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The air fryer is my favorite way to reheat Chicken Legs! Ready in 10 minutes, the skins crisps back up perfectly leaving the meat super juicy and moist. This method covers anything from chicken quarters and chicken drumsticks to cold fried chicken from your favorite finger-licking good fast-food restaurant. Once you Reheat Chicken Legs in Air Fryer, you won’t go back to any other method!

Chicken legs reheating in an air fryer basket.

❤️ 8 reasons this is the best way to reheat chicken legs

1. Crispy skin

This is the best method because as the hot air circulates around the air fryer, the chicken skin crisps back up beautifully. Sometimes, it’s even crispier than the first time! The crispy skin is my favorite part.

2. Not dry

Air frying leftover chicken is a great air fryer hack because it crisps up the skin but keeps the inside dark meat so moist and juicy. You don’t really need to worry about dry chicken with this method.

3. Cooks so well

I find that with other methods like the oven, microwave, or frying pan, either the skin won’t get crispy or the insides take forever to heat back up. The air fryer is a great way to reheat chicken because it basically blasts the chicken with hot air in a small space, making it cook perfectly. The heating element also adds direct heat to what is closest to it, i.e. the chicken skin which is why it gets particularly crispy.

4. Quick

I reheated 3 chicken legs in just 12 minutes. 2 minutes for the air fryer to heat up, and 10 minutes for the cooking time.

5. Easy

All I had to do was preheat the air fryer and then add the chicken leftovers. They already had seasoning so I didn’t really need to “cook”!

6. Economical

Air fryers are much cheaper to run compared to conventional ovens. They cook food quicker and don’t take as long to heat because they are much smaller.

7. No oil

You could reheat the chicken quarters in a deep fryer. It would get nice and crispy on the outside and juicy inside, however, deep frying anything is pretty unhealthy because of the amount of oil used. You don’t even need cooking spray or olive oil for this method!

8. Less mess

I just popped my air fryer basket into the dishwasher afterward and it was sparkling after a quick wash! I do clean it by hand sometimes as well, and it’s so easy. Nothing ever really sticks to it!

🥣  How do you reheat chicken legs in air fryer (without drying it out)?

It’s really simple, even easier than cooking them the first time!

1. Take the chicken legs out of the fridge: Allowing the cold chicken legs to warm up a little at room temperature makes them quicker to reheat. You can skip this step, however (if you forget to take them out), and reheat them straight from the fridge.

2. Preheat your air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 200°C/400°F, and set the timer to around 20 minutes. You most likely won’t use up all of this time, but it leaves some buffer room for preheating and checking the food.

3. Heat the chicken in air fryer: In a single layer, place the chicken in air fryer basket and cook chicken legs for 10 minutes. Cook time can take a little longer or even a shorter time depending on the size and thickness of the chicken legs. If my legs are almost hot enough at the 10-minute mark but not quite there, I keep reheating it in 30-second intervals until it reaches the right temperature.

4. Check the temperature: After 10 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. The best way to do this is by sticking the thermometer into the thickest chicken part. When it reads at least 71 degrees Celcius/160 degrees Fahrenheit, it is good to go! If you don’t have a meat thermometer, just check that the inside of the thickest part of the meat feels nice and hot. If it’s not quite there yet, air fry it for a couple of extra minutes.

5. Rest: Rest the meat for 5 minutes. It will continue cooking inside a little and then let the cooked chicken cool for just a few minutes so that it’s easier to eat. Resting the chicken also keeps it nice and juicy!

Chicken legs reheating in an air fryer basket.

🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips

1. Air Fryer model: Different air fryer models will take different times to heat up and cook the chicken. Always check that the reheated chicken is thoroughly heated before consuming it. For reference, I use a 4.3l Tower Air Fryer.

2. Take it out of the fridge early: Take the leftover chicken legs out of the fridge 30 minutes-1 hour before reheating them so that they’ll reheat even quicker!

3. Cooking time: Larger pieces of chicken will take longer to cook than smaller pieces, which will take less time. Start with 10 minutes and then if the meat isn’t hot enough yet, add 30 seconds-1 minute to the cook time and see how it’s doing. Continue to heat it in small bursts in the air fryer at this point because you don’t want it to be overcooked.

4. Don’t over-crowd: Try not to over-crowd the air fryer, because the air needs to be able to circulate properly for it to heat the food well. A little overlapping is okay. Cook the chicken in a couple of batches if you need to.

5. Rest: It’s a great idea to allow the chicken legs to rest after reheating them. This makes them even juicier!

❓ What kinds of chicken legs does this air fryer method work with?

I’ve tried it with a few different kinds of chicken legs. Here are the ones I’ve reheated in an air fryer (so far):

🤔 How many times can you reheat chicken?

As with any food, you can reheat chicken many times (yes, more than twice!). As long as it reaches the right temperature, it is safe to consume. Keep in mind though, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends only reheating food once, so try to stick to that when possible. Another thing to consider is that reheating chicken multiple times can make the meat dry and tough, and what was once a great piece of food is not so enjoyable to eat anymore.

🍗 What’s a good chicken legs recipe?

My tried and true Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe is such an easy recipe and so delicious. The dry rub contains smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, and ground black pepper. There’s no added oil and the flavor is just incredible! Serve these air fryer chicken legs with your favorite dipping sauce (I like this BBQ sauce) and some sweet potato fries or french fries. It’s such an easy dinner idea! Any leftovers keep well in an airtight container, and then all you have to do is follow the instructions in the recipe card on this page to heat the cooked chicken legs and quarters back up.

😍 Do you have any good air fryer chicken drumstick recipes?

Yes, of course! My air fryer chicken drumsticks are super delicious and great for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. You won’t believe how perfectly juicy they are! What’s more, you can even come back to this page when you’re ready to reheat chicken drumsticks for leftovers.

🤷‍♀️ Can you reheat fried chicken in an air fryer?

Yes! Reheating fried chicken in the air fryer makes the chicken crispy again. It tastes absolutely amazing, even a day or two later. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C/400°F and set the timer for 20 minutes. When the air fryer is ready, add the chicken pieces to the air fryer and check it after 10 minutes. When the internal temperature reaches 71°C/160°F it’s ready! Let it rest for a few minutes before digging in.

🧐 What about reheating chicken thighs?

If you’re looking for an in-depth post specifically on how to reheat chicken thighs in an air fryer, I have you covered. Check out the article right here: How to Reheat Chicken Thighs in air fryer.

🔥 More air fryer recipes you will love

Chicken legs reheating in an air fryer basket.

😋 More healthy recipes to try

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📖 Recipe

Chicken legs reheating in an air fryer basket.

How to Reheat Chicken Legs in an Air Fryer

Bethany Galloway
The air fryer is my favorite way to reheat Chicken Legs! Ready in 10 minutes, the skins crisps back up perfectly leaving the meat super juicy and moist. This method covers anything from air fryer chicken leg quarters and drumsticks to cold fried chicken from your favorite finger-licking good fast-food restaurant!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Air Fryer
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -6 Chicken Legs
Calories 475 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4-6 leftover chicken legs with dry rub or crispy fried
  • Parsley to garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • Take the chicken legs out of the fridge: You can skip this step, however (if you forget to take them out), and reheat them straight from the fridge but it may take a little longer.
  • Preheat your air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 200°C/400°F, and set the timer to 20 minutes.
  • Heat the chicken: Add the chicken pieces to the air fryer basket in a single layer and heat them for 10 minutes.
    Chicken legs in an air fryer basket.
  • Check the temperature: After 10 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. The best way to do this is by sticking the thermometer into the thickest chicken part. If it reads at least 71 degrees Celcius/160 degrees Fahrenheit, it is good to go! If you don't have a meat thermometer, just check that the inside of the thickest part of the chicken feels nice and hot.
    Thermometer reading 165°F.
  • If the chicken isn't hot enough: If my chicken is almost hot enough at the 10-minute mark but not quite there, I keep reheating it in 30-second intervals until it reaches the right temperature.
  • Rest: Rest the chicken for 5 minutes. It will continue cooking inside a little and then let the cooked chicken cool for a few minutes so that it's easier to eat. Resting the chicken also keeps it nice and juicy!

Notes

  • Air Fryer model: Different air fryer models will take different times to heat up and cook the chicken. Always check that the reheated chicken is thoroughly heated before consuming it.
  • Take it out of the fridge early: Take the leftover chicken legs out of the fridge 30 minutes-1 hour before reheating them so that they'll reheat even quicker!
  • Chicken size: Larger pieces of chicken will take longer to cook than smaller pieces, which will take less time. Start with 10 minutes and then if the meat isn't hot enough yet, add 30 seconds-1 minute and see how it's doing. Continue to heat it in small bursts at this point because you don't want to overcook the chicken.
  • Don't over-crowd: Try not to over-crowd the air fryer, because the air needs to be able to circulate properly for it to heat the food well. A little overlapping is okay. Cook the chicken in a couple of batches if you need to.
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 1gCalories: 475kcalProtein: 62gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 328mgSodium: 253mg
    Keyword chicken drumsticks, chicken legs, easy, quick, reheat chicken, reheat legs
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