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How to Reheat Chicken Wings – Maintaining Flavor, Texture and Color

Leftover chicken wings? Apparently they do exist! And as they do, here are the best ways to reheat them, for the absolute best results, using your grill, oven, broiler, toaster oven, microwave, air fryer or deep fryer. Take your pick!

Last Updated: February 11, 2021

Chicken wings with dip, served on a white, wooden paddle board

Today’s topic: various methods for reheating leftover chicken wings, so they taste as good as the first time, if not better.

Let’s start with the facts.

In the United States, the average person eats 90 wings every year. Some of you, I’m sure, are doing your best to pull that average up. On Super Bowl Sunday alone, Americans will go through about 1.25 billion wings. The grand total is something like a billion servings a year. Again, this is just in the US.

With all those wings, there are bound to be a few leftovers.

Here’s another fact: reheated chicken wings kinda suck. Rubbery skin, sauce sliding off, cold spots. Not fun.

Want to know how to reheat your wings to make just as succulent, delicious, and appealing as the first time? You’re in the right place.

We’re going to walk you through 8 ways to revive your leftover chicken wings. We’ve got step by step instructions, tips, and tricks to make them just as tasty as the first round.

Let’s start with our favorite method around here.

How to Reheat Chicken Wings on a Grill

Yes, we are extra partial to grilled wings around here. Actually, pretty much grilled everything.

It may take a little longer than other methods, but if you have the patience, you’ll find most foods heat up beautifully on your barbecue.

Essentially, you’re recooking your wings using this method. It’s a great way to keep the skin tight, heat them right through, and even add a new dimension to the flavor with a bit of smoke and char.

For the best results, reheat your chicken wings on a charcoal grill or kamado, or a wood pellet grill. Of course, you can reheat wings on a gas grill, too, but you should think about using a smoker box to infuse some lovely smoky taste.

How Long Should I Reheat Wings on a Grill?

To do this properly and safely, expect to have your wings on the grill for about 10-12 minutes. Don’t forget to allow yourself time to get the charcoal lit and the grill up to temperature.

Like I said, it’s not for the impatient. But it is for anyone who truly loves their wings.

Step by Step Instructions to Reheat Wings on a Grill

Marinated chicken wings, and a pot of sauce, being warmed on a bbq grill

Here’s how to reheat your chicken wings from fridge cold to steaming perfection on your barbecue, maybe even better than they were the first time.

  1. Light up your charcoal or burners and pre-heat to 350°F.
  2. Add flavor wood to charcoal, if desired.
  3. Position wings directly on the primary cooking grate and close the lid.
  4. Leave wings for approximately 8 minutes, then check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.
  5. When the thermometer reads 160°F, take your wings off the grill.
  6. Let them rest a few minutes to allow the carryover cooking effect to bring them up to 165°F, the safe internal temperature for chicken.
  7. Dig in!

As an alternative, you could first wrap the wings in aluminum foil before putting them on the grill. This will keep the skin from crisping up, which some people prefer. It’s also a good method for reheating very saucy wings. However, you won’t get any smoky flavor using foil.

If you’re grilling other meat for the same meal, put the wings on the top rack while you cook and let them gradually come up to temperature. Finish on the main grate as needed.

Other Methods for Reheating Chicken Wings

No time for the grill? Or is the weather not cooperating? No worries! Here are your best indoor options for heating leftover chicken wings.

Step by Step Instructions to Reheat Wings in an Oven

Chicken wings being reheated in an oven

The obvious choice for reheating wings is your oven; that may be where you made them in the first place? It’s a simple way to keep them crispy on the surface but tender and moist on the inside.

How Long Does it Take?

Depending on size and quantity, it takes about 12 minutes to reheat chicken wings in a standard kitchen oven. Allow time for the oven to pre-heat.

How Do I Do It?

Let’s break it down and make a simple thing even more simple:

  1. Set your oven to 350°F and wait for it to pre-heat.
  2. While the oven warms up, let your wings rest on the counter to come up to room temperature.
  3. Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying it with non-stick spray. Alternatively, you can line it with parchment paper.
  4. Spread your wings out on the pan and place in the oven on the center rack.
  5. Flip the wings over after about 6 minutes and cook for an additional 6 minutes.
  6. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. When it reads 160°F, remove them from the oven.
  7. Allow wings to rest until they reach 165°F before serving.

Step by Step Instructions to Reheat Wings Under a Broiler

If you haven’t discovered the joy of using the broiler function in your oven, now is the time. It’s crazy fast, super hot, and one of thebest ways to reheat just about anything.

I use it for leftovers all the time, especially french fries. If you do know your broiler, you’re already nodding your head in agreement.

How Long Does it Take?

Broilers are insanely hot, so it won’t take long. Ten minutes maximum, but probably less.

How Do I Do It?

A broiler is the next best thing to magic. Or grilling. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Move the top oven rack so that it’s about 6-8 inches below the top heating element.
  2. Set your oven to high broil (on mine, that’s 550°F) and let it pre-heat. That shouldn’t take long, maybe 5-10 minutes.
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread out the wings, so they each have a bit of breathing room.
  4. Broil the wings for about 5 minutes, turning halfway.
  5. Remove wings and rest them on a cooling rack to allow excess grease to drip off. Place them back on the sheet and under the broiler for an additional 5 minutes or so.
  6. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. They should easily clear the 165°F mark, but it’s always best to be sure. Eat ASAP!

For extra flavor, you can brush on your favorite sauce before broiling. They might caramelize or char slightly, but that’s ok – the taste is sensational.

Keep a close eye on any food you put under the broiler; you may be shocked at how fast stuff can go from “almost there” to “burnt to a crisp” under such intense heat.

Step by Step Instructions to Reheat Wings With an Air Fryer

Chicken wings being placed into an a black air fryer on a wooden surface

Air Fryers are becoming increasingly popular with people who don’t want to give up fried food, but would like a somewhat healthier option. Chicken wings reheated in an air fryer turn out beautifully tender and tasty.

How Long Does it Take?

Time varies based on how many wings, how big they are, and how hot you set your fryer. Typically, it takes about 10 minutes.

How Do I Do It?

Air frying leftover wings made easy:

  1. Let your wings come to room temperature, covered, on the kitchen counter. Give it about 10 minutes or so.
  2. Leave your oil in the pantry – you won’t need it.
  3. Put the wings in the air fryer basket, leaving about a 1-inch gap between them.
  4. Set the air fryer to 350°F and cook for 10 minutes. (In a hurry? Try 7 minutes at 375°F – but no higher!)
  5. Remove the wings from the fryer, and check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. If it’s 160°F or hotter, you’re good to go.
  6. If wings are below 165°F, let them rest until they come up to temperature before you plate them.

Step by Step Instructions to Reheat Wings in a Toaster Oven

Toaster ovens can be your best friend, if you know how to use them. If you live in a bachelor apartment or dorm and don’t have room for much, you know what I’m talking about.

This is an awesome appliance for reheating a small batch of chicken wings.

How Long Does it Take?

Cooking times will vary, but this should never take more than 10 minutes. Expect more like 7-8 minutes, plus prep time.

How Do I Do It?

It’s easy! Let’s walk through it together:

  1. Pull the wings out of the fridge and let them warm up on the counter for about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pre-heat the toaster oven to 350°F. If yours has a small baking sheet, line it with foil.
  3. Place the wings on your foil-lined sheet and cover with foil to lock in moisture. If you don’t have a sheet, create a loose foil packet to put your wings in. This also protects the inside of your oven from drippings and reduces clean-up time.
  4. Put the sheet or packet in the oven. You can set a timer for 7 minutes if you’re forgetful.
  5. Check your wings after 6-7 minutes with an instant-read thermometer. If they’re below 160°F, put them back in for a bit.
  6. If they’re 160°F or hotter, remove them from the oven (and shut it off!) and allow them to rest while the center finishes cooking and the outside cools down enough to touch.

Step by Step Instructions to Reheat Wings by Deep Frying

close up of chicken wings in a deep fryer, with oil bubbling

Look, we don’t eat chicken wings because they’re healthy. So, what’s the harm in perking up your leftovers with a deep fryer?

If you love crispy wings, this method is tough to beat. It’s best for wings that weren’t deep fried to begin with, adding a new layer of flavor to savor.

How Long Does it Take?

You’re looking at about 6-8 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your wings.

How Do I Do It?

Pay attention. Things are about to get deep.

  1. Start by letting your wings warm up on the kitchen counter (covered) so they’re not fridge-cold when they hit the oil; about 10 minutes.
  2. Choose either a pot or a deep skillet for frying your wings and place it over medium-high heat on the stove.
  3. Pour enough cooking oil into the pot or skillet to cover your wings. How deep that is will depend on how big the wings are.
  4. When the oil is nice and hot, carefully place your wings into the oil one at a time using tongs so as not to burn yourself.
  5. Let them fry for 2-3 minutes, turning them halfway through. If you like them extra crispy, give them a bit more time, but be careful not to dry them out.
  6. Once ready, remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate or a wire rack to cool. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer to be sure they’ve reached 165°F internally before eating.

Bonus Tip: If you’re feeling ambitious, coat the wings in flour and some seasoning before deep frying for incredible flavor and texture.

Step by Step Instructions to Reheat Wings in a Microwave

How did we live without microwaves? They’re a go-to for reheating just about any kind of food. And while they aren’t the best choice for many reasons, they are incredibly convenient.

It’s easy to overdo it with a microwave and end up with dried up wings that are insanely hot. Here’s what we suggest for fast, delicious results.

How Long Does it Take?

This method takes about 3 or 4 minutes, including a minute in the oven. (Sorry if that seems like cheating, but it’s the best way to finish them!)

How Do I Do It?

Microwaved chicken wings in 7 easy steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. While you’re waiting, dampen a paper towel and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Place your wings on the paper towel. Dampen a second towel and lay it over the wings. This loose envelope of moisture will keep your wings juicy.
  3. Once the oven is pre-heated, put the wings in the microwave and heat until warm – not hot, but warm. This should take about 2 minutes, but you might want to do it in 30-second intervals to prevent overheating.
  4. Remove the wings from the microwave and place them on a prepared baking sheet. (Non-stick spray or parchment.) Place the wings in the oven on the center rack.
  5. Leave the wings for 1 minute. Flip them and cook for another minute.
  6. Remove from the oven and check the temperature. If they’re at 160°F or higher, they’re ready to come out.
  7. If they were below 165°F, let them rest and come up to temperature before serving.

Step by Step Instructions to Reheat Wings in a Frying Pan

Chicken wings in a frying pan, on parchment paper

Bet you didn’t think of this one! A good frying pan is a must for any kitchen, and this is one more reason why. It’s fast, simple, and delivers surprisingly good leftover wings. The clean up is more laborious with this method than some others, but the prep is a breeze.

How Long Does it Take?

Expect to take about 5 or 6 minutes to get your leftover wings reheated just right in a frying pan.

How Do I Do It?

This may be the only tutorial you ever read for using a frying pan. It’ll be worth it.

  1. Allow your wings to warm up a bit on the counter. Keep them covered.
  2. Set a stove burner to medium and warm up your frying pan. Pour on a thin layer of cooking oil.
  3. Carefully add your wings to the heated oil, being sure not to splash yourself. Use tongs to turn your wings and fry for 2-3 minutes per side until crispy and golden-brown.
  4. If you want, you could add some extra sauce to your wings and toss them around in the pan a bit.
  5. Remove pan from heat and check the internal temperature of your wings with an instant-read thermometer. Anything 160°F or over is good.
  6. Take the wing out of the pan and rest them for a few minutes to allow carryover cooking to bring them up to 165°F before eating.

How Many Times Can I Reheat Chicken Wings?

You can reheat leftover chicken wings several times in terms of safety, but only if they are stored properly. That means packing them up soon after eating (within two hours at room temperature), keeping them in a sealed container, and storing them in the fridge or freezer.

But, just because your wings are safe to eat, that doesn’t mean they’re actually good to eat. Each time you reheat them, they lose more moisture, and the flavor and texture deteriorate. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where they just aren’t enjoyable anymore, no matter how hard you try to tell yourself, “Hey, I’m saving money!”

Personally, I wouldn’t reheat the same leftovers more than twice. And I would certainly look at one of the methods that can enhance the flavor, such as deep-frying, broiling with sauce, or, of course, grilling over charcoal.

Final Thoughts

We’ve winged our way to the end, discovering the many ways we can get the maximum enjoyment out of our leftover chicken wings. Please, always remember to practice safe storage and follow the old adage, “When in doubt, throw it out!” Even the juiciest, plumpest, sauciest, most delicious wings aren’t worth risking your health or those you love.

So, which way is for you? Let us know what you tried and how it worked out. Got another method or a great tip to share? Send it along! We love learning from our fellow grillers, too. While you’re at it, join our friends and us on social with those handy links down there. Where there’s good food, there’s always a crowd!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the wings.

I'm a self-proclaimed BBQ nut, and the founder and chief editor here at Food Fire Friends.

I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke whatever the weather, using various grills, smokers, and wood-fired ovens to produce epic food. My goal with this site is to help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same.

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