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

Few culinary delights are as beloved and versatile as chicken thighs. With their succulent meat and delectable skin, chicken thighs have earned a well-deserved place as a staple on dining tables across the globe.

Whether prepared with a medley of spices or marinated to perfection, chicken thighs offer a symphony of flavors that tickle our taste buds and leave us yearning for more. But what happens when you have leftover chicken thighs?

How can you rekindle the Magic without sacrificing the irresistible combination of tender meat and crispy skin? The answer lies in the marvel of modern kitchen technology – the air fryer.

The Allure of Chicken Thighs: A Culinary Masterpiece

Chicken thighs, with their rich and juicy meat, have carved out a special place in the hearts of food enthusiasts. The versatility of this cut knows no bounds – from grilling to baking, roasting to frying, the culinary possibilities are endless.

It’s no wonder that chicken thighs have earned a reputation as a quick, delicious, and convenient meal option, making them a favorite for both home cooks and professional chefs.

The Art of Meal Prep: Chicken Thighs as a Culinary Companion

As our lives become busier, meal prepping has become a cornerstone of maintaining a balanced diet. Chicken thighs, with their short cooking time and abundant flavor, have emerged as a go-to choice for meal preppers.

Whether baked, grilled, or seared, cooking a batch of chicken thighs at the beginning of the week sets the stage for effortless and satisfying meals ahead.

The Leftover Dilemma: Unlocking the Magic of Reheating

Despite our best intentions, we occasionally find ourselves with leftover chicken thighs. The challenge lies in reviving these savory delights without compromising taste and texture.

The air fryer, a versatile kitchen appliance, has quickly become a kitchen favorite for its ability to replicate the crunch and crispiness of fried foods with minimal to no oil.

The Air Fryer: Your Culinary Co-Pilot

When reheating chicken thighs, the air fryer emerges as a champion. Its mechanism relies on hot air circulation, producing results akin to oven baking and frying.

This method ensures that your reheated chicken thighs maintain their initial flavors while achieving the desired level of crispiness – a feat that microwave reheating could never accomplish.

The Reheating Ritual: Achieving the Perfect Balance

Reheating chicken thighs to perfection in an air fryer is a simple process that yields remarkable results. Here’s a step-by-step guide to achieving that ideal balance of tender meat and crispy skin:

Step 1: Preheating Precision

Begin by preheating your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). This step is crucial as it ensures even heating and prevents the chicken from drying out during reheating.

Step 2: Strategic Placement

Place the leftover chicken thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. While it may be tempting to overcrowd, resist the urge, as proper spacing allows the hot air to circulate freely and evenly.

Step 3: Timing Triumph

Reheat the chicken thighs for approximately 3-4 minutes. The duration may vary contingent on the size and thickness of the thighs and the specific model of your air fryer. Aim to flip the thighs halfway through reheating to achieve uniform results.

Step 4: Savoring Success

Once the timer goes off, you’re greeted with reheated chicken thighs that boast tender, juicy meat and a delightfully crispy exterior. The result is a culinary experience as close to freshly cooked as possible.

Why Choose the Air Fryer for Reheating?

  • Preserving Moisture: One of the key challenges when reheating meat is preventing it from becoming dry and unappetizing. The air fryer’s hot air circulation ensures moisture is retained, resulting in reheated chicken thighs far from the dreaded “leftover texture.”
  • Enhanced Crispiness: The air fryer is your ally if you’re partial to crispy chicken skin. Unlike traditional reheating methods that might leave the skin soggy, the air fryer’s high heat helps restore and even amplify the skin’s crispiness.
  • Speed and Efficiency: Reheating in an air fryer is efficient and remarkably quick. The hot air circulation leads to rapid and even heating, saving you precious time.
  • Preserving Flavors: The gentle yet effective reheating process of the air fryer ensures that the flavors of the chicken thighs remain intact, allowing you to relish every bite with the same delight as the first serving.

Fine-Tuning for Culinary Excellence

  • Temperature Tailoring: While a temperature of 375°F (190°C) serves as a general guideline, don’t hesitate to adjust it slightly based on your specific air fryer model and the desired level of crispiness.
  • Skin Enhancement: If your goal is even crisper skin, consider lightly brushing the chicken thighs with a thin layer of oil before reheating. This simple step can take the crunchiness to the next level.
  • Flavor Infusion: To elevate the reheating experience, add complementary seasonings or a sprinkle of herbs to the chicken thighs before placing them in the air fryer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to reheat chicken thighs in an air fryer?

Reheating the chicken thighs in an air fryer is a simple and quick process. Start by preheating the fryer to 375 F and delicately put the pieces into the tray, sheet, or basket so that each piece has significant space in between. Set the timer for about 4 minutes and let it reheat. If it’s not reheated according to your preferences, you can increase the time with strict monitoring to avoid overcooking.

How long does it take to reheat the chicken thigh in an air fryer?

It depends on the cuts and quantity you’re putting into the basket for reheating. If you’re reheating individual chicken pieces like thighs, then 3 to 4 minutes should be enough. However, you can increase the time or reheat in increments to avoid overcooking.

Should I reheat chicken thighs in an air fryer or oven?

Both ways are considered fine. But the air fryer can give you crispy, tender, juicy, and well-cooked results, unlike the microwave. It is also fast and provides consistent results while keeping the flavor alive.


The air fryer is your culinary companion for enjoying the deliciousness of reheated chicken thighs. This versatile appliance takes the leftovers game to new heights, offering a method that retains moisture, preserves flavors, and delivers that coveted crunch.

The next time you face the problem of leftover chicken thighs, look no further than your trusty air fryer. With its ability to rekindle the Magic of tender meat and crispy skin, the air fryer ensures that every bite is a savory reminder of the culinary masterpiece that chicken thighs truly are.

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