Reheat Popcorn Chicken in Air Fryer? Quick & Easy Guide

So you’ve got leftover popcorn chicken and you’re wondering if there’s a way to bring back that just-out-of-the-fryer taste? Well, good news! Your air fryer is about to become your best friend. Reheating popcorn chicken in an air fryer is not only possible but it’ll give you crispy, delicious results that might just rival the original batch.

Forget soggy microwave disasters or waiting for the oven to preheat—air frying is quick and efficient. Plus, it’s super easy. Just toss those tasty morsels into the basket, adjust the settings, and in minutes you’ll be munching on popcorn chicken that tastes like it’s fresh from your favorite takeout spot. Ready to get started? Let’s dive into how you can achieve reheated perfection with your trusty air fryer.

Why Use an Air Fryer to Reheat Popcorn Chicken

Retain Crunchiness and Texture

Let’s talk about why your air fryer is the ultimate tool for reheating popcorn chicken. First off, it’s all about that CRUNCH! No one likes soggy breading, right? When you toss those little bites of joy into the air fryer, they come out as if they’ve just been cooked—crispy on the outside and tender inside. The magic happens because of how air fryers circulate hot air around the food, mimicking deep-frying but without submerging your snacks in oil.

  • Even Heating: Your pieces get evenly heated from all sides.
  • No Sogginess: Unlike microwaves, air fryers don’t add moisture which can make breaded foods mushy.

Here’s a pro tip: spread them out in the basket so each piece gets its fair share of heat. You’ll thank yourself when every bite has that perfect crunch!

Health Benefits

Now let’s dive into some health perks because who doesn’t want to enjoy their favorite snack guilt-free? Using an air fryer means less oil and fewer calories compared to traditional frying methods—and we’re not talking small numbers here.

Cooking MethodOil Usage (approx.)
Traditional Frying3 cups
Air Frying1 tablespoon

That table says it all—you’re cutting down massively on oil by using an air fryer. Plus:

  • Less Fat: Lower oil usage translates directly to lower fat content in your meal.
  • Fewer Calories: With less oil absorbed during cooking, you’re also looking at fewer calories per serving.

So go ahead and reheat that popcorn chicken in your trusty air fryer. It’s quick, easy on the waistline, and ensures every last piece is just as delicious as when it first came out of the kitchen!

Tips for Reheating Popcorn Chicken in an Air Fryer

Preheat the Air Fryer

You’ve got some leftover popcorn chicken and you’re craving that just-out-of-the-kitchen taste, right? Well, your air fryer’s about to become your best friend. But first things first – preheating is key! Just like you’d warm up before a workout, give your air fryer a quick 3-5 minute preheat session at around 350°F (175°C). This ensures that each piece of chicken heats evenly and gets back some of that original crispiness.

  • Turn on the air fryer.
  • Set it to 350°F (175°C).
  • Let it run empty for 3-5 minutes.

Arrange the Popcorn Chicken in a Single Layer

Now let’s talk placement. Dumping all your chicken into the basket willy-nilly won’t do any favors for even reheating. Spread those little bites out in a single layer with space between them. It might mean cooking in batches, but trust me, it’s worth it for that perfect crunch!

  • Place popcorn chicken pieces separately.
  • Avoid overcrowding by cooking in batches if necessary.

Adjust the Cooking Time and Temperature

Alrighty, time to get down to brass tacks with timing and temp. You don’t want rubbery or burnt bits, so here’s what you’ll do: set your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and cook for about 4-6 minutes. Keep an eye on them; depending on how powerful your machine is, they could be ready quicker than you think!

Temp (°F)Time (min)


  • Start checking at around the 4-minute mark.
  • Your specific model may require slight adjustments.

Shake the Basket Midway Through Cooking

Halfway through? Give ’em a shake! That’s right—just pull out the basket halfway through cooking and give those chickens a gentle toss. This move isn’t just fun; it helps reheat every nook and cranny evenly without flipping each piece individually.

Here are some steps:

  1. Cook for half of the total time.
  2. Pull out the basket carefully.
  3. Gently shake or use tongs to rearrange.
  4. Continue cooking until done.

This simple action can make all the difference between unevenly heated sadness and golden crispy joy!

Step-by-Step Guide to Reheating Popcorn Chicken in an Air Fryer

Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer

Before you toss those tasty morsels into the air fryer, give it a good preheat. Most models need about three to five minutes at 350°F (175°C) to get nice and hot. Think of it like stretching before a workout – it’s all about getting ready for the main event.

  • Turn on your air fryer.
  • Set it to 350°F (175°C).
  • Let it run empty for 3-5 minutes.

Step 2: Arrange the Popcorn Chicken

Now let’s get down to business! Grab that leftover popcorn chicken from the fridge but resist snacking just yet. Spread them out in the air fryer basket or tray so they’re not crowding each other – nobody likes soggy chicken.

  • Take chicken out of the fridge.
  • Place pieces evenly in the basket/tray.
  • Avoid overlapping for even cooking.

Step 3: Set the Cooking Time and Temperature

You’ve got your chicken laid out; now dial in those settings. Stick with 350°F (175°C), which is pretty much the sweet spot for reheating without burning. As for time, set your sights on four to six minutes initially – we’ll check back later.

  • Keep temperature at 350°F (175°C).
  • Start with a timer for 4-6 minutes.

Step 4: Cook the Popcorn Chicken

Hit start and let your air fryer work its magic. The rapid circulation of hot air will bring back that crunch we all love while warming through every piece. Just hang tight – good things come to those who wait!

  • Press ‘Start’ or similar button.
  • Allow air fryer to cook undisturbed.

Step 5: Shake the Basket

Halfway there! When you’re halfway through, give that basket a gentle shake or use tongs to flip ’em over. This ensures each bite gets equal love from that hot circulating air, making sure no side goes un-crisped.

  • At halfway point, pause cooking.
  • Shake basket or turn pieces manually.

Step 6: Check for Doneness

Time’s up? Have a quick looksee and feel if they’ve reclaimed their former glory as crispy delights. If they’re looking golden and feeling warm throughout, you’re done here! If not, give them another minute or two but keep a close eye on them – nobody invited charred chicken to this party.

  • Use tongs to test texture.
  • Look for golden-brown coloration.
  • Ensure warmth throughout before serving.

And voilà! You’ve resurrected yesterday’s snack into today’s crunchy feast with minimal fuss and maximum flavor. Enjoy your perfectly reheated popcorn chicken straight from your trusty air fryer!

Other Methods to Reheat Popcorn Chicken

Oven Method

Let’s talk about the oven, your trusty kitchen pal. It’s perfect for bringing back that crispy texture we all love in popcorn chicken. Here’s how you can get those little bites tasting fresh out of the fryer:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spread your popcorn chicken on a baking sheet in a single layer; this ensures even reheating.
  • Give it about 10 minutes in the oven. You might want to flip them halfway through.

Now, keep an eye on them! All ovens are different and you don’t want these guys overdoing their tan. A quick check at around the 8-minute mark is a good idea.

Microwave Method

Alright, so maybe time isn’t on your side and you need something quick. The microwave has got your back. But let’s be real, it won’t give you that crunch like an air fryer or oven would. Still, here’s what you do:

  • Place the popcorn chicken pieces on a microwave-safe plate.
  • Cover them with a paper towel; it helps soak up any excess moisture.
  • Zap ’em for about one minute then check if they’re warm enough.

Remember microwaves vary wildly in power so start off with less time and add more as needed. And hey, nobody likes rubbery chicken – so shorter bursts are better than one long cook time.

So there you have it: two solid options when the air fryer isn’t within reach or you’re just mixing things up. Whether you’ve got some extra minutes to spare for the oven method or need a speedy zap from the microwave, now you know exactly what to do to rescue that leftover popcorn chicken from being anything but boring and bland!


Alright, let’s wrap this up! You’ve just mastered the art of reheating popcorn chicken in your air fryer. No more soggy leftovers for you – it’s all about that crispy, crunchy goodness now.

Here are a few key takeaways to remember:

  • Preheat your air fryer to ensure even cooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd the basket; give those little guys some space!
  • A spritz of oil can bring back the original texture and flavor.
  • Keep an eye on the clock—just a few minutes is all it takes.

And there you have it. Next time you’re staring down a box of cold popcorn chicken, don’t fret. Your trusty air fryer will turn yesterday’s snack into today’s delight in no time flat. Go ahead, give those leftovers new life and enjoy every last bite as if they were fresh outta the kitchen!

Remember, practice makes perfect. So don’t be afraid to tweak times or temperatures until you find what works best for your specific air fryer model. Every machine is a bit different after all.

Now go forth and crunchify with confidence!

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