Chicken strips otherwise known as chicken nuggets rank high on the list of delicious comfort foods. They make for a quick meal and even great appetizers. They are widely enjoyed by both children and adults alike, such a crowd pleaser!
It doesn’t matter if you’re making a quick batch at home or ordering them online. It’s always a safe and easy choice. This means that you’re likely to end up with leftovers, so how do you reheat your chicken strips?
It is possible to do so with an oven and end up with delicious and crunchy chicken strips. To get the best results, it all starts with storing the tenders properly to get the most out of them. Storing them involves keeping them in the freezer or refrigerator.
How to store your chicken strips
To extend the shelf life of chicken strips, they should be frozen or refrigerated. The method you use depends on whether they’re raw or fried.
Freezing chicken strips
We’ll be starting with how to freeze raw chicken strips. If you decided to prep a batch for easy and convenient use later, then you would need to bake them first.
- Dip the chicken strips into some egg white and shake off any excess.
- Coat them very well in some coating.
- Bake right away or let sit in the fridge for an hour before baking.
- Let them cool down before freezing.
- Put them in airtight freezer bags and remove any air before sealing.
They should last in the freezer for a month or two.
Freezing fried chicken strips
The process is very similar to freezing raw tenders except baking first.
- Let the chicken strips cool down if they’re hot/warm.
- The condensation from the hot strips will create moisture and that could ruin them.
- Put the strips in freezer bags or airtight containers.
- If you don’t have either, you can wrap them in some aluminum foil or freezer wrap.
- Place in the freezer, and make sure nothing can puncture the bags/wraps.
These will also last for about two months before the quality is affected. Discard chicken strips if you notice a bad smell, it’s not safe for consumption and you shouldn’t risk your health.
Can you store your chicken strips in the fridge?
You can absolutely keep them in the fridge if you don’t plan to use them anytime soon. They will only stay good in the fridge for 2 or 3 days so do keep that in mind. It helps to label the container with the contents and refrigeration date.
If you’ve left the chicken strips in the fridge for longer than two days then dispose of them.
How to reheat chicken strips
When it comes to reheating chicken strips, you want it fast and you don’t want chewy tenders. The oven and air fryer are very efficient and straightforward. it’s best to avoid the microwave as you’d likely end up with a soggy mess.
Reheating chicken strips in the oven
The oven is a great way to reheat your chicken strips. The hot air forces the moisture out of the chicken which results in crispy and crunching tenders. It’s the next best method after the air fryer, to reheat chicken strips in the oven:
- Allow the chicken strips to cool down first. You don’t want to end up with hot chicken on the outside and cold in the middle.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the chicken strips on a baking sheet or an oven-safe pan or dish.
- Brush the strips with a little oil on each side.
- Place in the oven and allow to heat for about 10 minutes.
- Flip the strips after 10 minutes or once heated.
- Monitor them closely as you do not want them to brown quickly.
- To check the strips, remove one with a tong and cut into it to check if it’s the right temp.
- Remove from the oven when it’s ready and serve.
This method might be a bit time-consuming but it gives excellent results.
Reheating chicken strips in an air fryer
Air fryers are a popular and convenient way to reheat anything, especially fried foods. It is also a healthy choice as opposed to deep-frying. It heats the chicken without leaving any cold spots and the result is hot and crispy strips.
- Remove chicken strips from the freezer or the refrigerator and allow them to cool at room temperature.
- Remove any moisture by soaking the chicken with paper towels.
- Place the chicken strips in the basket and make sure to leave enough space between each.
- Brush them with a little bit of oil.
- Set the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about five minutes.
- Check the strips and flip them then proceed to heat for another five minutes.
- Remove from the air fryer and serve hot.
Tip: Remember to leave enough space between the strips, overstuffing the basket will affect the final result. If the hot air can’t circulate, the strips will take a lot longer to heat up and possibly dry out. Brushing the strips with oil is important so that the crust retains that crunch.
Reheating chicken strips on a stovetop
Don’t have an air fryer or oven? Don’t worry about it, you can use the stovetop method. If you like extra crispy strips then stick around.
- Remove chicken strips from the freezer/fridge.
- Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet, if you don’t have any then use some canola oil instead. Ensure that the bottom of the pan is covered.
- Allow the oil to hit 400 degrees F.
- Carefully place the chicken strips in the oil, don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Fry the strips for two minutes on medium-high heat. Turn them and fry for another minute.
- Monitor the oil and make sure the chicken strips do not brown too quickly.
- Remove them from the oil and allow them to drain on some paper towels.
Make sure to check the oil before frying, this is very important. If it’s too hot, the chicken strips will burn and if it’s too cold they end up greasy and soaked. Use a thermometer to check if it’s reached 350 degrees F or insert a wooden spoon into the oil.
This method guarantees evenly heated strips and works great for that extra crispiness that we all love.
Can you reheat chicken strips in the microwave?
This should always be a last resort as it’s hard to get great results. It is very easy to end up with chewy and dry strips. You can attempt this method if you don’t have access to an oven, air fryer, or stove.
- Line some paper towels on a microwave-safe plate.
- Arrange the chicken strips on the plate making sure there’s enough space between them.
- Brush the strips with a little bit of oil to keep them moist.
- Microwave for two minutes or until piping hot.
- Take one out with a tong and cut it open to check them. If it needs more time, flip the strips and heat for an additional thirty seconds.
- Remove carefully from the microwave and drain off any excess oil on some dry paper towels. Serve immediately.
If you follow these tips, you can avoid rubbery and dry chicken strips. Might not turn out as great as other methods but it is still an option.
Can you reheat chicken tenders twice?
This is not recommended. This is because when you reheat cooked strips that have already been reheated, the meat will become very tough.
It might also encourage the spread of foodborne bacteria so it simply isn’t worth the risk.
What can you pair with your chicken strips?
There are so many ways to enjoy chicken strips and not get bored. Having a side dish to serve with the strips makes quite a difference. Popular side dishes include French fries, coleslaw, Mac and cheese, waffles, salads, and glazed/sautéed veggies amongst others.
Other important tips for reheating chicken strips
Ensure that the chicken strips are not piled on top of each other, especially in the microwave. This will allow for an even distribution of the heat.
Letting the leftover chicken strips thaw in the fridge is always a great idea. The fridge ensures that your leftovers thaw evenly, which makes it easy for them to be heated evenly.
Totally wrapping up chicken strips while you’re reheating them will make them go soggy. Allow a little space for the steam to go out so the crispiness can remain.
Do not reheat chicken strips twice. To prevent waste, only thaw chicken strips for the number of servings you need and keep the rest in the freezer.
We’ve essentially covered the best ways to reheat chicken strips with the oven and air fryer giving the best results. So no matter which route you take, those delicious tenders never have to go to waste ever again.
Remember to be patient with each method. If you want to save some time, just hit the defrost button on the microwave to thaw the strips faster. Either way, trust the process and the results will be worth it.