How to Reheat Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer? [Step-by-Step]

Chicken nuggets, those delectable bite-sized delights, have become a staple in the culinary repertoire of households worldwide. Their convenience, universal appeal, and savory goodness make them an irresistible option for quick meals and midday snacks.

Often, we find ourselves preparing more chicken nuggets than needed, leading to the dilemma of reviving those leftover nuggets without compromising their taste and texture. Now the mighty air fryer, a kitchen appliance that has revolutionized how we cook and reheat our favorite dishes.

The Leftover Conundrum: Making the Most of Chicken Nuggets

The allure of chicken nuggets lies not only in their delectable taste but also in their simplicity. People of all ages enjoy these little pockets of joy, from kids to adults.

However, it’s common to end up with more chicken nuggets than you intended to consume in one go. This is where the dilemma of leftovers arises.

Wasting food is a concern, and finding a way to reheat chicken nuggets to their crispy, flavorful best is a goal worth pursuing.

Air Fryer: Your Culinary Wingman

Now, the air fryer, a kitchen appliance that has recently grown popular for its ability to recreate fried foods’ crispy and satisfying texture with significantly less oil.

Beyond its primary function of cooking food with hot air circulation, the air fryer has emerged as a game-changer for reheating leftovers, especially for chicken nuggets.

The Art of Reheating: Achieving Crispy and Tender Perfection

The air fryer’s ability to reheat chicken nuggets perfectly lies in its unique cooking mechanism. When you reheat chicken nuggets in an air fryer, you’re not just warming them up; you’re recreating the Magic of freshly-fried goodness. The process is simple yet effective.

Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer

Preheat the Air Fryer for Nuggets

Preheat the air fryer to around 400°F (200°C). This step is crucial to ensure the nuggets receive an even and consistent reheating.

Step 2: Arrange the Nuggets

Arrange the Nuggets

Place the leftover nuggets in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Avoid overcrowding, as this could lead to uneven reheating.

Besides, if you’ve leftover frozen chicken nuggets and intend to fry or reheat them in an air fryer, you must keep taking them out to let them be at room temperature for a few minutes before putting them in a basket or a rack.

Step 3: Let the Magic Happen

Reheat the chicken nuggets

Reheat the chicken nuggets for 2-3 minutes. The hot air circulating within the air fryer ensures the exterior becomes crispy while the interior retains its tender and juicy nature.

Step 4: Shake Midway

Shake Midway

Though it is a completely optional step, we still recommend shaking the air fryer basket midway reheating process. It ensures the heat goes thoroughly to all the nugget pieces, making them crispy and tender from all angles.

Step 5: Monitor Carefully

Monitor Carefully

Keep a close eye on the nuggets as they reheat. Air fryers vary in intensity, so preventing overcooking is important. The goal is to achieve a faultless balance between crispy breading and succulent meat.

Why Choose the Air Fryer Over Traditional Methods?

  • Moisture Retention: Unlike microwaving, which can often lead to soggy and unappetizing results, the air fryer excels in retaining the moisture of the chicken nuggets. This means you can enjoy the leftovers without compromising on taste or texture.
  • Speed and Efficiency: Traditional oven methods may take longer to reheat chicken nuggets, whereas the air fryer’s rapid hot air circulation ensures quick and efficient reheating, saving you precious time.
  • Crisp Perfection: The air fryer has a unique ability to take the crispiness of the breading to another level. The high heat and rapid air circulation work harmoniously to create a texture akin to freshly-made nuggets.
  • Versatility: The air fryer isn’t limited to reheating chicken nuggets alone. It can reinvigorate a wide array of leftover foods, from fries to spring rolls, with the same crispy and tender results.

Culinary Tips for Elevated Reheating

  • Temperature Control: While the general guideline is to reheat at around 400°F (200°C) for 2-3 minutes, you might need to adjust the temperature and time slightly based on your specific air fryer model and the number of nuggets you’re reheating.
  • Breaded vs. Non-Breaded Nuggets: The air fryer is particularly adept at reheating breaded foods due to its ability to maintain or enhance their crispiness. For non-breaded nuggets, a lower temperature and slightly longer cooking time might be more suitable to prevent overcooking.
  • Spritz of Oil: If you desire an extra layer of crispiness, lightly spray the chicken nuggets with oil before reheating. This can help achieve that golden-brown perfection.
  • Experiment with Time: As with any cooking method, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the time and temperature settings to find the perfect balance that suits your taste preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to reheat chicken nuggets in an air fryer?

Preheat the air fryer to 400F and arrange the nuggets into the basket or tray in a single layer. Ensure to maintain a one-inch distance between pieces so the hot air reaches thoroughly for even cooking. Reheat the nuggets for about 2-3 minutes, and don’t forget to enable the auto shut-off function to avoid overcooking.

What is the best way to reheat chicken nuggets?

Though the microwave leaves the nuggets soggy, we believe an air fryer is ideal for reheating nuggets and keeping their charm alive.

Can you reheat frozen chicken nuggets in an air fryer?

Whether you’re frying or reheating homemade, frozen, or nuggets from famous food chains like MacDonald’s, your air fryer is your ideal plug. It will keep the nuggets tender and crispy while cooking them thoroughly.


Gone are the days of soggy reheated chicken nuggets. Thanks to the enchanted air fryer, you can now enjoy these bite-sized delights with all the crispiness and tenderness they deserve.

The next time you find leftover chicken nuggets, don’t hesitate to turn to your trusty air fryer for a quick and effortless reheating process.

With its ability to retain moisture, deliver rapid results, and elevate the texture, the air fryer is the champion of reheating methods, ensuring that your nuggets are as enjoyable on the second round as they were on the first.

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