How to Reheat Fried Chicken Without Drying It Out

Chicken is one of the most cost-efficient meals. It is moist and delicious when freshly cooked and are easy to store as leftover. The only problem is that cooked chicken can go flavorless, tough, and dry when reheated. The big question, then, is how to reheat fried chicken without drying it?

The methods in this article can also come in handy when you have takeout fried chicken that has gotten dry and tough by the time it gets to your home. More importantly, these ways of heating ensure you are feeding yourself and your family safe and clean food.

There are different reheating methods to choose from. Each of these methods offers the same result – crispy outer layer and tender juicy inside. However, the speed of preparation and the nutritional level may vary.

Now, without further ado, here are the best ways to reheat your fried chicken.

Recommended Methods

Here are some of the most important items you will need depending on the method you choose to go with.


You will need a preheated oven set to 375 degrees. You will also need a pan and an oven-safe baking sheet to set your chicken pieces on.

For easy cleaning, place aluminum foil on the pan before you put the sheet on so that the juice or crumbs do not leak to the pan. You also have the option to grease the sheet, although this won’t affect the final outcome much.

Heavy Pan

In case you want to opt for the refrying method, you will need to set a heavy pan on a stove on high heat. Although any pan will do, it is advisable to use a cast iron skillet since these tend to retain heat better.

You will also need to use a lot of oil in this method. Add a generous amount of cooking oil to your heavy pan and leave it to heat. You only need enough oil the bottom of each chicken piece to be submerged.

You can also use a deep fryer if it is available. If not, a heavy pan would work perfectly well.

Make sure you have a wire rack ready since you will need it to drain the oil from the chicken. This step is important for the crispiness of the fried chicken.

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Methods to Avoid

We have listed the best ways to reheat fried chicken. As a bonus, we will also list down methods that are common but you should avoid.


While it is a quick and convenient way to reheat different kinds of food, you can’t expect the same result for fried chicken. Cold fried chicken, when placed inside a microwave, remains soggy, especially the skin since microwave cannot dry it out.

As a result, you will end up with a warm but soft and unappetizingly looking meal. This definitely is not as delicious as those crispy-skinned fried chicken that has been properly reheated.

Toaster Oven

Some people use a toaster oven when it is the only choice they have left. It is okay as a last resort, but this method does not heat your fried chicken evenly. The outer part may be warm while the inner part remains cold.

Another problem with using toaster ovens is that it does not have enough heating power to create the crispy skin that makes fried chicken so delicious.

Searing on Dry Skillet

Reheating fried chicken in a skillet without oil is not a good idea. This method has the tendency to dry out the meat since the dry pan can leach fat and moisture from the chicken.

At the same time, the irregular shape of the chicken makes it difficult to evenly reheat the inner parts.

Paper towel

After frying or refrying the chicken, many people use paper towels to get rid of the excess grease. However, we recommend that you avoid this common practice since it can actually make the skin soggy.

Paper towels absorb the grease and liquid from the air in the kitchen. Hence, leaving the reheated chicken on a paper towel for too long can rehydrate the crispy skin making it soggy.

Step by Step Instructions in Reheating Fried Chicken

There are two safe and effective ways to reheat fried chicken. One is by baking the oven and the other is by refrying. The following is a simple step by step guide to get your fried chicken as crispy and delicious as if they are freshly cooked.

Reheating Through the Oven

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Remove the chicken from the container and lay the pieces on a platter and leave it at room temperature for about thirty minutes.

3. Set the chicken pieces on an oven-safe baking sheet. You may also place aluminum foil on the pan first to help you manage the grease and fluid, making it easier to clean up afterward. You can choose to grease the sheet, but this does not have a big impact on the process and the result.

4. Wait for the chicken to be room temperature. Heating cold meat can affect both the crispiness of the outside and the tenderness of the inside of the meat.​

5. Place the chicken pieces in the oven and leave it there for 10 minutes. Since cooking times vary, it is highly recommended for you to check the pieces after the first 10 minutes. Keep in mind that thicker pieces heat up slower than thin ones.

​Once the chicken reached the crunchiness desired and is warm all the way to the bone, you can remove the chicken and place it on a wire rack to let it cool for 5 – 10 minutes.


1. As with the method above, remove the chicken from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature. While doing this, heat up the oil. A good tip is to not use olive oil or any other oil with low smoke points since they make it easier to burn the chicken.

2. Slowly add the chicken pieces and submerge it in the hot oil. Leave it frying for 2-3 minutes. You can adjust the heat if it gets too hot.

3. Transfer the pieces to the wire rack and allow the grease to drain for about 2-3 minutes.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, these step-by-step guides have answered your questions on how to reheat fried chicken. These methods are guaranteed to bring back the tastiness of the chicken even if it has been stored in the fridge for hours.

These methods are super easy and they should not take a very long time. So, the next time you have leftover for take-out fried chicken, you can simply reheat it at home and enjoy it like it’s freshly cooked.

​If you have any more methods to suggest or any questions, please feel free to write them in the comment section below. If you think the article may be helpful to your friends, please share it with them.

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