How to Reheat Chicken Without Drying it Out?

One of the best ways to reheat chicken without drying it out is to cook it over a stove rather than the microwave. This is because it keeps the meat flavor intact while preventing it from becoming rubbery. However, avoiding microwaves and tinfoil is important, as these materials cause the chicken to dry out. Another way to reheat chicken without drying it out is using the oven.

How to Reheat Chicken Without Drying It Out (2)

How to Reheat Chicken Without Drying it Out?

We all have a special place in our hearts for chicken, whether in the form of a breast, thigh, drumstick, or whole roasted bird. One of these ingredients’ many advantages is versatility, and leftovers can be used in everything from soup and pot pie to enchiladas and salad. If you know how to reheat chicken properly, you won’t have to worry about people complaining when you serve them last night’s dinner. Following this advice can prevent you from making a prized piece of poultry into a tasteless disappointment due to dehydration.

How Long does Cooked Chicken Last in the Fridge?

So you came across a container of chicken that has been shredded but can’t remember when. (Play eerie music.) Eat after reheating, okay? Most likely not The USDA advises using cooked chicken refrigerated at 40°F or less within three to four days. In our kitchen, we use smell and appearance as backup indicators of freshness and follow a “five days max” policy for most leftovers in the refrigerator, including leftover chicken.

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Chicken?

There is no correct or incorrect way to reheat chicken; it primarily comes down to personal style and the kind of leftovers you have. However, the eating regimen we outline below has both advantages and disadvantages. Here is a quick comparison:

Oven: Although it takes longer than other methods, this one is excellent for large, bone-in chicken pieces.

Stove: While boneless, skinless chicken works best with this technique, breaded or braised slices don’t fare as well.

Although this procedure is quick, it can potentially overcook the breaded chicken.

This technique takes longer and calls for specialized equipment, but it’s excellent for regaining crispness (i.e., an air fryer)

How to Reheat Chicken in the Oven?

The oven is your best option when it comes to reheating larger chunks of chicken or a bird still on the bone. Here is how to accomplish it:

  • The oven must first be preheated. Take the chicken out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the chill off your chicken by letting it sit at room temperature on the counter while you wait for the oven to heat up.
  • Add moisture in step two. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish after the oven has finished heating. Add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock to cover the bottom of the pan with a very thin layer of liquid. Then use two layers of foil to cover the pan tightly. The water’s ability to produce steam will aid in keeping the meat nicely moist.
  • 3rd step: reheat. Place the chicken in the oven and cook it there until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the chicken because cooking durations can vary depending on its size. Remove the chicken from the oven once it has heated through; it should be juicy and filling at this point. Note that this procedure does not, in our experience, produce a crispy skin. If that’s a deal-breaker, broil your chicken for a few minutes to get the skin crisp before slicing it.

How to Reheat Chicken on the Stove?

The stove is a reliable method for reheating deboned chicken. Still, we don’t advise simply tossing a boneless, skinless breast into a frying pan because the direct heat will quickly dry that poultry out. Instead, use these steps to reheat chicken when cooking it on the stove so that it will be tender and ready to be added to stir-fries, salads, or pasta dishes.

  • First, prepare the meat. Depending on the cut of chicken you have and what you intend to do with it, there are different ways to prepare it for reheating on the stove. We like to remove the chicken from the bone when we have leftover rotisserie chicken or bone-in thighs and check the meat for cartilage. If the breast is boneless and skinless, we will slice it into one-inch-thick pieces, both thin enough for the meat to heat up quickly and thick enough to prevent drying.
  • Step 2: is to reheat the leftovers. Add enough water to the bottom of a skillet. As the water begins to simmer, place the pan over medium heat and add the chicken. When the chicken has heated through to 165°F, turn the heat down and give it a gentle stir. Once the chicken is nicely heated, eat it quickly.

How to Reheat Chicken in the Microwave?

Although it is quick and easy, we have found that the microwave is not the best way to reheat a bird because it frequently results in rubbery or extremely dry chicken. Nevertheless, if you must use your leftover chicken in a microwave, follow these instructions for better results.

  • First, get the platter ready. On a plate that can be heated in a microwave, arrange the chicken so that the smaller pieces are in the middle and the larger ones are close to the plate’s edge.
  • Add some moisture in step two. We’ve discovered that topping the chicken with a few teaspoons of water and a drizzle of olive oil will help keep the chicken moist and enhance its flavor the following day.
  • Third step: Cover and warm. We prefer to invert a bowl and place it on the chicken plate instead of using plastic wrap that can be heated in a microwave. Remove the plate from the microwave after one minute on full power, then check to see if the chicken is done. If not, turn the meat and microwave it again for an additional 30 seconds while covering the plate. It’s time to eat when the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. (Hint: The wattage of your microwave will determine how long to microwave something, so start with less time to prevent a dry chicken mess.)

How to Reheat Chicken in an Air Fryer?

If you have an air fryer, it can reheat once crisp chicken while keeping its crunchy quality. (Consider fried or chicken tenders.) This is the procedure.

  • Get the air fryer warmed up. Preheat your air fryer at 375°F for about 5 minutes, as the manufacturer directs for your specific model.
  • Prepare the meat. Depending on your model, put the leftover chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket (or on the air fryer tray).
  • Heat the leftovers in step three. Shaking the basket halfway through, reheat the leftover chicken in the air fryer for about 4 minutes. Enjoy the crispiness of the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, then dunk it in the sauce of your choice and tuck it in.

Reference: Effect of thermal treatment on the flavor generation from Maillard reaction of xylose and chicken peptide

Can you Reheat Chicken on the Bone?

Any cut of bone-in chicken can be reheated, and the oven is your best bet for maintaining the meat’s moisture and the skin’s crispness.

Keeping It From Getting Dry

Nothing is more frustrating than rubbery, overcooked chicken, so here’s how to avoid it at all costs:

Insert liquid
Any dish you are reheating the chicken in will produce steam if you add water or chicken broth, which helps the meat retain moisture.

If you’re using the oven, cover the dish with tinfoil. Cover the dish with a skillet lid if you’re using the stovetop. If you’re using the microwave, cover the dish with a damp paper towel.

Never cut.
The likelihood of a chicken piece drying out increases with its size. Keep the chicken cuts whole until after reheating, if at all possible. To prevent overcooking and drying while reheating cubed or sliced chicken, keep a close eye on it and check the internal temperature frequently.

Do you think that advice like this is useful for cooking chicken to perfection? Then, don’t forget to look at the Chicken. Ebook titled What’s for Dinner?

It includes useful advice such as the best methods for cooking various chicken cuts, instructions for safely defrosting chicken, and more than 70 mouthwatering recipes.

How to Reheat Chicken Breasts?

Popular for use in various recipes, boneless, skinless chicken breast is simple to reheat on the stovetop or in the oven and produces delectable results.

Reheating chicken coated or sauced, like my Melt in Your Mouth Chicken, is best done in the oven. The sauce reheats evenly without skipping or burning on the top.

If not, quickly reheat chicken breasts that have been grilled or sautéed in a pan on the stovetop by following the instructions above.

Which Chicken Pieces can be Reheated?

The chicken drumsticks, thighs, legs, breasts, and other chicken parts can all be reheated.

Be careful not to overcook or underheat the cooked chicken left over.

Eating cooked chicken all at once is always preferable and recommended. Additionally, any leftover chicken can be cooked on the stovetop in a skillet or frying pan, in the microwave, or the oven.

Check out our mouthwatering beef recipes, including Classic Roast Beef with Gravy and Roast Beef with Potatoes and Carrots. Also, see Baked Honey Garlic and Parmesan Asparagus in the Oven. chicken thigh


As long as the chicken is fully cooked and stored correctly within two hours of cooking, reheating leftover fried chicken is safe.

Select one of the five methods listed above to reheat the fried chicken. Keep in mind that for all harmful bacteria to be destroyed, the interior temperature must be at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit.