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How To Reheat KFC 3 Easy Ways For Crispy And Delicious Fried Chicken Every Time

Quick Answer: What Are The Best Ways To Reheat KFC?

KFC chicken makes for delicious leftovers and can be reheated three different ways. For the most simple method, place your chicken in an air fryer for 15 minutes at 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Another easy approach, but one that requires a little longer, is warming up your chicken in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This can take between 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces. Lastly, you can also re-fry your chicken in hot oil in a skillet on high heat for 2-3 minutes.

When it comes to comfort food, there’s no question that KFC is one of the best. 

When you look at the success that KFC has had since it was first founded in Kentucky in 1952, there’s no surprise as to why it’s so good. 

KFC has over 20 thousand restaurants in 150 different countries worldwide. It’s one of the top competing fast food establishments next to McDonalds and Burger King and is the go-to place for people craving deep-fried meaty goodness. 

If you know anything about fried chicken, you’ll know that the Southern states are notorious for their irresistibly crispy deep-fried dishes- and KFC is no exception. 

While they contain a variety of different foods on their menu, KFC is best known for its fried chicken (hence the name “Kentucky Fried Chicken”). 

KFC fried chicken contains the perfect balance between tender and juicy meat on the inside and crispy and fried batter on the outside. 

It’s a treat that, yes, shouldn’t be consumed too often (like all fast food), but makes for a splendid meal plan for when you’re busy. 

Now, suppose you indulged one night in one of KFC’s specialty buckets of fried chicken and you have leftovers (this is likely a rare occasion, as it’s so good, the bottom of the bucket will be visible in less time than you’d hope). 

How To Reheat KFC

If you find yourself in this situation, under no circumstances, I repeat, under no circumstances throw out the chicken!

If done correctly, KFC chicken can be reheated to crispy perfection. 

And no, it doesn’t include the microwave. 

When reheating food, the microwave tends to be the go-to kitchen appliance. But unfortunately, when it comes to fried chicken, warming it up this way will cause it to become soggy and rubbery- and nobody wants that.

If you’re looking for the best methods to reheat fried chicken, there are three approaches that you should stick with: the oven, air fryer and deep frying it in hot oil.

Each of these methods is not only super easy but they will also ensure your chicken retains its crispy exterior without drying out the meat on the inside.

For more information on reheating your KFC leftovers, plus step-by-step instructions, make sure to check out the following sections.

It’s finger lickin’ good! (Sorry, we had to).

RELATED: How To Perfectly Defrost Chicken In The Microwave | Best Food

How To Reheat KFC In The Oven 

For an easy and effective way of warming up your chicken, the oven is always a great option.

Reheating KFC in the oven will make your meat extra crispy and retain the original delicious flavor that makes it so good.

It’s important, however, that you check on your chicken while it’s in the oven, as different pieces may require slightly different cooking times.

Pro Tips

  • If you need to prepare anything else while the chicken is coming to room temperature, this is the time to do it.
    • While preheating the oven is essential, you can complete other things on your to-do list or prepare side dishes and set the table. 
  • Although you don’t need to grease the baking sheet, for extra precautions it’s not a bad idea.
    • The aluminum foil is also not necessary, but it will make the cleanup a lot easier. 
  • Arrange them on the baking sheet so that they are not touching each other. 
  • Make sure the chicken pieces are room temperature before placing them on the baking sheet.
    • Fried chicken is delicious because of the crisping process that takes place on the outside of the meat, which is hindered by cold meat on the inside.
  • If you’re afraid your chicken may dry out, you can spray a little water on it before placing it in the oven. 
  • The total amount of time it will take to reheat your chicken will vary, depending on the size of the chicken piece and whether or not it’s a leg or thigh.
    • Generally, legs will require between 15-20 minutes of cooking time.
    • Thighs, on the other hand, are thicker and may require between 20-25 minutes of time in the oven.
      • Your best bet is to simply check on the chicken frequently and, when it’s crispy on the outside and warm all the way through, it’s done (remember the smaller pieces will be done first). 
  • You likely won’t need to add any extra seasoning, as the chicken should keep its flavor.
    • However, dipping sauces are highly recommended! 

How To Reheat KFC In A Frying Pan 

KFC chicken is fried, so it only makes sense that to reheat it, you can also re-fry it! 

Deep frying in oil is a technique that is a little trickier than the previous oven-method, but with these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be a pro in no time. 

The result of this is so crispy and addicting, you won’t want your KFC any other way!

If you want to get that irresistible golden brown finish, here’s what you need to know:

Pro Tips 

  • The frying process can be affected if the chicken is not allowed to warm back up.
    • If you place the fried chicken pieces in the hot oil when they’re still cold, it will temporarily reduce the temperature of the oil, preventing the chicken from getting crispy on the outside. 
  • Cast iron skillets and dutch ovens are recommended, as they are heavier and allow the heat to be retained more easily. 
  • The best oils to use for frying include vegetable, canola and peanut oil, as they will not cause your chicken to take on a burnt flavor (as can be the case with olive oil, as it has a high smoke point). 
  • Be careful when adding the chicken to the oil, as the oil will be very hot. 
  • If you like an extra crispy piece of chicken, allow your KFC to stay in the oil for a couple of minutes longer.
    • Just be careful, as leaving the chicken in the oil for too long will cause the meat inside to dry out. 
    • You can also fry your chicken a little less, if you prefer a less crispy exterior. 
  • If you have a deep fryer, you can also use this to complete this method.
  • Don’t use a paper towel to drain the excess oil, as this will actually cause the exterior to moisten, ruining the dry and crispy exterior you worked so hard to get! 

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How To Reheat KFC In The Air Fryer 

If you have an air fryer at home, you can also use this to reheat your KFC. 

Anyone who’s familiar with this appliance knows just how amazing and efficient it is. 

Simply heat it up, throw the chicken in and let the magic happen!

For more information, check out the following table: 

Pro Tips 

  • If your air fryer has a tendency to stick, grease it first before adding the chicken. 
  • If you decide to spray your chicken with oil, opt for a low-fat one for a healthier alternative (which is needed with all of that deep frying). 
  • When you place the chicken in the air fryer, ensure you arrange it in a way that the pieces don’t touch each other (to avoid sticking as they fry). 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Freeze KFC?

Yes, KFC chicken can be stored in the freezer.

Simply wrap it up tightly in foil and store it in a freezer-safe bag or container and place it in the freezer. 

It will stay good this way for up to 3-4 months. 

Can You Reheat KFC In The Microwave?

Although it is possible to reheat your KFC in the microwave, it is not recommended. 

Although the microwave is more efficient, when it comes to fried chicken, warming it up this way will cause it to become soggy and rubbery. 

If you’re in a real-time crunch, you can do this, but you won’t be left with the crispy result you may be looking for. 

How Do You Know When KFC Is Done? 

KFC chicken is done when the exterior is golden brown, crispy, and appears dry (only on the outside, not inside). The chicken should also be warm all the way through. 

If you’re worried the chicken isn’t fully cooked, place a thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Chicken should have a temperature of at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe.

Can You Reheat KFC Beans?

Yes, KFC beans can be reheated. Place your beans in a microwave-safe dish and cover it. Cook the beans for 1 minute in the microwave, remove them and stir the beans and then place them back in the microwave for an additional 30 seconds.

If they are still not hot, continue heating in 15-second intervals.

How To Reheat KFC In The Oven

How To Reheat KFC In The Oven

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 5 minutes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

KFC chicken is brought to room temperature and then baked in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-25 minutes (depending on size) on a foil-lined baking sheet, before cooling on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes.


  • Fried chicken Water (optional) 


  • Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and remove it from any containers it may have been stored.
  • Arrange the pieces so that they sit evenly-spaced on a plate or platter for about 30 minutes, or until they come to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius)
  • On an oven-safe baking sheet, arrange the fried chicken pieces For easier cleaning.
  • line the baking sheet with aluminum foil first place the baking sheet on the center rack of the preheated oven After 10 minutes,
  • Check the chicken frequently (look at pro tips for more info)When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven.
  • Allow it to cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutesEnjoy!

How To Reheat KFC 3 Easy Ways For Crispy And Delicious Chicken Every Time

How To Reheat KFC In A Frying Pan

Prep Time: 30 minutes
cook Time: 3 minutes
Rest Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

KFC chicken is brought to room temperature and then fried in a skillet for 2-3 minutes in hot oil on high, before being drained on a cooling rack for an additional 3-5 minutes. 


  • KFC chicken Oil (canola, vegetable or peanut)


  • Skillet Tongs 
  • Oven mitts
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven rack


      • Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and remove it from any containers it may have been stored
      • Arrange the pieces so that they sit evenly-spaced on a plate or platter for about 30 minutes, or until they come to room temperature.
      • A few minutes before your chicken reaches room temperature, set a pan on the stovetop Set the burner to high Fill the pan with enough oil,
      • So that the bottom half of your chicken will be covered by it Using tongs and oven mitts, place each piece of chicken one at a time into the hot oil.
      • Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes, ensuring to flip them halfway through While the chicken is frying place a wire rack over a pan
      • When the chicken is done, remove each piece one at a time with tongs and place the pieces on the wire rack.
      • Allow all of the oil to drain (approximately 3-5 minutes) Serve and enjoy.
    How To Reheat KFC In The Air Fryer 

    How To Reheat KFC In The Air Fryer

    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Rest Time: 5 minutes
    Total Time: 5 minutes
    Difficulty: Easy

    KFC is placed in the air fryer at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15 minutes or until heated all the way through. 


    • KFC chicken Oil/water (optional)


    • Air frye
    • Tongs Spray
    • bottle (optional)


      • Set your air fryer to 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius)
      • For extra crispiness, spray each piece of chicken with either water or cooking oil Place each piece of chicken into the air fryer 
      • Allow the chicken to fry for approximately 15 minutes When they are heated all the way through, remove the chicken from the air fryer using tongs
      • Allow them to rest and cool for 5 minutes Serve and enjoy!
      Jess Smith

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