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How To Reheat Chicken Tenders Fast (Without Using The Microwave)

Who says chicken tenders are only for kids? We tend to make lots at a time, so we need to reheat chicken tenders pretty often.

The fresh and juicy chicken coated with a crispy exterior makes the perfect comfort meal for adults and children alike, whether from takeout or homemade.

We love these delicious treats, whether with fries for a lazy midweek dinner or as an appetizer for dinner parties. 

We often tend to make lots of chicken tenders so that everyone gets a plentiful serving of them. This usually ends up in the bulk of leftovers. 

When that is the case, reheating chicken tenders needs to be done correctly but quickly. 

We want our chicken tenders reheated fast, but we don’t want them rubbery or chewy, either.

When it comes to heating up chicken tenders, using the microwave is a big no-no unless you want to end up with a soggy, chewy mess.

Here’s a quick guide on the best ways to warm up chicken tenders. 

Keep reading to find out our favorite methods and what you can do to help make the most of these tasty snacks when reheating them.

How to reheat chicken tenders

Contents

In the oven

The best way to revive the crispy exterior and warm and juicy meat in the chicken tenders without drying is by reheating them in the oven. 

Though this method may take a while, especially when compared to microwaving them,  the wait will be worth it. 

Here is how you can warm up chicken tenders in the oven:

  1. Pull out the leftover chicken tenders from the fridge or freezer and let them reach room temperature. This step is vital because it ensures that the chicken will be heated evenly in the oven.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Place the chicken tenders on a baking tray.
  4. Bake the chicken tenders for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Reheated chicken tenders that are about 3 inches long and less than an inch thick should take about 15 minutes to reheat from a room-temperature state. 
  6. Since you want to warm up chicken tenders and not cook them, watch that they don’t brown too quickly.
  7. Remove a tender with a pair of tongs and cut with a fork to check if they are the right temp for you.

In the air fryer

If you have an air fryer, you can certainly try reheating chicken tenders in that. Not only will it prevent your chicken from being too oily, but it will heat it up without drying it out or being soggy either. 

Here is how to reheat chicken tenders in the air fryer:

  1. Pull out the leftover chicken tenders from the fridge or freezer and let them reach room temperature.
  2. Preheat the air fryer at 375°F. 
  3. Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket and ensure that none of the pieces are piling on top of each other.
  4. Let the chicken heat up for about three to five minutes. Using tongs, turn the tenders.
  5. Restart air fryer and heat for another two minutes.
  6. Use tongs to remove reheated chicken strips from the air fryer to a plate.

Pro Tip: We don’t advise reheating chicken tenders that have already been reheated then cooled down. Only reheat chicken tenders once, so they stay crisp, moist, and tender.

In a pan on the stove

If you don’t own an air fryer or don’t want to use the oven, you can always go with the stovetop method for heating up chicken tenders. 

This method again ensures that the tenders are heated evenly, and it is also the best method to use if you love extra crispy chicken tenders.

Here is how to reheat chicken tenders in a pan or skillet on the stove:

  1. Pull out the leftover chicken tenders from the fridge or freezer and let them reach room temperature.
  2. Heat just enough canola or vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a heavy-bottom skillet or pan till it reaches a temperature of 400°F. 
  3. Using tongs, carefully place the chicken tenders in the pan in a single layer, so they don’t crowd each other.
  4. Fry for two minutes on medium high heat, turning once. Fry for another minute. 
  5. Watch they don’t brown too quickly. Since they are already cooked, you don’t want to overheat them when reheating. 
  6. Then take the chicken tenders out of the pan.
  7. Drain on paper towels.

Tips for reheating chicken tenders

• Make sure that you don’t pile the chicken tenders on top of each other in any method to allow even distribution of the heat.
• Letting the leftover or frozen chicken tenders from the refrigerator or freezer is a vital step because it ensures that the chicken will be heated evenly in the oven.
• Don’t wrap or cover them when reheating chicken tenders because the steam will make them soggy. 
• We recommend that you don’t reheat cooked chicken tenders that have already been reheated and cooled down. The meat becomes tough.

The bottom line

This is everything you need to know about warming up chicken tenders. 

There are many ways to get crispy, moist reheated chicken tenders, but these three methods have worked the best for us.

Pro Tip for those of you short on time: In a pinch, you can air fry cold chicken tenders, but reduce the temp to 350°F and add 1 – 2 minutes to each side while cooking.

Whichever method you use, remember to be patient and let the technique work its magic instead of rushing it. The wait will be worth it. Good luck!

How to Reheat Chicken Tenders

How to Reheat Chicken Tenders

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

The air fryer keeps leftover chicken tenders crisp and moist, but we show you how to use the stove and oven, too.

Ingredients

  • Leftover chicken tenders

Instructions

  1. Pull out the leftover chicken tenders from the fridge or freezer and let them reach room temperature. (In a pinch, you can air fry cold chicken tenders, but reduce the temp to 350 and add 1 - 2 minutes to each side while cooking.)
  2. Preheat the air fryer at 375°F. 
  3. Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket and ensure that none of the pieces are piling on top of each other.
  4. Let the chicken heat up for about three to five minutes. Using tongs, turn the tenders.
  5. Restart air fryer and heat for another two minutes. 
  6. Use tongs to remove reheated chicken strips from the air fryer to a plate.

Notes

Products:

  • Air Fryer
  • Tongs
  • Plate


Pro Tip: We don’t advise reheating cooked chicken tenders that have already been reheated then cooled down. Only reheat chicken tenders once, so they stay crisp, moist, and yummy.

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