An array of countries lay their stake in the creation of chicken shawarma. The chicken is slow-roasted on a rotisserie for days, developing the perfect Middle Eastern flavour combination.
The chicken is stuffed into a pita bread pocket with an array of fresh salad ingredients and nutty tahini sauce. Most in the west are more likely to have chicken shawarma from the local kebab shop making for a perfect start to a lazy weekend.
As harmonious as all the ingredients of chicken shawarma may be, trying to reheat your Friday night treat can be a disaster. But it doesn’t have to be!
To reheat chicken shawarma, you must first remove the fillings before popping it into a hot oven for 10 minutes or in a microwave for around 1 minute.
How to Reheat Chicken Shawarma
The biggest issue with trying to reheat chicken shawarma is ensuring that the chicken doesn’t lose its flavour while preventing the rest from becoming damp and soggy.
There are a few methods that you can follow to reheat your chicken shawarma. Though they will require a bit more effort than ordering from your local takeaway, the effort will be well worth the result:
How to Reheat Chicken Shawarma in the Oven
For most people in the UK, chicken shawarmas are a takeaway treat.
However, if you prefer to make your own chicken shawarmas at home and find yourself with a lot of leftovers, you can reheat large batches of chicken shawarma in the oven:
- Pre-Heat The Oven
Before you get started, warm your oven up to 180 C.
- Remove The Filling
If your chicken shawarmas are already assembled, remove as much of the fresh toppings and sauces as possible, setting them aside for later.
- Wrap In Foil
To prevent the pita bread pocket from drying out, wrap each of your chicken shawarmas in a layer of tin foil. Fold the ends over tightly.
- Organize The Shawarmas
Take a large baking tray and lay your wrapped chicken shawarma in a single layer on the tray. Avoid any overlaps for an even reheat.
Place the chicken shawarmas into the middle of your oven and set a timer for 10 minutes, leaving your shawarmas to reheat.
After 10 minutes, check the centre of the chicken shawarma with a knife to see if the chicken has properly heated. The tip of the knife should come out hot to the touch.
- Reheat Again
If the chicken is not yet reheated, leave the shawarmas in your oven to continue cooking. Re-check the chicken every couple of minutes until it is piping hot.
Once your chicken is hot enough, carefully unwrap the tin foil from the shawarmas and reassemble the shawarmas with the toppings you set aside earlier.
Plate up and enjoy immediately!
How to Reheat Chicken Shawarma in the Microwave
It is never best to use a microwave when reheating takeaway food. However, a microwave can work to reheat shawarma, and you will likely have more success than if you tried to reheat a greasy burger.
If you have made your own chicken shawarma, then microwaving can be a good option too:
- Remove The Toppings
Well-made chicken shawarma will have plenty of fresh salad toppings. Remove this from the shawarma before heating it and set it aside.
- Plate Up
Move the chicken shawarma to a microwaveable plate. Avoid reheating the shawarma in a take-out container if possible.
Your shawarma is very likely to dry out in the microwave. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel to keep the chicken’s moisture.
Set your microwave to full power and microwave the shawarma for 40 seconds.
- Check The Chicken
After 40 seconds, uncover the chicken shawarma and check the temperature of the chicken. If the chicken is piping hot, serve.
- Reheat Again
If you find the chicken still cold on the shawarma’s first reheat, reheat it again in 20-second intervals until the chicken is perfectly hot.
Don’t forget to add back your cold toppings before enjoying your chicken shawarma!
How to Reheat Chicken Shawarma Successfully
Reheating chicken shawarma is a balancing act of ensuring the chicken remains tender without making the pita bread pocket soggy and keeping the pita dry without drying out the chicken.
The methods above should be perfect in providing this balance, but here are a few extra tips you could also use:
- Separate The Ingredients For Storage – The best way to ensure that the shawarma chicken remains tender while the pita remains soft is by separating the fresh and cooked ingredients in your fridge. Remove the fresh toppings and most of the sauce from the pita bread and the chicken and store all 3 in separate containers.
- Reheat Separately – If you are worried about your chicken already being too dry or the pita bread pocket too moist, you could reheat the ingredients separately, following any of the methods above. Remove the chicken from the pita, reheat them one after another, and then build the shawarma again.
- Try The Toaster! – Toaster ovens are not as popular in the UK as in the US. But if you do have one and want to save on your energy bill, follow the oven method listed above and apply it to your toaster oven to reheat your shawarma.
Is It Safe to Reheat Chicken Shawarma?
As with any chicken product, chicken shawarma should only be reheated if it has been refrigerated for only 24 hours.
Even then, chicken shawarma is only safe to reheat if you can get the chicken piping hot, killing any lingering bacteria. The rest of the shawarma’s ingredients may not respond well to such heat but are otherwise safe to reheat.
Reheating Chicken Shawarma FAQs
If you still have a question or two about reheating shawarma successfully, then check these quick FAQs out:
Yes, you can eat the cooked chicken cold the next day. It can be stirred through salads or served in flat breads.
You can reheat the chicken in a pan when it is removed from the pita. Add the chicken with a splash of water to a pan and warm it through over a gentle heat, stirring regularly.
Acacia may be a freelance writer by day, but they are a food fanatic by night. They are always trying out new recipes or finding different ways to elevate classical dishes. But their biggest culinary aim is to educate others on the basics of the kitchen so that they too can enjoy delicious food.