How To Reheat Sweet And Sour Chicken [Sticky Goodness!]

How To Reheat Sweet And Sour Chicken

If you’re a fan of Chinese food, then you’ve probably ended up with some sweet and sour chicken leftovers. Reheating is fairly easy and you can use almost any kitchen heating appliance available. Whatever method or appliance you use, you want to retain the savory taste and the glossy look that makes sweet and sour chicken so appetizing. 

The four most common methods which yield the best results for reheating sweet and sour chicken are reheating in a slow cooker, an oven, a microwave, or a saucepan. All four methods are simple and do well in retaining texture, flavor, and glossiness of the chicken. 

Read on to find out exactly how these four methods work to bring out the best in your leftover sweet and sour chicken. 

1. Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken in A Slow Cooker

Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken in A Slow Cooker

A slow cooker is the best way to reheat sweet and sour chicken if you have the time and plan in advance. The preparation time is very short though cooking time goes up to four hours. Here are the full details of what to do when reheating sweet and sour chicken using a slow cooker:

  1. Place the chicken inside the bowl of the slow cooker
  2. Add enough water to cover the chicken
  3. Cover the lid and set the temperature to low
  4. Set the timer for four hours and let it simmer till ready
  5. Remove the chicken and serve while hot with rice, spaghetti, or potatoes

2. Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken in an Oven

Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken in an Oven

Using an oven to reheat sweet and sour chicken takes much less time compared to using a slow cooker. Nonetheless, an oven is another great way to retain the flavor, glossiness, and texture of the chicken. Follow these steps to reheat sweet and sour chicken in an oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius)
  2. Place the sweet and sour chicken in an oven-friendly bowl
  3. Add a small amount of water, typically just a few tablespoons
  4. Cover the bowl with some aluminum foil tightly to keep all the moisture in. This protects the chicken from drying out.
  5. Place the bowl in the middle rack and let it reheat for 20 minutes. 
  6. Remove and serve while hot. 

Similar Blog: Reheat Kraft Mac and Cheese Like A Pro

3. Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken in The Microwave

Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken in The Microwave

Reheating sweet and sour chicken in the microwave is the quickest way and requires the least effort. However, extra care should be taken so the chicken warms evenly inside and out and doesn’t dry out. 

  1. To avoid drying out, pour some water onto the glass plate of the microwave. A few tablespoons should do. 
  2. Separate the chicken and the sauce and put them in separate bowls
  3. Set the microwave to the reheat setting and place the bowl with the chicken inside
  4. When done, remove the chicken and now place the sauce on reheat. If placed together, the sauce would reheat faster than the chicken. 
  5. When done, pour the sauce over the chicken and serve. 

4. Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken in A Saucepan

Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken in A Saucepan

Using a saucepan involves a little more work but makes the chicken crispier. The steps to take are:

  1. Separate the chicken and the sauce by draining the sauce into another saucepan. 
  2. Set the sauce to heat on medium heat. 
  3. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. 
  4. Melt a little butter into a dry saucepan. 
  5. Pour the dried chicken into the buttered saucepan and stir around gently until all, the pieces are evenly warmed. 
  6. Serve the chicken on a plate and pour some sauce over each plate as required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions on how best to reheat sweet and sour chicken? Ask our experts.

1. Can You Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken Multiple Times?

Yes, you can reheat sweet and sour chicken multiple times. However, each subsequent reheat means a little less flavor and some loss of crispiness. 

2. How Do You Store Reheated Sweet and Sour Chicken?

Storing reheated sweet and sour chicken is simple. Bag it in an airtight container, removing all the air., Then place it in a fridge or freezer. 

3. How Long Does It Take to Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken?

It depends on the appliance you use and your desired result. For a crispy finish, use a saucepan for about ten minutes. For quick results and low effort, use a microwave and be done in 5 to ten minutes. For the best results, use a slow cooker over a period of four hours. 


Leftover sweet and sour chicken doesn’t have to be a soggy disappointment! With the right approach, you can bring back the crispy coating, tangy sauce, and juicy chicken you loved the first time around. Here’s your guide to reheating success:

The Battle Against Sogginess:

  • Oven’s Warm Embrace: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the chicken on a wire rack set over a baking sheet – air circulation is key! Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through for even heating.
  • Air Fryer’s Speedy Crunch: If you have one, preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) and cook the chicken in batches for 5-7 minutes per side. The rapid air circulation will revive that satisfying crispness.
  • Microwave Maneuvers: While the quickest option, be cautious of sogginess. Place the chicken on a paper towel-lined plate, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, and check frequently to avoid overcooking.

Taming the Sweet & Sour:

  • Separate is the Key: Reheat the sauce separately in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. This prevents overcooking and allows you to adjust the consistency if needed.
  • Timely Drizzle: Drizzle the warmed sauce over the reheated chicken just before serving to preserve its fresh vibrancy.

Bonus Bites:

  • Let it Breathe: Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before reheating for even heating and optimal results.
  • Seasoning Savvy: Sprinkle with fresh sesame seeds or chopped green onions for an extra flavor and texture punch.
  • Sidekick Suggestions: Pair your reheated sweet and sour chicken with steamed rice, noodles, or stir-fried vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.


  • Patience is key. Rushing the process leads to dryness and disappointment. Experiment to find your preferred method and timing based on your equipment, desired texture, and personal taste.
  • Moisture matters. A spritz of water or a dab of oil on the chicken before reheating can help prevent dryness.

With these tips, you can transform leftover sweet and sour chicken into a delicious and satisfying second meal. So go forth, conquer those leftovers, and relish the sweet and sour goodness all over again!

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