Reheating Chicken Wings Guide [5 Best Ways] to Preserve Flavor, Crispiness, and Sauciness

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So you’ve gone through the trouble to make delicious crispy wings on the grill, fryer, or maybe you got takeout, but a few of them ended up in the leftovers section of your fridge or freezer.

This is a pretty common circumstance for any true lover of wings!  But just because you have some leftover wings packed away doesn’t mean you know how to reheat chicken wings correctly.  Even though it might seem like a simple task, reheating chicken wings requires for you to follow a few steps to make sure your results are as crispy, tender, and saucy as possible.

Let’s be real, nothing beats the packed flavor of a sauce coated, crispy wing!  In this post, we’ve put together tips, tricks, and a complete step by step guide for how to reheat chicken wings so that you can achieve maximum deliciousness with your leftovers.

Method 1: The Oven

The first method for reheating chicken wings that we want to introduce is by reheating in an oven.  We introduce this one first because it’s the simplest and many think that it’s the best way to reheat chicken wings.

The goal when you reheat wings is to achieve that crispy outside while retaining moisture in the meat on the inside.  Reheating wings in the oven is a super easy way to achieve that goal.

If you’re worried that your wings have dried out, spritz a little bit of water on them before they go in the oven.  This is an especially good step to take if you’re reheating boneless wings.

How Long to Reheat Wings in the Oven?

It takes about 10-14 minutes to reheat wings in the oven, depending on the size of your wings.

Step by Step for Reheating Wings in the Oven

  1. If your leftover wings are in the freezer, remove them to thaw.  Ideally you should move them to the fridge 24 hours before you plan to reheat them.  If you need to speed up the thawing process, you can seal them in a ziplock bag and submerge in cold water.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  3. If your leftover wings are in the fridge, remove them and let rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  4. Take a cookie sheet or oven pan and spray with non-stick spray.
  5. Place your leftover wings onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Leave about an inch of space on each side of each wing as you place your wings.
  6. Place the cookie sheet into the oven.
  7. After the wings have been reheating for about 6 minutes, flip the wings and then cook them for another 6 minutes.
  8. 12 minutes total should do the trick for refrigerated wings, but if you want to be extra sure check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer.  You want your wings to have an internal temperature of 165°F, per USDA standards.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

And just like that, you’ll be set with crispy and delicious leftovers by reheating wings in the oven!

Method 2: The Microwave

I always seem to order more wings than my stomach can handle – even when I make homemade wings there are always more than a handful leftover, most times enough for an entire meal!

Sometimes if you’re looking to have your leftover wings as a quick lunch you might not have the time to use the oven.  If you’re in a little more of a time pinch, reheating wings in the microwave is a perfectly viable way to get the job done.

The thing about using a microwave is that you have to be extra careful that you don’t over do it.  There’s a fairly thin line that if you cross it and overheat your wings, you’ll be left with dry results.

The method we outline next actually utilizes both a microwave and an oven.  But the oven part is only for a couple of minutes – and this is only to crisp the outside of your wings.  You totally don’t have to do the oven part if you’re okay with your reheated wings not being as crispy.

How Long to Reheat Wings in the Microwave?

Typically, reheating wings in the microwave the right way takes about 5 total minutes give or take.  It might take less time if you have small wings, or it might take a little more total time if you have bigger ones.

Reheating Chicken Wings in the Microwave – Step by Step

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Place a damp paper towel on the bottom of a microwave safe plate.  Place your wings on top of the damp paper towel.
  3. Put another damp paper towel on top of your wings.  This will help your wings retain moisture.
  4. Place your wings in the microwave.  Heat until they become warm – this typically takes about two minutes.
  5. Be very careful to not overheat your wings on this part.  If you’re unsure of how long your wings need, heat them for a minute at a time and check after each minute.  If they get close, only heat for 20-30 seconds on the last time.
  6. Remove your wings from the microwave after they’re warm and place on a baking sheet, about an inch apart.
  7. Place the baking sheet in the oven for a minute.  Flip the wings after a minute then cook for one more minute.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Remember, steps 6 and 7 are there to make your leftover wings nice and crispy – but if you’re in a hurry or don’t have access to an oven you can skip this part.

Method 3: Air Fryer

Other than the grill, making chicken wings in an air fryer is probably my favorite way to make wings.  The results are incredibly crispy and juicy – and as it turns out the air fryer is also a great way to reheat chicken wings too.

It’s really simple, and the steps are quite similar to reheating wings in an oven.  But the nice part about the air fryer is that you don’t need to flip them half way through!

How Long to Reheat Wings in an Air Fryer

Reheating wings in an air fryer typically takes about 10 minutes, although it could be less depending on your heat setting and the size of your wings.

Reheating Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer – Step by Step

  1. Take your wings out of the fridge and place at room temperature for about 15 minutes before reheating.
  2. Place your wings in your air fryer’s basket and/or cooking rack with about 1 inch in between each wing.
  3. Cook your wings for 10 minutes at the 350°F setting.  If you want to go faster, you could cook for 7 minutes on a 375°F setting.
  4. Remove your wings from the air fryer, serve and enjoy!

Reheating wings in the air fryer is extremely straightforward and will produce the best tasting results.  The only catch is that you need an air fryer and the clean up process might take a little longer compared to an oven or microwave.

Method 4: The Grill

This method is essentially just cooking your wings on the grill again, and is by far the most labor intensive of any of these methods for reheating chicken wings.  But if you have the ambition you’ll be rewarded with incredibly tasty flavor and crispy skin.

If you’re into grilled wings – be sure to check out our grilled lemon pepper wings recipe next!

How Long to Reheat Wings on the Grill

It typically takes about 10-12 minutes to reheat chicken wings on the grill.  If you want to see times for cooking fresh wings, check out our resource on how long to grill different types of chicken.

Reheating Chicken Wings on the Grill – Step by Step

  1. Heat your grill’s burners or fire to 350°F.
  2. Place your leftover wings on the cooking rack.
  3. Reheat your wings with the lid of your grill shut.  After about 8 minutes, check the temperature of your wings with a probe thermometer.
  4. Remove your food from the grill after it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Method 5: Frying Pan

One of the less used methods for reheating wings is to do it in the frying pan.  It’s a perfectly viable method and your results will be tasty, but just not quite as tasty as doing it in an oven or air fryer.

What a pan is great for though is tossing your wings if you want to add a little extra sauce to your leftovers.

With that being said, maybe you want to roll up your sleeves and whip out the pan to reheat your wings!  If that’s you, here’s the best way to get the job done.

How Long to Reheat Wings in a Frying Pan

Reheating wings on a frying pan will typically take about 6 to 8 minutes depending on how many wings you try to fit on your pan.

Reheating Chicken Wings on the Frying Pan – Step by Step

  1. Place your wings at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you get started.
  2. Heat your frying pan to medium heat.  Add a thin layer of oil to the bottom of your pan.
  3. Add your wings.  Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until each side is golden and crispy.
  4. Optional – add sauce and toss your wings a few times in the pan.
  5. Remove wings from pan and set them on a plate to cool for a moment.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

How to Store Leftover Chicken Wings

One of the keys to delicious and safe to eat leftover wings is proper storage.  Without keeping your leftovers the right way you could possibly ruin the chance to have tasty leftovers.  Nobody wants that!

In order to maximize flavor and the amount of time your wings will keep, you should store them within two hours of cooking or reheating them.  Wait any longer than that, and you run the risk of bacteria growth on your food.

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It’s also key to wrap your leftover wings well.  Use airtight packaging or sealable storage containers to store your wings.  If you’re storing in the freezer it’s not a bad idea to double bag them to help prevent freezer burn.

Properly stored wings will last for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator – you can reheat them at any point during that timeframe.

If you aren’t going to get around to reheating your chicken wings before then, you can store them in the freezer where they’ll last for 3 to 4 months.  Technically they would be safe indefinitely in the freezer – but after 3 or 4 months your wings will have lost so much moisture and flavor that they won’t be worth eating.

Reheating Traditional vs Boneless Chicken Wings

You might have noticed that we haven’t really differentiated between traditional and boneless wings in this article.  That’s because for the most part the methods work the exact same no matter which style of wings you prefer.

The caveat that I would add is that boneless wings in general have a tendency to take less time cooking and are also prone to drying out easier.

So with that in mind if you’re reheating boneless wings it might be a good idea to either reheat your wings for slightly less time than we suggested or to spritz them with water before reheating them, or both.

What’s the Best Way for Reheating Chicken Wings?

While all of these methods work great, there are a few that are simply a better way of doing things than others.

For my taste, reheating chicken wings in the oven or air fryer is the best way to reheat your leftovers.  Both of these methods lead to superior flavor, and moist chicken with a crispy outside.  If you have the time to do it, I’d suggest doing one of these two methods.

The microwave method is great if you’re tight on time.  Using a grill is a great way to add additional flavor but it requires the most effort and hassle.  Reheating in a frying pan can also lead to tasty results but for me it’s never been quite as good as using an oven or air fryer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Reheat Chicken Wings the Next Day?

Yes, it’s fine to reheat chicken wings the next day. However, it’s crucial that you reheat them all the way through to prevent food poisoning.

It’s important to know that bacteria grows on any food left at room temperature. When you leave it out too long or when you store it for a long time, there is a risk that the bacteria in the food has accumulated to unsafe levels.

Reheating leftover chicken wings the next day will be fine, as you will kill any food borne bacteria and viruses when you heat it properly.

A good practice to get into the habit of is to only reheat the amount of chicken wings that you need. You will also need to bear in mind that the quality of the chicken wings will decline every time it is reheated.

This simply comes down to the fact that the meat of the chicken wing dries out the more that heat is applied to it and the texture will also deteriorate in quality.

What Temperature Do You Reheat Chicken in the Oven?

To reheat chicken in the oven, preheat your oven to 425 to 475 °F (218 to 246 °C). Different ovens vary in the amount of time they take to preheat. Bearing this in mind, then, you will need to make sure that the oven is up to the right temperature before you put the chicken in for reheating.

Once you have preheated the oven and it’s come up to temperature, place the chicken in the oven. If the chicken has been cut into smaller pieces, it may take only a few minutes to reheat properly so you’ll want to be mindful and watch it to prevent it from drying out.

If you are reheating large pieces, such as whole breasts, it is likely that you will have to wait longer.

You will need to reheat the chicken to 165 °F (74 °C). Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and to make sure that the chicken has been reheated thoroughly all the way through.

Can You Microwave Chicken with Bones?

Generally speaking, yes, you can microwave chicken with the bones if it has already been cooked. Just make sure that you cover the plate or container with a damp paper towel to keep the meat from drying out.

However, while microwaves are great time-savers, you shouldn’t cook chicken with bones in the microwave. While chicken breasts can be cooked in the microwave, you should remove any large bones from the chicken before microwaving it because the dense bone may keep the area around it from cooking all the way through.

Final Thoughts

Chicken wings are an all time favorite – you’d be hard pressed to find somebody who doesn’t have a favorite type of wing.  Whether you prefer your wings as a full on meal or as a tasty snack during the big game – I hope this reheating chicken wings guide leads to many more delicious wings in your future!

No matter which style of wings you like best, all of these methods are a great way to get your wings reheated and into your belly.  Let us know which method you like best or if we missed any in the comments section below.

Also be sure to check out our chicken wing brine recipe to try out the next time you throw some wings on the grill!