Safe Ways to Reheat Cooked Chicken

Before reheating cooked chicken, it’s important to check its internal temperature—several safe methods for reheating chicken, including the stovetop and microwave. Use the appropriate method for the type of chicken and the size of the dish. Use the timer on your microwave to ensure even heating. Check the temperature every few minutes to ensure it’s still hot enough.

Safe Ways to Reheat Cooked Chicken

Understanding the appropriate methods for cooking and storing leftovers can make a significant difference, even if all you’re trying to do is prevent food waste. You can reheat your meal in several ways, depending on the tools you have on hand and how you originally prepared the chicken.

Safe Ways to Reheat Cooked Chicken

There are several safe ways to reheat the cooked chicken. The most important thing is ensuring the chicken does not dry out. Cover the meat with a wet paper towel to prevent it from being too dry. Avoid using plastic wrap or aluminium foil, as they can catch on fire. You can also add some chicken broth to keep the chicken moist.

Before you reheat cooked chicken in the microwave, you must first defrost the chicken in the fridge or cold water. This is important because reheating uncooked chicken can increase the risk of bacteria, which can cause illness. To avoid this danger, you should always use a thermometer to ensure the temperature is safe for consumption. It is also important to remember to reheat the chicken as soon as possible.

Reheat Cooked Chicken in Oven

The oven is your best bet for reheating larger parts of chicken or a bird with the bone in. The procedure is as follows:

First, preheat the oven. Pull the chicken out of the refrigerator, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Your bird will feel less chilly if you let it rest at room temperature on the counter while you wait for the oven to heat up.

Embrace moisture. After the oven has heated up, transfer the chicken to a baking dish. Add a few tablespoons of liquid or chicken stock to the pan to create a very thin liquid layer on the bottom. The pan should then be completely covered with two pieces of foil. The meat will stay moist thanks to the water’s capacity to produce steam.

Reheat. The chicken should be cooked in the oven until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the chicken out of the oven once it has heated through thoroughly; it should be tasty and filling. Place your piece of chicken in the broiler for a few minutes to brown the outside before enjoying it if the lack of crispy skin is a deal-breaker for you.

Reheat Cooked Chicken on Stovetop

There are several ways to reheat cooked chicken on the stovetop. These methods will keep your leftover chicken moist and ready to eat in minutes. You can use leftover chicken in various dishes, such as soups, salads, and wraps. You can also freeze the chicken, which will help you use it for various meals.

First, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and place it on a non-stick baking sheet. This will help it stay moist without burning on the surface. Add about one tablespoon of butter or oil to keep the chicken moist. Make sure to move the chicken around frequently to prevent burning. Once the chicken reaches the desired temperature, take it off the heat.

Reheat Cooked Chicken in Microwave

There are several ways to reheat cooked chicken in the microwave. One method is to spread the chicken onto a microwave-safe plate, covering it with aluminium foil to prevent overheating. Then, sprinkle the chicken with olive oil or water to moisten it. Then, place the plate in the microwave for 1.5 to 5 minutes. After the cooking time has elapsed, check the chicken to ensure it’s hot enough.

Microwave cooking time depends on the type of chicken you’re cooking. Boneless breasts, for example, will take about two minutes on high. On the other hand, bone-in chicken may take four to six minutes on high. Check the chicken for doneness before reheating it, as too long may cause it to dry. If chicken has been stored correctly, it can be cooked and then reheated in the microwave. The USDA states that chicken is a perishable product that needs to be frozen or chilled within two hours of cooking to be safe to reheat.

Reheat Cooked Chicken in an Air fryer

The air fryer can help you make your meal tastier regarding leftover fried chicken. Using the air fryer to reheat chicken can make the process even quicker than in the conventional oven, and it will also help you enjoy the same taste without the oil.

You can reheat cooked chicken in about three to four minutes in an air fryer, enjoying the same crispy texture. You can reheat cooked chicken in the air fryer in several different ways. The first method involves placing the chicken on a microwave-safe dish. The wings should be placed on the outer edges of the dish, while the smaller pieces should be positioned in the centre.

The outer edge of the dish will cook the chicken faster than the centre. But it’s crucial to remember that you shouldn’t use the air fryer for cooking anything with wet batter. Foods like chicken wings, tempura shrimp, and corndogs shouldn’t be cooked with batter.

How to Check the Internal Temperature of Reheated Chicken?

Foodborne sickness will result from undercooking. You should check the moderate temperature of the chicken before reheating it. It should be at least 165 degrees. Checking the temperature each time you reheat the meat is the best method to keep it secure. When reheating chicken, you should also use a food thermometer. To maintain the meat’s temperature at 165 degrees, use it repeatedly.

Use of an instant-read thermometer is advised. It is simple to use a thermometer; you can do it once the chicken has rested. Use the thermometer only in the meat’s thickest section. The chicken can also be heated in the oven or an air fryer. Use a meat thermometer to calculate the temperature after reheating. At least 165 degrees Fahrenheit should be reached inside the chicken. It will dry out if it is below that temperature because it is too dry.

How can Leftover Chicken be Heated without Drying it Out?

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the chicken pieces in a baking dish, top with about 1 cup of water or chicken broth, and cover with foil. Take out the foil after 15 minutes and continue baking for another 5 minutes until the middle temperature reaches 165F and the skin is somewhat crunchy.

Place chicken breasts in a microwave-safe dish, cover them with a moist towel and reheat in the microwave. Set the timer to 5 minutes, and use high power. Please take out the bowl every 30 seconds, flip the pieces over, and then put it back in the microwave. Till the internal temperature reaches 165°F, repeat the cycle.

What is the Shelf Life of a Cooked Chicken in the Refrigerator?

While raw chicken only lasts one to two days in the refrigerator, cooked chicken lasts three to four days. To find if the chicken has taken a hit, check the “best if used by” date and check for signs of damaged food, including changes in smell, texture, and colour. Even if you thoroughly cook the chicken, you should avoid eating ruined chicken as it can make you sick.

If cooked chicken has been kept in a refrigerator at a temperature of no more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the USDA recommends using it within three to four days. For most leftovers in the refrigerator, we generally stick to a maximum of five days and rely on scent and sight as a backup for freshness.

Reference: Microbiological quality of cooked chicken breasts containing commercially available shelf-life extenders

How does Cooked Chicken be Stored after Preparation?

The freshness and quality of the meat will be preserved if you store your cooked chicken in a clean, dry, airtight container or bag made of food-grade plastic. If you mark the package with the date it was deposited in the fridge, you can record how many days you have left to enjoy your cooked chicken.

Within two hours of preparation, the cooked chicken should be chilled and stored in an airtight container or plastic bag. To stop bacteria from forming on your meal before you consume it or keep it in the fridge, chicken must be kept hot (140°F or warmer) after it has been cooked. Within no more than two hours of cooking or removing it from a warming device, the cooked chicken should be refrigerated.


If done properly, reheating cooked chicken is safe. An instant-read thermometer should read 165 F when checking the interior temperature of reheated leftover chicken. Additionally, you should only reheat leftover chicken once; therefore, only reheat what you need.

In the worst scenario, though, you risk getting sick from bacteria. Because chicken has a higher protein density than red meat, reheating it is generally not a good idea because the proteins might induce stomach trouble when they break down differently.

You can freeze the leftovers after cooking raw chicken when it is frozen and fully defrosted. To maintain the safety of your food, never thaw raw chicken or any other type of meat before refreezing it. In the best-case scenario, your only concerns will be freezer burn or a possible quality issue.