Who doesn’t love chicken wings? The popularity of this dish is underscored by the many ways it can be prepared and its inclusion in CNN Travel’s American food: The 50 greatest dishes. No matter which restaurant you go to, chances are there is a dish or two that include chicken wings.

It’s no surprise that chicken wings are equally popular when it comes to homecooked dishes. Any backyard barbecue or Super Bowl night at home most likely involve chicken wings in the menu. In fact, the National Chicken Council estimated that 1.35 billion chicken wings were consumed by Americans in this year’s Super Bowl weekend. The love for chicken wings is even celebrated during National Chicken Wing Day which has been celebrated every July 29 since 1977.

The popularity of chicken wings makes is essential to acquire the skill of cooking them. For those who lack the cooking skills, knowing how to reheat chicken wings is the next best thing. Whether you are reheating leftover chicken wings cooked by someone else or those that you order from restaurants, chicken wings can taste great if you know the best ways to reheat them.

Remember to follow the USDA Leftovers and Food Safety Guideline when reheating any food by making sure the temperature reaches 165° F (74° C). No matter what reheating method you use, there is no winging it (pun intended) when it comes to ensuring that your chicken wings are safe to eat.

Eager to get your hands on delicious, albeit reheated, chicken wings? Here are some methods you can use:

Best ways to reheat chicken wings

There is comfort in knowing you have chicken wings in the fridge that you can easily whip out and reheat when you don’t have the time to prepare anything or you don’t feel like cooking – or even when you just feel like eating some.

For the best-tasting reheated chicken wings, make sure your chicken wings taste great right off the stove or grill. No method of reheating will make a bland-tasting chicken wing dish taste great – so keep your expectation within the limit of how the wings tasted when they were freshly cooked.

Even if you have the best-tasting chicken wings and you reheat them, expect a slight dip in quality. Any dish, after all, is almost always best eaten when it is still hot and freshly cooked. Some common problems you may encounter when reheating chicken wings are dry and tough meat, soggy skin, burnt chicken, and uneven temperatures.

There is no single method that is best for reheating chicken wings. The resulting taste and the ease of each reheating method are a matter of preference. The best one depends on how you like your chicken wings and the reheating tools that are available to you.

Some of the most common ways to reheat chicken wings involve the use of an oven, a stove, a microwave oven, or a grill. Each one has its own pros and cons and you can expect different results with each method. You can try different methods available to you to help you determine the YOUR approach.

Expert tip

If you’re on a keto diet or any low-carb diet, chicken wings will fit into your diet – as long as you skip the batter and sugary sauce. One small chicken wing contains approximately 82 calories, with 62% of it from fat and 38% of it from protein.

Carl Lawrence

Reheating chicken wings in a (toaster) oven

One of the fastest ways to reheat chicken wings is with a toaster oven. Toaster ovens usually provide even, gentle source of heat, making it a good appliance to have for reheating almost anything. There is a risk of your chicken wings drying out especially if the temperature is too high or if the timer is set for a long time. You can minimize this chance of your wings drying out by covering them with an aluminum foil.

What you need

  • Baking pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Toaster oven

What to do

  1. If your chicken wings are in the fridge, bring them out, and let them sit for around 5 minutes to allow them to reach room temperature. Do not skip this step!
  2. Place aluminum foil on your baking pan. You may skip this and place your chicken wings directly on the baking pan, but placing an aluminum foil first makes it easier to clean up afterward.
  3. Place chicken wings on the baking pan.
  4. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil. You may skip this and leave your chicken wings uncovered, but covering it with aluminum foil will minimize drying out, enhancing the flavor.
  5. Place the baking pan inside your toaster oven.
  6. Set the temperature to 350 ° F (175° C).
  7. Leave in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the baking pan from the oven.
  9. Let it cool.
  10. Enjoy!

If you have a conventional oven, you may follow the same steps above. Feel free to vary the temperature and timer settings according to your preference. Remember not to leave your chicken wings in too long if you choose to preheat your oven to avoid drying out.

Re-frying your chicken wings

Deep frying is one of the most popular ways to cook chicken wings. If what you have in your fridge are deep-fried chicken wings, a good way to reheat them is by re-frying. This method can put new life back into your chicken wings. If you want to give your leftover chicken wings a shot at golden crispiness, re-frying can provide great results.

What you need

  • Frying pan
  • Oil
  • Stove

What to do

  1. If your chicken wings are in the fridge, bring them out and let sit for around 5 minutes to allow them to reach room temperature. Again, you do not want to skip this step.
  2. Heat the frying pan on the stove.
  3. Once the pan is hot, add olive oil to the pan.
  4. Heat the oil to a high temperature.
  5. Carefully place the chicken wings one at a time on the frying pan. This will usually result in a lot of oil splashing and splattering because of the reaction between oil and the moisture in the chicken wings.
  6. Fry the wings for 2 to 3 minutes or until crispy.
  7. Turn over the chicken wings.
  8. Fry the other side for 2 to 3 minutes or until crispy.
  9. Remove the wings from the frying pan.
  10. Let cool.
  11. Enjoy!

To make frying easier, you may use a non-stick frying pan and tongs. Also, catch excess oil from your chicken wings by placing a paper towel on the plate before placing the re-fried wings on top.

Reheating chicken wings in air fryer

An air fryer is an excellent multi-purpose kitchen appliance. Hot air is generated and circulated inside an air fryer to cook the food. These little machines gained popularity in the last few years because it can fry food to a golden crispiness using around 70% to 80% less oil compared to deep frying, making it a healthier frying method. Since an air fryer is a good way to cook chicken wings, it can also be used for reheating them. Make sure to also check out our article on the best air fryers.

What you need

  • Air fryer

What to do

  1. If your chicken wings are in the fridge, bring them out and let sit for around 5 minutes to allow them to reach room temperature.
  2. Place the chicken wings in the air fryer. Do not overfill the frying bin. Make sure there is enough space in between the chicken wing pieces so that each piece will be evenly reheated. This means you might have to reheat in batches especially if you want to reheat a lot of chicken wings or if you have a small air fryer.
  3. Set the temperature to 400° F (205° C).
  4. Reheat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken wings from the frying bin.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Enjoy!

If you want to make sure that your chicken wings will come out crispy, you may spray a little bit of oil on it before reheating. You may also open the air fryer in the middle of reheating to turn over the chicken wings to ensure that the pieces are more evenly reheated.

Best way to reheat chicken wings in microwave

The microwave oven is one appliance that has become a staple in many kitchens and often used for reheating food. If you have one in your kitchen, you may also use it for reheating chicken wings. A microwave oven can reheat your wings really fast, but a common problem with this method is uneven heat. It also will not be able to revive the crispiness in your chicken wings, leaving you with soggy chicken wings instead.

What you need

  • Microwave-safe plate or container
  • Microwave
  • Paper towel or microwave-safe lid/wrap

What to do

  1. If your chicken wings are in the fridge, bring them out and let sit for around 5 minutes to allow them to reach room temperature.
  2. Moisten a sheet of paper towel and place it on the bottom of the microwave-safe plate or containers.
  3. Place the chicken wings on top of the moist paper towel lining the microwave-safe plate or container.
  4. Cover the chicken wings with another sheet of moist paper towel. If you prefer to cover it with a microwave-safe lid or wrap instead, sprinkle a few drops of water on the chicken wings first. This will help retain the moisture in your chicken wings and prevent it from drying out.
  5. Place the container inside the microwave oven.
  6. Heat the chicken wings on high for two minutes.
  7. Check if the chicken wings are heated to your liking.
  8. Heat the wings again for 30 seconds if it is not thoroughly heated.
  9. Remove the chicken wings from the microwave oven.
  10. Let cool.
  11. Enjoy!

Expert tip

When reheating chicken wings, you may add some garnish or topping to freshen your chicken wing dish. It can be something as simple as a squirt of lemon juice, shredded cheddar, or minced parsley.
Don’t be afraid to be adventurous!

Carl Lawrence

Can I reheat the wings several times?

Bacteria grows on any food left at room temperature. When you leave it out too long or when you store it for a long time, there is a risk that the bacteria in the food has accumulated to unsafe levels. Reheating leftover chicken wings will kill any foodborne bacteria and viruses when done properly.

The USDA recommends making sure that the food reaches 165° F (74° C) when reheating leftovers.

Although it is best to reheat any leftover chicken wings only once, it is safe to reheat them several times for as long as they are stored and reheated properly. Refreeze remaining leftovers as soon as possible and always make sure the food reaches 165° F (74° C) every time you reheat the chicken wings.

A good practice is to thaw and reheat only the amount of chicken wings that you need. Remember also that the quality of the chicken wings will decline every time it is reheated: the meat of the chicken wing dries out more and the texture declines a bit.

When you have a lot of frozen leftover chicken wings, decide on the number of chicken wings you want to consume and then thaw the needed amount. Reheat the thawed chicken wings using any of the methods above. You may use a food thermometer to make sure that the chicken wings reach 165° F (74° C), no matter which reheating method you use.

Storing raw and cooked chicken

Aside from properly reheating chicken wings to make sure they are safe to eat, it is also essential to store them properly. When storing raw or cooked chicken wings, it is a must to store them in a refrigerator. Keeping meat refrigerated helps slow bacterial growth in the meat. To ensure that raw or cooked meat like chicken wings are refrigerated properly, your refrigerator should be set at 40° F or below (under 4,5° C). According to the USDA, food left at temperatures above 40° F (4,5° C) for two hours or more should not be consumed.

Aside from making sure the temperature is 40 ° F (40° C) or below, store chicken wings in a covered or airtight container. This will help the chicken wings to retain moisture and also prevent contamination from other items stored in the refrigerator.

It is safe to refrigerate chicken wings immediately after cooking. The faster it reaches a temperature of 40° F (4,5° C) or below, the lower the risk of bacterial growth. To reach this safe temperature faster and for easier reheating later, divide the chicken wings into small portions and store in separate containers.

Chicken wings can be safely frozen for three to four months in the freezer or safely stored in the refrigerator for three to four days.