4 Ways to Heat Chicken

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4 Ways to Heat Chicken
4 Ways to Heat Chicken

The chicken is delicious and cost-effective, but tends to dry out when the leftover meat is reheated. If you have leftover ready-made chicken pieces and you want to heat them up, there are some simple ways to do this without sacrificing moisture and tenderness, and that won't “re-cook” the meat like fried foods do.

Total time (Microwave): two to four minutes


Method 1 of 4: Reheating in the microwave

Reheat Chicken Step 1

Step 1. Cut the meat into small pieces

Chicken - especially breast - tends to dry out when heated too long. Cutting it into small pieces will shorten the heating time, preventing the meat from drying out.

Reheat Chicken Step 2

Step 2. Place the chicken in a microwave safe container

Do not use a plastic pot. But, as a note, the myths about microwave plastic causing cancer have been scientifically disproved. The real risk you run is that the plastic will melt into your food.

Reheat Chicken Step 3

Step 3. Cover the chicken

Do not use plastic wrap as it can melt on your food. Don't use aluminum foil, either, as it creates sparks and can start a fire or break the microwave.

  • Purchase a microwave-safe plastic lid.
  • Cover it with a sheet of paper towels if you can't find something else.
Reheat Chicken Step 4

Step 4. Reheat the chicken

How much chicken is to be heated? If it's very little (one serving for one person), start by putting a minute and a half of normal microwave power - which is usually 1,000 watts. If you have enough chicken, start putting on for two to three minutes. In either case, check the temperature by touching the chicken with your fingers or tasting a piece to see if it's warmed up well. Continue heating, 30 seconds at a time, until it reaches the ideal temperature.

Reheat Chicken Step 5

Step 5. Remove the chicken and let it rest

Remember that the pan will also be hot, so use oven mitts or pot rests to get the meat out of the microwave. Keep the lid in place and let it sit for two minutes before cutting or serving.

Reheat Chicken Step 6

Step 6. Take off the cover

Be careful when doing this as a lot of hot steam can come out. Keep your face and fingers away to avoid burns.

Method 2 of 4: Reheating on Stove

Reheat Chicken Step 7

Step 1. Place a pan over low to medium heat

A non-stick pan is ideal for reheating chicken - especially when the meat is skinned, as the fat in it tends to stick to the pans.

  • Feel the heat emanating from the pan by placing your hand 5 cm above the bottom surface.
  • Ideally, the pan does not get as hot as when cooking raw chicken, as the intense heat will dry out the meat.
Reheat Chicken Step 8

Step 2. Put a tablespoon of oil in the pan

The fat will keep the chicken from drying out.

Reheat Chicken Step 9

Step 3. Reheat the chicken in the pan

Put the cold meat in the pan and keep an eye on it. To keep it from burning, stir it in the pan so the skin or surface of the meat doesn't have a chance to stick. Turn the pieces over continuously to heat well on both sides.

Reheat Chicken Step 10

Step 4. Let it sit and serve

Let the chicken rest for a minute or two for it to redistribute its juices, and that's it!

Method 3 of 4: Reheating the chicken in the oven

Reheat Chicken Step 12

Step 1. Prepare chicken to reheat

Thaw if necessary and cut into small pieces to avoid drying out during the process.

Reheat Chicken Step 11

Step 2. Raise the temperature

You don't have to wait for it to come to room temperature if it was frozen, but the meat can't be solid. Refrigerate for a few hours (six to eight) before slowly reheating to raise the temperature.

  • If reheating the chicken immediately, place the frozen meat in a plastic zipper bag (Ziploc) and leave it in cold water until it thaws.
  • You can also defrost it in the microwave, in the “Unfreeze” option.
Reheat Chicken Step 13

Step 3. Place the chicken in a tin

Inspect the bottom of the shape to see if it can withstand high temperatures.

  • Spread the finished chicken pieces into the pan, trying to keep them evenly spaced.
  • Cover the chicken pieces with the gravy from the leftover food, if any.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil to prevent the chicken from drying out.

Step 4. Preheat the oven

Adjust it to 220 to 245°C. Different ovens take more or less time to preheat, so make sure the oven is at the right temperature before heating the chicken.

Reheat Chicken Step 15

Step 5. Reheat the chicken

Once the oven is preheated, place the meat inside. If it has been cut into small pieces, it may only take a few minutes to heat up. If you're heating up large chunks, like whole breasts, you'll have to wait longer.

  • Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature and ensure that the interior has not gotten cold.
  • The internal temperature of the chicken should be 65°C before serving.
Reheat Chicken Step 16

Step 6. Remove from oven and serve

Wear kitchen gloves to protect your hands when taking out the chicken, and use a pan holder to protect the surface on which you will place the hot pan.

If the chicken pieces are large, let them rest for a few minutes before cutting. This allows the juices to redistribute so that the meat does not become dry and hard

Method 4 of 4: Reheating a whole roast chicken in the oven


Step 1. Preheat the oven

Adjust it to 180°C and allow to preheat completely. Each oven takes a different amount of time to preheat, so make sure it has reached the right temperature before adding the chicken.

Reheat Chicken Step 18

Step 2. Prepare a baking sheet

Since chicken has already been roasted, you don't need to choose a deep pan, as there will be no juices dripping. But a deep roasting pan is still a good choice for reheating a roasted chicken.

  • Butter or oil the surface of the pan to prevent the chicken from sticking.
  • Place the whole chicken into the pan.
Reheat Chicken Step 19

Step 3. Reheat the chicken

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven, leaving it on the middle grill so that it receives even heat. Depending on the size of the chicken, it may take more or less time, but it usually takes 25 minutes to fully heat the meat.

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is at least 65°C.
  • Start taking the temperature a few minutes beforehand, especially if the chicken is small.
  • Don't let the chicken get too hot as this makes it hard and dry - especially the white meat.
Reheat Chicken Step 20

Step 4. Let it sit and serve

Take the chicken out of the oven using gloves and a pan holder to protect yourself and protect the counter or table where you place the pan. Let it sit at room temperature for about five minutes before cutting. Doing so allows the juices to redistribute into the meat, keeping it moist when serving.


  • Microwaves tend to heat the outside of food first, especially if the food is thick, like a whole chicken. Cut the remaining chicken before taking it to the microwave.
  • Microwaves are faster, but ovens heat more evenly.


  • It is worth remembering that there is a possibility that plastic film, even microwave safe versions, is bad for the food because toxins are pushed into the food when the microwave is in operation. The same problem occurs with plastic pots in the microwave. On the internet there is information and alternatives for both.
  • Before handling leftover chicken (or other food), wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. If you have a cold, flu or cough, do not handle food. Staphylococcus bacteria are natural inhabitants of the nasal passages and skin; this is the biggest cause of food infections as they come into contact with food and multiply.
  • Food is much more likely to have bacteria on its surface than on its inside. Cover all foods before refrigerating to prevent surface contamination. Allow food to cool before placing airtight lids and putting in refrigerator; hot or warm food in an airtight environment can also create bacteria.
  • Even fully cooked foods can be the environment for the proliferation of bacteria such as salmonella. Discard anything that has come into contact with the chicken, such as marinades, and do not use in other foods.
  • Never put aluminum foil in the microwave!

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