There’s nothing quite like hot, tasty and crispy chicken wings. They are an old favorite and super handy for parties, quick dinners, and almost any occasion. Who doesn’t remember tucking into wings at a summer BBQ? But, when it comes to reheating them lots of people assume that they shouldn’t or that they won’t taste as good as they did before.
Well, the beauty of chicken wings is their versatility and there's a whole bunch of different ways to reheat them so the wing stays crisp. There are some really good methods to make sure they’ll taste as fresh and delicious as they did the first time and we’ve compiled a list below.
The list gives a breakdown of everything you will need in the kitchen, how to cook them and a step by step guide. You’ll never have to say goodbye to leftovers again.
Before we go ahead with the list, it’s important to remember that no matter what method you choose, be sure to cook all wings to an internal temperature of 165° F. This is the standard temperature for safety as recommended by the USDA.
Now, let’s get started.
Method 1 – The Frying Pan
Frying wings will give them an extremely rich flavor, and the consistency will always be fall off the bone. Frying is great for extra crispy skin and this is a super easy method for reheating. It only takes a few minutes, perfect if you’re in a hurry.
What you need?
All you need for this method is your wings, a pan, and some oil
Step by step guide
- Take your wings out of the fridge and leave to sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Place the pan over low-medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil and add your wings.
- Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, tossing as you go and until they are golden brown.
- Take them off the pan and enjoy.
Pro & Cons
This is a fast and easy method to reheat buffalo wings, wingstop wings, or any of your favorites. But, it can be difficult to get the right crispy consistency so wings need to be watched carefully. The temperature of the oil should be monitored as well. It can get extremely hot.
For extra tender wings cover the pan when cooking. For added crispiness add 5 minutes to the 5-7 minute cooking time. Delicious!
Method 2 – Oven Cooking
Using the oven is a great way to keep your wings extra crispy and succulent, it’s the perfect method for wings with sauce, too because it keeps flavor locked in and won’t let the sauce dry out if cooked for the right amount of time.
What you need
- A baking tray
- Some aluminum foil
- A wire rack
Step by step guide
- Let your wings sit at room temperature for around 15 – 20 minutes.
- Leaving them out for this time period before cooking will help make them extra crispy when cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Place your aluminum foil on the baking tray.
- When the oven is ready to put your wings on the tray and pop in the oven for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Keep a close eye on them. When they are heated all the way through take them out, leave to cool on the wire rack and enjoy.
Pros & Cons
This method is arguably one of the best because it manages to maintain the original flavor of the wings, but, it can take up to 30 minutes, so it's a slightly slower method.
Spritz your chicken with a little water before cooking to keep the chicken from drying out. Also, sprinkle a little salt on the wings when cooking for some extra flavor.
Method 3 – Microwave
This is the quickest way to reheat your chicken wings if you’re in a hurry. A quick blast and they’re done. If you’re reheating wings with bones or need to reheat boneless wings microwaving can be done in 2 minutes or less.
What you need: A microwave and a microwaveable container with a lid.
Step by step guide
- Simply pop your wings in a container put the lid on and put in the microwave on high power for 1 minute.
- Take out and check if they are heated all the way, if not put back in and zap for another minute.
Pros & Cons:
Microwaving is super quick and perfect if you’re in a hurry. But, microwaving wings won’t maintain the crispiness and has a tendency to make the wings rubbery and a bit soggy. If you want them to be crispy they will need to put in the oven for a few minutes after the microwave. Still, it’s the ideal option if you don’t have the time and need your wing fix as soon as possible.
Always cover the wings with a microwaveable lid. This will stop juices spraying all over the microwave.
Method 4 – Sauté
Sautéing is great for chicken wings because of their thin skin, it keeps the flavor in and cooks them perfectly through. It’s incredibly easy, quick and, obviously tasty.
What you need: Some oil, a skillet, and tongs.
Step by step guide
- Leave the wings to sit out at room temperature.
- Heat some oil in your skillet and once your wings have been sitting out for 15 – 20 minutes put them in the skillet using your tongs.
- Let the wings sit in the oil for between 2 – 5 minutes.
- Take the wings out and leave to sit for a few minutes, then dig in.
Pros & Cons
This is an easy method for wings and cooks them through perfectly, but it can be a little messy in a skillet.
Sautéing is great if you want to add an extra coating to your wings for some more flavor. All you do is add the coating when in the skillet and viola even more deliciousness.
Method 5 – On the Grill
Grilling is great for cooking your wings if you want tender chicken and can add that delicious charred element. Whether it’s an outdoor grill or indoor, grilling is a sure-fire way to tasty meat.
What you need: Your grill and a tray to put the wings on
Step by step guide
- Put your wings on a tray and pop into grill over a medium to low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Keep an eye on them and turn when each side of the skin appears to be browning. Take out to cool and serve.
Pros & Cons
This method is great for locking in flavor, but grilling chicken makes it harder to achieve a crispy wing coat.
Rub some spices into your chicken before grilling for subtle extra flavors. For extra tenderness cook until the chicken is at 180° F.
The above are some of the most popular options for reheating wings but wings can be reheated in other ways. If you’re wondering how to reheat wings in toaster oven or how to reheat frozen fried chicken then look no further, we’ve got you covered here, too.
Reheating chicken wings in a toaster oven is so convenient and the wings will pretty much always taste as good as the original batch. All you need to do is place the wings in your toaster oven, at a temperature of around 350° F for about 5-10 minutes. When the wings are cooked to 165° F or up they are good to go. Easy, right?
When it comes to frozen wings or reheating fried chicken they need to fully thaw before the cooking process can begin. This can be done in the microwave. When the wings have been thawed to 165° F in the microwave then any of the methods listed in this post can be used for cooking the chicken wings properly.
To cook frozen fried chicken we would recommend oven baking after microwaving, the oven is the best option for keeping that yum fried texture to the chicken. Preheat the oven to 375° F and place the fried chicken on a baking tray, place in the oven for about 10 minutes. When finished serve with your favorite sauces and dips.
If none of the options appeal to you, then you can always cook your wings the original way you did before to try and recreate the magic.
How to Store Chicken Wings?
Storing your wings is just as important as the reheating cooking methods. Your cooked chicken wings can be stored in a refrigerator for up to four days.
Use a sealable container to store the wings and when you put them in the refrigerator, leave the lid off until the temperature has cooled to below 40° F. Then seal with a lid and eat within the four days.
Also, make sure to refrigerate within two hours of reheating time, if they are left out for too long bacteria can start to multiply. When your wings are out in the sun they need to be eaten within an hour (probably not too difficult if they are delicious). If they are still sitting out after an hour, put them back to refrigerate for the best chance of avoiding bacteria build up.
If you want to freeze wings, they can last in the freezer for up to six months. The 0° F temperature stunts bacteria growth and makes freezing ideal to extend their life. After six months the wings will still be edible but the taste and texture will have deteriorated so they might be best to avoid.
Not Sure What to do With More Leftovers?
OK, so we've spoken all about chicken wings and the best ways to reheat them but if you ever find yourself in a situation with lots of leftovers from a party then knowing what to do with them is essential, too. French fries and crab claws are the most common party leftovers we’ve been asked about. People think they can’t be reheated because they will lose their original taste and texture but there’s plenty of ways to cook them so this doesn’t happen.
To reheat fries they can be added to a pan with a little oil on high heat. This retains their crispness and will have them tasting fresh. Or, they can be placed in the oven in a baking tray at around 400° F for around 10 minutes. This is another way to keep them tasting great.
Nobody wants to throw out crab claws. To reheat crab claws preheat your oven to 350° F, add claws to a glass baking tray with about ½ an inch of water, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 10 – 15 minutes. And that’s it, super easy and means you’ll never have to waste your party leftovers again.
Wings are an incredibly easy dish and they’re usually adored by all the family. Knowing the best methods to keep their flavor and texture is great and when you find your favorite method you can use this for years to come.
Everyone will have different ways of doing it and different preferences, there’s no one size fits all. The most important thing with reheating is always making sure the temperature is the recommended 165° F before serving. Serving uncooked chicken can be really dangerous and spread harmful bacteria like E. Coli so always check the temperature before plating. If you are reheating your wings but can’t remember how long they have been sitting in the fridge then we would recommend throwing them away and making a fresh batch, just to be safe.
Do you have any top tips or ways that you reheat your chicken wings? We’d love to hear them. Leave them in the comments section below.