How to Reheat Chicken in the Microwave

Chicken is a delicious protein staple that is versatile enough to be used in many meals. It reheats well, especially in the microwave, which allows you to get multiple meals out of a package of chicken. 

How should you reheat chicken in the microwave, though? There are several different methods that can be used, depending on the type of chicken you are trying to reheat. Some types of chicken can be wrapped in a paper towel and heated in the microwave, while others must have some liquid or seasoning added to them to maintain their texture and flavor.

Whether you are reheating a leftover chicken sandwich from a restaurant or you are microwaving leftover chicken pasta from a home-cooked meal, this method of reheating food is certainly convenient. Take a look below at a few tips we have for reheating chicken in the microwave. 

Tips for Reheating Chicken in the Microwave

Choose the Proper Type of Dish

Select a microwave-safe dish for reheating your chicken to ensure no plastics leach into your food and the dish can withstand heat well. To keep moisture in your chicken, it works well to put the lid on the dish with one corner off slightly.

This allows the steam to remain in your dish and seep into your chicken without causing it to build up pressure. 

Maintain Moisture

There is nothing worse than microwaved chicken that is dry. This can be prevented in a variety of ways including:

  • Add liquid to your chicken. This works especially well with shredded or rotisserie chicken.
  • Slightly cover your chicken. You can do this with a paper towel or the lid to your dish.
  • Don’t microwave it for too long. Check on the chicken every 30 seconds to assess the temperature.

Don’t Microwave Raw Chicken

Reheating chicken is only suitable for chicken that is thoroughly cooked. This main seem like a basic concept, but when you are reheating chicken from a pre-packaged, storebought package, you may not know whether it is pre-cooked or not. 

Every manufacturer, however, is required to put this information on their package. So, just be sure to read the fine print. 

Season It Well

Cooled chicken that has been stored in the refrigerator can lose its flavor. To prevent your reheated chicken from being bland, be sure to add more seasonings in before you reheat it in the microwave.

If you want to retain moisture and add flavor, you can do this with a broth or other liquid. Start with a small amount of seasoning, taste when warm, and add more, if necessary. 

Different Methods of Reheating Chicken in the Microwave

Not every type of chicken should be reheated in the same way. Crispy chicken can become soggy in the microwave, while shredded chicken can dry out quickly. Here are a few tips for adjusting your microwave process for chicken depending on its texture and original cooking method:

  • Rotisserie Chicken and Shredded Chicken: This type of chicken is usually broken into smaller, stringy pieces, which can dry out and warm up quickly. Add a bit of liquid when microwaving this type of chicken or cover it well to prevent water from escaping. 
  • Grilled Chicken Breast: Also susceptible to drying out in the microwave, you can wrap grilled chicken breast in a paper town or add a bit of water in the bottom of your container before putting it in the microwave.
  • Breaded Chicken: This type of chicken is the most tricky to reheat because it can become soggy easily. The key is to wrap it in a paper towel, rotate it in the middle of reheating, and finish in the oven or air fryer. 
  • Canned Chicken: As a convenient form of chicken, canned chicken is smaller in size. It heats fast but is the easiest to warm up. Simply put it in a dish and heat in short intervals. 
  • Chicken Wings: As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t reheat chicken with a bone in it. If you decide to do so, warming chicken wings on a plate in the microwave will suffice. 

Ease of Reheating Chicken in the Microwave

There is nothing easier than reheating a meal in the microwave. Chicken is a protein that holds up well in reheating and can be used in a variety of dishes. 

While there is not one specific way that works best for reheating chicken in the microwave, being sure to retain moisture and not overcook are some of the best techniques.