Air fryers are great for reheating fried chicken. They’re fast and efficient and you don’t need to use any oil at all!
This is especially good if you’ve already fried your chicken in plenty of oil; otherwise, the added fat can make things a little greasy.
In this article, we’ll show you how to reheat fried chicken in an air fryer step by step.
To keep your leftover fried chicken crispy, toss it in the air fryer at 375 degrees for 4 minutes.
Can You Reheat Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer?
The best part of fried chicken is that crispy flaky crust, but leftovers are so hard!
One of the best ways of keeping that crust crispy when reheating your chicken is doing it in an air fryer. It’s quick and easy and keeps things like fresh fried chicken.
Reheating it in the oven takes a long time to make it convenient and the microwave may be fast, but you lose that crispy outer layer.
The joys of the air fryer are it instantly crisps that outer layer keeping it crunchy and also sealing in the juices of the meat so you don’t end up with hot but dry leftovers.
How Long Does it Take for Fried Chicken to Reheat in an Air Fryer?
It takes minutes. In the end, it depends on how much you’re reheating.
Each basket of chicken takes about 4 minutes to reheat in the air fryer. You’ll want to space out the pieces so that none of them are touching.
Too much meat in the basket means the air can’t circulate properly around the chicken and it won’t heat evenly.
Why Use an Air Fryer to Reheat Your Fried Chicken?
Reheating in the oven takes forever and dries out the meat. The microwave will give you hot spots and a soggy crust.
Your air fryer will heat up and reheat your fried chicken before your oven has even gotten to temperature.
It’s great to take your leftovers and create a whole new meal, but that won’t work if you can’t reheat your fried chicken to perfection. Reduce your food waste and reheat your fried chicken in the best way possible.
The air fryer locks in the crispy skin and keeps the meat inside moist and still tender just like when it came out of the fryer.
How to Reheat Fried Chicken in an Air Fryer
Reheating your chicken is quick and easy, especially when you remember to preheat your air fryer.
- Preheat your fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Always place the chicken in a single layer in the basket with space between each piece to allow the hot air to circulate. Not leaving space will make this process more difficult and time-consuming.
- Spray the pieces with a little cooking spray if you haven’t coated them in sauce.
- Set the time for 4 minutes. Make sure to turn the chicken when about half the time is through.
- The inner temperature of your chicken should be 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) when finished. Use your kitchen meat thermometer to check.
- 4 minutes is an average. Your chicken may need more or less time. Use your judgment.
- For the best results, let your chicken pieces reach room temperature before you put them in the air fryer.
- Keep the pieces you cook together around the same size. Smaller pieces will overcook while you’re waiting for the larger pieces to finish.
- Instead of oil, you can spritz with a bit of water or broth to keep the larger pieces from drying out.
- It’s best to thaw any leftovers that you froze before you reheat them in the air fryer
What Alternative Can I Use to Reheat My Fried Chicken Aside from an Air Fryer?
There’s always the downside if you don’t have an air fryer. Now that they’ve been out for a while, they’re becoming more affordable and a staple in many households. If you haven’t acquired one yet, try one of these alternatives.
High and fast is best when reheating fried chicken in the oven. You’ll need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Your chicken should be at room temperature before you place them in the oven.
The key to fried chicken in the oven is air circulation. Line your baking sheet with an oven-safe wire rack. The rack keeps the chicken off the pan and allows air to circulate and helps keep the underside of the chicken crisp.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. When reheating chicken, heating to an inner temperature of 120 degrees F is alright. You may have to adjust your baking time depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
Pan-frying your leftovers is the best way to reheat them on the stovetop. Heat 2 inches of neutral oil (vegetable oil) over medium-high heat until it reaches 300 degrees F. It will take about 2 to 3 minutes for the chicken to crisp again. Let the chicken cool on a wire rack before eating it.
If you only have a few pieces to heat, then why heat the whole oven? That’s a waste of time. Preheat your toaster oven to 400 degrees F. You’ll want to line the trays with foil, or even better if you have a wire rack that fits in your toaster oven, use that just like in the oven.
Bake your chicken pieces for 10 to 15 minutes and make sure to flip halfway through if you’re not using a rack.
While it’s not the best option, it can be done. The microwave is uneven heat and brings moisture from inside to the surface which makes it difficult to maintain that crisp skin.
Microwave on top of a paper towel at 30-second intervals. Each time you set a new interval, flip the piece of chicken. The paper towel will absorb some of the moisture so it won’t be too soggy.
Reheating your fried chicken in the air fryer is not only the quickest way to take advantage of leftovers but the best.
The air fryer is the only way to eat yesterday’s chicken and have it taste fresh and new with the perfectly crispy crust and moist, tender meat inside.
In 4 to 8 minutes you’ll have perfectly good fried chicken to add to any meal.