Crispy, crunchy, succulent, and scrumptious—few foods are as undeniably delicious as fried chicken! Whether it is dinner from Popeyes, KFC, or your very own kitchen, this is one meal that draws everyone in and fills them up fast. Of course, this means leftovers.
Wondering how to reheat fried chicken? We’ve got you covered! There are several ways to reheat fried chicken but not all deliver the mouthwatering results you deserve.
By far, the best way to reheat fried chicken is in the air fryer.
Keep reading to learn how to reheat fried chicken, why you should use an air fryer for best results, plus tips and tricks for reheating fried chicken in the air fryer.
And here is how I make fried chicken in the air fryer.
How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer
STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees F.
STEP TWO: Place the chicken pieces in the basket of the air fryer. Make sure they are arranged in a single layer and don’t overlap.
STEP THREE: Cook for about 5 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The exact cooking time may vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
STEP FOUR: Remove with tongs, serve, and enjoy!
What is the Best Way to Reheat Fried Chicken?
Hands down, the best way is to reheat fried chicken in the air fryer. A quick tour of the other possible methods will help shine a light on why.
As you will soon find out, reheating fried chicken in the air fryer is the superior method. This appliances uses dry, circulating heat to cook food. This is exactly what is needed to put the crisp back in the breading while keeping your chicken moist, tender, and juicy on the inside. Even better, it works in a matter of minutes!
Oven or Toaster Oven
The oven comes in second place, although it does take a little bit longer. You can place your chicken pieces on a wire rack in a 400 degrees F oven, for about 15 or 20 minutes. The skin won’t be soggy, but it won’t be quite as crisp as when using an air fryer to reheat fried chicken.
You can also use a skillet to reheat fried chicken. This process requires more oil to basically re-fry the chicken, which can end up a bit greasy. This is a decent way to heat up your leftovers if needed, but don’t expect them to taste like the original.
You can save time by using the microwave to reheat just about anything, including fried chicken. That said, I really don’t recommend it. You can use a paper towel under the chicken to absorb moisture, but in the end, fried chicken reheated in the microwave will come out soggy and rubbery. My advice? Let your air fryer reheat fried chicken!
How Long Do You Reheat Chicken in the Air Fryer?
How long to reheat fried chicken in the air fryer depends on the amount of chicken and the size of your pieces. Here are some approximate times for various pieces.
- Fried Chicken Breasts: 8-10 minutes
- Fried Chicken Tenders: 4-5 minutes
- Fried Chicken Wings: 5-6 minutes
- Fried Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks: 6-8 minutes
Remember to keep a close eye on your chicken and flip the pieces over halfway through cooking time.
If you have a large batch of fried chicken to reheat, consider doing it in multiple batches for the best, most even results.
What Else Can You Reheat in the Air Fryer?
The answer is: just about anything! Here’s a (very) short list of some of my favorite dishes to reheat in the air fryer, especially when compared to using a microwave.
- Chicken Tenders
- Baked Potatoes
- Fried Fish
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Egg Rolls
- Leftover Pizza
Tips for Reheating Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer
Follow these simple tips for the best results when reheating fried chicken in the air fryer:
- Bring to Room Temperature. Remove the cold, leftover fried chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to rest on the counter before reheating. Shoot for at least 10 and up to 30 minutes for this, depending on the size of your chicken. This allows the proteins to relax and helps keep the meat tender, supple, and moist.
- Preheat the Air Fryer. Make sure your air fryer is properly calibrated and fully preheated before cooking.
- Don’t Overlap. For the crispiest, crunchiest results, don’t overcrowd the air fryer or let your pieces overlap. The more surface the air has to contact, the better your results will be. Separate the chicken into two batches if needed.
Other Air Fryer Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken
- Air Fryer Grilled Chicken
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Chicken Katsu
- Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer
- Leftover fried chicken (4 to 6 pieces)
- Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees F.
- Place the chicken pieces in the basket of the air fryer. Make sure they are arranged in a single layer and don’t overlap.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Exact cooking time may vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
- Remove with tongs, serve, and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 59mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 20g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.