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How to Reheat Chicken Wings (5 Best Ways)

Reheating chicken wings to regain that perfect blend of crispy skin and tender meat can be a challenge. Whether they’re leftovers from a big game day or a tasty meal that you want to savor the next day, knowing how to properly reheat your wings ensures they stay delicious.

The key is choosing the right method for the texture you want to achieve and the tools you have at your disposal. With options ranging from the microwave, oven, and toaster oven to the air fryer or stovetop, there are a variety of ways to bring those wings back to life.

Reheating MethodSafety Tip
MicrowaveCover the wings with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel to avoid splattering.
OvenPlace the wings on a preheated baking sheet to ensure even heating.
Toaster OvenMonitor the wings frequently, since toaster ovens can heat unevenly.
Air FryerEnsure the basket is not overcrowded, to allow hot air to circulate and heat the wings thoroughly.
StovetopUse a frying pan with a little oil if needed, to avoid dryness & ensure even reheating.

How to Store Leftover Chicken Wings

Properly storing your leftover chicken wings is essential to enjoy them later. First, let them cool down but not for longer than two hours after receiving or making them, to prevent bacterial growth.

In the Refrigerator:

  • Place leftover wings in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Label the container with the date to keep track of freshness.
  • Stored this way, your chicken wings will stay good for 3 to 4 days.

In the Freezer:

  • For longer storage, freezing is your best bet.
  • Use a freezer-safe airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag.
  • Separate the wings with parchment paper if you’re storing them stacked, to avoid sticking.
  • Before freezing, make sure to press out as much air as possible from the bags.
  • Frozen chicken wings can last up to 6 months, but for optimal taste, try to consume them within 3 months.

Thawing:

  • Remember to safely thaw your wings in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to reheat them.
  • Avoid thawing at room temperature, to prevent uneven reheating.

By following these storage guidelines, you’ll ensure your leftover chicken wings stay delicious and safe to consume when you’re ready for the next round!

Thawing and Preparing for Reheating

Before you can reheat your chicken wings, you’ll need to ensure that they are properly thawed if they’ve been frozen. Here are 3 steps to get you started.

Step 1: Move your frozen chicken wings from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. If you’re short on time, place the wings in a sealed plastic bag and immerse them in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes to ensure even thawing.

Step 2: Once your wings are thawed, pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This will help them crisp up when reheated.

Step 3: Before you start reheating, preheat your chosen appliance (microwave, oven, toaster, air fryer, or stovetop) according to the reheating method you’ll be using, ensuring that your wings reheat evenly and get that delicious, crispy exterior.

Health and Safety Tips

When reheating chicken wings, ensuring they’re heated safely is paramount to avoid food poisoning. Taking a few extra moments to ensure proper temperature and handling can make all the difference in keeping your meal safe and enjoyable.

  • Proper Storage: Before reheating, make sure your chicken wings have been stored correctly. Ideally, they should have been refrigerated within two hours of cooking and kept at a temperature below 40°F (5°C).
  • Reheating Temperature: Regardless of your reheating method, your chicken wings need to reach an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) in order to kill off any lingering bacteria. Use a food thermometer to check.
  • Avoid Cross-Contamination: Use clean utensils and plates when handling the reheated wings to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Handling Leftovers: If you have leftovers after reheating, cool them quickly and refrigerate within two hours. Consume these leftovers within three to four days, and don’t freeze them again if reheating from frozen.

Reheat Wings in Microwave

When you’re in a rush, the microwave is your best friend for reheating chicken wings quickly. When using the microwave, my main issue is that tends to hurt the texture of the meat, turning it chewier and leaving the skin soggy. For the best outcome, it’s important to retain moisture in your wings to prevent this; here are a few more tips:

  • Spread Them Out: Place your wings in a microwave-safe dish. Arrange them in a single layer so they reheat evenly.
  • Cover with Paper Towels: Dampen some paper towels and gently wrap them over the wings. This helps to keep the moisture in and prevent the wings from becoming too dry.
  • Power Setting: Reheat your wings on medium power (50%) to slowly bring them up to temperature without overcooking.
  • Time Intervals: Heat in short bursts of 30 seconds, checking them after each interval to avoid overheating.

Remember not to use any sort of metal or rubber in the microwave, as these materials are not microwave safe. Stick to glass and ceramic dishes, and avoid the temptation to just get the wings hot quickly. A little patience goes a long way in preserving the taste and quality of your chicken wings!

Reheat Wings in Oven

Reheating chicken wings in the oven is a great way to achieve an even cook and maintain their delicious flavor and texture. Here’s how to reheat wings in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures your oven is hot enough to reheat the wings quickly, retaining their juiciness rather than drying them out.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet. Line it with aluminum foil for easy cleanup and place a wire rack on top. The wire rack will help hot air circulate around the wings for even heating.
  3. Arrange your chicken wings. Spread your wings out on the wire rack in a single layer so they’re not touching. This space between them is necessary for the heat to reach all sides evenly.
  4. Bake your wings. Place the baking sheet in the oven and let the wings reheat for about 10 to 15 minutes. If your wings are particularly large or cold, they may need a few extra minutes.
  5. Check for doneness. Test one wing to see if it’s heated through. If they need more time, check every few minutes to avoid overcooking.
  6. Enjoy your wings. Once they’re warmed to your liking, take them out and dig in!

By using your oven, you can evenly reheat your chicken wings to crispy perfection. Remember, the key is to give them space on the rack and heat them at a moderate temperature.

Reheat Wings in Toaster Oven

When you’re ready to bring your leftover chicken wings back to their former glory, a toaster oven is a great tool. It’s especially good for keeping the skin nice and crispy, much like a regular oven in a compact form.

Preheat your toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) before you begin. While waiting, lay the wings out on a piece of aluminum foil or a toaster oven tray. If your toaster oven has a grill function, use that setting to mimic the high heat of an outdoor grill, then:

  1. Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer, giving each wing enough space so that they’re not touching; this ensures even reheating.
  2. If your toaster oven has convection settings, use them; the fan will help circulate hot air around the wings, making them crispier.
  3. Heat the wings for about 10-12 minutes, depending on their size. Halfway through, flip the wings over to make sure both sides get to crisp up.
  4. In the last couple of minutes, you might want to switch the toaster oven to broil to give the skin that extra crispiness. Just keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn, especially if coated in a sweet sauce.
  5. Use tongs to remove the wings from the toaster oven, as they’ll be hot.

Just remember that toaster ovens vary, so the cook time might differ depending on the brand and model.

Reheat Wings in Air Fryer

This is my favorite of the five wing reheating methods I tested, as when you reheat chicken wings in the air fryer, they crisp up enough to be taste like freshly cooked wings when you close your eyes. Here’s how to do it:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 360°F (180°F), which is the ideal temperature for reheating without burning.
  • While the air fryer heats up, layout your wings on a wire rack or a plate. This step isn’t crucial but can help air circulation if you’ve got a wire rack handy.
  • Lightly coat the wings with a cooking spray, which will aid in crisping up the skin.
  • Once preheated, place the wings in the air fryer basket in a single layer for even cooking, following the timing guidelines below.
Wing StateTime
Refrigerated5-6 minutes
Frozen8-10 minutes

Note: For the best results, shake the basket halfway through, ensuring an even reheat and crispiness.

  • Check the wings after the recommended time. If they’re not quite at your desired level of crispiness, you can air fry them for another 1-2 minutes.

Remember, air frying works by circulating hot air around the food. So try not to overcrowd your air fryer basket, as this could result in unevenly heated wings.

Reheat Wings in Pan (Stovetop)

There’s a bit more to it when you reheat chicken wings in a pan, as this is the only method that directly requires you to move the wings around for even reheating. While it’s often one of the first methods we think of, it’s not necessarily the easiest way to reheat wings. Here’s a simple step-by-step:

  1. Preheat Your Pan: Place your frying pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat. Allow it to get warm before adding the chicken wings.
  2. Prepare the Pan: Lightly coat the surface of the pan with a non-stick spray or a drizzle of olive oil. This helps to prevent the wings from sticking and tearing right out of the gate.
  3. Arrange Wings: Lay your wings out in the pan in a single layer. Make sure they don’t overlap, to ensure even reheating.
  4. Flip Frequently: Cook the wings for 2-3 minutes, then flip them to the other side. Continue flipping every few minutes until the wings are evenly heated through. This typically takes me about 8-10 minutes in total.
  5. Add Sauce (Optional): If you like your wings saucy, add your preferred sauce to the pan a couple of minutes before the wings are done, then stir the wings to coat them evenly with the sauce.

Remember to check the temperature of the wings by touching or cutting into one. If you don’t have a thermometer handy, they should feel hot to the touch and steam should be visible.

KFC sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to reheat chicken wings in the oven to keep them crispy?

To maintain crispiness when reheating in the oven, spread your wings on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet, then heat at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes. The rack allows hot air to circulate around the wings, ensuring they reheat evenly and maintain their crisp texture.

How can you reheat chicken wings without them becoming dry?

To prevent drying out, reheat chicken wings at a moderate temperature and use a short cooking time. Covering them with foil can trap moisture. When using a microwave, the ‘reheat’ setting with a cup of water next to the bowl of wings can also help keep them moist.

How long should chicken wings be reheated in an air fryer?

Heat your air fryer to 360°F (180°C) and reheat wings for about 6 minutes. Check if they’re thoroughly warmed – air fryers work quickly, so monitor closely to avoid overcooking.

How to reheat sauced chicken wings without making a mess?

For sauced wings, reheat in the oven by placing a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil on a baking sheet under the wings to catch drips and splatters. Alternatively, gently toss them in sauce after reheating, if the wings were initially stored without sauce.

Can you reheat chicken wings on the stovetop?

Yes, you can reheat chicken wings on the stovetop. Use a non-stick skillet on medium heat and add a small amount of oil or butter. Then place the wings in the pan and heat for a couple of minutes on each side, ensuring they are evenly warmed through.

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How to Reheat Chicken Wings (5 Ways)

How to reheat wings in the air fryer, oven, toaster oven, microwave, or stovetop!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Author: Max

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken wings frozen or refrigerated

Instructions

Stovetop Instructions:

  • Place your frying pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat. Allow it to get warm before adding the chicken wings.
  • Lightly coat the surface of the pan with a non-stick spray or a drizzle of olive oil. This helps to prevent the wings from sticking and tearing right out of the gate.
  • Lay your wings out in the pan in a single layer. Make sure they don’t overlap, to ensure even reheating.
  • Cook the wings for 2-3 minutes, then flip them to the other side. Continue flipping every few minutes until the wings are evenly heated through. This typically takes me about 8-10 minutes in total. If you like your wings saucy, add your preferred sauce to the pan a couple of minutes before the wings are done, then stir the wings to coat them evenly with the sauce.

Air Fryer Instructions:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 360°F, which is the ideal temperature for reheating without burning. While the air fryer heats up, layout your wings on a wire rack or a plate. This step isn't crucial but can help air circulation if you've got a wire rack handy.
  • Once preheated, lightly coat the wings with a cooking spray, which will aid in crisping up the skin. Then place the wings in the air fryer basket in a single layer for even cooking, frying for 5-6 minutes for refrigerated wings or 8-10 minutes for frozen wings.
  • Check the wings after the minimum recommended time. If they're not quite at your desired level of crispiness, you can air fry them for another 1-2 minutes.

Toaster Oven Instructions:

  • Preheat your toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) before you begin. While waiting, lay the wings out on a piece of aluminum foil or a toaster oven tray. If your toaster oven has a grill function, use that setting to mimic the high heat of an outdoor grill.
  • Then arrange the chicken wings in a single layer, giving each wing enough space so that they're not touching; this ensures even reheating. If your toaster oven has convection settings, use them; the fan will help circulate hot air around the wings, making them crispier.
  • Heat the wings for about 10-12 minutes, depending on their size. Halfway through, flip the wings over to make sure both sides get to crisp up.
  • In the last couple of minutes, you might want to switch the toaster oven to broil to give the skin that extra crispiness. Just keep a close eye on them so they don't burn, especially if coated in a sweet sauce. Once done, use tongs to remove the wings from the toaster oven, as they'll be hot.

Oven Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures your oven is hot enough to reheat the wings quickly, retaining their juiciness rather than drying them out.
  • Prepare a baking sheet. Line it with aluminum foil for easy cleanup and place a wire rack on top. The wire rack will help hot air circulate around the wings for even heating.
  • Spread your wings out on the wire rack in a single layer so they’re not touching. This space between them is necessary for the heat to reach all sides evenly.
  • Then place the baking sheet in the oven and let the wings reheat for about 10 to 15 minutes. If your wings are particularly large or cold, they may need a few extra minutes.
  • Check for doneness. Test one wing to see if it’s heated through. If they need more time, check every few minutes to avoid overcooking. Enjoy your wings. Once they’re warmed to your liking, take them out and dig in!

Microwave Instructions:

  • Place your wings in a microwave-safe dish. Arrange them in a single layer so they reheat evenly.
  • Dampen some paper towels and gently wrap them over the wings. This helps to keep the moisture in and prevent the wings from becoming too dry.
  • Reheat your wings on medium power (50%) to slowly bring them up to temperature without overcooking, heating in short bursts of 30 seconds, checking them after each interval to avoid overheating.

Notes

 
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating




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