Reheating Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer is the absolute best way to do it!

Use this easy air fryer method to reheat leftover fried chicken to its former hot and crispy glory, without drying it out even a little bit.

a plate of crispy fried chicken that has been reheated in the air fryer.

Make Leftover Fried Chicken Crispy Again!

The microwave will make fried chicken rubbery, and the oven takes forever and will make leftover chicken so, so dry.

With the air fryer, you get the best parts of both of those bad options: The chicken will be reheated quickly, but stay delicious and crispy too!

If you love super crispy chicken (and who doesn’t, right?), be sure to try my Air Fryer Chicken Tenders recipe. Japanese-style Chicken Katsu is also amazingly crunchy with panko breadcrumbs.

a platter lined with parchment paper, filled with mixed pieces of leftover fried chicken.

What You’ll Need

Leftover Fried Chicken – If you’ve got a bucket of KFC in the fridge, or some breaded chicken wings from your local bar and grill, get them out and get ready to reheat them perfectly.

Olive Oil Spray – Just a very small amount of oil will help your leftover fried chicken to get nice and crispy as it reheats in the air fryer. If you don’t have olive oil spray, avocado or vegetable oil will work too.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP!

a collage of four images showing how to make leftover fried chicken in the air fryer.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer

  1. Bring the leftover chicken to room temperature. Let it sit out on the counter for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking.
  2. Preheat the air fryer using the preheat function, or at  350ºF/175ºC for 5 minutes. Then spray the basket with olive oil spray and place the chicken in the basket in a single layer. Spray the chicken very lightly with oil as well.
  3. Increase the heat, and air fry the fried chicken at 360ºF/180ºC for 5 minutes. Then flip it over and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until it is fully reheated to an internal temperature of 165ºF/74ºC.
  4. Enjoy right away while the chicken is hot and crispy!
a hand holding a crispy leftover chicken drumstick.

Tips and tricks

  • This method will work for any bone-in fried chicken that you’ve ordered from KFC, Popeyes, or your favorite local restaurant, as well as leftover homemade fried chicken that you want to reheat.
  • Let the chicken come to room temperature before air frying it. This is the key to getting it heated through without drying it out.
  • Preheat the air fryer for at least 5 minutes so that it’s hot when you add the chicken to it. This step will ensure that the fried chicken gets nice and crispy.
  • Different chicken pieces are different sizes, so the exact cook time will vary. A little chart is included in the recipe card to help you with that detail.
  • Large pieces like chicken breasts and thighs will take 8-10 minutes to reheat in the air fryer, while smaller pieces like wings and legs take between 3 and 7 minutes.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer when reheating chicken. The pieces should be in a single layer, and not overlapping at all. If they are touching, the parts where they touch will not crisp up!

What To Serve

You can serve your perfectly reheated fried chicken leftovers with the leftover sides that they came with, or make up some fresh side dishes to create a new and exciting meal.

I always enjoy a fresh green salad with fried chicken. I feel like it balances out the salt and oil and makes me feel like I’m making healthy choices!

Other tasty sides for fried chicken include Cajun Fried Corn, Air Fryer Hush Puppies, Potato Salad, or Mashed Potatoes.

I also found this: The best way to use up leftover fried chicken. Make it into an amazing sandwich!


Why am I adding more oil to fried chicken to reheat it in the air fryer?

A little bit of olive oil spray helps to add moisture and crunch back to the coating of the fried chicken. You don’t need to add much! You can reheat chicken in the air fryer without extra oil, but in my testing I found that it tasted best with that little bit of extra olive oil added.

Can I reheat fried chicken with sauce on it?

Yes, you can reheat bbq or buffalo-sauced fried chicken with this air fryer recipe. If at all possible, brush the chicken with a bit more of the same type of sauce before reheating it.

How do I reheat fried chicken without drying it out?

Use your air fryer! And follow these simple instructions. Make sure to let the chicken come to room temperature before reheating it. This way, it won’t need much time in the air fryer and won’t be at risk of drying out as it gets heated through.

a hand picking up reheated fried chicken from the air fryer.

Pro Tips

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

The air fryer can cook food from scratch, or be the perfect machine to reheat all of your leftovers!

You’ll want to check out our instructions for reheating pizza in the air fryer, reheating fries in the air fryer, and reheating steak in the air fryer.

And if you want to use the air fryer to make fried chicken from scratch, we have you covered there too!

It’s so simple to reheat leftover fried chicken in the air fryer! You’ll never need to eat cold leftovers or dried-out fried chicken again now that you have this information.

Have you made this recipe? Please leave a comment AND rating below! It helps other readers!

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a round plate of leftover fried chicken.
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Reheating Fried Chicken in Air Fryer

Reheating Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer is the absolute best way to do it! Use this easy air fryer method to reheat leftover fried chicken to its former hot and crispy glory, without drying it out even a little bit.
Prep Time5 minutes
Rest Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 2kcal



  • 4 pieces Fried Chicken leftover, already cooked
  • Olive Oil Spray


  • Bring the chicken to room temperature by allowing it to sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes before cooking.
  • Preheat your air fryer using the preheat function or at 350ºF/175ºC for 5 minutes.
  • Once preheated, spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray and place the chicken in a single layer. Spray the chicken very lightly with olive oil spray.
  • Cook the chicken at 360ºF/180ºC for 5** minutes. Then flip the chicken and cook it for an additional 2-5** minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF/74ºC. (See note below for cook times for various cuts of chicken)
  • Enjoy immediately.


  • You can use this method for reheating any type of fried chicken– just make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the information below.
  • Olive oil spray helps add a bit more moisture and crunch back into the coating of the fried chicken. If you are using a chicken that is sauced (such as with BBQ or buffalo), just brush it lightly with more sauce instead of using olive oil spray.
  • The nutrition information here is not going to be accurate. Refer to the nutrition information from the restaurant that the chicken originally came from. 
**Cook Times: 
  • Chicken Wings: 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway through 
  • Chicken Legs: 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through 
  • Chicken Breast: 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through 
  • Chicken Thighs: 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through


Calories: 2kcal | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 2mg | Vitamin A: 0.4IU | Calcium: 0.1mg | Iron: 0.01mg
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Air Fryers can vary greatly. Please take the time to learn your specific air fryer. You may need to adjust times and temperatures based upon your air fryer. All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.

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