Chicken wings are the staple of a party, but you should know how to reheat chicken wings just in case. Even though wings are usually the one food that people clean up the quickest, occasionally, you may have leftovers. Throwing away all of that food would be a huge waste.
Just reheat them and you can enjoy those delicious wings as if they just got out of the fryer. Here’s how to do it.
Best Ways to Reheat Chicken Wings
There are plenty of methods that you can use. Each will have distinct advantages and disadvantages over the other.
But of all the methods available, reheating using the oven offers the best quality.
Chicken wings baked in an oven will retain most of their taste and texture. The gentle heat from the oven doesn’t suck the moisture out of the chicken wings the way a microwave does. Thus, the exterior will be kept mouthwateringly crisp while the meat inside stays juicy and succulent.
It is for the same reason is the preferred method of reheating most foods. You can reheat fried chicken in the oven excellently. You can even make use of the oven to perfectly reheat mashed potatoes, too.
The sole disadvantage to this method is that it takes quite a while. It may take between 15 to 20 minutes for the wings to be fully reheated.
The next best option after the oven is reheating with an air fryer. An air fryer can bring your chicken wings up to the required temperature more quickly (only about 8 to 10 minutes). In addition, if you prefer your wings extra crispy, a fryer can crispen up the outer skin better than an oven. The overall texture and quality of the meat aren’t that far off from oven-baked wings, either.
However, despite the numerous advantages, not every house has an air fryer. Thus, this method isn’t as popular as reheating in the oven.
Similar to the oven, you can use an air fryer to reheat most foods. If you’re interested, you can learn how to reheat lasagna using the air fryer with our guide here.
The third method is to use a microwave. It is not ideal since the microwave can suck all the moisture out of the wings. The end result is a rubbery, chewy mouthfeel. But the advantage of microwaving is its speed: the whole reheating process takes less than five minutes.
The fourth and last method is a combination of the microwave and the oven. First, the wings are heated in the microwave, which has the speed advantage. Then, they are cooked for a second time in the oven to ensure that they’re heated evenly all throughout.
A portion of the chicken wings’ initial quality and taste can be saved with this method. It also doesn’t take too long, taking an extra 2 or 3 minutes compared to reheating just with the microwave.
Reheat Chicken Wings
1. In Oven
First, take your chicken wings out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. This should take between 15 to 20 minutes.
If you left your wings in the freezer, you should thaw them first by putting them into the fridge. It may take a couple of hours, so plan ahead if you have frozen chicken wings to reheat.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Take out a sheet pan and spray it with a layer of cooking spray. Then, in a single layer, arrange the chicken wings you plan to reheat. If you have more wings than can fit on the pan, separate into batches. Do not attempt to cram the pan. Ensure that there is at least an inch of space between the wings.
If you are worried about drying out the wings, spritz them with some water.
Place the wing-loaded pan into the oven and cook for five to six minutes. Then, use a pair of tongs to flip the wings and cook the other side for another five to six minutes.
Use a digital thermometer to take the core temperature of the largest wing in the batch. If the temperature reads 165°F (75°C), the chicken wings are ready to be served. If not, continue to heat in the oven until the core temperature hits this point.
Depending on how many wings you have on the pan, the total reheating time can take between 15 to 20 minutes.
2. In Air Fryer
Reheating chicken wings in an air fryer is fairly straightforward.
Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Once done, place the chicken wings into the frying basket. Arrange them neatly on a single layer and ensure that there is ample space between each wing. Because air fryers work by circulating hot air, proper spacing is very important for the wings to cook evenly.
Cook the wings for eight to ten minutes until golden brown. Use a thermometer to check the wings’ core temperature (165°F or 75°C).
Serve straight away.
Check out our: How to Cook Chicken in an Air Fryer
As you can see, reheating with the air fryer is fairly simple. This is why an air fryer has gained quite a lot of popularity over the years.
Besides chicken wings, you can use the same technique using the air fryer to reheat other dishes. We have tested it out in our article on how to reheat rotisserie chicken to great results.
3. In Microwave
If you don’t have a lot of time, microwaving isn’t all that bad of an option. Sure, the quality will be impacted, but you can serve up the wings in as little as 3 minutes.
Preheat the microwave to 350°F (175°C).
Take out a microwave-safe plate large enough to hold all your chicken wings and line it with damp paper towels. Put thewings onto the plate and cover with another layer of damp paper towels.
Microwave for two minutes. Check the temperature of the wings. You don’t really need a digital thermometer for this part. Just wash your hands and touch the outside of the wings. They should be slightly warm (not to the point of scalding).
If the wings are scalding hot, chances are that you just overheated the wings. As a result, they may taste dry and chewy.
But if the wings still feel a little cold, you can continue microwaving in one-minute bursts until they’re sufficiently warm.
When the wings are all warm, take them out of the microwave and serve.
The microwave may not net the best result, but — aside from being quick — it is highly versatile.
You can use it to reheat most kinds of food, including certain types of meat that are sensitive to high heat and drying. For example, reheating salmon with the microwave can give you a fairly decent result. So will reheating corn on the cob.
4. Microwave-Oven Method
The issue with microwaving isn’t just the excessive drying. It is also the uneven heat. The parts that were closest to the heating element can come out hotter than the rest.
There is, fortunately, a fix for this.
If you have an extra two or three minutes and an oven, you can throw the just-microwaved wings into the oven. With its stable heat, the oven will give your wings a more consistent temperature.
Bring out a baking sheet and place the microwaved wings on top. Place the sheet into the preheated oven (at 350°F/175°C).
Cook for 1 minute. Then use a pair of tongs to flip the wings and cook for another minute.
The wings should be more evenly heated when taken out of the oven.
As you can see, leftover chicken wings aren’t at all beyond saving. You just need some time and the know-how to reheat chicken wings. Now that you know what to do, don’t let them go to waste!
But for now, if you still have some time before you jump in the kitchen, why not read a few more reheating guides?
Pick and read about dishes that you and your family often prepare and eat. It’s only a matter of time before you have a container or two of leftovers in the fridge:
- The Best Ways to Reheat Steak: steak is considered by most people as a treat rather than something you have everyday. So, it makes perfect sense to not want a cut of perfectly good steak to go to waste. You can find the best methods to reheat steak in this detailed guide.
- How to Reheat Rice: if you have a container of leftover rice in the fridge right alongside your chicken wings, we have good news. You can reheat and combine these two together to make a highly satiating meal. But, in order to reheat rice, you have to take a few extra precautions besides the proper reheating techniques. You can find all of the info you need here.
- The Best Ways to Reheat Fries: fries can complement a great many dishes, chicken wings included. And even when it’s reheated, fries can still lend a lot of flavors and a nice, extra texture to your meal. Test it out on your leftover fries with this reheating guide!
- Can I Reheat Prime Rib — The Best Reheating Techniques: prime rib, true to its name, isn’t something you will have on a daily basis. Thus, you should try to make the best of each slice when you have the opportunity. Yes, even if it means having to reheat it. If you use a good reheating method and do it well enough, prime rib will taste as if freshly cooked.
- How to Reheat Crab Legs in the Oven: seafoods like crab legs are very finicky when it comes to reheating. Some of them aren’t safe to reheat. Fortunately, crab legs aren’t part of the “no-reheat” list. You can safely crab legs — and well at that. Try out some of the reheating methods introduced here. You won’t regret it!
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.