Fried Chicken > Can fried chicken be frozen then reheated 

Can Fried Chicken Be Frozen then Reheated?

Fried chicken is a delicious, crispy treat that everyone loves. The crunch of the battered exterior combined with the juicy, tender chicken inside is hard to resist. While fried chicken tastes best when freshly cooked, leftovers are common. Freezing fried chicken allows you to enjoy it again later, but reheating it properly is key to maintaining that same delicious taste and texture.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken After Freezing

Reheating frozen fried chicken requires a little finesse. The goal is to reheat the chicken thoroughly without making it soggy or dried out. Here are some tips:

    • Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. This gently thaws the chicken while minimizing moisture loss. Avoid defrosting at room temperature or in the microwave, as this can make the crust soggy.
    • Reheat in the oven at 350°F. Place the frozen chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through. The oven will crisp up the crust again.
    • Fry the chicken again. Drop the frozen chicken back into the hot oil for a couple of minutes to re-crisp the crust. Make sure the oil is hot – around 350-375°F.
    • Use the air fryer. Air frying works great for reheating fried chicken. Cook at 400°F for 7-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. The hot air will make the skin deliciously crispy.
    • Microwave only if necessary. Microwaving can make fried chicken soggy and soft. Do so sparingly in 30 second intervals until just heated through.

 Related post: Can fried chicken be a little pink? 

Can I Freeze Leftover Fried Chicken?

Absolutely! Freezing is a great way to save those leftover fried chicken pieces for later. Here’s how:

    • Let fried chicken cool completely first before freezing.
    • Place chicken pieces in a single layer on a sheet pan or plate. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
    • Transfer frozen chicken to zipper bags or airtight containers. Squeeze out excess air.
    • Seal and return to freezer. Properly stored, fried chicken lasts 4-6 months in the freezer.


For best results, reheat frozen chicken within 2-3 months for ideal taste and texture.

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Fried Chicken?

The oven is the gold standard for reheating frozen fried chicken. Bake at 350°F on a sheet pan until hot and crispy again, 15-20 minutes. The dry, ambient heat crisps up the crust without overdrying the chicken.

The air fryer is an excellent second choice, requiring less time at a higher temp (400°F for 7-10 minutes). A brief refry in oil can also re-crisp the crust. In a pinch, the microwave can be used to quickly reheat fried chicken, but the tradeoff is a soft crust.

Can I Freeze Cooked Chicken then Reheat?

Cooked chicken freezes very well for later reheating. Here are some tips:

    • Let cooked chicken cool fully before freezing to prevent moisture loss.
    • Portion chicken into freezer bags or airtight containers. Remove as much air as possible.
    • Freeze for up to 4 months. Reheat within 3 months for best quality.
    • Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. Quick thawing can make chicken dry.
    • Reheat cooked chicken to 165°F. Baked or microwaved chicken may need moisture added back through a sauce or gravy.
    • Frozen cooked chicken is ideal for casseroles, stir fries, soups, etc. The moist heat helps tenderize the chicken.

Lastly, can fried chicken be frozen then reheated?

Yes, fried chicken can absolutely be frozen and then reheated to enjoy again later. So go ahead and stock up on that delicious fried chicken! With proper freezing and reheating, you can enjoy crunchy, juicy fried chicken just like it was fresh.


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