How To Reheat KFC – Complete Guide
You may have been a little too excited and ambitious when ordering a bucket of KFC, or a variety of different KFC meals, only to get halfway through and find that you simply cannot keep eating!
Luckily, this means that you have some leftovers to enjoy later or the next day, but you would want to know the best way to reheat KFC leftovers so they taste just as good as they did fresh.
How do you reheat KFC?
How you reheat KFC will depend on what KFC meals you are reheating, but when it comes to popular fried chicken pieces, reheating them in the oven on a wire rack, or in the air fryer, is the best way to keep them crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
However, there is more to KFC than just fried chicken, so read on how to reheat all types of KFC leftovers, so your leftovers never go to waste!
Is It Safe To Reheat KFC?
Before we carry on and go over how best to reheat KFC leftovers, you need to consider if it is safe to reheat the leftovers.
When it comes to KFC, how safe it is to reheat leftovers depends on how you store the leftovers between first eating the food, and reheating it later on.
If you have left the KFC leftovers out at room temperature for longer than two hours, or the whole time without refrigerating it, then it may not be so safe to eat.
Leaving it at room temperature means an increased chance of bacteria growth, making the leftovers unsafe for consumption.
However, if you store the KFC leftovers in the fridge once you are finished eating, either placing it back in its original containers or into a fridge-safe container, then it will be fine to reheat within 24 hours.
So, it is safe to reheat KFC leftovers, as long as you place the leftovers in the fridge once they reach room temperature, and reheat the leftovers within 24 hours.
How To Reheat KFC Pieces In The Oven
Reheating KFC pieces in the oven is the best way to get them as close to their original crispiness and juiciness, but there are a few tips on how to do this properly.
- First, you need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Next, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or aluminum foil, depending on what you have. If you have a wire rack, place this onto the tray. Spray the tray and wire rack with cooking oil or olive oil.
- Place the KFC pieces onto the wire rack or directly onto the baking tray, one next to each other, but not overcrowding the tray. There should be some space between each piece of chicken.
- Place the tray into the oven with the KFC pieces, and leave to reheat for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, check the chicken. If fully reheated throughout, you can remove the tray from the oven. If not fully reheated yet, then place them back into the oven for another 5 minutes until ready.
- It is best to use a food thermometer if you have one. The chicken is fully reheated when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, so check this if you can.
The KFC pieces will reheat thoroughly and remain crispy all around if they are reheated on a wire rack, but the pieces will reheat well on a baking tray too.
How To Reheat KFC Pieces In The Air Fryer
If you have an air fryer at home, you can definitely use it to reheat KFC pieces successfully, and it does a pretty good job at reheating the pieces well, similar to the oven.
If done right, KFC pieces reheated in the air fryer should be crispy on the outside, and still tender and juicy on the inside.
Here is how to reheat KFC pieces in the air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the air fryer is fully heated, place the chicken pieces into the air fryer basket, allowing some space between them and not overcrowding the basket.
- Spray the chicken pieces with some cooking oil to allow them to crisp up nicely in the air fryer.
- Place the air fryer basket with the chicken into the air fryer, and allow it to reheat for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, check the chicken pieces. With a thermometer, check the chicken pieces are at 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally, or without one check that they are piping hot.
- If the KFC pieces aren’t hot enough yet, place them back in the air fryer for another 3 minutes and check them again. Repeat this until they are fully reheated throughout.
The key to crispy reheated KFC pieces in the air fryer is to not overload the air fryer basket. So if you are reheating quite a few pieces, you might have to do it in batches.
How To Reheat KFC Pieces In The Microwave
We do not necessarily recommend reheating KFC pieces in the microwave, as it will not reheat them crispy and tender, and you will likely end up with a soggy coating, and a tougher chicken inside.
However, if you cannot reheat the KFC pieces in the oven or air fryer, and if you want a quick-fix way to reheat them, then you can reheat them in the microwave.
Here is how to get the best results reheating chicken pieces in the microwave:
- Take the KFC leftovers out of the fridge and leave them to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Place a paper towel onto a microwave-safe plate, and place the chicken onto the paper towel. Do not overload the plate, reheating a few pieces at a time.
- Microwave the chicken pieces for 30-second intervals, flipping the chicken between each reheating, and checking whether the chicken is reheated throughout.
- While you want the chicken to be piping hot when removing it from the microwave, you also do not want to microwave it for too long that it dries out.
Once the chicken is warmed throughout, remove it from the microwave and enjoy. The one benefit of using the microwave is that you do not have to wait for anything to preheat, and you can enjoy hot leftovers in a few minutes!
How To Reheat KFC Gravy
KFC gravy is like liquid gold, and you would not want any to go to waste! If for some reason you didn’t finish your gravy the first time around, and you have some leftovers, you would definitely want to reheat it to enjoy with the other leftovers.
The best way to reheat KFC gravy would be in a saucepan on the stove.
Pour the gravy into a small saucepan, and reheat on medium heat, stirring as it heats up.
Once the gravy is piping hot and fully reheated, then you can serve it with your chicken.
Another option is to reheat the gravy in the microwave. Pour it into a microwave-safe container, and reheat it for 30-second intervals, stirring between, until piping hot.
How To Reheat KFC Hot Wings
The best way to reheat KFC hot wings would be in the oven or the air fryer, just like you would reheat KFC pieces.
However, you might have to lower the reheating time accordingly, as the hot wings are usually smaller than the KFC pieces, and you do not want to overcook them so that they dry out.
For the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminum foil, and spray with some oil. Place the hot wings onto the tray, and place them in the oven.
- Leave the hot wings to reheat for 15 minutes. Check the wings after 15 minutes, and remove them from the oven if they are reheated throughout.
- If they need more time, place them in the oven for another 5 minutes.
For the air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the hot wings into the basket, and spray them with some oil to keep them crisp while reheating.
- Allow it to reheat in the air fryer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, check the hot wings, and if heated throughout, remove them from the air fryer.
- If they need more time, place them back into the air fryer for another 3 minutes and check again.
How To Reheat KFC Fries
There is no reason to let your KFC fries go to waste! We have all tried and failed to reheat leftover fries in the microwave, so when reheating KFC fries, avoid using the microwave, and instead head for the oven or the air fryer.
Here is how to reheat KFC fries in the oven and the air fryer:
In the Oven:
- Preheat the oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray a non-stick pizza tray or a baking tray with some cooking oil or olive oil, and spread the chips around, making sure they are in a single layer.
- Once the oven is preheated, place the chips in the oven and allow them to reheat for 8 minutes.
- Check the chips after 8 minutes, and remove them from the oven if they are fully reheated.
- If they need more time, place them back in the oven for another 2 minutes before checking again.
In The Air Fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread the chips in the basket of the air fryer, and spray them with some oil. Make sure to not overload the basket, keeping the chips in a single layer.
- Place the basket into the air fryer, and allow it to reheat for 5 minutes.
- Check the chips after 5 minutes. If reheated fully, remove them from the air fryer and enjoy. If not, then palace them back in the air fryer for another 3 minutes.
How To Reheat KFC Chicken Sandwiches
Reheating KFC sandwiches is a little more complicated than normal fried chicken pieces, as you do not want to reheat the bun, pickles, or other ingredients in the sandwich.
The best way to reheat a chicken sandwich is to remove the chicken filet from the bun and other ingredients and reheat this separately.
For this, we recommend reheating the chicken sandwich filet in the air fryer. Here is how:
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the chicken filet into the air fryer basket, spraying it lightly with some oil.
- Leave it to reheat for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, turn the filet, and place it back in for another 5 minutes.
- If the chicken filet is fully reheated after this time, remove it from the air fryer. If not, leave it in the air fryer for a few more minutes.
- Place the hot filet back on the bun, along with any other ingredients, and enjoy!
You might want to add a little more mayo or sauce, as the bun might have dried out slightly in the fridge.
How To Reheat KFC Mashed Potatoes And Mac & Cheese
When reheating other KFC items, we recommend avoiding the microwave. However, for KFC mashed potatoes and mac & cheese, the microwave is the best option!
Here is how to reheat these sides in the microwave:
- Place the side into a microwave-safe dish, and stir through the side.
- Put the dish into the microwave, and microwave it on high for a minute.
- After a minute, stir the mashed potatoes or mac & cheese, and place it back into the microwave on high for another minute.
- The side should be heated through properly after this, but if it needs more heating, stir through once again and palace back into the microwave for another minute.
How To Reheat KFC Popcorn Chicken, Nuggets, And Tenders
KFC popcorn chicken, nuggets, and tenders can all be reheated successfully in the oven or in the air fryer. This keeps them crispy on the outside and nice and tender on the inside.
In the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the popcorn chicken, nuggets, or tenders onto a lined baking tray, greased with a small amount of oil.
- Leave to reheat in the oven for 10 minutes, turning after this time.
- Place back into the oven after turning for another 5 minutes.
- Check to see that the chicken pieces are heated throughout after this, or place them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
In The Air Fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the popcorn chicken, nuggets, or tenders into the air fryer basket, and spray lightly with some oil.
- Leave to reheat in the air fryer for 8 minutes. Turn after 8 minutes.
- Once turned, place the basket back into the air fryer for another 5 minutes.
- If they need more time after this, place them into the air fryer for an additional 5 minutes.
How To Reheat KFC
The above guide should give you all the information you need to reheat your KFC leftovers successfully, so you can enjoy them just as much the second time around, without any food going to waste!
The most important thing to remember is to store the KFC leftovers in the fridge after you finish the first round and to be sure that you eat the leftovers within 24 hours.
Can you reheat KFC pieces on the stove?
You can reheat KFC pieces on the stove, by heating up a shallow pool of oil in a flat-bottom skillet, and then frying the chicken on both sides for around 3 minutes until reheated fully and crispy.
Can I eat KFC the next day?
KFC is fine to eat the next day, as long as you have kept it in the fridge below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.