Whether you made popcorn chicken at home or you brought some home from a restaurant, you might be wondering how you can reheat it so that it’s still crunchy and amazing. This guide will cover the best ways to reheat your popcorn chicken to ensure flavor and freshness.
Here are the easiest ways to reheat leftover popcorn chicken according to what appliances you have in your home.
1. Air Fryer
Using the air fryer is the best way to reheat popcorn chicken. If you have an air fryer, make sure to use it as it reheats the popcorn chicken in such a way it still tastes like it does the same day you make it.
- Take the leftover chicken from the fridge and allow it to sit on the counter for about 2o or 30 minutes. You want to make sure the chicken is at room temperature before reheating.
- Set the air fryer to 375F/
- Place the pieces of chicken in the basket of the air fryer. Make sure they are not overlapping and they have some spaces between them.
- If you have many pieces, you might want to run the air fryer more than once so that the chicken does not become too crowded.
- Heat the pieces for about 10 minutes.
- After 5 minutes have passed, you should shake the basket so that the pieces turn and all the sides of the chicken are heated evenly.
- Use a digital kitchen thermometer so that you can see if the chicken has been heated enough. It needs to be 165F on the inside.
- Once the correct temperature has been reached, you can remove them from the air fryer.
- Put them on a plate or serving dish. You can add sauce if you’d like or just eat them plain.
- Don’t forget to shake the basket as you want to make sure all pieces of chicken are cooked evenly to avoid some parts of the meat still being cold.
- When checking the temperature, make sure to put the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken.
While using the air fryer is the best way to reheat popcorn chicken, you can also use the oven. Make sure you follow the steps below though as you do not want the chicken to cook for too long. Popcorn chicken easily becomes dry when cooked for too long.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature before starting to cook it.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Place the popcorn chicken pieces onto a clean baking sheet. You need to leave spaces between the pieces to ensure even cooking. Make sure none of the pieces are overlapping.
- Bake them for about 10-13 minutes.
- Test the internal temperature with a digital kitchen thermometer. The inside should be 165F.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving.
- If you want your pieces to be crispy, you can grease the baking sheet. Make sure to only use a light coating.
- To save time, you can preheat the oven while you are waiting for the chicken to reach room temperature.
3. Toaster Oven
The steps for a toaster oven are about the same as using a normal oven.
- Preheat the toaster oven to 475F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Place the pieces on the sheet and bake for about 9-10 minutes.
- Space the pieces out evenly and do not overlap them.
If you do not have an air fryer or oven, you can use a skillet to refry the chicken pieces. This method takes a bit more work though and you need to make sure you follow all the steps or you might get chicken that is burnt and hard.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature. It should take about 29-30 minutes.
- Pat the chicken with paper towels so that there is no excess moisture.
- Take the coating ingredients you used when you first made the popcorn chicken and give them a light fresh coat. Make sure the coat is even.
- Heat the oil of your choice in a skillet at medium-low temperature.
- Fry the pieces. You will want to separate them into batches to ensure they do not become overcrowded and cook unevenly. Each batch will need to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the pieces from the skillet once they are crispy and brown.
- Put a paper towel on a plate and allow the pieces to sit on it so that the excess oil is dried off.
- Serve them while they are still hot.
- Even though it can be time-consuming, do not skip the coating part.
- Don’t fry at high temperatures as it can cause the coating to burn while the inside is not reheated.
Can You Reheat Popcorn Chicken in the Microwave?
You can reheat popcorn chicken in the microwave, but it is not recommended. The dish loses much of its flavor when microwaved. The exterior will also be crispy anymore which many people find unappealing.
How to Reheat
- Like the other methods, remove the chicken from the fridge and let it set for about 20-30 minutes until it has reached room temperature.
- Take a microwave-safe dish and space the pieces out evenly on it.
- Set the microwave on high.
- Reheat in intervals of about 30 seconds. Depending on the number of pieces you have, it should take about 1.5 to 3 minutes to reheat.
- Remove from the microwave and allow it to set for a few minutes.
Reheating popcorn chicken is easy, especially when you have an air fryer or toaster oven. Just make sure to follow the steps exactly for the best end result.