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How to Reheat Fried Chicken

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as indulging in leftover fried chicken. But the challenge? Keeping that crispy crust and juicy meat intact. Thankfully, with a few handy tips, you can enjoy your chicken the way it was meant to be.

Leftover fried chicken on parchment paper.

To best reheat fried chicken, preheat your oven to 375°F, place the chicken on a baking rack set over a baking sheet, and heat for 15-20 minutes. This method preserves the chicken’s crispiness and juiciness.

How To Reheat Fried Chicken

When reheated improperly, fried chicken can become soggy, rubbery, or overly dry. Proper reheating techniques ensure you maintain the chicken’s original flavor and texture.

Different methods can help achieve crispy results, but not all are created equal. The USDA guidelines recommend reheating chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure food safety. Here are the best methods to consider.


This method ensures air circulates around the chicken, keeping the crust crispy.

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place chicken pieces on a baking rack set over a baking sheet.
  3. Heat for about 15-20 minutes, checking occasionally.

Air Fryer

Air fryers mimic deep frying, giving you a crunch similar to the original.

  1. Set your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Reheat in batches to avoid overcrowding.
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes or until crispy.

For a crispy accompaniment to your fried chicken, learn how to perfectly reheat your leftover French fries with our easy guide.


While quick, microwaves can make your chicken’s crust soggy. If you must use a microwave, use it only to warm the chicken, not to make it crispy.

  1. Lay a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate and place the chicken on it.
  2. Set the microwave to medium power.
  3. Heat in 30-second intervals, checking between each.
  4. Ensure the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C) before eating.

Pan Frying

Re-frying can make the chicken overly greasy and may overcook the meat.

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
  3. Fry pieces without overcrowding, 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Drain on paper towels or a wire rack.

Tips For Optimal Results

Follow these guidelines for the best reheating results:

  • Don’t Rush: Faster isn’t always better. Gentle reheating helps preserve the chicken’s texture.
  • Thaw First: If your chicken is frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator first. This ensures even reheating.
  • Avoid Steaming: Keep the chicken uncovered when reheating to prevent steam from making the crust soggy.

Also, check out my post on how to reheat chicken tenders or rotissoire chicken as they are similar but not exactly the same techniques.

OvenKeeps crust crispy, Even heatingTakes longer
Air FryerQuick, Mimics original fryingMay not be available for everyone
MicrowaveFastest methodSoggy crust, Uneven heating
Pan FryingCrispyGreasy, Risk of overcooking

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Reheat Fried Chicken

It’s not advisable to reheat fried chicken multiple times, as it can lead to food safety issues and degrade the chicken’s quality.

No, keep it uncovered. The covering can create steam which can make the crust soggy.

Overheating can dry out the meat. It’s best to use methods like the oven or air fryer and avoid microwaving for long durations.


Reheating fried chicken doesn’t have to be a guessing game. With the right method, you can enjoy your leftovers just as much as when they were freshly cooked. Remember, the key is in the approach!

Leftover fried chicken on parchment paper.

How to reheat fried chicken

Bring your fried chicken back to life with these reheating techniques! Ensure the perfect balance between crispiness and juiciness, just like when it was freshly cooked.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American


  • Leftover fried chicken
  • Cooking oil (for pan frying method)


Oven Method

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Arrange chicken on a baking rack over a baking sheet.
  • Heat for 15-20 minutes.

Air fryer

  • Preheat to 375°F (190°C).
  • Arrange the chicken in the air fryer basket.
  • Reheat in batches for about 10 minutes.


  • Place chicken on a paper towel-lined microwave-safe plate.
  • Set to medium power and heat in 30-second intervals.
  • Check for an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Pan Frying

  • Heat oil to 350°F (175°C) in a frying pan.
  • Pat chicken dry and fry for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Drain on paper towels or a wire rack.
Keyword How to reheat fried chicken
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