Just the thought of a crispy yet juicy chicken tender makes our mouths water. If you think we are being childish, then we are, But only when it comes to chicken tenders. But who doesn’t enjoy the delicious, crispy, and golden chicken?
Sometimes, everyone in the family loves them so much that we often order more than needed. That’s when we end up with leftover tenders and store them to eat later. If you are a chicken tender lover, we think it also happens to you.
But, later, when we use the microwave to heat it, the crispness goes away, leaving behind only soggy and wet chicken that no one likes! That’s why we have three incredible methods on how to reheat chicken tenders, so their crispness remains the same.
How to Heat Up Chicken Tenders Without Making It Soggy
Welcome to the magical world of our reheating methods that won’t let your stored chicken tenders get soggy and taste bland. We have done our research and found three incredible ways of reheating chicken tenders: Oven, Air Fryer, and Toaster Oven. You will be surprised to see the results once you try these methods.
Moreover, there are many other items you can serve with chicken tenders when these golden-brown goodnesses stay crispy. So, let’s not wait anymore and get onto reheating!
How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in Oven
Reheating chicken tenders in the oven is a great way to keep them crispy without the risk of getting dry. Here are the steps for the process:
- Preheating the oven is a must. It helps to fill the oven with hot air before putting the food so that it gets evenly heated. So, preheat your oven to 400℉ (200℃) for 10 minutes.
- Lay your baking sheet on a tray and arrange the chicken pieces so that there remains a small gap between them.
- If your chicken is already too dry, try sprinkling some water on it. Then again, drizzle some oil on them if there is no oil. But you don’t need to add more oil if there is already excess.
- Now, put them in the preheated oven and let them heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- After they get heated on one side, you have to turn them over. This will let them heat evenly. Otherwise, you will get a hot exterior and cold chicken inside.
- Crank up the heat to 450℉ (232℃) for that crispy texture to form, and reheat for another 5 minutes.
- Take them out and serve them hot.
Tip : We suggest you take your chicken tenders out of the fridge early and let them cool down. After cooling down, if there’s any excess moisture, use a kitchen towel to soak it up. Otherwise, there may be chances of not heating properly.
How Long to Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Oven?
Using the oven for reheating is an excellent method. The food heats up properly and holds onto the flavor and texture. But, there’s one thing. If you are hungry, reheating using the oven may not be a good option.
Reheating chicken tenders in the oven takes about 30 minutes or so. The inside of the chicken must reach about 165℉ (74℃). So, this long time ensures your chicken is not cold and adequately heated. Hey! If that doesn’t bother you, use this method because it works great.
How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in Toaster Oven
You can also heat up your chicken tenders in the toaster oven. It works the same as the convection oven. It will give you the best crispy texture, even for your leftover chicken pieces.
Toaster ovens are also fast, but preparation for the heating can be a little time-consuming. However, you will still get that crunch when you bite into it. So, if you don’t mind doing a little preparation for that extra crunch, a toaster oven is your pal.
We won’t make you wait any longer; let’s get onto the steps.
- Allow your toaster oven to preheat at 400℉ (200℃) for about 5 to 6 minutes.
- While the oven heats up, microwave your chicken tenders, covering them with paper towels for 50 seconds. It will help dry out extra moisture.
- Now, grab aluminum foil and line a baking sheet with it.
- Place the chicken on the baking sheet.
- To keep the chicken juicy, sprinkle some water and drizzle some olive oil or vegetable oil on the pieces for that extra crunch.
- Bake them for about 2 to 3 minutes, and it’s done.
- Carefully take them out and let them cool for a minute.
- Lastly, enjoy the delicious golden chicken pieces.
Tip : Do not wrap the chicken with aluminum foil; it will make them soggy. And, always remember to thaw the chicken before reheating.
How to Reheat Chicken Tenders Using an Air Fryer
Lastly, if you are impatient like us, in the case of food, we have another great method for heating delicious chicken pieces. Air fryer! The air fryer uses little to no oil and can cook or heat food in just a few minutes without supervision.
An air fryer is kind of like a convection oven but saves a lot of time. It heats the food from all sides and dries up any moisture, so you aren’t left with any soggy mess. But make sure to defrost or cool down the chicken beforehand for an even heating.
Here are the steps for reheating chicken tenders using an air fryer:
- Always preheat your air fryer. You must preheat it for 5 minutes at 375℉ (190℃).
- While the air fryer preheats, prepare your chicken. Place the chicken tenders in the basket but make sure to keep them apart. You don’t want to crowd them because it will make the food soggy. This happens because then the air circulation can’t take place properly.
- You can use a little vegetable oil to brush them on the chicken tenders for extra crispness.
- Let the chicken tenders reheat for 5 minutes at 350℉ (180℃).
- Turn it over, or you can shake the basket and reheat it for another 5 minutes.
- Carefully take the chicken pieces out of the basket because they will be super hot.
- Enjoy with your favorite sauces.
Tip : Dab any excess oil or moisture off your chicken to avoid dryness or sogginess. We also suggest avoiding reheating already reheated chicken tenders left to cool down. They won’t taste very good, and the crispness might not be there.
How to Make Sure Your Chicken Tenders Are Fully Heated?
We have a neat trick that you can use. Grab a fork and press it into a chicken piece. Then, feel the tines of the fork. If it feels hot, your food is ready; if it doesn’t, heat it up for another 2 minutes.
Reheating Other Fried Chicken Items
If you are a fan of chicken tenders, we think you also like other fried chicken items because we do. Sometimes, those get leftovers also, and heating them can be a mess in the kitchen. Let us help you with more food heating tips to make your leftovers taste fresh.
Here we have ways to reheat the leftover fried chicken, chicken nuggets, and chicken fingers in short steps. Just thinking about these is making us hungry. Enough talk; let’s get to reheating.
How to Reheat Fried Chicken
Step 1: Let the chicken thaw and come to room temperature before reheating.
Step 2: Place the chicken on a wire rack and use a sheet pan underneath it.
Step 3: Brush some vegetable oil on the chicken to keep its crispness.
Step 4: Bake the chicken in a 400℉ preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 5: Take them out and serve them hot.
Even with all these preparations, the fried chicken won’t always have the same texture as when it was freshly made. But, this heating method will make it easier to get something close to the newly made one.
How to Reheat Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets are another fan favorite. They are so good that we don’t even know how to describe them. They come in various shapes and sizes, but the delicious goodness is the same. To be honest, you can’t just eat three or four chicken nuggets. The heart just wants more, and so we buy them impulsively. Later, it becomes a leftover and loses all its deliciousness when reheated in the microwave. So, here are a few short steps to perfectly reheat chicken nuggets.
Step 1: Let the nuggets come at room temperature.
Step 2: Preheat your oven for 10 minutes at 350℉ (180℃).
Step 3: Get a wire rack and place your chicken nuggets on them.
Step 4: Use a baking tray underneath it to catch any oil.
Step 5: Use a bit of cooking spray on them.
Step 6: Bake for 5 minutes and enjoy.
How to Reheat Chicken Fingers
Ok, before we move on to this part, we want to let you know that you already know how to reheat chicken fingers in three different methods. How? Well, technically, chicken tenders and chicken fingers are the same food except for the fact that they are made from different parts of the chicken.
Chicken tenders are made with the meat under the chicken breast, which is the tender part of the chicken, and on the other hand, chicken fingers are made with inner chicken breast muscle or chicken breast.
Moreover, chicken tenders are a bit bulkier, whereas chicken fingers look like chicken strips. But they are made in the same way and often in the same batter. Most important of all, they all taste delicious. So, you should have no problem heating them in the same way as chicken tenders.
Enjoy your Chicken Reheated!
Fried foods are comfort food for many people because of their texture. That is why we sometimes go overboard when ordering fried chicken, chicken tenders, nuggets, fingers, etc., and end up with leftovers and storing them to reheat and eat later. But reheating in the microwave isn’t a good idea.
Our article has all the help you want to reheat your chicken tenders properly so they don’t get soggy and dry. Just try them, and you will be able to enjoy the food like before. However, they may not taste as fresh as when you first bought or made them. But, if you try the three methods we mentioned, you won’t know the difference much.
Lorena Davalos joined our team during the Lockdown of worldwide pandemic. She is a nutrition expert and has a degree in this subject. Lorena surely knows her onion! She was looking for a platform where she could blend her expertise with commonly asked questions.