How to Reheat Chicken in the Microwave (Follow These Steps)

We all love chicken on our menu. After all, it’s the most versatile of meats. But, when those late-night cravings drop by to say hello, that leftover chicken can make for a great midnight snack, or depending on your preferences, it can even work as lunch for the next day.

A head-scratching moment might pop up when you think, “How do I reheat it?” You could try heating it in the microwave, but if done incorrectly, you will find yourself with not-so-promising results and turn your chicken into rubbery leather.

This is why you need to learn how to properly reheat chicken. Read on to find the best ways

for reheating chicken and we’ll have you saying winner, winner chicken dinner in no time.

What is the best way to reheat chicken?

reheating chicken in microwave

Nothing worse than heating your delicious dinner, only to find out that you’ve reheated it the wrong way to be left with either dry breasts or soggy breadcrumb coatings.

Yes, my friends, that is quite the likely possibility! And trust me when I say that I’ve learned this the hard way.

Once I popped a roast chicken breast in the microwave, drooling over the thought that I would enjoy a sandwich made out of it later, only to reheat it for a tad bit too long. By the time the microwave dinged, the breast had dried out.

So after a lot of trial and error on my part, I’ve learned a lot about the foolproof ways you can use to reheat your chicken, depending on what cut it is or in what style it’s cooked.


One of the fastest methods to reheat the chicken, but unfortunately not recommended with breaded chicken, since it can leave it soggy. Also, easy to overcook with this method.


One of the slowest methods to use for reheating, but it is great for bone-in pieces of chicken.

Air fryer

The best method to restore crispiness to breaded pieces of chicken, but requires special equipment (Airfyers)

How to use a microwave to reheat a chicken?

Undoubtedly the quickest and most convenient way to reheat food, but at the same time, if done incorrectly, it can be very easy to dry it out as well. Follow these tips to minimize your chances of reducing your chicken to rubbery strands (These tips work best for non-breaded styles)

Prep your plate: Arrange the chicken on a plate in a single layer, spread out in such a way that the thicker pieces are towards the outer edge of the plate and thinner ones are towards the center.

Manage the moisture: Cover the chicken with a damp paper towel or brush with a little oil to prevent the chicken from drying out.

Cover and zap: Add a microwave lid cover or a plate on top to prevent moisture loss from direct contact with heat.

Rotate: Halfway through the cooking process, make sure you flip the bird (the one you are cooking) aka turning your chicken over so it heats up evenly from all sides.

Same-sized meat: Make sure all the chicken pieces are more or less the same size so that they can get heated at the same time.

Different sized cuts mean the bigger pieces will take longer to heat than the smaller ones, which could dry out the smaller pieces.

If that’s not possible and you still have uneven-sized pieces, then zap at one-minute intervals to check and remove the ones that have been heated through.

Set the chicken out before reheating: For best results, it is always better that you let the chicken come to room temperature before reheating it in the microwave.

Putting it in the microwave directly after taking it out from the refrigerator will create non-uniform heat distribution, resulting in hot and cold pockets in various places.

How long should you reheat chicken in the microwave?

reheat chicken in microwave
A microwave oven can be easily classified as the best invention for the kitchen in making all our lives a bit easier, but knowing how to use it correctly actually makes all the difference between a moist and juicy chicken to an overdone and dry meal, that would get Gordon Ramsay’s blood boiling.

For an average-sized chicken’s leftovers, it would normally take around 1.5 to 2 minutes on each side.

This number, however, can vary depending upon the size of your chicken and microwave power. Lower wattage microwaves will take longer than higher wattage microwaves, so adjust accordingly. The times given here correspond to a 1000-watt microwave.

Similarly, bigger-sized pieces of chicken will heat up slower than smaller sizes, so always keep these two important factors into account.

As always, remember to flip the chicken halfway through the cooking process. How do you know when chicken is done reheating in the microwave?

For accurate knowledge, use a meat thermometer. The internal reading should be at 165 F, and the chicken should be visibly steaming, with the strong aroma of cooked chicken. That’s when you know your chicken has been reheated properly.

Is it dangerous to reheat chicken in the microwave?

No, most definitely not! Chicken reheated in the microwave is 100% safe to eat, provided that it was refrigerated within 2-hours of the initial cooking and it has been reheated thoroughly.

However, you should aim to eat the leftovers in one sitting, because any consecutive reheating in the microwave after the first time will result in a drier chicken each time.

Final thoughts

There are an unlimited number of ways you can choose to use your favorite chicken leftovers, heck there are even times when I made extra servings on purpose just so I can enjoy my food the next day too. But to enjoy them properly, you need to know the nitty-gritty of how best to handle the reheating process. Following the tips above is a sure-fire way to get it right every time.


can i reheat chicken in the microwave

How can I safely reheat leftover chicken?

To safely reheat leftover chicken, it is important to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165°F. You can do this by using an oven safe dish and heating in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can use a microwave safe plate and cover with microwave safe plastic wrap, making sure to vent one corner. Heat on high for 2-3 minutes per piece of chicken.

Can I reheat breaded chicken leftovers?

Yes, you can reheat breaded chicken leftovers but it is important to remove any excess breading before reheating as it may become soggy. To prevent this from happening, lightly brush olive oil onto the breaded chicken pieces before reheating in an oven safe dish at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Is it safe to reheat rotisserie chicken?

Yes, it is safe to reheat rotisserie chicken but make sure that the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F. You can do this by removing the skinless breast meat from the bones and placing them on an oven-safe dish or microwave-safe plate covered with plastic wrap venting one corner. Reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes or heat on high in a microwave for approximately two minutes per piece.

What’s the best way to store cooked chicken broth?

The best way to store cooked chicken broth is by allowing it cool down first then transferring into an air-tight container such as glass jars or freezer bags before storing them in your refrigerator or freezer respectively.

Can I use plastic wrap when reheating fried Chicken wings?

Yes, you can use plastic wrap when reheating fried Chicken wings but make sure that they are wrapped loosely so steam doesn’t build up inside which could cause sogginess. Place them on a microwave-safe plate covered with plastic wrap venting one corner then heat on high power setting for approximately two-three minutes depending upon how many wings there are.

How can I properly reheat leftover roasted chicken?

To properly reheat leftover roasted chicken, you can use a toaster oven or an air fryer. Preheat the appliance to medium heat and place the chicken in either the air fryer basket or on a toaster oven-safe dish lined with aluminum foil. Reheat until the desired temperature is reached, making sure to let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. To moisten dry chicken, you can add some of the leftover pan juices or cover it with a damp paper towel while reheating.

What are some food safety tips when reheating store-bought rotisserie chicken?

When reheating store-bought rotisserie chicken, make sure to use a microwave safe dish if using a microwave. Cover it with a damp paper towel and heat on medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature. If using an air fryer or toaster oven, preheat to medium heat and line with aluminum foil before placing the chicken inside. Make sure that any dipping sauce used is also microwavable or served at room temperature to avoid food poisoning.

Can I use hot sauce as a dipping sauce for my hot dish?

Yes! Hot sauce makes for an excellent dipping sauce for any hot dish such as roasted chicken breasts or whole chickens cooked in an air fryer basket. Just make sure that any microwavable dishes used are safe for high temperatures and always follow proper food safety guidelines when handling leftovers.

How do I prevent dryness when reheating meat in an air fryer?

To prevent dryness when reheating meat in an air fryer, preheat it to medium heat and line with aluminum foil before placing your meat inside. You can also add some of the leftover pan juices from your previous meal onto your meat before heating up again so that it stays moist throughout cooking.

Is there anything else I should know about safely reheating my meals?

Always follow proper food safety guidelines when handling leftovers by storing them correctly and ensuring they are heated up thoroughly before consuming them again. Use only microwave safe dishes if using this method of heating up leftovers; otherwise, opt for appliances like toaster ovens or air fryers which allow you more control over how much heat is applied during cooking time without risking burning yourself accidentally!

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