How to Reheat Fried Chicken?

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how to reheat fried chicken

For those wanting to take advantage of their leftovers and still have a tasty dinner, we have all the best ways to reheat fried chicken.

No matter what appliance you plan on using, these step by step instructions will all result in a meal the whole family can enjoy.

How To Reheat Fried Chicken

It can take a bit of time and energy to make fried chicken which is why you want to savor the leftovers and not waste any of your delicious food.

There are four main ways of reheating fried chicken. You can use a microwave, an oven, a toaster oven, and an air fryer. All have their benefits.

We will explain step by step procedures to help you know exactly how to reheat fried chicken so that you can enjoy delicious, crispy leftovers.

Steps in Reheating fried chicken

steps in reheating fried chicken

Ready to reheat your fried chicken?

We’ve put together easy to follow instructions for a variety of methods so you can have tasty, crispy chicken, either as lunch, dinner, or even a midnight snack.


  • Step 1 – Remove fried chicken from the refrigerator and leave it out for about 10 minutes. It should be room temperature to make it easier for the chicken to reheat.
  • Step 2 – Place a paper towel over a large plate. The paper towel will soak up any leftover grease and keep the outside crispy. Make sure the plate can fit in the microwave.
  • Step 3 – Put pieces of fried chicken on the plate. If you have a lot of leftovers, group the chicken by size for more even reheating.
  • Step 4 – Cook the chicken in the microwave on high for 30 seconds.

    You will have to cook the chicken for multiple 30-second intervals. However, it’s best to constantly check the temperature of the chicken so it doesn’t burn or dry out.

Conventional Oven

  • Step 1 – Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
  • Step 2 – Remove leftover fried chicken from the refrigerator place on the counter while the oven is heating.

    For best results, wait until the chicken becomes room temperature as this will help the internal temperature of the chicken become hot in the oven.
  • Step 3 – Place each fried chicken piece on a baking sheet. If you want less clean up, you can line the sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

    If you have a lot of leftovers, make multiple trays but separate the chicken by size.
  • Step 4 – Place in the oven and cook small pieces for 10 to 15 minutes. Cook larger pieces, such as breasts and thighs for 20 to 35 minutes. These times are just guidelines, however. Check your fried chicken every 3 to 4 minutes to ensure they don’t become dried out.
  • Step 5 – Once the chicken is warm in the middle and crispy on the outside, it is done.
  • Step 6 – Place the reheated chicken on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Step 7 – Serve with your choice of side dishes and enjoy.

Toaster Oven

  • Step 1 – Remove the pieces of fried chicken from your refrigerator and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. You want them to be room temperature to help them reheat more evenly.
  • Step 2 – Remove the baking pan from your toaster oven and line it with aluminum foil. This will catch any spills and make cleanup much easier.
  • Step 3 – Preheat the toaster oven to 400 Fahrenheit
  • Step 4 – While you will finish the fried chicken in your toaster oven, you will actually need to cook it in the microwave first.

    Place the fried chicken pieces on a plate that has a paper towel on it. Cook for 1 minute in the microwave. This will bring the internal temperature up.
  • Step 5 – Place the now microwaved fried chicken on the lined baking sheet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Larger pieces may need to be cooked for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Step 6 – Let chicken cool for a few minutes before serving.

Air Fryer

  • Step 1 – First, think back to what temperature you cooked your fried chicken at.

    It will probably have been between 350 and 400 Fahrenheit. Set the air fryer to 100 degrees less than the original temperature, so between 250 and 300 Fahrenheit.
  • Step 2 – Remove the cold fried chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit until it is at room temperature.
  • Step 3 – Place the pieces of chicken in your air fryer and close the lid. Leave them in for 10 minutes.
  • Step 4 – After 10 minutes, check on your chicken. While smaller pieces may be ready, larger pieces may still have soggy skin. If this is so, leave the larger pieces in the air fryer for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Safety Considerations

cooking safety considerations

Leftovers are a common occurrence in just about any household.

Not only do they help with the inevitable debate over what is for dinner, but they are also delicious.

There are a few safety considerations, however, to be aware of.

Store leftovers properly

The less air your leftovers are exposed to, the better. Use Tupperware containers, Ziploc bags, or aluminum foil to create a tight seal.

If you are looking for plastic-less alternatives, consider glass containers or even beeswax covers which can take the place of plastic wrap.

Stay out of the Danger Zone

Anyone who has taken a cooking class will be familiar with the Danger Zone.

This refers to temperatures between 40 and 140 Fahrenheit. Food should either be cooked above the 140 Fahrenheit mark or stored when cooked below 40 degrees.

Food that is in the Danger Zone for more than 20 minutes can quickly be exposed to harmful bacteria.

If you have leftovers from dinner, be sure to store them in the refrigerator less than 2 hours after they have been cooked.

Do a Smell Test

Leftovers should be consumed as soon as possible for the best results.

While most food can be eaten up to 4 days after it is first cooked, it will taste better and have less risk of bacteria before this time limit.

When you take food out of the refrigerator to reheat and eat, do a quick visual test. Look for brown, black, or green spots. Also, look for any oozing or discoloration.

Perform a quick smell test, as well. If anything smells a bit off, it is best to not eat that food.

While this might seem wasteful, your stomach will thank you for taking the necessary precautions.

Related Questions

Is it safe to reheat fried chicken?

Yes, but only once. No matter how your chicken was first cooked, including if it was fried, it’s only safe to reheat it once more.

Then, once it’s been reheated be sure to eat it in one sitting and not leave it for another meal. The better you can meal plan, the less waste there will be.

How do you keep fried chicken crispy?

There’s a reason we call it fried chicken and not soggy chicken. To keep your fried chicken as crisp as possible, start by preheating your oven to 250 Fahrenheit.

Set up a baking sheet with a wire rack on top of it. As you fry each piece of chicken, first place it on a paper towel to remove excess grease and then place it on the rack.

Put the rack of chicken in the oven to keep the outside crispy as you fry other pieces or prepare other elements of the meal.

To ensure maximum crispiness, right before you plan on serving the fried chicken, turn your oven to broil for 2 minutes.

How do you reheat fried chicken in a pan?

Like the other methods mentions, be sure to remove your fried chicken from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Then, place a non-stick pan on the stove and heat it at medium heat.

Add 1 tbsp of oil and heat it. Place the fried chicken in the pan and cook for a few minutes.

Monitor the chicken closely and turn each side over so it doesn’t burn.

When the chicken is hot inside and the surface is crispy, remove from the pan. Let it rest for a few minutes and then serve.

How long does fried chicken last in the fridge?

Fried chicken will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, as long as it is properly stored. Place the fried chicken in either aluminum foil, a zip lock bag or an airtight container.

The less exposure the fried chicken has to air, the longer it will stay fresh.

Before consuming any leftovers, check for signs of it going bad, including black spots, oozing, or even an odor.


Cooking fried chicken can take a lot of work so it’s best to cook a large batch when you can.

The challenge then comes in making the chicken taste as good as possible the next day.

Thankfully, reheated fried chicken is not only possible, but it is also delicious.

Whether you want to use a microwave, a toaster oven, an air fryer, or an oven, there are multiple ways to reheat the fried chicken.

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