Reheating Chicken in an Air Fryer: How to Do It Right

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It can be tricky to reheat chicken without sacrificing some of it’s juiciness and texture. But reheating chicken in an air fryer leads to crispy breading and retained moisture. Not only is it quick, reheating air fried chicken turn out just as crispy as when you first made it (or had it delivered).

Since fried chicken is deep fried, using the air fryer to reheat it actually reactivates the oil to maintain that deep fried quality with a super crispy exterior. No other method of reheating can reproduce this crispiness, unless you’re willing to deep fry it again.

fried chicken
  • Efficiently reheat chicken in an air fryer by first preheating it to 365°F (190°C) for 5 minutes.
  • Next, arrange the chicken pieces in the basket so they aren’t overlapping.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes, flipping midway for even reheating and crispiness. If needed, extend the cooking by 1-2 minutes.
  • Once done, let it rest briefly before indulging in the crispy, juicy reheated chicken.

Next time you need to reheat chicken, skip the mess of a deep fryer, the long process in the oven, and the sogginess of the microwave and go straight for the air fryer.

While this method works best for reheating fried chicken or breaded chicken, you can also use the air fryer to reheat chicken breast and chicken thighs. Read on to find out how.

Can You Reheat Chicken in An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use the air fryer to reheat chicken and it is actually the best, easiest, and fastest way to do so.

The circulating air in the air fryer, coupled with the small space in the basket, crisps back up the skin of the chicken, whether it has breading on it or not. This leads to perfectly reheated fried chicken or chicken wings.

In fact, you can use your air fryer to reheat a whole host of leftovers, even if they were frozen. Once you’ve tried the air fryer technique to reheat your wings, it will surely become your go-to method.

chicken reheated in the air fryer

How To Reheat Chicken In The Air Fryer

It usually just takes just 5-6 minutes to reheat chicken in the air fryer, however the reheating time will vary depending on the type of chicken.

  • Individual chicken pieces, like a leg, thigh, or wing, should be reheated for 5-6 minutes on 365°F.
  • A whole chicken, or rotisserie chicken, should be reheated for 10-15 minutes on 375°F.
  • Chicken tenders or breaded chicken fingers should be reheated for 2-3 minutes on 365°F.

Step One: Arrange chicken in a single layer

First of all, arrange the chicken in the air fryer, taking care to place them in a single layer. This is important so that each piece gets surface air circulation to quickly re-crisp the skin without overcooking the inside.

Step Two: Cook until heated through

Set the air fryer temperature to 365 °F. Air fry until the chicken is heated through. For optimum results, flip the chicken over about halfway through to ensure both sides get crispy skin.

NOTE: In order to be safe to eat, chicken should have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to determine whether the temperature has reached this safe level.

How To Reheat Fried Chicken In An Air Fryer

Reheating fried chicken in an air fryer is an excellent way to restore its crispy exterior while keeping the interior juicy.

  • If the fried chicken is refrigerated, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. This step helps the chicken reheat more uniformly.
  • Place the fried chicken pieces in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Avoid overcrowding the basket, preventing proper air circulation and crispiness.
  • Put the chicken-loaded air fryer basket into the preheated air fryer. Depending on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces, you’ll generally need to reheat them for about 3-5 minutes.
  • After about half of the reheating time has passed, open the air fryer and carefully flip the chicken pieces. Flipping helps ensure even heating and crisping on both sides.
  • Keep an eye on the chicken during the last minute or so of reheating. If you notice that the chicken isn’t as crispy as you’d like it to be, you can add another minute or two to the reheating time.

How To Reheat Chicken Wings In An Air Fryer

chicken wings in air fryer

Since wings are on the small side, they reheat fairly quickly. It will take just 5-6 minutes to reheat chicken wings in the air fryer.

  • Arrange the wings in the air fryer, placing them in a single layer. This is important so that each wing gets surface air circulation to quickly crisp the skin without overcooking the inside.
  • Set the air fryer temperature to 365 degrees F.
  • Air fry the wings for 5 to 6 minutes or until they’re heated through.
  • Flip the wings over about halfway through for optimum results to ensure both sides get crispy skin.
  • To be safe to eat, chicken should have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees using an instant-read meat thermometer.

How To Reheat Chicken Thighs In An Air Fryer

cooked Boneless Chicken Thighs in the air fryer basket
  • Arrange the Chicken Thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  • Reheat the thighs for about 3-4 minutes. The exact time may vary based on the size of the thighs and your air fryer’s power.
  • Flip the Thighs halfway through to ensure even heating and crisping on both sides.
  • If you prefer them to be even crispier, add another minute or two to the reheating time.
  • The thighs should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

How To Reheat Chicken Breasts In An Air Fryer

chicken breast in an air fryer
  • Allow the chicken breasts to sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes if they were refrigerated.
  • To help the chicken breasts retain moisture and enhance crispiness, lightly brush them with a small amount of oil.
  • Put the chicken breasts in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  • Reheat the chicken breasts for approximately 3-5 minutes.
  • Flip or Rotate the chicken breast halfway through the reheating time.
  • Check Internal Temperature and ensure the chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

How To Reheat Leg Quarters In An Air Fryer

chicken leg
  • If your cooked chicken leg quarters are refrigerated, allow them to come to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Brush the skin of the leg quarters with a small amount of oil to enhance the flavor and crispiness.
  • Put the chicken leg quarters in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  • Reheat the leg quarters for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Flip the leg quarters around the halfway point of the reheating time.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

How To Reheat Chicken Tenders In An Air Fryer

chicken strips in the air fryer
  • Allow the chicken tenders to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before reheating if they had been refrigerated.
  • Place the chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket to avoid overcrowding.
  • Reheat the tenders for about 3-4 minutes, flipping them halfway to ensure even reheating and crispiness.
  • If you prefer them to be even crispier, you can extend the reheating time slightly.

How To Reheat Rotisserie Chicken In An Air Fryer

  • If your rotisserie chicken comes from the refrigerator, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with a thin layer of oil or your favorite sauce to enhance flavor and crispiness.
  • Reheat the chicken for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Check Skin Crispiness halfway through the reheating time. If you’d like it to be crispier, extend the reheating time by a few minutes.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C).
  • Once the rotisserie chicken is properly reheated, with crispy skin and the appropriate internal temperature, carefully remove it from the air fryer basket. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before carving and serving.

Tips for Reheating Chicken in an Air Fryer

Reheating Chicken in the Air Fryer
  • Eat the reheated chicken immediately, hot from the fryer.
  • You only want to reheat chicken one time. A second reheating will lead to dry chicken.
  • There’s no need to preheat the air fryer, but if you do, you might need less time to reheat.
  • Reheat chicken pieces of similar size for the best results. That way, they’ll be more likely to cook evenly, with no hot or cold spots.
  • There’s no need to add any more oil to the chicken. There should be enough residual fat to preserve the texture.
  • It’s not a great idea to store reheated chicken a second time, so do your best to only cook what you need or eat it after heating.

Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

We have a lot of chicken recipes you can use to cook chicken in the air fryer, either from fresh or frozen, and these can all be reheated in the air fryer. Check out some of these:

Frequently Asked Questions

How to reheat a whole chicken in an air fryer without drying it out?

To prevent the chicken from drying out during the reheating process, you can lightly wrap it in aluminum foil. This will help to trap moisture and prevent excessive heat from directly hitting the chicken. If you don’t want to use aluminum foil in the air fryer, you just need to cook on a lower temperature and watch the internal temperature of the meat to make sure you don’t go over 165F.

How long does it take to reheat chicken in an air fryer?

The reheating time for chicken in an air fryer can vary based on factors such as the size of the chicken, the air fryer’s wattage, and the starting temperature of the chicken. However, a general guideline is to reheat cooked chicken in an air fryer at around 350°F (175°C) for approximately 10 minutes.

Can the air fryer make chicken crispy again?

Yes, the air fryer is the best way to reheat fried chicken to make it crispy again, because of the circulating air that helps to reactivate the oil in the breading on chicken and make it just as crispy as it was the first time. This is also why we use the air fryer to reheat pizza. Foods with a little bit of oil on them already are great to reheat in the air fryer.

Can you reheat boneless chicken in the air fryer?

There’s really no difference between a bone-in or boneless pieces of chicken. Reheating chicken, whether it’s bone-in breasts or even baked chicken, in the air fryer instantly crisps up the outside, sealing in all the juices while the inside becomes heated and tender all over again.

Can I reheat chicken tenders in the air fryer?

You can reheat any type of chicken in the air fryer, but chicken tenders are especially easy to reheat. All you do is place them in the basket and cook on 350 degrees F for about 3-4 minutes. They will be recrisped and reheated through, just like new.

Why Use an Air Fryer

An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.

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air fryer fried chicken

Reheating Chicken In An Air Fryer: How To Do It Right

Reheating chicken in an air fryer leads to crispy breading and retained moisture. Not only is it quick, fried chicken turn out just as crispy as when you first made it (or had it delivered).
5 from 32 votes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Equipment

Ingredients
 

For individual chicken pieces:

  • chicken leg, wing, thigh, or breast meat

For a whole chicken:

  • whole chicken

For chicken tenders:

  • breaded chicken tenders

Instructions
 

For individual chicken pieces:

  • Place the leg, thigh, or wing, or a combination into the air fryer basket. Don't overcrowd or the chicken won't heat evenly. Reheat for 5-6 minutes on 365°F.

For a whole chicken:

  • Place the whole chicken or rotisserie chicken in the air fryer basket. Reheat for 10-15 minutes on 375°F.

For chicken tenders:

  • Place chicken tenders or breaded chicken fingers into the air fryer basket. Reheat for 2-3 minutes on 365°F.

Notes

For optimum results, flip the chicken over about halfway through to ensure both sides get crispy skin.
Placing them in a single layer is important so that each piece gets surface air circulation to quickly recrisp the skin without overcooking the inside.
In order to be safe to eat, chicken should have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Keyword Chicken
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15 thoughts on “Reheating Chicken in an Air Fryer: How to Do It Right

    • Laura Lynch says:

      All air fryers are different. If you have a reheat button, you would just need to press that to reheat your chicken. Some don’t have that button and you’d then use the air fry or roast button.

    • Angela Morris says:

      It can vary by the size of the chicken. Individual chicken pieces, like a leg, thigh, or wing, should be reheated for 5-6 minutes on 365°F. A whole chicken, or rotisserie chicken, should be reheated for 10-15 minutes on 375°F. Chicken tenders or breaded chicken fingers should be reheated for 2-3 minutes on 365°F.

    • Angela Morris says:

      That is true Eli, chicken can become dry and tough while reheating. That is why we love to use the air fryer to reheat chicken as well as many other foods. The circulating air in the air fryer, coupled with the small space in the basket, crisps back up the skin of the chicken, whether it has breading on it or not. This leads to perfectly reheated fried chicken or chicken wings.

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