best?

If you’re reading this post, you probably already know how delicious fried chicken is. But what are you supposed to do with the leftovers (assuming you have any that didn’t get devoured almost immediately)?  

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Sure, leftover fried chicken tastes great straight out of the fridge, but what if you want to recreate that fresh fried chicken experience all over again? What is the best method for reheating fried chicken to restore it to its former glory? 

In this post, we’ll explore some of the different ways to reheat fried chicken, and determine which methods work better than others. 

Can You Reheat Fried Chicken? 

The short answer is yes.  You can definitely safely reheat fried chicken, the key to returning your fried chicken back to it’s crispy, succulent state, though is all in how you do it.

Sean - Reheating Fried Chicken

In fact, any food can be reheated that has been frozen or refrigerated as long as it hasn’t spoiled. But the question is whether or not the original quality of the food can be restored. In other words, will it be as appetizing as it was the first time around? 

As a general rule, foods that were breaded or deep-fried are best reheated in an oven or air fryer, while foods that were baked or grilled are best reheated on the grill or in the oven. So when it comes to fried chicken, the best method for reheating will be to use the oven. 

Should You Reheat Fried Chicken? 

Reheating leftover fried chicken should be safe, so long as proper food safety guidelines have been followed. While we have some ideas for you regarding how to reheat your food, only you can determine whether or not it will be safe in your particular case.  

Make sure you do your own research to know if your chicken should be eaten. 

How To Reheat Fried Chicken In The Oven 

The trick to this method is to keep it high and fast. Your chicken should be placed on a rack set in a shallow pan.  

For best results, pull it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 20 or 30 minutes while the oven gets hot. Then put it in a 400° oven for 12-15 minutes, or until heated through.  

Be careful not to leave it in for too long though, as it may cause your chicken to dry out. 

How To Reheat Fried Chicken In The Microwave 

While this is not an ideal way to reheat fried foods, sometimes you may be in a situation where the microwave is your only option.  

If you find yourself in this predicament, never fear. There is a way to get the best possible result.  

Just be sure to place your chicken on a paper towel (this helps soak up extra moisture that comes to the surface), and be sure to flip the piece every 30 seconds until heated through.  

Flipping the chicken will ensure that it is heated evenly. The key here is to go slow…30 seconds at a time. A microwave can make the breading on the chicken turn gummy really fast. So 30 seconds at a time is key. 

How To Reheat Fried Chicken In An Air Fryer 

If you have an air fryer, by all means try this method for reheating fried chicken. It has all the benefits of an oven but gives a much faster cooking time.  

The trick to any successful air frying is to keep pieces separate in the basket, and avoid stacking things on top of each other.  

Start by allowing the chicken to warm up on a covered dish to room temperature. While that is happening, preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and then put the chicken in your air fryer basket.  

Reheat the fried chicken for three to four minutes on each side, flipping every piece in the basket. Eight minutes total should make your chicken hot and crispy once again.  

How To Reheat Fried Chicken On A Grill 

Whether you’re an outdoor cooking fanatic, or you just hate heating up the house in warm weather, sometimes grilling is the only way to go.  

How To Reheat Fried Chicken

Thankfully, fried chicken heats up pretty well on the grill. Simply fire up your grill and allow the refrigerated chicken to come up to room temperature by placing it on a covered plate. 

Once it is at room temperature and the grill is properly ready, place the chicken directly on your grill for 8-10 minutes.  

Try to avoid putting it over flames to keep the breading from getting charred. Keeping the chicken over warm coals while it reheats is idea. 

How To Reheat Fried Chicken In A Toaster Oven 

If you don’t feel like turning on the oven just for a piece or two of fried chicken, the toaster oven can do the trick. Just like the oven method though, it pays to wait for the toaster oven to get hot before putting the chicken in to heat. Like the other methods, it also helps to allow your chicken to warm to room temperature before you pop it in the toaster oven. 

To reheat your fried chicken in the toaster oven, preheat to 400° and then pop it in for 10-15 minutes. Just make sure to line the tray with foil so there is less mess to clean up later. It’s a good idea to flip the chicken pieces half way through, as well.  

How To Reheat Fried Chicken In A Pan On The Stove 

Most American southerners will argue that the only satisfactory way to reheat chicken on the stovetop is to fry it again in a large amount of oil…like two inches worth in a heavy-bottomed pan with straight sides.  

Trust me, if you haven’t tried twice-fried chicken, you are missing out! 

To reheat fried chicken in a pan, start by heating the oil to 300°. While the oil is heating, place the chicken pieces on a covered plate and allow them to warm to room temperature.  

Once the oil is ready, carefully place chicken in the oil. Fry 2-3 minutes per side.  

If you choose to use this method, make sure you’re doing it in an appropriate location such as a kitchen where you can easily tend to burns and/or grease fires.  

Do not do this on a hotplate in your dorm or hotel room! 

WINNER – The Best Way To Reheat Fried Chicken Is Using the Oven (or Air Fryer) 

 

While I do love twice-fried chicken, it’s not really feasible for a lot if folks, so I choose the oven and air fryers as the best methods.  

Baking in the oven is the best way to make leftover fried chicken crispy again. The microwave makes food soggy, and the grill can be time-consuming.  

The oven wins for being the safest, most effective and most accessible method there is. But the air fryer is a close runner-up. In fact, the air fryer is basically just a convection oven that sits on your countertop, so it’s really not that different. However, not everyone has access to an air fryer, so the oven takes the prize for this one.  

We hope we’ve covered all the different methods, tips, and techniques for reheating fried chicken. Did we forget anything? Feel free to share some of your favorite tricks or tips for reheating fried chicken in the comments.  

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