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How To Reheat Homemade Chicken Nuggets

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Everybody loves chicken nuggets, and everyone can agree that homemade chicken nuggets are the absolute best. They are one of the foods that are absolutely adored by both adults and kids alike. 

If you whip up a batch of homemade chicken nuggets, you might want to freeze some for a later date, to enjoy as an easy meal. Not only is this saving you some time in the future by having some frozen nuggets ready to be reheated, but it is a cost-saving exercise as well.

When it comes time to eat your frozen chicken nuggets, how do you reheat them? Reheating chicken nuggets is pretty easy, and you would heat up frozen chicken nuggets much the same as you would fresh ones. You can choose to reheat chicken nuggets in the oven, on the stove or in the microwave.

Reheating Chicken Nuggets In The Oven

Most of us heat up fresh chicken nuggets in the oven. It is the best way to heat up a large portion, and to get an even warmth throughout the nuggets, and to achieve a golden crumb.

To reheat chicken nuggets in the oven:

  • Place the frozen chicken nuggets on a wire rack placed onto a baking sheet.
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the chicken nuggets for 20 minutes.
  • Remove them from the oven and check the temperature.
  • If they need more time in the oven, leave them to bake for another 5 minutes before checking again.

Pros of using the oven

The oven is the best way to ensure the nuggets are reheated evenly, as you can space them out properly on the baking tray.

It allows the nuggets to crisp up and have a nice crunch when eaten but does not dry out the chicken too much if the nuggets are not left in the oven for too long.

Cons of using the oven

Using the oven takes longer to reheat chicken nuggets than when using a microwave or a pan on the stove. If you leave the chicken nuggets in the oven for too long, they could become dry and rock hard, and almost inedible.

Reheating Chicken Nuggets In The Microwave

The microwave is the quickest way to heat up chicken nuggets for those who do not want to wait for the oven. There is no setup and hardly any waiting time.

To heat your chicken nuggets in the microwave:

  • Lay them out on the plate, trying not to let them overlap each other.
  • If you need to do two batches, it is better than piling them on top of each other. Heat the chicken nuggets for one minute on full power and check them.
  • Leave them to sit for 30 seconds for the heat to distribute evenly.
  • If they need some more warming, microwave them for a further 30 seconds.

Pros of using a microwave

Obviously, the main advantage of using a microwave is to heat the chicken nuggets up in the shortest amount of time possible. It is an easy and convenient method, and there is little setup and no wait time for the microwave to heat up.

Cons of using a microwave

The microwave is not the ideal tool to use if you are wanting crispy chicken nuggets. Often, when chicken nuggets are heated in the microwave, they turn soggy and not so great.

This can be avoided slightly by only heating the chicken nuggets for a short period of time. However, chicken nuggets should be heated up very hot to avoid any bacterial growth, so it is a bit of a conundrum.

Reheating Chicken Nuggets On The Stove

Using a stovetop to reheat chicken nuggets is convenient, but it can be tricky. You need to ensure that you do not oil the pan too much to make the chicken nuggets over-oily, but not too little so the chicken nuggets stick and burn.

When reheating chicken nuggets on the stove:

  • Heat up a frying pan with just a touch of olive oil.
  • Add in the chicken nuggets and leave them to heat for 1 or 2 minutes on each side.
  • Check that they have heated through, and if not, leave them to warm for another minute or two on either side.

Pros of using a stove

While you will have to wait for the stove and pan to heat up, using the stove to warm up chicken nuggets is still fairly quick. You are able to get crispy crumbing on the outside, with a moist, soft chicken inside.

Cons of using a stove

The stove is an easy place to burn your chicken nuggets if you forget about them for even a minute. If you put too much oil into the pan, the nuggets may absorb too much and be too oily to eat.

Bonus: Air Fryer

For those who are lucky enough to have an air fryer at home, reheating chicken nuggets will be a breeze. Air fryers are such a convenient tool to have in the kitchen, and offer a healthier alternative to cooking and reheating food with no oil. The air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food.

To reheat your chicken nuggets in the air fryer:

  • Preheat the device to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the chicken nuggets into the fryer and leave them to reheat for about 8 minutes.

Pros of using an air fryer

 The air fryer is great for quick cooking time, and to be able to use no oil to reheat the chicken nuggets. The air fryer will still crisp up the outside of the chicken nugget, while still keeping the inside nice and tender.

Cons of using an air fryer

There aren’t really any cons to using an air fryer, other than you have to wait for the air fryer to heat up, which does not take long at all.

Which Is The Best Method?

An air fryer is possibly the best option to reheat homemade chicken nuggets, however, not everyone owns one.

The second best option is to reheat the chicken nuggets in the oven. It might take longer than the other methods, but it is worth the wait.

Reheating chicken nuggets in the oven is the best way to have them heated through evenly while obtaining a crisp crumbed exterior and keeping the chicken inside juicy and tender.

The oven also heats up the chicken nuggets enough to prevent any bacterial growth, which is a common occurrence with food which has been heated through for a second time.

This is especially important for chicken, as it is one of the foods that contain harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, which can cause serious food poisoning. Make sure to reheat your chicken nuggets on high to avoid any bacteria growing on the chicken nuggets, making them safe to eat once reheated.

If you wish to thaw your chicken nuggets from frozen, you can leave them in the fridge overnight. This helps them to defrost without heating up, which is the safest way to get it done.

Related Questions

How long can you keep chicken nuggets in the fridge?

Once cooked, chicken nuggets can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days. They should be kept in a shallow, airtight container or wrapped up tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Chicken nuggets are fine to eat after 2 days in the fridge, only if they are stored properly and cooked through completely.

Can you freeze homemade chicken nuggets that have been cooked?

You can freeze cooked homemade chicken nuggets. Once out of the oven, you should allow the chicken nuggets to cool completely on a baking sheet.

Once cooled, transfer them to an airtight freezer bag or airtight container. They can be all frozen together or in smaller portions.

Make sure to label the freezer bag or container with the date cooked and frozen. If stored properly, the chicken nuggets can last for 3 months in the refrigerator.

Do you need to defrost chicken nuggets before cooking?

There is no need to defrost chicken nuggets before cooking. They can be placed in the oven frozen and will reheat thoroughly if left in the oven for a suitable period of time.

If you do want to defrost the chicken nuggets, you can leave them in the fridge overnight to thaw slightly, they can then be placed in the oven, microwave, stove or air fryer to be cooked through.

Reheating Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Homemade chicken nuggets are as wholesome as it gets, and there is nothing better than having some leftover in the fridge or freezer that you get to enjoy at a later stage.

Knowing how to reheat chicken nuggets is key to ensuring you can reheat them safely, and correctly to ensure they still have a crispy crumbed exterior and a deliciously tender and juicy chicken inside.

Remember that homemade chicken nuggets can only be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days, and if you do not plan on eating them by then, you will need to place them in the freezer.

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