Be it a thigh, breast, drumstick, or the entire grilled chicken, this meal has a special place in our hearts. It’s not uncommon to find millions of families including chicken in their weekly meal plans.
Grilled chicken brings versatility to the table since you can use it for just about anything, including potpie, soup, salad, or enchiladas. Whatever favorite chicken recipe you have in mind, this post will guide you on how to reheat the grilled chicken.
The Best Way to Reheat Grilled Chicken
There are a couple of ways to warm your grilled chicken so you can enjoy a hearty, warm meal. It should be clear that there is no right or wrong way to reheat your chicken. It all boils down to your taste and preference and the kitchen appliances you may have at your disposal. It also depends on the leftovers you have.
Nonetheless, you have certain pros and cons for each reheating method.
Here’s a quick comparison of the reheating options you can use:
Once you’ve tried reheating grilled chicken using the alternatives below, you’ll realize that the oven is the best method. First, preheat the oven to 325°F. To prevent the chicken from burning:
- Wrap it in a foil with about 2-3 tablespoons of water or stock per breast.
- Allow the chicken to reheat for 10-15 minutes.
- For crispier skin, broil for a minute.
Reheating the grilled chicken in the microwave also works, especially if you’re in a hurry. However, you can leave the chicken soggy if you’re not careful.
This method is ideal when you have skinless, boneless chicken. It’s not the right option for braised cuts or breaded grilled chicken.
An air fryer is the best method if you want your grilled chicken to maintain its crispiness. But the only issue is that it takes longer compared to other methods. You might be limited from using this method if you don’t have an air fryer.
Helpful Tips to Reheat Grilled Chicken Effectively
Now that you’re ready to try out any of the methods described above, here are tips to bear in mind:
Don’t Overcook the Chicken
Even before you think of reheating your grilled chicken, you should ensure it’s not overcooked. An overcooked bird won’t be sweet when you reheat it because it will get drier. You won’t enjoy the meal as expected.
Soak the Chicken Before Reheating
It’s best to brine your chicken before reheating it. This demands that you plan ahead. Soak your chicken for about 30 minutes to tenderize the meat. Doing this will also ensure it stays juicier for longer.
Use Lime or Lemon Juice
If you’re one of those people who hates the “warmed-over” effect of any meal, consider using lime or lemon juice. It reduces the likelihood of oxidation which will leave a funky taste on the chicken.
How to Reheat Chicken in the Oven
It’s easy to reheat grilled chicken in the oven, but you must do it the right way for the best after-taste of the reheated chicken. Here’s how to use the oven to reheat the chicken:
1. Preheat Your Oven
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the fridge. Allow the poultry to sit at room temperature as you wait for the oven to come to the right temperature.
2. Add moisture
It’s time to add moisture to the grilled chicken. You can use a baking dish or a foil to moisturize the bird. Add some tablespoons of chicken stock or water. Stock is better because it adds more flavor. Transfer the chicken to a pan and cover it tightly using foil. Steam from the water or stock will keep the meat nice and moist.
3. Reheat the chicken in the oven
After moisturizing the chicken, transfer it to the oven and allow it to heat for 10-15 minutes. Add more time if needed, but it shouldn’t exceed five more minutes. Your chicken meat might be harder, meaning it may require more time to reheat.
4. Remove and Serve
After the chicken has warmed evenly, remove it from the oven and serve. The chicken should be tender and satisfying.
5. Broil for a crispier chicken
If you want your chicken crispy, broil it for about 2 minutes before you dig in.
How do you know the chicken has cooked through if you don’t have a meat thermometer? Stick a knife into the chicken and pull it out.
Feel the temperature of the knife to determine whether it has cooked through. If the knife isn’t hot, give it a few more minutes in the oven before removing it.
Reheating Grilled Chicken in the Microwave
Reheating your chicken in the microwave is quick and convenient. Here’s what you need to do when using this method:
1. Prepare the Plate
Using a microwave-safe plate, prep the grilled chicken by cutting it into small pieces.
Next, add moisture to the chicken pieces. Add water or stock as desired. You can also drizzle some olive oil to give it more flavor.
3. Heat the Chicken
Reheat the chicken on 50% power for about 30 seconds. Remove the chicken and confirm that it’s cooked through. If not, put it in the microwave and heat it for another 15-30 seconds.
4. Allow the Chicken To Cool for About One Minute Before Serving
The main issue with reheating the chicken in the microwave is that some pieces might heat unevenly. Therefore, consider reheating one or two pieces at a time. Reheat on low heat for a few seconds to ensure you don’t overcook it.
Reheating Grilled Chicken on the Stove
Reheating grilled chicken on the stove is best used when you have boneless chicken. But this doesn’t mean you should toss your bird in a frying pan and heat it. Doing this will only dry the bird. Follow these steps for the right way to reheat it:
1. Prep the Chicken
You’re free to prep the meat as you want because it all depends on how you want to eat it. For leftover bone-in thighs or rotisserie chicken, remove the meat from the chicken. If you have a boneless chicken, slice it into thinner pieces to allow the meat to cook evenly.
2. Heat the Chicken
Using a medium-sized skillet, add about three tablespoons of water or stock. Cook over medium heat. When the water or stock begins to simmer, add the chicken pieces. Turn down the heat and cover the pan tightly. Allow the chicken to cook for about 3 minutes and flip over for other sides to cook. Increase the heat for a crispier chicken at the end.
Using a stove to reheat your grilled chicken gives you the flexibility to add other ingredients as you like. The vital thing to note here is to slice larger chicken pieces to ensure all parts cook through.
Reheating Grilled Chicken in an Air Fryer
Your air fryer can also help reheat your grilled chicken and still enjoy its savory taste. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Preheat the Air Fryer
Preheat the air fryer according to your model’s instructions. It should be okay to set this at 350°F (180°C).
2. Prep the Chicken
Next, prep the chicken as desired. Brush it with butter or oil. You’re free to use marinade here too. Put the chicken pieces in a way there is air to circulate while reheating.
3. Reheat the Chicken
Heat the grilled chicken for about 5-7 minutes. Shake the fryer basket halfway through.
The air fryer is best used for smaller skin-on chicken. The fryer can reheat the chicken, leaving it crisp just as you like it. If your chicken has no skin, brushing with butter or oil helps to prevent moisture loss.
Consider using the alternative reheating method if you have larger chicken pieces. You can also try using a foil with some water, just like you need in the microwave or oven.
Reheating Grilled Chicken in a Steamer
If you have a steamer in your kitchen, you can also use it to reheat your grilled chicken without losing its delightful taste. Here’s how to do it:
1. Prep your streamer. Add some H2O and bring it to a boil.
2. Put the chicken in the steamer and allow it to heat for 5 minutes. Check on it to determine whether it’s cooked evenly. Add more time if needed.
You should note that steam heats up quickly, so you should check the chicken frequently or remove it sooner to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Consider using stock to infuse some flavor into the grilled chicken.
While this method is also effective, the only issue is that you can lose some flavor if the chicken is marinated. If this is the case, choose a better reheating alternative from the other methods discussed herein.
Tips to Store Grilled Chicken
We mentioned previously that your grilled chicken could be reheated nicely, especially if you stored the bird properly. After grilling the chicken, give it some time to cool down to room temperature.
The last thing you should do is to keep hot food in the fridge. The difference in temperature in the refrigerator leads to condensation. Plus, keeping hot food in the fridge increases the likelihood of developing harmful bacteria, which means your food won’t last long under cold temperatures.
Again, you shouldn’t leave the grilled chicken for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Harmful bacterial growth can make the chicken go bad, rendering it unsafe to eat.
Don’t sit until the chicken is completely cold for you to store it in the fridge. It’s okay to keep it even when slightly warm.
To maximize the shelf life of the grilled chicken, consider using air-tight containers or wrapping the meat with cling wrap or heavy-duty foil.
Never store raw chicken meat and cooked chicken together. Use different containers to store them. If you’re not going to cook the chicken anytime soon, consider freezing it.
It’s good to label your container to know exactly when you froze or refrigerated it. This is especially true for those with other similar containers in the fridge. Don’t just assume that you’ll remember the storage date. You can’t trust your memory when it comes to the items in the refrigerator.
Is It Okay to Freeze Grilled Chicken?
If you’re not going to reheat your chicken any time soon, freezing it is the best option. With proper storage, the chicken can last even up to 6 months. However, allowing the chicken to stay this long is not always recommended. Aim to reheat the grilled chicken within three months for the best taste. The longer it stays in the freezer, the more likely it will have the taste of freezer burns.
For the best freezing results, follow these steps:
1. Put the chicken in the fridge for some time to lower its temperatures before freezing.
2. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap before following it up with foil. This is done to make sure no air gets to the chicken.
3. Label the packaging.
4. Remember to eat the chicken within six months.
Before you cut your grilled chicken into smaller pieces, consider whether you need to reheat it sooner. If not, freeze the whole piece because it stays longer in the freezer. Smaller cuts are preferable if you plan to eat the chicken within a month.
Best Way to Thaw and Reheat Frozen Grilled Chicken
After freezing your chicken for days, weeks, or months, always remember to thaw it before reheating it. Reheating the chicken as it only makes it cook unevenly. Some parts will be cold while others will be hot. So, it’s best to thaw it first.
One way to thaw the frozen chicken is to leave it overnight in a cold water bath. When doing this, ensure that the bird is in an air-tight bag to prevent unwanted soaking and loss of flavor.
You can also thaw the bird in the refrigerator overnight. This demands you plan your meals wisely to ensure you give the chicken enough time to come to room temperature.
Once defrosted, use any of the methods to reheat the grilled chicken.
It’s okay to reheat grilled chicken even after storing it for months in the freezer. The only thing you need to make sure of is that you store the chicken properly after grilling it. Choose any of the methods discussed in this post to help you reheat your grilled chicken for a delicious taste you can enjoy.
These questions can help you figure out what can work best for you.
Does grilled chicken reheat well?
Yes, grilled chicken reheats well as long as you choose an ideal method to warm it. Recommended methods here include using an oven, microwave, stove, or air fryer.
Is there a safe way to reheat grilled chicken?
The best way to reheat your grilled chicken is by using an oven. Wrap it in foil and add some moisture. Put the chicken in the oven for a few minutes to heat and serve while hot.
How do you moist grilled chicken when reheating?
When reheating, you can use water, stock, or olive oil to moisturize your chicken. It ensures the meat doesn’t dry out.