How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets

Aside from being known best for their burgers and fries, many people still hold a special place in their heart for McDonald’s chicken nuggets. McDonald’s also helped parents and other customer better stomach nuggets by removing artificial preservatives a few years ago. McNuggets are as popular as ever, and available in many sizes, including a recent box of 50 McNuggets.

A few common ways to reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets rely on some kitchen basics. Try putting them in the oven, the microwave, or if you have one, an air fryer. We offer some explanation and steps below on how to get the best reheated nuggets.

How to reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets in the microwave

While this is the most common kitchen appliance besides a stove, it also requires the most attention. Overly microwaved nuggets are not good nuggets, which is why we suggest this step by step.

  1. Put the nuggets in the microwave. The best choice for a dish would by the microwave crisper dish, if you have one.
  2. Set the timer for 30 seconds and let them heat up
  3. Remove the nuggets to check the temperature and toughness every 30 seconds. The idea is to keep them from getting too hot and becoming harder.
  4. Put the nuggets back in the microwave for another 30 seconds until you have the right amount of heat.
  5. Remove the nuggets and enjoy.

The microwave is by far the quickest method and the results should be good.

Reheating McDonald’s chicken nuggets in the oven

The oven will take a little more time, but with more time comes more control of the temperature and the nuggets.

  1. Put the nuggets on a oven safe dish.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  3. Place the oven safe dish with nuggets in the oven
  4. Wait about 5 minutes to start and check to see if the nuggets are sizzling. Also, check to make sure they aren’t getting to tough
  5. Place in the oven again if they aren’t getting hot enough

As you can tell, this process isn’t much different from baking frozen chicken nuggets, except the process is shorter. The nuggets are precooked after all and you are actually trying to keep them from being cooked more!

How about an air fryer?

Air fryers have been trending recently for their ability to mimic the flavors of some fast foods and fried chicken quickly. Best of all, they now fit in an average kitchen

  1. Ideally, you shouldn’t need to preheat your air fryer. You are trying to control the temperature!
  2. Place the nuggets in the air fryers basket or rack
  3. Turn the air fryer on the low to medium heat, preferably under 400. This temperature best keeps the heat under control
  4. Check on the nuggets after about 5 minutes. See if they are done to your liking. The nugget should still be flexible, but crunchy.
  5. Remove the nuggets once they reach the desired heat.

The air fryer will closely mimic the cooking method used at McDonald’s and give crispy skin. That said, not everyone has one!

Does the stovetop work?

The stovetop is a possible method. Depending on how many nuggets you plan to reheat, you might need a medium to large sized skillet to keep them completely separated.

  1. Put some vegetable or olive oil in the pan to retain moisture and keep the nuggets from sticking to the pan
  2. Place the pan over low to medium heat for better heat control
  3. Put the nuggets in and separate them
  4. The best sign that the nuggets are as hot as the drive thru is when you hear sizzling. Be sure to take them off quickly after to keep them getting too tough
  5. Remove the skillet from the stovetop.
  6. Take the nuggets off with the spatula and enjoy!

Compared to the oven, the stovetop allows you to readily see, hear, and smell your nuggets’ progress, assuming you stay close.

Can I heat them up in the carton?

You can, but we wouldn’t suggest it. The carton is made for storing the nuggets. Placing the carton in the oven at temperature will probably cause it to melt, at best, and catch fire at worst.

The carton may work in the microwave, but you are better off using a plate to keep the nuggets separated. The carton is too small to help keep nuggets separated for even heat.


Reheating McDonald’s chicken nuggets is definitely not impossible – you just need some basic kitchen appliances. The rest is a matter of you deciding exactly how you want the nuggets redone. The oven is a simple, easy method that will take minutes but offer you the best controls. Microwaves are fast, but have a higher risk of making your nuggets tough. 

Take our suggestions and don’t fear ordering the entire box of 50. You probably won’t finish them all in once sitting but you’ll have a better chance at enjoying McDonald’s the same way you did when you got them.