Are you looking for a way to bring new life to your leftover chicken tenders? Look no further! In this guide, we’ll show you how to reheat chicken tenders in an air fryer for a crispy and delicious meal. Whether you’re working with KFC chicken, frozen chicken, boneless chicken, or crispy fried chicken, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re feeling creative, we’ll even throw in some homemade chicken tenders recipe ideas for you to try. Say goodbye to soggy, microwaved chicken tenders and hello to a perfectly reheated, crispy and juicy meal. Let’s get cooking!
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Preparing the chicken tenders for reheating
When it comes to reheating chicken tenders in an air fryer, it’s essential to prepare them correctly to ensure the best possible outcome.
How to store cooked chicken tenders properly
First, if you’re starting with frozen chicken tenders, make sure to defrost them properly before reheating. Trust me, trying to cook frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer will only result in a disappointing and potentially dangerous meal. To defrost your chicken tenders, simply place them in the fridge overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave.
Tips for defrosting frozen chicken tenders
Once your chicken tenders are defrosted, it’s time to get them ready for the air fryer. One of my favorite ways to add some extra crunch and flavor to reheated chicken tenders is by coating them in breadcrumbs. You can use store-bought breadcrumbs or make your own by toasting bread and then processing it in a food processor. I love adding some herbs and spices to my breadcrumbs, like garlic powder and paprika, for an extra kick of flavor.
Applying bread crumbs for better texture
Another tip for preparing chicken tenders for reheating is to store them properly in the fridge. Make sure to keep them in an airtight container or ziplock bag to prevent any moisture from getting in and making the breading soggy.
How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the specific steps you can take to ensure your chicken tenders turn out crispy and delicious.
First, preheat your air fryer to 400°F. This will ensure that the chicken tenders cook evenly and become crispy on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside.
Next, place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. You want to give them enough space to cook evenly and allow the hot air to circulate around them.
If your chicken tenders are already cooked, you can reheat them for 3-4 minutes. If they are frozen, you will need to cook them for a bit longer, usually around 8-10 minutes.
But, the cooking time and temperature for different types of chicken tenders can vary depending on factors such as their thickness, whether they are frozen or thawed, and the type of breading used.
- For fresh, breaded chicken tenders: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
- For frozen, breaded chicken tenders: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and cook for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
- For homemade chicken tenders (using seasoned flour or panko breadcrumbs): Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
- For boneless chicken thighs (instead of chicken breast): Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and cook for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
While the chicken tenders are cooking, you can prepare some dipping sauces to serve them with. Whether you prefer classic ketchup or something more adventurous like honey mustard or ranch, having a tasty dipping sauce can take your chicken tenders to the next level.
Once the cooking time is up, carefully remove the chicken tenders from the air fryer basket using tongs or a spatula. Let them cool for a minute or two before serving to ensure that they are safe to eat.
Tips for achieving crispy and delicious chicken tenders
Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket:
Make sure that the chicken tenders are arranged in a single layer in the air fryer basket, with enough space between them to allow the hot air to circulate around them. Overcrowding can cause the chicken tenders to steam instead of fry, resulting in a less crispy texture.
Preheat the air fryer:
Preheating your air fryer ensures that it’s hot enough to cook the chicken tenders quickly and evenly, resulting in a crispy exterior and juicy interior.
Use a light coating of oil:
While chicken tenders already contain some natural fats, adding a light coating of oil can help to promote a crispy exterior. Spray the chicken tenders lightly with cooking oil spray or brush them lightly with a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil.
Flip the chicken tenders:
Flipping the chicken tenders halfway through cooking can help to ensure that they cook evenly on both sides and develop a crispy crust all over.
Use a meat thermometer:
To ensure that your chicken tenders are cooked through and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 165°F.
To enjoy the crispiest possible chicken tenders, serve them immediately after cooking. Letting them sit for too long can cause the breading to become soggy.
Alternative methods for reheating chicken tenders
While reheating chicken tenders in an air fryer is a great way to achieve crispy results, there are also alternative methods that you can use depending on what equipment you have available.
How to reheat chicken tenders in oven
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Arrange the chicken tenders on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. This method is especially useful if you have a large batch of chicken tenders to reheat.
How to reheat chicken tenders in microwave
While not the best method for achieving crispy chicken tenders, the microwave is a quick and convenient way to reheat them.
Place the chicken tenders on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 30-second intervals until heated through.
How to reheat chicken tenders in stovetop
- Reheating chicken tenders on the stovetop is a good option if you want to add some extra flavor or texture to the chicken.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken tenders and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until heated through and crispy.
Recipe ideas using reheated chicken tenders in air fryer
Homemade chicken nuggets:
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.
- Cut the chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- In another shallow bowl, beat 2 eggs.
- In a third shallow bowl, mix 1 cup of breadcrumbs with 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese.
- Dip each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, then the beaten egg, and finally the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to ensure they stick.
- Place the chicken nuggets in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
KFC-style chicken tenders:
- Preheat your air fryer to 390°F.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
- In another shallow bowl, beat 2 eggs.
- Dip each chicken tender in the flour mixture, then the beaten egg, and finally the flour mixture again, pressing the flour onto the chicken to ensure it sticks.
- Place the chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, or until crispy and golden brown.
Chicken tender wraps:
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.
- Cut the chicken tenders into strips and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce, and 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Lay a tortilla on a flat surface and spread the sauce mixture over it.
- Top with lettuce, tomato, and sliced avocado.
- Add the chicken tender strips on top of the vegetables.
- Fold the bottom of the tortilla up, then fold in the sides to form a wrap.
- Place the wrap in the air fryer basket and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until crispy and heated through.
EXCITING AIR FRYER RECIPES TO REHEAT YOUR LEFTOVERS YOU’LL LOVE:
Is it possible to reheat KFC in an air fryer?
Yes, you can reheat KFC in an air fryer. Simply place the KFC chicken in the air fryer basket and heat it at 350°F for 3-4 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches at least 165°F.
How do you reheat cooked chicken tenders in the air fryer?
To reheat cooked chicken tenders in an air fryer, spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the chicken tenders inside. Spray them with cooking spray and heat them at 375°F for 3-4 minutes. Flip them over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until they’re crispy and hot.
How long do you heat chicken tenders in an air fryer?
The cooking time for chicken tenders in an air fryer depends on their thickness. On average, it takes 5-7 minutes to reheat chicken tenders in an air fryer at 375°F.
How to air fry already cooked chicken strips?
To air fry already cooked chicken strips, place them in the air fryer basket and heat them at 375°F for 3-4 minutes. Flip them over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until they’re hot and crispy. Remember to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure they’re fully cooked.
Can you reheat frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer?
Yes, you can reheat frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer. However, you will need to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time to ensure they are heated through.
Can you reheat breaded chicken tenders in an air fryer?
Yes, you can reheat breaded chicken tenders in an air fryer. They will come out crispy and delicious, just like they were freshly cooked.
Can you reheat boneless chicken thighs in an air fryer?
Yes, you can reheat boneless chicken thighs in an air fryer. Adjust the cooking time and temperature based on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs you have.
How long can you keep reheated chicken tenders in the refrigerator?
Reheated chicken tenders should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed within 3-4 days.
Can you reheat chicken tenders in a microwave?
Yes, you can reheat chicken tenders in a microwave, but they will not be as crispy as if you had used an air fryer or oven. It’s best to reheat them in an air fryer or oven if you want to maintain their crispiness.
Reheating chicken tenders in an air fryer is easy, quick, and delicious. Just remember to spray the basket, avoid overcrowding, adjust cooking time based on the thickness, let them rest, and serve them with your favorite dipping sauce. With these tips and tricks, you’ll never have to suffer through a dry and tasteless chicken tender again!