How to reheat KFC Chicken using an air fryer

KFC Original Recipe Chicken


Reheating fried chicken can be a delicate balancing act. On one hand we want to use the hot circulating air of the air fryer to revive that wonderful crisp and crunch on the exterior. We also want to cook yeti chicken long enough to heat the interior through. That last bit risks burning the exterior, home to a lot of fat from the original fry. With that all that in mind, how you reheat your fried chicken can depend on the size of the chicken piece in mind.

For reference, when reheating the KFC chicken below I was using the Original Recipe version.

Reheating KFC drumstick and wings

KFC original recupe drum and wing
KFC original recupe drum and wing
  1. Preheat air fryer to 370F
  2. When ready set temperature to 370F
  3. Cook for 8-9 minutes
  4. Turn chicken half way through
  5. Then…

These recipes based on using the COSORI Air Fryer (5.8QT model, affiliate link).

Reheating KFC thigh

Air fried KFC thigh
Air fried KFC thigh

Things become more complex with the bigger pieces. The interior chicken gets harder to bring to temperature (I aim for 165F or more) while the exterior now starts to leech grease that in turn burns and smokes. For this reason I use a two pronged approach. I start by:

  1. Preheat air fryer to 370F
  2. When ready set temperature to 370F
  3. Cook for 10 minutes
  4. Turn chicken half way through

With the chicken out the air fryer I microwave for 30-45 seconds. This typically brings the remainder of the interior to temperature. The exterior remains crunchy.

Reheating KFC breast

Air fried KFC breast
Air fried KFC breast
  1. Preheat air fryer to 370F
  2. When ready set temperature to 370F
  3. Cook for 10-12 minutes
  4. Turn chicken half way through
  5. Then…

Again, we encounter the same problem here but magnified; the breast pieces are that much larger and have more exterior area to leech grease. Cooking much more than ten minutes, the chicken starts to burn and smoke. Sure you could aim for a lower temperature and a longer cook, but I prefer the microwave method following the air fryer.

The breast pieces have a lot of dense white meat so need that extra bit of time to bring back to temp. I find anywhere in the microwave from 60-90 seconds does the trick for me.

A word of warning

Again, please use common sense, caution and care when reheating leftovers. And remember leftovers need to be refrigerated and cooled quickly and not kept long – per CDC recommendations.

We recommend investing in a kitchen thermometer like the Habor Meat Thermometer to ensure your food is thoroughly cooked. It's quick, under twenty bucks and it's waterproof - and hey - we get a small referral fee for any purchases.


This guide is presented as a reference only. Many variables may influence your own cooking times. If in doubt contact your air fryer or product manufacturer. Please ensure your food is thoroughly cooked before consuming. See here for more info on using our reciopes.

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