Air fryers are such handy kitchen appliances, and they can be used for more than just cooking up your dinner! Did you know that just like with an oven, you can use your air fryer to reheat leftovers?
If you are a fan of Chinese cuisine, then you know how difficult it can be to reheat any leftovers without them drying out.
How do you reheat Chinese food in an air fryer? Reheating Chinese food in an air fryer is a quick and easy way to get your food hot again, but as there are many different types of Chinese dishes, there are a few variations in how they need to be reheated in the air fryer to preserve the best qualities of the ingredients.
In this article, we’ll cover how to successfully reheat Chinese food in the air fryer, how to do so for different types of meals, and some helpful tips and tricks!
Can You Reheat Chinese Food In The Air Fryer?
You can reheat Chinese food in an air fryer — the air fryer offers a great way to quickly heat up your food without it losing much flavor or texture!
However, one thing to keep in mind with Chinese food is that the meals often consist of noodles or rice, which both take extra consideration when using an air fryer.
You can’t really place noodles or rice directly into the air fryer without causing quite a mess, so you will have to use a heat-safe dish to reheat these types of meals.
So while the air fryer offers a great way to reheat leftover Chinese food, you do need to keep in mind what you are reheating so you can reheat evenly throughout without causing too much mess.
How To Reheat Chinese Food In The Air Fryer
Chinese cuisine includes many different types of meals that are all cooked in a variety of ways.
However, even though there are different types of meals, flavors, and cooking methods, most Chinese meals can be reheated in an air fryer!
You do need to adjust how you reheat the food in the air fryer — this will make the process easier for you and ensure the food is reheated properly.
Below are popular types of Chinese meals that you might need to reheat in the air fryer, and how to do so successfully!
General Tso Chicken/Kung Pao Chicken
General Tso Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken are a favorite for many, and there is a good chance that you will have some leftovers when you order takeout next!
General Tso Chicken is saucy and sticky — this can pose a problem when reheating it in the air fryer as you do not want the sauce to stick to the basket or burn.
Similarly, Kung Pao Chicken has a sticky honey-sesame sauce that can stick and burn in the air fryer too.
Here is how to reheat General Tso Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken in the air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
- Once the air fryer is heated, line the basket with a piece of parchment paper.
- Place the General Tso Chicken/Kung Pao Chicken onto the parchment paper.
- Set the timer for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, check that the chicken is heated throughout. If not, place it back in for another 3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the air fryer, and enjoy!
Using parchment paper in the air fryer can help to prevent the chicken and the sauce from sticking to the basket.
However, you should only place parchment paper into the air fryer along with other ingredients — if it is placed into the air fryer on its own, there is a chance it could touch the heating element and catch alight.
Fried Rice Dishes
Fried rice dishes can also be reheated in an air fryer — this goes for fried rice with all different ingredients, whether it is chicken, pork, shrimp, beef, vegetables, or egg.
Reheating fried rice dishes in the air fryer is actually really simple; you just need to make sure that you prevent the rice from sticking.
Here is how to reheat fried rice in the air fryer easily:
- Do not preheat the air fryer. Instead, place the rice into the pan of the air fryer, then spray the rice lightly with some olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
- Set the temperature to 320°F. Leave to reheat for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, spray the rice with some olive oil again, then place it back into the air fryer at 360°F for 5 minutes.
- Once done, stir the rice and serve while hot.
It is important to coat the rice with a few sprays of olive oil — this will prevent the rice from sticking to the air fryer pan and keep it moist.
Spring Rolls, Potstickers, And Other Dim Sum
Potstickers, spring rolls, and other dim sum items are popular in Chinese cuisine and really quite easy to reheat in the air fryer.
These are usually fried, and sometimes steamed, so they reheat well in the air fryer.
Here is how to easily reheat spring rolls, potstickers, and other dim sum dishes in the air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F for around 5 minutes.
- Spray the basket of the air fryer with some cooking oil.
- Place the spring rolls, potstickers, or other dim sum items into the air fryer basket. Make sure to not overcrowd the basket and to leave some space between the food items.
- Reheat the items in the air fryer for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, flip the items over if needed, then place them back to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the food from the air fryer when it is heated through and the outside is crispy.
Chow mein is an incredibly popular Chinese dish — as it is often served in large portions, you will likely have some leftovers to warm up!
You might not think that noodles are the best thing to reheat in the air fryer, but they can work really well.
Here is how to reheat chow mein in the air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Place the chow mein into an oven-safe dish that will fit into the basket of the air fryer.
- Try to spread the noodles and ingredients out as much as possible in the dish.
- Place the oven dish into the air fryer once it has heated up.
- Leave to reheat for 4 minutes.
- Open the air fryer and use a fork to move the noodles around, to reheat thoroughly.
- Place the noodles back into the air fryer and leave to reheat for another 3 minutes.
The noodles and the other ingredients should be heated up fully after this, and they should not have dried out.
Broccoli beef is another tasty Chinese meal that can be reheated in the air fryer.
The trick is to not reheat it too much so that the beef dries out — you do have to keep a check on how long you leave the food in the air fryer.
Here is how to quickly reheat broccoli beef in the air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
- Place the broccoli beef into a heat-resistant dish that will fit into the air fryer basket. If possible, place the broccoli on one side of the dish, and the beef on the other side.
- Put the broccoli beef into the air fryer and allow it to reheat for 5 minutes.
- Remove the dish from the oven, flip the broccoli and the beef over where possible, and place the dish back into the air fryer for another 3 minutes.
- Once heated throughout, serve the broccoli beef.
Crispy Almond Chicken
Crispy almond chicken can be served with many other ingredients, but if you have a breast left over, you can easily reheat it in the air fryer.
Here is how to reheat crispy almond chicken in the air fryer:
- Preheat the oven to 380°F.
- Once heated, place the chicken breast into the air fryer. If reheating a few pieces, make sure they are not overlapping and that there is some space between the chicken pieces.
- Place the chicken into the air fryer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, flip the chicken over, and place it back to reheat for another 3 minutes.
The chicken should be heated throughout — it should be crispy on the outside but still moist and tender on the inside.
Now that we’ve learned all about how to reheat different types of Chinese leftovers in the air fryer, here are some additional questions we thought you might have.
Is it safe to reheat Chinese takeaway?
Chinese takeaway is fine to reheat, as long as you place it in the fridge soon after eating, and do not keep it in the fridge for longer than a day or two.
When reheating Chinese takeaway, make sure that the food is reheated to at least 176°F to kill off any harmful bacteria.
Can I use aluminum foil in the air fryer?
Aluminum foil can be used in the air fryer to prevent food from sticking to the basket.
However, it is not always a good idea to use aluminum foil as it can block the airflow and not allow food to heat or cook properly.