How to Reheat Chicken like a Pro

How to Reheat a Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide


Reheating leftover chicken can be a tricky task, as improper handling may lead to dry and unappetizing results. However, fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the best methods and techniques for reheating chicken flawlessly. Whether you have grilled, roasted, or fried chicken leftovers, follow these simple steps to enjoy a moist and delicious meal.

The Safety Aspect of Reheating Chicken

Before diving into the reheating process, it is crucial to understand the safety precautions associated with leftover poultry. Properly handling and storing cooked chicken ensures that harmful bacteria like Salmonella are eliminated. Always refrigerate your leftover chicken within two hours after cooking and consume it within three to four days.

The Best Ways to Reheat Chicken:

1. Using an Oven (Recommended)

Reheating chicken in the oven is generally considered the best method as it helps retain moisture while restoring crispness if desired.

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) before starting.

– If your chicken has bones or skin on it:

a) Place the pieces on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

b) Cover loosely with another piece of foil to prevent drying out.

c) Bake for about 20 minutes until heated thoroughly.

– For boneless/skinless items:

d) Spread them evenly on an oven-safe dish or tray without overlapping.

e) To avoid drying out, consider covering them lightly with foil during reheating.

f) Heat in the preheated oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until fully warmed.

Note: Cooking times may vary depending on portion size and thickness, so always use a food thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

2. On a Stovetop

While slightly trickier than using an oven, reheating chicken on a stovetop can still yield great results.

1. Start by adding a small amount of oil or butter to a skillet and heating it over medium-low heat.

2. Place the leftover chicken in the skillet without overcrowding.

– For pieces with bones/skin:

a) Cover them loosely with foil for better moisture retention.

b) Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, flipping once halfway through until thoroughly heated.

– Boneless/skinless items:

c) Sauté them for around 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally until warmed evenly.

3. Using a Microwave

Using a microwave is undoubtedly the quickest method but may result in loss of texture and crispness.

1. Transfer your chicken leftovers onto a microwave-safe plate or dish.

– If you have bone-in pieces:

a) Arrange them evenly and cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap or another microwave-safe dish turned upside-down to create steam during reheating.

b) Set your microwave at 50% power level and heat for about 4-6 minutes per piece, rotating halfway through if necessary.

– For boneless/skinless items:

c) Spread them out uniformly on the plate/dish without overlapping.

d) Use full power and reheat each piece in increments of one minute while checking doneness between intervals.

Note: Be cautious not to overcook as microwaving too long can lead to dryness due to rapid evaporation of moisture content.

Tips for Enhancing Flavor:

1. Adding Moisture

To prevent dry reheated chicken, you can sprinkle a little water, broth, or sauce over the meat before covering it. This will help retain moisture and keep the chicken succulent.

2. Incorporating Sauces or Marinades

Consider marinating your leftover chicken in a flavorful sauce overnight to enhance taste. When ready to reheat, drain off excess marinade and follow one of the recommended reheating methods mentioned earlier.


Reheating chicken doesn’t have to be a daunting task anymore! By following these simple steps outlined above, you can enjoy moist and delicious reheated chicken without compromising on safety or flavor. Remember to handle leftovers properly, choose an appropriate method for your preference, and experiment with additional flavors for that extra kick! Happy reheating!

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