How often have you ordered a KFC bucket only to get halfway down before giving up? As much as you might like to try and devour a whole bucket in one sitting, it’s something that not everyone can manage. So, can you store and then reheat KFC at a later date?
There are two methods for reheating KFC without impacting the texture or flavour too much:
How to Reheat KFC in the Oven
Reheating KFC in the oven will keep it nice and crispy, although not quite as good as it was when you first ordered it! Here’s how to reheat KFC in the oven safely:
- Preheat Oven
Switch on your oven and heat it to 180°C.
- Prepare Your Tray
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or tin foil. Spray it with low-fat cooking oil or olive oil. This ensures your chicken won’t stick to the tray.
- Add Chicken
Next, line your KFC pieces side-by-side before placing the tray in the centre of the oven. Make sure none of them are touching so that the heat can easily circulate around the chicken, reheating it nice and evenly.
Leave your KFC in the oven for between 20 to 25 minutes. You should check the temperature of the chicken after 20 minutes to check if it’s done. If it’s not yet up to temperature, reheat it at 5-minute intervals until it’s ready.
- Check the Temperature
When reheating KFC chicken, you need to check that the internal temperature has reached 75°C.
- Serve and Enjoy
When your KFC is at the right temperature and is deliciously crispy on the outside, it’s time to tuck in and enjoy yourself!
How to Reheat KFC in the Air Fryer
If you have access to an air fryer, then this can be an even better way to reheat KFC. You’ll get a particularly crispy outside:
Allow the KFC chicken to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before reheating. This is so you get more even heating.
- Preheat the Air Fryer
Turn on your air fryer and preheat it to 190°C. If your air fryer has no preheat setting, run it empty at this temperature for a few minutes.
- Arrange the Chicken
Place the KFC chicken pieces in a single layer inside the air fryer basket, ensuring space between each piece to allow for proper air circulation.
Reheat the chicken for around 10 minutes. This will differ depending on the chicken pieces you have.
- Original Recipe: Heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning each piece over halfway through to ensure even reheating.
- Boneless Pieces or Tenders: Typically require less time, around 8 to 12 minutes, again turning halfway.
After the suggested time, check one of the larger pieces to ensure it’s adequately heated through. If needed, you can continue to heat in 2-minute increments until fully warmed.
Once you’ve achieved the desired temperature and crispness, remove the KFC chicken from the air fryer and serve immediately.
Reheating KFC is best done in an air fryer. This method retains the chicken’s crispiness and ensures even heating. An oven will work fine, though.
How to Reheat KFC Sides
Although the staple food at KFC is always going to be chicken, the list of sides and extras they have on the menu is constantly expanding. But, can you reheat these, too? And how?
Yes, KFC gravy can be reheated. You should do so over low heat in a saucepan, stirring regularly to ensure it is piping hot through.
Yes, hot wings from KFC can be reheated. Put them in a roasting tin and then into a hot oven for around 20 minutes. Check the internal temperature to ensure they are over 75°C. Cover the tray with a sheet of foil if they’re close to burning.
Yes, you can reheat KFC chips; an air fryer at 190°C for 3-5 minutes offers the crispiest result.
KFC burgers can be reheated using an oven at 190°C for 10-12 minutes while loosely wrapped in foil to maintain moisture and ensure even heating.
Tips for Reheating KFC
If you want to have complete success when it comes to reheating KFC, then make sure you follow these tips:
- Freeze It: Did you know that you can freeze your KFC leftovers? So many of us have gotten carried away when ordering takeaway and end up having far more than we could possibly eat at one time! If this resonates with you, simply wrap your excess KFC well and place it in the freezer. It will be good for several months.
- Don’t Leave It Sitting Out: You cannot store KFC in the fridge (or freezer) until it has cooled down. However, this doesn’t mean you should leave it sitting out at room temperature for extended periods. As soon as it has cooled down, get it in the fridge.
- Reheat Sides Too: You can also reheat any sides that you’ve ordered with your KFC. Fries, beans, and even corn will reheat perfectly well in the air fryer or oven (use the microwave for the beans). This gives you no excuses to throw any of your KFC order in the bin!
- Always Check the Internal Temperature: Eating undercooked, reheated chicken is extremely dangerous and could cause salmonella. To be on the safe side, invest in a meat thermometer and be sure to check the temperature of your meat is 75C or 165F before tucking in. It can save you from a seriously upset stomach!
We would avoid reheating KFC in the microwave where possible. Although it is possible to reheat it in the microwave, you’ll find the texture to be completely off. The outside former-crispy coating will become soggy and soft and the chicken will turn rubbery.
Ross is a freelance writer with a passion for delicious food and drinks, having worked in the hospitality industry in the past. He began working with Let’s Foodie when it first launched to provide information on how to reheat, freeze and microwave different foods.