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How to Reheat Chicken Thighs in an Air Fryer

Reheat chicken thighs in an air fryer for a deliciously crispy skin and the best results possible. In my opinion, popping the chicken pieces in the air fryer basket is the best way to reheat leftover chicken thighs.

chicken thigh on a plate covered in plastic wrap and a chicken thigh in an air fryer

I highly recommend reading this entire post before you begin preparing the recipe. However, if all you want is the list of ingredients with full directions, please either click on the jump-to-recipe button above or scroll to the bottom of this post.

Your air fryer also does an excellent job of reheating cold fried chicken or any other chicken pieces, like these chicken wings.

plate of chicken wings

An air fryer takes less time than reheating it in the oven. And it comes out crispier than if you reheat it in the microwave.

Air Frying to Reheat Food

An air fryer is the best bet for reheating many different types of foods. Even if the food is frozen, your air fryer delivers some of the best results in a shorter time than what it takes in an oven.

One of the reasons the air fryer is so efficient is that it has fans that circulates the hot air around the chicken. This decreases the cooking time without compromising the quality of the food.

In just a matter of minutes, you can take cold chicken to juicy chicken that tastes as though it had just been cooked. This chicken thighs air fryer recipe is an easy way to stretch your food budget.


You don’t need many ingredients to reheat your food. In fact, you don’t need anything additional. However, there are a few things you can add to come out with results that are just as yummy as the first time around.

Here are the ingredients I used:

  • Leftover chicken thighs
  • Cooking oil
  • Additional seasoning (optional)
leftover chicken thigh on a plate

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

This time, I used bone-in thighs with the skin on. The same method goes for boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken breast, or even chicken legs and wings.

Reheating your chicken in your air fryer the next day gives you the best flavor. The whole family will be happy to know that they can cook their leftovers and still have amazing flavor.

Preparing to Reheat

The first thing you need to do is preheat your air fryer to 365˚ F. 

Then spray the inside of the air fryer basket with some sort of cooking oil. This time, I used avocado oil because it doesn’t burn as quickly as olive oil.

chicken thigh in an air fryer

Next, place the chicken thigh pieces in a single layer in the basket, making sure there’s some space between each piece. This enables the air to circulate evenly around the chicken, delivering even results.

I also like to spray more oil on top of the chicken to help crisp up the skin. After all, one of the best things about skin-on chicken is the crispy crust.

If you want to add more seasoning to the chicken, do it now. I simply added a dash of cayenne this time. You can also sprinkle your favorite dry rub or meat seasoning over the chicken.

onion powder and garlic powder

Sometimes, I just add a little bit of onion powder and garlic powder to make it a tad different from the first go-round. 

bowl and spoon of barbecue sauce

You can also add a little bit of barbecue sauce. Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors you like.

Just make sure you don’t make it overly salty, which can happen if you salted the chicken the first time you cooked it.

How to Reheat Chicken Thighs in an Air Fryer

Air fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. You can set the timer on 3-5 minutes, turn on the shake button, and flip them when the timer goes off. Or you can do all of this manually.

I usually like to start with the skin side down. Then the last segment of time is with the skin side up, leaving it as crispy as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

As I’ve already mentioned, I love the fact that it takes less time to reheat food in an air fryer than in the oven. Here are more questions and answers about reheating food.

What is the Best Way to Store Leftover Chicken?

If you plan to enjoy the chicken within a couple of days, put it in a bowl or on a plate and cover it. Or you can place it in an airtight container. 

For chicken that you’ll want to eat a week or more later, seal it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Place it in the freezer. Then let it thaw before reheating it.

Can You Use a Baking Dish in Your Air Fryer?

If the baking dish can go in the oven, it’s fine in your air fryer. However, if it doesn’t have holes in the bottom, the air won’t circulate enough to give you the best results.

I recommend placing the food directly on the bottom of the basket. However, if you’re concerned about cleanup, use a silicone mat or other liner designed for air fryers.

How Do You Reheat Chicken in the Oven?

Place the chicken on a baking pan and heat it in a preheated 375˚ oven for 12-15 minutes. It’s even better if you place it on a wire rack over the baking sheet. This enables the chicken to maintain its crispness all over.

How Do You Reheat Chicken in the Microwave?

Put the chicken on a microwave-safe plate and cover it loosely with a paper towel in case it splatters. Heat it in 30-second intervals until it reaches the desired temperature. This is my least favorite method of reheating chicken because the skin loses its crispness.

How Do You Know if Chicken is Done?

Even if the outside of the chicken looks done, you need to use a meat thermometer to make sure. Insert it in the thickest part of the meat. The internal temperature of the chicken should be at least 165 degrees F.

What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

As soon as I got my air fryer, I experimented with all sorts of recipes. I quickly learned that if you can fry, broil, or bake food, you can cook it in your air fryer.

Delicious Air Fryer Recipes

Here are some air fried foods we enjoy:

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – This is an easy chicken recipe and one of our favorite ways to cook and reheat it.

plate of bacon wrapped chicken tenders

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders – These chicken tenders are so delicious you’ll want to make them often. Serve them as an appetizer or main dish.

Golden brown french fries on a plate with ketchup
Air Fryer French Fries

French Fries – I sometimes cut raw potatoes into strips or pour frozen fries out of a bag into the air fryer basket. Either way, they always come out crispy when cooked in your air fryer.

plate of corn tortilla chips and a bowl of salsa

Homemade Tortilla Chips – This recipe is perfect for anyone who enjoys fresh, hot tortilla chips and spicy homemade salsa or savory restaurant style guacamole.

Candied Pecans – If you enjoy candied pecans, try this air fryer recipe from Back to My Southern Roots. It only takes a few minutes, and they come out perfect every time!

sliced pork tenderloin
Juicy Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin – Don’t be afraid to cook larger cuts of meat in your air fryer. With a simple temperature adjustment, you can have dinner on the table in a few minutes.

blueberry muffins on a plate

Blueberry Muffins – These delicious muffins came out absolutely perfect! They’re crunchy on the outside and moist in the middle, making them the perfect breakfast food for picky eaters.

2 plates of egg bites

Egg Bites – If you want a low-carb, breakfast that is delicious and portable, make these yummy egg bits in your air fryer. Make a large batch and store the leftovers in the fridge. Then all you have to do is reheat them when you’re in a hurry.

baked tilapia on a plate

Air Fried Tilapia – Save time by taking your frozen tilapia directly to the air fryer. It comes out flaky and delicious!

Air Fry to Reheat

reheated chicken thighs on a plate

Don’t be afraid to use your air fryer to reheat foods. It comes out much better than reheating in a microwave.

Yield: 2 servings

How to Reheat Chicken Thighs in an Air Fryer

reheated chicken thigh on a plate

For a deliciously crispy but juicy result, reheat leftover chicken thighs in your air fryer.

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 chicken thighs (or however many will fit in your air fryer without touching_.
  • 1 teaspoon nonstick cooking spray (preferably olive oil or avocado oil)
  • Additional seasoning (if needed)


  1. Preheat air fryer to 365 degrees F.
  2. Spray the air fryer basket with the cooking oil of your choice.
  3. Place chicken thighs in the basket with at least 1/2 inch of space between them.
  4. Spritz the tops of the chicken with more cooking oil.
  5. Air fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  6. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. It is ready to eat when it reaches 165 degrees F.


I used bone-in thighs with the skin on. You can use this same method for boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken breast, or even chicken legs and wings.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 297Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 166mgSodium 418mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 31g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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