How Many Times Can You Reheat Chicken?


Have you had the dilemma of having too many leftovers? Do you wonder how many times can you reheat them, especially if they have chicken? Sometimes, to save time and money, we cook more food than we can consume in one sitting. Especially if you have a busy schedule. Therefore, it is important to know how many times you can reheat chicken or any other type of food.

Can you reheat chicken multiple times?

It is advised that you reheat chicken not more than two times. Reheating chicken multiple times can dry out the chicken, there is no downside of reheating chicken multiple times except this.

How do you reheat frozen cooked chicken?

Cooked chicken can become dry when you reheat it. Here’s the proper method to reheat it perfectly and prevent it from getting too dry!

Step 1: Defrosting the Chicken

First, defrost the frozen cooked chicken in the refrigerator. Once it is completely thawed, you can heat it up in the oven or the stove.

Step 2: Heating the Chicken

Heating in the Oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once it is preheated to the required temperature, put your chicken in an oven-friendly dish. Add water or a liquid such as chicken stock at the base of it and cover the chicken tightly. You can do this using aluminum foil.

Another option is to keep oiling or buttering up your chicken with a brush and keeping a cup of water in the oven. What the liquid content does is create steam. This steam helps keep your chicken moist. Heat the chicken till its internal temperature reaches 165°F to 175°F.

Heating in the Stove

To heat your chicken on the stove, grab a pan or dish of your choice. Add a shallow layer of water or stock for moisture and heat the pan for a few minutes. Once it is heated, add your chicken to this pan. Heat it thoroughly, making sure that the thickest centermost part of the chicken is also well heated up.

Heating in the Microwave

Ideally, it is advised to not reheat your cooked chicken in the microwave. But if you must, put your chicken in a microwave-friendly dish. Drizzle some olive oil or brush the chicken up with some oil or butter. Cover it up with a microwave-friendly wrap and heat it for a few minutes (about 1 and a half to 2 minutes for pieces of chicken).

How can you reheat chicken safely?

Tightly wrap the chicken in butter-paper and microwave it for two minutes to reheat it safely. Never use a foil in a microwave. For the best taste, reheat once after preparation and consume it directly!

You can safely reheat chicken on the stove, in a microwave, or in the oven. Make sure to let it thaw first if it is frozen. Chicken is safe to reheat and consume as long as its internal temperature reaches about 165°F to 175°F.

Defrosting the Chicken

If you are defrosting the chicken first, do not leave it on the countertop as that will expose it to bacteria which can cause food poisoning. Always put it in the refrigerator to allow it to thaw completely. After that, you can heat it up in the oven or on the stove. Make sure that the temperature is always right.

Reheating in the Oven

If you are reheating the chicken in the oven, make sure to preheat your oven. Microwaves are not as reliable for reheating meat because they usually do not have the same power and effect as the oven, and your meat will not be heated evenly or thoroughly.

When to Discard the Chicken

You should remember that while you can safely reheat the chicken, each time you do it, the quality deteriorates. If it has been sitting in the fridge for three or more days, it is advised to discard it.

Can I put the reheated chicken back in the fridge?

Yes, you can put reheated chicken back in the fridge. It can last safely for 3 days. But if you keep reheating it and putting it back, the quality, texture, and nutrition in your chicken will be affected. 

What foods should you not reheat?

Essentially, you can reheat most food items if you can compromise on the quality. Fish is one particular food item that preferably should not be reheated. All sorts of meat, egg, potatoes, food items that have dairy in them should not be reheated in ideal circumstances.

Why is it bad to reheat chicken?

Chicken contains a lot of protein. You should eat it when it is cooked and steaming hot. Reheating chicken denatures and breaks the proteins down and decreases its nutritional value.

Can you reheat leftover takeaways?

Although we usually do it, you should not reheat takeaways as you do not know how these meals are cooked and what ingredients have been used in them. A lot of the times, restaurants use ingredients in a meal that are reheated multiple times or precooked and reheated. This increases the risk of the ingredients being infected with bacteria. So, you should avoid reheating takeaways.

Can you add cold cooked chicken to recipes?

Yes, you can add cold cooked chicken to recipes. You can use them in pasta or on pizza toppings. Cold chicken can also be used in sandwiches and salads.

Does reheating chicken kill bacteria?

Yes, once the chicken has reached a temperature of about 165°F to 175°F, most of the bacteria will die. You should therefore heat chicken at a very high temperature and make sure it is steaming hot evenly to its core.

Also, you should handle chicken very cautiously. Defrosting the chicken or leaving cooked chicken out on the counter makes it susceptible to bacterial infestation. Moist surfaces are grounds for bacteria.

What is the right way of storing cooked chicken?

How you store your chicken holds a lot of significance. Keep the following points in mind:

  • You should never put your cooked chicken with raw chicken. This will put it at risk of contamination.
  • When you are putting your cooked chicken in the refrigerator, make sure it is not hot.
  • Do not leave the cooked chicken on the countertop for too long.
  • When you are ready to put the cooked chicken in the refrigerator, fully cover it.
  • Discard it if you are unable to consume it within three days.

Can you freeze cooked chicken?

Yes, you can. Under ideal circumstances, you should not freeze cooked chicken as it compromises its quality. However, if you must, put your chicken in an airtight container. Wrap it nicely with a freezer bag or a cling film. Label it with the date.

When you want to eat it, defrost it safe, which means do not leave it on the countertop. You can do it in the microwave and then heat it thoroughly in an oven or on the stove.

How long can you freeze cooked chicken?

You can safely freeze cooked chicken for up to two to four months as long as you store it properly.

Wrapping it up!

Whether you have a busy schedule or you like to cook in bulk, we all come across having to reheat leftovers. If it is chicken, you might be tempted to throw it away rather than reheating it, but if you store and then reheat it properly, you can safely consume it. Now that you know you can reheat it, you can cook your meals in advance if you have a very busy routine! We hope this article helped.

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