How to Reheat Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is a meal loved by many, especially by those who prepare their meals in advance. Knowing how to store and reheat it properly is vital to getting the most out of your meal prep. Dry chicken is very unpleasant, so you will want to reheat it while keeping it moist.

Grilled chicken can be reheated in essentially any appliance that exudes heat. The key is to keep the chicken succulent and appetizing.

How to Store Grilled Chicken

If you’re planning on reheating grilled chicken, or any food, how it’s stored plays a part in the end result. After cooking it the first time, leave it out for a few minutes to let it cool down. Then, wrap it in plastic wrap or put it in some tupperware, or any other airtight container.

When left in the fridge, grilled chicken will last around four days. It may last longer, though, just be sure to examine it before reheating. If the chicken smells odd or feels glutinous, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. If you’ve been keeping your chicken in the freezer, you may need to take slightly different steps to reheat it.

Consider Before Reheating

Obviously, the key here is to not overcook your chicken in the first place. Overcooking it will dry it out even more when reheated. And reheating can be a touchy subject with drying out chicken. Before cooking, think about brining your chicken. This will take some extra time and planning ahead, but it will give you a more succulent grilled chicken to begin with.

Brining your chicken is fairly simple. Soaking it for just half an hour can make a world of difference. Do this by soaking it in saltwater (about ¼ cup salt dissolved into four cups of water). It will allow the meat to tenderize and keep it staying juicier for longer periods of time.

Sometimes, reheated chicken can develop a more unpleasant taste than it had to begin with. If you’ve noticed this in your reheated chicken, try using lime or lemon juice when you are cooking the chicken originally.

How to Reheat Grilled Chicken in the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Take your chicken out of the fridge. Wrap it in foil and two to three tablespoons of water or stock per chicken breast. This will help to moisten it. Stock is more desirable as it has more flavor.
  3. Heat your chicken breasts for ten to fifteen minutes. Repeatedly check on them and add another few minutes if needed.

An optional last step you could take is unwrapping the foil and broiling the chicken breasts for one to two minutes. This will help to let the outsides of the chicken crisp. If you don’t have a meat thermometer to measure the heat in your chicken, you can also use a sharp knife.

To use a sharp knife to make sure the chicken is hot throughout, stick it into the thicket part of the chicken. Then, feel the temperature of the metal knife when you pull it out. If the knife is hot, the chicken is ready. If it doesn’t feel hot enough, put it back in the oven. Remember to seal the foil again to keep the moisture. 

Using a Skillet to Reheat Grilled Chicken

  1. Add two to three tablespoons of water or stock to the skillet.
  2. Put the stove on medium heat and heat the pan. Add the chicken once the liquid begins to steam.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid that is tight-fitting. Use tin foil if you don’t have a lid, this helps to trap the moisture in.
  4. Heat the chicken for two to three minutes, then take off the cover and flip the chicken over.
  5. Put the lid back on and heat for another two to three minutes. Check on the chicken, and repeat until it is very hot.
  6. At the end, turn the heat up to a high setting to char the outside of the chicken and make it more crispy.

If your chicken pieces are large and thick, slice them in half before heating. This will help ensure that the middle of the chicken gets hot enough. Make sure there’s enough liquid in the pan for steam to form, but not so much liquid that the chicken becomes watery.

A few tablespoons of stock or water should be perfect. If your chicken is very dry and overcooked to begin with, though, think about slicing it up. Then submerge it completely in stock, but not water. This will let the chicken soak up liquid so it won’t be as hard.

Reheating Grilled Chicken in a Microwave

In a time crunch, using a microwave to reheat your grilled chicken is your best bet. Stick to only heating one or two pieces at once, to ensure the chicken will heat evenly. Heat on a low setting and slowly so there isn’t as much of a risk of overcooking the chicken.

  1. Get a microwave-safe bowl or container and fill it with two to three tablespoons of stock or water.
  2. Set the chicken into the container and cover with plastic wrap. Poke some holes into the plastic wrap so steam will have a chance to escape. 
  3. Put the microwave on 50% power and heat for thirty seconds.
  4. Continue heating in thirty second intervals until the chicken is very hot.
  5. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for another thirty seconds to one minute so it can cool down before serving.

Final Thoughts

Grilled chicken is a popular meal, especially amongst those who prepare meals in advance. Meal prep is a great idea, but if you aren’t careful, reheating grilled chicken can cause it to dry out. This is why it’s vital to take steps beforehand to moisten the chicken and keep it moist. These instructions are nearly foolproof ways to reheat grilled chicken and keep it staying appetizing.