Food Hygiene and Safety

Can You Reheat Chicken?

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

Leftover chicken is common in the fridge. We often have this and think to retake it for the next meal. But, can you reheat the chicken? Will that be hygienic? The answer is, yes. Reheating is an easy task. But, if you had dry, bites, you might have done it wrong.

As versatile meat, chicken can be used in various ways and reheated without losing its flavour or texture. So you can use your leftover without any hesitation. Read the blog and learn about reheating chicken, food safety-hygiene rules, and much more.

a whole chicken is grilled and served with herbs and spices

Can You Reheat Chicken?

After a delicious meal, you usually end up with leftover food, making you feel guilty about just throwing it. So retaking leftover foods is a great way to save time and money even if you find it tasty and nutritious after heating it again.

Now you can reheat the chicken and do it properly to avoid making it tasteless or dry, just follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Properly storing leftovers before retaking the food. If you let it cool before popping it in the fridge, you can safely reheat it.
  • Defort the stored chicken before reheating it. For defrosting, do not leave the chicken outside for a long time. It is safe to cook immediately; otherwise, it will cause bacteria growth which causes food poisoning.
  • It is considered best to heat it slowly in the oven or stovetop over low heat. You can also shred or cut it into smaller pieces to help it reheat evenly.
  • Ensure the chicken is fully cooked before warm-up and check until it is steaming hot.
  • Chicken is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit or 75° Celcius. You can do this by checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
  • You can heat your dish again in many ways. Choose your favourite one from the following method-
    • Oven: Heating chicken in the oven is excellent for chicken leftovers. If you want to keep them crisp, toss them in the oven. Skip the microwave! Preheat your oven to 400°Farenhite and place the pieces in a single layer on a wire rack over a baking sheet. It helps create a super-crispy crust. Bake for 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the reheated food is still 165° Fahrenheit.
    • Microwave: If you are in a hurry, you can use this method. Be careful not to overcook it, which is challenging while heating in a microwave. Wait for a minute or two, then check on it and continue cooking in 15-second increments until it’s heated.

A basket of delicious fried chicken on a black surface

    • Stove: Place a skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth to cover the bottom. Once the water starts to shimmer, add the chicken to a single layer. Lower the heat and stir the chicken until it’s nice and hot. Observe it; turn the chicken now and then to prevent it from burning.
    • Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 360°F and place the dish in a single layer in the fryer base with space between each piece, don’t crowd the basket. Cook for five to seven minutes.
    • Grill: Get your grill going and get the grill temperature to 350 degrees. Place the pieces on the grill, cover them, and wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Assure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it rest: Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Food Safety and Hygiene Rules for Reheating Chicken

You can reheat the chicken, but it’s essential to do so safely. chicken is a poultry product and, as such, contains bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Therefore, reheating chicken will kill any harmful bacteria present.

Be aware of the following food safety and hygiene issues-

  • Food cools properly before placing it into the fridge. Please do not leave it for a long time at room temperature, which can encourage the growth of bacteria. Quickly transfer the food to an airtight box once cooled.
  • Reheat all food within 24 – 48 hours. It is maximum time you should allow and will vary between different foods.
  • The best way is to warm the chicken in the oven at a low temperature, allowing it to heat slowly and evenly.
  • If possible, avoid the microwave. Instead, it reheats the chicken more quickly, but you must ensure you do not overcook it. Though overcooking chicken can dry it out, it’s much safer than undercooking it.
  • Undercooked chicken or chicken that hasn’t been safely reheated can still host bacteria that can cause illnesses, including salmonella. Most people with salmonella infection have many symptoms, and they are as follows:
    • Diarrhoea
    • Fever
    • Stomach cramps
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Chills
    • Headache
    • Blood in the stool

A young girl lying on a couch having stomachache

How to Defrost Chicken?

To ensure proper cooking or reheating, the defrosting process comes first. There are a few different ways to defrost the chicken. Popular three methods are given below-

  • Refrigerator: The best way is to place it in the fridge overnight. The chicken thaws slowly and evenly. Once it is completely softened, you can heat it in the oven or the stove.
  • Cold Water: You can place the meat in a bowl of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. It defrosts the chicken more quickly, but it is vital to ensure that you cook it immediately after defrosting it.
  • Microwave: you can use the microwave to thaw. Defrosting chicken in the microwave can make it dry.

How Many Times Can You Reheat chicken?

How many times are you able to retake the chicken? The answer is it depends. chicken is no different from other meats; you can reheat it twice. It is essential that you properly heat it the whole way through. Pieces of chicken must be steaming in the middle. If you are reheating a large portion, check the temperature of the meat’s core. The thickest part is not pink or red.

But, FSA recommends reheating food only once. While technically speaking, it is not recommended for quality and safety reasons. After each reheating, food quality decreases, and they are likely unsafe to eat.


Is it Safe to Reheat Cooked Chicken?

Reheating cooked chicken is perfectly safe if it’s done correctly. Before you reheat that leftover chicken meat, ensure you know how to do it safely.

Follow these simple rules to avoid making yourself or anyone else ill.:

  • Reheat in a covered dish.
  • Serve reheated food immediately.
  • Cooked chicken store in the fridge within an hour of serving.
  • Heat the food thoroughly to at least 75 °C (165 °F).
    Reheat only once
  • Avoid the microwave; oven or stovetop methods are best.


Follow our guide to reheat the chicken so it stays juicy and moist. Use the leftovers to top a salad, make wraps or serve with pasta and vegetables for a simple meal. Moreover, follow the food safety guidelines to avoid food poisoning! Stay safe and healthy, and make preparation for your next party. Do not forget your morning sandwiches from yesterday’s fried chicken.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.