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How to Reheat Chicken Tenders

Reheat chicken tenders the right way! Chicken tenders are great fresh out of the air fryer, regular fryer, or even the convection oven. But letting them sit, then storing them for later means you need the perfect way to bring them back to their crispy beginnings.

chicken on a board with text "how to reheat chicken tenders"

Reheat Chicken Tenders the Right Way

Basically, when you want reheated tenders, then you have a few options:

  • Oven: You can scatter the chicken tenders on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven, making sure it isn’t too hot to overcook them
  • Air Fryer: Whip out that good old air fryer and give them a few minutes to blast back to crunchy on the outside, hopefully moist on the inside
  • Microwave: Use a microwave, super quick, but forget trying to make them crispy and risk turning the meat chewy

So you see, there are many ways to go, but each method for reheating tenders has risks and rewards. Also, make sure to account for them starting at room temperature, fresh out of the fridge, or still frozen. Reheating times vary accordingly.

If you purchase precooked frozen chicken tenders (like me as I have hungry boys that need a quick snack) any of these methods will work! It’s technically reheating since they are already cooked:) Check out how to reheat Cornbread while you’re at it!

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close up of chicken strip

How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Oven

When you reheat leftover chicken tenders in the oven, the trick is preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Do this without the tenders sitting in the oven while the temperature rises. Otherwise, you are just going to dry them out by overcooking them.

Place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet, making sure there is plenty of space around each. Then place the baking sheet in the oven. You are looking for them to get quickly toasted up and reheated, making sure the internal temperature reaches 165F.

If the tenders came out of the fridge or have already reached room temperature, then this might take about ten to fifteen minutes. However, if you pulled them out of the freezer, then you might need about double that amount of time depending on the thickness of the chicken.

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How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in an Air Fryer

I think air frying or using a similar convection style oven for reheating tenders is the best way to go. The advantages are quicker reheating time, and excellent moisture retention. So you don’t have to wait as long for the chicken to reheat and for exterior to have crunch, while the interior keeps moist.

Pre-heat, and again, preheating the fryer is key, to about 350-375F degrees. Make sure there is plenty of space between the pieces of chicken in the air fryer basket for the hot air to circulate. If you try over filling the air fryer then you will end up with wet tenders. Might as well have just used a steamer instead.

The tenders should be hot and perfect within about five minutes, but double that time if you are starting with frozen tenders. Did I mention this is my favorite method for reheating chicken? The cook time is shorter and I can reheat chicken strips in less than 15 minutes!

air fryer basket

How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in a Microwave

With reheating fried chicken pieces in a microwave, you have to trade off crunch for convenience to some extent. Place a paper towel in a microwave safe container, then place the chicken nuggets in the container.

Make sure there is space around each tender. Blast on high for a minute if they came out of the fridge, but it will take about 3 to 4 minutes if they are frozen.

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chicken strips on a board with ketchup

Chicken Strips or Tenders are a universally loved finger food and we always have a bag on hand stashed in the freezer. They make a great meal, a sandwich for lunch, or chopped up on a salad!

More Chicken Recipes

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