How To Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken [For Best Results]
Chicken is arguably the most popular type of meat the world over. There are many different ways to cook chicken and being so popular, inevitably you will occasionally end up with cold leftovers which you’ll want to reheat and eat later. Whether it’s chicken breast or wings, fried chicken or oven-baked, you can freeze and later reheat your cooked chicken.
When reheating chicken, in most cases you want a crunchy crispy outside with a warm and tender inside. Some of the most convenient ways to reheat frozen cooked chicken is by using a microwave, oven, air fryer, or a stovetop.
Check out our top choices for how to reheat frozen cooked chicken.
How to Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken in an Oven
Reheating frozen cooked chicken in an oven works for stewed chicken, baked chicken, rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, and most other types of cooked chicken. Here are the steps to take:
- Remove your cooked chicken from the fridge and let it thaw out to room temperature
- Line a casserole dish with some oil, butter, or cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to between 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius)
- Place or pour the chicken into the casserole dish and place it in the middle rack of the oven.
- If it’s rotisserie chicken or stuffed chicken, let it stay in the oven uncovered for about 30 minutes
- For fried or barbecued chicken, warm it uncovered for approximately 20 minutes
- For chicken wings, warm uncovered for 10 minutes
- For sauce-covered chicken, warm it under the cover of aluminum foil for at least 15 minutes.
- Using a meat thermometer, keep monitoring the internal temperature of the chicken and remove it once it hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73 degrees Celsius)
How to Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken in a Microwave
Microwaves are quick and convenient. They are easy to use, from thawing the frozen chicken to reheating. However, using a microwave to reheat frozen cooked chicken will often result in rubbery or dry meat. For the best results, follow these steps:
- Remove the chicken from the fridge, no need to thaw it out first.
- Arrange the chicken pieces on a microwave-safe plate, with smaller pieces at the center and larger pieces towards the edges.
- Sprinkle a few spoonsful of water inside the plate and lightly spray the chicken with some olive oil. This keeps the meat tender, moist, and flavorful.
- Cover the chicken and press reheat.
- Check every two minutes and turn over the pieces for even warming
In terms of appliances, I particularly like the Toshiba Countertop Microwave specifically, because of its different defrosting options.
How to Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken in an Air Fryer
The air fryer is a quick and perfect way to reheat frozen chicken. The air fryer works best with rotisserie chicken cut into pieces, fried chicken, stuffed chicken, baked chicken, and barbecued chicken. Here are the steps to follow:
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and cut it into manageable pieces.
- You don’t need to thaw out the chicken. Simply place it inside the air fryer basket.
- You also don’t need to pre-heat the air fryer. Set the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and let the air fryer warm at the same pace as the frozen cooked chicken. This helps retain the moisture in the meat and enables even cooking.
- Using a meat temperature, check the internal temperature of the chicken every 5 minutes. Remove and serve.
How to Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken on a Stove Top
Reheating frozen cooked chicken on a stovetop is easy, safe, and quick. Here are the steps:
- Thaw out the frozen chicken to room temperature.
- On low heat, heat a pan, add a tablespoon of oil or butter, and evenly spread it out. I prefer using a cast iron pan like Lodge Enameled pan for this method
- Place the chicken into the pan and frequently stir gently to ensure even heating.
- Once the chicken is properly reheated, you can either remove or add your preferred sauce.
- Once ready, remove from stovetop and let rest for two minutes before you serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any questions about reheating frozen cooked chicken? Our experts answer some of the most common concerns below.
How Do You Store Reheated Frozen Cooked Chicken?
You don’t. You discard any leftovers after the first reheating. Chicken can easily get contaminated once you have reheated the first time.
Can I Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken Multiple Times?
No. You can only reheat chicken once.
How Long Does It Take To Reheat Frozen Cooked Chicken?
It takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes to reheat frozen cooked chicken. Keep in mind that it takes about 30 minutes to naturally thaw out the frozen chicken or about 10 minutes to thaw out with a microwave. Thus, thawing adds to the total reheating time.