Chicken wings are easy-to-make, fun to eat, and very, very tasty. For that reason, you’ll often find yourself overdoing it with the amount that you’ve prepped. That’s alright. It’s better to be on the generous side in this instance.
Still, you aren’t going to throw away those tasty, tasty wings, right? You’re going to put them into the refrigerator for later today or tomorrow. Be warned, though. Reheating them properly when the time comes is an art form in itself.
In the Oven
The oven is probably the best option to reheat chicken wings. Using this method, you’ll get a nice crispy outside, without drying the meat out on the inside. Juiciness and crispiness upon reheating? Could it be that simple?
Well, yes and no. This is definitely doable, but it isn’t the most simple and straightforward way to reheat wings. Here’s how to do it.
First of all, you need to preheat the oven to 350°. This will make sure that your wings are entering a hot environment. However, you shouldn’t put the wings into a preheated oven straight from the fridge. They should sit at room temperature for around 15 minutes first. In the interim, go ahead and prepare a sheet pan. Use non-stick spray to avoid, well, sticking.
Then, after the 15 minutes have passed, arrange the leftover wings on the pan at approximately an inch apart. Now, insert the wings into the oven. Leave them for about five minutes and then take the pan out. Flip the wings and let the other side heat up for another five minutes or so. The internal temperature of the wings should be in the ballpark of 165°. Use a thermometer to confirm.
You Can Use the Oven’s Broiler
You can reheat any chicken wings under a broiler and use the high heat to get a really crispy skin.
Start by preheating the broiler at a high setting for a few minutes. The rack is supposed to be around 10” from the heating element. While the broiler is heating up, take out a foil-lined baking sheet, hit it with a little spray of cooking oil and arrange the wings so they are not touching each other. Put the wings under the broiler, wait for around 5 minutes and then flip the wings. Wait for another 2 minutes, and they should be done.
The trick to using a broiler is to keep a close eye on the wings while they are warming up. The broiler puts out a lot of heat and the wings can go from “crispy” to “burnt” pretty fast.
Using an Air Fryer
An air fryer is still a fryer but provides you with fried food that’s much healthier than deep-fried food. Due to the fact that air fryers are built to require minimal amounts of oil, they’re great for reheating stuff. So, yes, you can definitely use an air fryer to reheat your wings.
To start things off, take the wings out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Now, depending on whether your fryer is basket- or cooking rack-based, place the wings accordingly. They should be about 1” apart. Set the fryer to 350° and cook the wings for around 10 minutes. If you want to get things done faster, set it to 375° and cook the wings for 7 minutes. Keep in mind that 350° and 10 minutes is recommended here.
Now, remove the wings from the air fryer and enjoy your tasty meal. The only downside of using the air fryer to reheat wings is that you’ll have to clean up afterwards.
In the Microwave
You can do a lot of reheating with a microwave. In fact, reheating constitutes the vast majority of duties that a microwave performs. And of course, you can reheat wings this way as well. It might not yield the best results, but it’s definitely a quick and easy option. Besides, it’s not like the wings are going to taste bad out of the microwave.
Still, this method may dry them out too much. Before lining up the wings on a microwave-safe plate, therefore, line the plate with a damp paper towel. This will help absorb the extra moisture. Then, place the wings on the plate. And finally, place another damp paper towel on top of the wings.
Now, place the wings inside the microwave and set the timer to about two minutes. No matter what, don’t let the wings overheat, as this will dry them out and ruin the taste and texture completely. You’re aiming for a slightly warm temperature.
If you want the best and quick results, combine the oven and microwave methods. Before warming the wings up inside a microwave, set the oven to 350°. Once the wings are out of the microwave, place them inside the oven (on the baking sheet) and cook them for around one minute. Flip the wings and go for another minute. This is a quick method of reheating wings.
On the Grill
Grilling is also elementary and straightforward. Whether you’ve cooked the wings on a grill or not, you can use your regular old grill to reheat them. This method, however, is labor-intensive, if you don’t want to end up with charred wings.
Think of it as a barbecue. To all intents and purposes, you can make an event out of it. Set the grill up, buy some beer, invite some friends around, and start reheating those wings. If you do it properly, no one will even notice that the wings aren’t straight off the grill.
Inside a Toaster Oven
This is by far the quickest way to reheat wings. Keep in mind that reheating wings in the toaster oven will not yield the ideal results. Still, if you’re low on time or energy, it’s a great way to avoid a ton of headache.
To get started, use a piece of aluminum foil. Place the wings on the foil and then put the foil in the toaster oven. Turn the oven to 350°. Heat them for around 5-10 minutes. Now, remove the wings from the oven, let them cool a bit, and dig in. Simple and straightforward.
Breaded vs. Naked
Breaded wings are covered in seasoned bread crumbs. Then, they’re cooked inside a deep fryer. Naked wings are cooked without breading. Some people prefer the former, some the latter. In any case, using the above methods for reheating wings should work equally good for both breaded and naked wings.
The entire point of each and every one of the above-mentioned methods is that the meat and the crispiness remain as unexposed as possible. This preserves the taste and the texture. So, whether you’re reheating breaded or naked wings, these methods should do the trick for you and your guests.
Consider Not Reheating
Yes, seriously, think about it. Wings are one of those foods that work, whether they’re either hot or cold. Even cold wings remain as crispy and tasty as when they were fresh from the grill.
So, instead of reheating the wings, take them out of the fridge, let them sit for 15-30 minutes, and help yourself. No preparation required.
As you can see, there are ways to reheat wings without having them lose their taste, texture, or crispiness. All you have to do is follow the steps carefully. If you don’t do your due diligence, you’ll end up with a sub-par meal. In this case, you’re much better off not reheating the wings at all. Or, if you don’t mind your wings cold, let them sit outside the fridge for a while, and then dig in.