The Best And Worst Foods To Reheat In An Air Fryer
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Air fryers have become must-have kitchen essentials thanks to their endless versatility and astounding efficiency. Yet, it’s not just time and money saved. Some foods, whether made fresh or warmed, come out exceptionally better in an air fryer. We’ve got all those air fryer-friendly foods and the specific others to avoid in our overview of the best and worst foods to reheat in an air fryer. There are temperatures and timing for a whole lot more than just our list factored into our air fryer reheating table below too.
- Must-try food for reheating in an air fryer includes French fries, fried chicken, pizza, nuggets, onion rings, stromboli & calzones, bread, rolls, flatbreads, dumplings, pot stickers, egg rolls/spring rolls, tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, tamales, roasted meats, pork/lamb/venison chops, roasted/pan-fried vegetables, bacon, quiche, corn on the cob, pies/pastries, fried fish, burgers, and rice.
- The worst foods to reheat in an air fryer include stews/curries, gravy/sauces, steak, pasta, soup, delicate greens, and whole chicken – it comes out far juicer when carved before reheating.
- Sticking your food into an air fryer before it’s preheated is going to ruin it. Always preheat your fryer first. No exceptions. As a general rule of thumb, if you don’t know what temperature to reheat your food at, preheat the fryer to 350°F and give it two to three minutes before checking. Anything that won’t warm through without developing excess crispiness should be wrapped in foil or warmed in a dish covered in foil.
Air Fryer Reheating Chart
|Beans (Chili)||350°F/180°C||2-4 Minutes|
|Chicken Pieces||375°F/200°C||4-6 Minutes|
|Chicken Tenders||350°F/180°C||3-5 Minutes|
|Chicken Wings||375°F/200°C||4-6 Minutes|
|Chickpeas (Roasted)||325°F/160°C||1-2 Minutes|
|Corn (Kernels)||325°F/160°C||1-2 Minutes|
|Corn On The Cob||350°F/180°C||3-5 Minutes|
|Egg Rolls/Spring Rolls||350°F/180°C||3-5 Minutes|
|French Fries||350°F/180°C||2-3 Minutes|
|Fried Fish||325°F/160°C||3-4 Minutes|
|Fried Chicken||375°F/200°C||4-6 Minutes|
|Lamb Chops||375°F/200°C||5-6 Minutes|
|Macaroni & Cheese||350°F/180°C||4-5 Minutes|
|Mashed Potatoes||325°F/160°C||3-4 Minutes|
|Mozzarella Sticks||400°F/210°C||4-5 Minutes|
|Onion Rings||350°F/180°C||2-4 Minutes|
|Pasta Bake||400°F/210°C||6-8 Minutes|
|Pork Chops||375°F/200°C||5-6 Minutes|
|Pork Shoulder||325°F/160°C||5-6 Minutes|
|Rack Of Lamb||350°F/180°C||6-8 Minutes|
|Roasted Meats||400°F/210°C||5-6 Minutes|
|Roasted Vegetables||375°F/200°C||3-5 Minutes|
|Subs & Sandwiches||325°F/160°C||4-6 Minutes|
|Tater Tots||350°F/180°C||3-5 Minutes|
How To Reheat Food In An Air Fryer
Just about all takeout and leftovers are well suited to reheating in an air fryer. If there’s any risk of the sauce or cheese oozing over, bend out a holder from foil first to catch any potential drippings or reheat it in either the cake pan made for your air fryer or an oven-safe dish. The best temperature range for reheating fast food leftovers is generally 350-400°F, and there’s nothing that’ll ever take more than 6 to 8 minutes of air frying at the most to warm up. The vast majority of takeout, street food, and last night’s leftovers need between 3 to 5 minutes at 375°F to come out as close to hot-and-fresh as it gets.
The Best Foods To Reheat In An Air Fryer
The best thing about the foods that are best suited for reheating in an air fryer is that when they’re reheated, they often come out better than before. Here are the best foods to reheat in an air fryer.
French fries are the ultimate food to reheat in an air fryer. Lay them out in a single layer evenly and bake at 350°F for 2 to 3 minutes.
Anything that’s breaded, crumbed, or battered and fried comes out crispy and fresh when reheated in the microwave. Just like French fries, onion rings are best reheated at 350°F for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness.
As you may have noticed already, thanks to French fries and onion rings, fried food reheats particularly well in an air fryer. Reheat fried food in an air fryer at anything between 350°F to 400°F, depending on what you’re heating. A higher temperature is typically only required for foods with a thin composition that typically end up needing a minute or two at the most. For example, fried chicken needs around 4 to 6 minutes at 375°F while turning once at the halfway point, and you’ll be blown away by the appetizing texture.
Subs & Sandwiches
If the sub or sandwich doesn’t fit into your air fryer, cut it appropriately. Open the sub or sandwich up and air fry at 325°F for 4 to 6 minutes. If the sandwich still isn’t done, follow up with 1 to 2 minutes bouts at 350°F while checking doneness after each round. We suggest taking the lettuce, tomato, and any other fresh ingredients that shouldn’t be heated off first if at all possible. For even better results, microwave the sub or sandwich for a minute and then finish it off in an air fryer for 2 – 3 minutes at 350°F.
An air fryer could very well be the very best appliance to reheat pizza. Some swear that air fryers themselves were specifically made to be pizza reheaters. The simplest way to reheat pizza and have it come out amazing compared to other methods is to stick it in an air fryer at 350°F for 2 to 4 minutes if you’re heating up deep dish pizza and at 325°F for 2 to 4 minutes for thin base pizza.
Standard reheating comes out awesome, but after 20 years of experimentation, Redditor /uTiffStyles claims to have found the ultimate way to warm leftover pizza with the help of an air fryer. Follow her instructions as follows:
- Wrap your pizza slices in parchment paper:
- Wrap the wrapped-up pizza in thin aluminum foil.
- Air fry in a preheated air fryer at 375°F for 10 minutes.
Stromboli & Calzones
Reheat stromboli and calzone by brushing each lightly with oil first, then place into a preheated air fryer at 375°F for 4 to 6 minutes. If there’s a risk of excess oiliness due to the type of stromboli or calzone, line the basket with parchment paper.
Bread, Rolls & Flatbreads
Freshen up old bread by placing a few slices in the air fryer basket and then drizzling them with either olive oil or a sprinkle of water. Air fry at 325°F for 1 to 2 minutes, and they’ll be almost as good as new. The same temperature and timing count for most flatbreads like naan. Bread rolls take a little longer, at 3 to 4 minutes, but 325-325°F is also optimal. If you’re warming oily bread like focaccia, line the air fryer basket with parchment.
Dumplings, Pot Stickers & Egg Rolls/Spring Rolls
Dumplings and egg rolls are best reheated at 350°F for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how many are being warmed at a time. Just take care to place them in an appropriate vessel or line the vessel with parchment paper Pot stickers reheat best at 300°F for 4 to 6 minutes.
Tacos, Nachos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Fajitas, Tamales
Whether takeout or made at home, most Mexican food, especially the handheld varieties, come out great when reheated in an air fryer. Simply wrap your tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas or tamales in foil. Fold the foil so that it makes a boat that holds in any sauce or toppings that may slip out. Air fry in a preheated air fryer at 375°F for 3 to 6 minutes while checking every 30 seconds or so for doneness from the 2-minute mark.
Roast meats come out far better in an air fryer than when reheated in a microwave or oven. Reheat a whole roast at 400°F for 5 to 6 minutes, but keep a close eye as you don’t want it to dry out. On the other hand, roast meat slices take 1 to 2 minutes at 400°F.
Pork, lamb, and venison chops are great in an air fryer. Brush the chops with olive or cooking oil and let them air fry at 375° for 5 to 6 minutes depending on their thickness.
While we don’t recommend an air fryer for delicate vegetables, pan-fried or roasted veg like roast potatoes, bell peppers, butternut squash, and anything else with substance reheats exceptionally well in an air fryer. Reheat roasted vegetables at 375°F for 3 to 5 minutes. Just like when reheating roast meat, pay attention to the degree of doneness from early on so that you don’t dry them out or cause the vegetables to form tough skin.
It doesn’t really matter what they’re made of – nuggets come out just as good as new when reheated in an air fryer. Crank up the temperature to 400°F, and don’t overcrowd the basket. Within 3 to 5 minutes, they’ll be crispy and piping hot all the way through. Do you have a fondness for nuggets? Be sure to check out our wrap-up of the best vegan & plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets. Out of no less than eighteen top brands reviewed, you’re sure to find a new favorite.
Reheating bacon in an air fryer produces fantastic results. Just make sure that you don’t air fry precooked bacon for too long, or it’ll turn extra crispy or, in a worst-case scenario, rock hard. Place your bacon onto the rack and then reheat at 375°F for 3 to 5 minutes.
One to two large slices of quiche take 4 to 6 minutes in an air fryer at 325°F and come out fantastic without any hint of a soggy crust, as is the leading problem with other methods of reheating.
Corn On The Cob
Lay down your corn on the cob on a sheet of foil and sprinkle it with water before wrapping it up to prevent steam from escaping. Air fry at 350°F for 3 to 5 minutes, and your reheated corn will be pretty close to freshly cooked, just a little dryer and firmer.
Frozen meat, veggie pies, and other frozen pastries can be reheated from frozen to ready to eat in just 5 to 6 minutes at 350°F. Simply place the pie straight into the basket while still in its foil holder if one is present. Otherwise, lay down a sheet of foil if you’re worried about an extra-saucy pie spilling over. Leftover pies that have been refrigerated and not frozen need 3 to 4 minutes at 350°F. For an even better result, microwave the pie first for a minute and then follow up with 4 to 5 minutes at 350°F in your air fryer.
You’ll be blown away by the results of air fryer reheated fish. Lay out the fried fish leaving a gap in between, and air fry at 325°F for 3 to 4 minutes, thickness dependent, before turning the fish and heating it for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
The best part about reheating rice in an air frying is that it’s a totally hands-free operation once started. Transfer your rice into an air fryer pan or cake pan, and then seal the vessel tightly with aluminum foil. Air fry in a preheated air fryer, like always, at 325°F for 5 to 6 minutes.
Extra saucy burgers liable to cause spillage should be placed neatly onto a sheet of foil within the air fryer basket. Otherwise, put a burger or two in directly. Heat at 350°F for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the burger and the density of its bun. While not completely necessary, we suggest removing the lettuce, tomato, and any other toppings that you don’t want to be warmed up before reheating a burger in an air fryer.
The Worst Foods To Reheat In An Air Fryer
There are very few things that an air fryer can’t do when cleverly utilized, but certain foods come out way better and are most often much easier to warm using other methods. Here are the worst foods to reheat in an air fryer and precisely how to heat them using an air fryer if you really have to.
It’s not impossible to reheat stew in an air fryer. It’s just a pain. Reheating stew calls for you to fill the fryer or cake pan and then cover it tightly with foil. However, fill the pan too much or air fry it at too high of a heat for a second too long, and you’ll have a sticky mess bubbling out everywhere. Stew also tends to burn towards the sides of the water level within the receptacle, which affects the consistency of the sauce/stock and thus changes the meal. Rather warm-up stew in the microwave or on a stovetop. For those forced to use an air fryer, seal that pan tight and air fry at 325°F for 6 to 8 minutes.
Warming a little gravy in an air fryer is quick and easy. Warming a lot of gravy or even a moderate quantity can quickly turn disastrous. Like with stew, there’s always a high risk of overfilling, overheating, and prolonged cooking, creating a monolithic mess of your machine and kitchen. Those who choose to risk it should give their gravy 1 to 3 minutes at 325°F in a foil-sealed oven-safe dish or cake pan.
Cooking steak in an air fryer is so good that many swear it is their favorite method, but reheating steak produces mixed results. If you like your steak medium to well done, then you won’t agree with this assessment. It is extremely difficult to reheat steak to any degree of rare to medium rare in an air fryer, and for this reason, we suggest frightening it on a sizzling hot skillet to reheat for the best results. Reheat steak carefully at 350°F for 2 to 5 minutes while checking every minute from the 2-minute mark.
Reheating pasta in an air fryer changes the consistency of the sauce and often the pasta as well almost every single time. Those willing to suffer the change should heat their pasta in an oven-safe dish or the air fryer’s cake pan covered with foil at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes. The only exception to this rule is baked pasta dishes like our impossible-to-refuse cheesy, festive, or Mediterranean lasagna. With even hotter conditions than some ovens, baked pasta comes out thoroughly heated with the perfect crunch. Just crank up the heat to 400°F.
Warming soup in an air fryer comes with a risk of boiling over. Just like when heating other liquids, soup has to be placed into an oven-safe dish or the baking dish that came with the air fryer. After sealing tightly with foil, soup is generally piping hot and ready to eat within 4 to 5 minutes at 375°F. Removing hot soup from an air fryer is also tricky and can go drastically wrong if you’re not careful. We suggest a stovetop or microwave instead.
Leafy green veg like spinach, kale, chard, and dandelion greens are best prepared fresh or seared very quickly in a scorching hot pan on a stovetop. An air fryer dries out delicate greens far too quickly to be relied on for tasty warmed-up leftovers. To give it a try and get the best greens possible, place them into an oven-safe dish or your air fryer’s cake pan, sprinkle lightly with water, and air fry at 400°F for 2 to 3 minutes at the very most.
If you’re going to be reheating a whole roast or grilled chicken, then cut it into pieces first. Air fryers can dry out a whole chicken very quickly, but if you cut it into pieces, then just about any chicken can be successfully warmed using an air fryer. Air frying works particularly well for fried chicken, but any chicken will work as long as it’s not kept whole. To air fry chicken pieces, heat them for 4 to 6 minutes at 375°F.
Reheating Food In An Air Fryer – Tips & Tricks
Follow these tips and tricks and your leftovers will always come out perfectly reheated to the point where they’re almost as good as freshly served.
Preheat Your Air Fryer First
Don’t make the mistake of putting in your food for warming without first preheating your air fryer. Whether you’re cooking or reheating, always preheat your air fryer first. Preheating is vital to food undergoing a proper cooking procedure that releases the most color, flavor and aroma possible from whatever is being cooked.
Always Reheat In Small Batches
Just as is the case when air frying or baking in your air fryer, small batches are best when reheating. Overcrowding is never a good idea. Ample space ensures that food comes out evenly warmed instead of hard and crunchy or cold in certain places.
Baste With Oil Or Water
If you’re worried about your food drying out excessively, baste it with olive oil or a good quality vegetable oil. Either baste beforehand and then again after turning or only give it a coating halfway through warming to keep the moisture up. A little water also works wonders, so give those leftovers a light spritz before reheating.
Know Which Foods To Save And When To Cook Fresh
Air fryers are extremely efficient, and there are certain types of food that aren’t worth saving unless you plan to repurpose them. With recipes like the awesome air fryer chicken fries above that are ready after just 10 to 12 minutes in your air fryer, broadening your scope of quick air fryer recipes is often a better idea than trying to rescue food that would have been better while hot-and-tasty yesterday anyway.
Reheating Other Popular Foods In An Air Fryer
Have you been left wondering anything about reheating foods in an air fryer? Here are all the answers to your frequently asked questions.
How To Reheat KFC In Air Fryer?
Reheat KFC in an air fryer that’s been preheated to 375°F for 4 to 6 minutes and turn it after 2 to 3 minutes have elapsed. Don’t crowd the air fryer and watch your timing so that it doesn’t dry out, and your chicken will still be finger-lickin’ good a day or two later.
How To Reheat Wings In Air Fryer?
Reheat wings in an air fryer at 325°F for 4 to 6 minutes while turning once when they’re about halfway done. As always, ensure your air fryer is preheated. If there’s a glaze or sauce that’s bound to splatter, place your wings atop foil or wrap them in foil completely (which is normally not necessary).
How To Reheat Ribs In Air Fryer?
Reheat ribs in an air fryer by laying them out evenly without excessive overlapping into the basket. Preheat to 375°F and air fry for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your ribs and the quantity being warmed.
How To Reheat Salmon In Air Fryer?
Reheat salmon in an air fryer by lining the basket with parchment paper first and then place the salmon skin side down on top. Air fry in a preheated air fryer at 375°F for 3 to 4 minutes.
How Long To Reheat Steak In An Air Fryer?
Reheat steak in an air fryer for 3 to 5 minutes at 350°F after preheating first. We advise checking the progress of your steak every minute from 2 minutes in so that it doesn’t end up overcooked.
How To Reheat Chicken Tenders In Air Fryer?
Reheat chicken tenders by laying them out without them touching in the air fryer’s basket after preheating to 350°F. After 3 to 5 minutes, with a turn in between, they’ll be hot and ready to serve if they’re thick.
How To Reheat A Rotisserie Chicken In The Air Fryer?
The easiest way to reheat a rotisserie chicken in an air fryer is by preheating the air fryer to 350°F and then letting the whole chicken warm for 6 to 8 minutes. However, we strongly recommend that you carve the chicken first and then heat the pieces instead, as this prevents the meat from drying out excessively – 4 to 6 minutes at 375°F is all chicken pieces need.
How To Reheat Chicken Parm In Air Fryer?
To reheat chicken parm in an air fryer, place the chicken parmesan into the basket carefully or into an oven-safe dish or the cake pan that came with your air fryer if there’s an excessive amount of cheesiness that is bound to melt. Air fry in a preheated air fryer at 350°F for 3 to 6 minutes. If your chicken parm is already very dry, then rather heat it in a suitable air-fryer safe vessel covered with foil after sprinkling it with water at 375°F for the same duration.
Can You Toast Bread In An Air Fryer?
Air fryers are excellent at toasting bread. Air fry at 400°F for around 3 minutes, or follow the detailed instructions we have for making toast in an air fryer that’s even better than regular toaster toast.
Can You Cook a Frozen Pizza In An Air Fryer?
Pizza can be reheated or cooked directly from frozen in an air fryer. Cook a frozen pizza in an air fryer at 350-360°F for 3 to 4 minutes or perhaps a little longer if the crust is thick. Our guide to cooking air fryer frozen pizza has even more tips to help your pizza come out amazing.
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