Reheating Smoked Chicken: The Best Ways To Do It Without Drying Out The Meat

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Learn tricks of reheating smoked chicken in the microwave, oven, air fryer, smoker, or stove, and when reheating chicken what temperature to look out for. 

Reheating Smoked Chicken: The Best Ways To Do It Without Drying Out The Meat
Reheating Smoked Chicken The Best Ways To Do It Without Drying Out The Meat

There are a number of different ways to reheat cooked chicken, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

You should choose the best way to reheat smoked chicken based on the size of the chicken pieces. 

Thankfully, the reheating process is a breeze with various kitchen and cooking appliances. 

Let’s find out how to reheat leftover chicken without drying them out. 

What Is Smoked Chicken?

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smoked chicken

Chicken that has been cooked on a smoker on low heat with a burning, fragrant wood fire. 

As a result, the chicken has a sweet, slightly smokey flavor and a soft texture, thanks to the smoke from the burning wood. 

Can You Reheat Smoked Chicken?

5 Ways To Reheat Smoked Chicken
5 Ways To Reheat Smoked Chicken

Yes, you can reheat chicken in several ways – smoker, stovetop, oven, microwave, or air fryer. 

Before you reheat chicken, it’s essential to store it properly so that all the smokey flavor is packed in and the texture remains intact. 

Use a vacuum sealer to package the smoked chicken for storage. 

This will prevent oxygen from getting to the chicken and allowing bacteria to grow and overdrying the meat and ruining its texture due to freezer burn.

How long to reheat smoked chicken depends on the chicken pieces, whether it’s a bone-in chicken or skinless and boneless pieces of smoked chicken. Best Methods to Reheat Chicken below:

OvenLarge, bone-in pieces of chicken but it takes longer.
StoveSkinless, boneless chicken
Air FryerTo get back crispiness in fried chicken or chicken tenders
MicrowaveQuick method but can leave the chicken soggy
SmokerSlow method but retains original flavor and texture

When reheating chicken what internal temperature should you check it at? 

The magic number is 165°F or 75°C.

How To Reheat Smoked Chicken In The Oven

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How To Reheat Smoked Chicken In The Oven

The oven is your best bet when it comes to reheating whole smoked or rotisserie chicken. 

Because the size is large and you have all the bones, you can pop it inside the oven and let it reheat. 

Follow the steps below to reheat chicken in the oven.

  1. Take the chicken out of the fridge and take off any plastic wrap. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Let the chicken sit at room temperature on the counter while you wait for the oven to heat up.
  2. To reheat chicken thighs, place the chicken on a baking dish and add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan with a very thin layer of liquid.
  3. Then use two layers of aluminum foil to tightly cover the pan. The steam formed inside will keep the chicken moist.
  4. Put the pan with the meat in the oven and keep it there until it gets warmed up enough. It’s already cooked so you won’t need to wait long. Use a meat thermometer to check if the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F (74°FC).
  5. Let the smoked chicken wrapped in foil sit for a couple of minutes before serving. 

To reheat poultry in the oven is alright as long as you’re not looking for an outer crispy skin. 

If you are, simply place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes to get the skin crispy.

How To Reheat Cooked Chicken On The Smoker

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How To Reheat Cooked Chicken On The Smoker

If the weather and time permits, you can fire up your smoker to reheat cooked chicken to get the maximum original flavor

Whether you want to reheat chicken quarters or whole smoked chicken, the smoker can handle either with ease if you follow the steps below. 

  1. Remove any plastic wrap and spray the roasted chicken pieces with chicken or beef broth or apple juice to keep the meat moist. 
  2. If you had refrigerated the leftover smoked chicken instead of freezing it, chances are you still have some of the juices left from the first smoke. If so, pour it over the chicken pieces. This will ensure that the reheated smoked chicken thighs or quarters are adequately moistened. 

💡Pro Tip: As you don’t want to steam the smoked chicken, just use ¼ part of the liquid for each pound of meat.

  1. Cover the whole thing with aluminum foil without any opening through which air can escape. 
  2. Set the smoker temperature to 225°F (107°C). A higher temperature will cook the meat instead of warming the already-cooked meat. 
  3. Put the aluminum foil-wrapped meat pieces in the smoker and heat to your desired temperature level
  4. A good rule of thumb is to reheat smoked chicken for 10 to 15 minutes per pound of meat. 
  5. Allow a standing time of 2 minutes before serving so that the reheated chicken absorbs all the liquid and flavor. 

Steps To Warm Smoked Chicken Breast On The Stovetop

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Steps To Warm Smoked Chicken Breast On The Stovetop

Skinless and boneless chicken pieces are easier to warm on the stovetop. 

When you’re planning to reheat chicken wings or thighs, it’s better to remove all bones. 

For any small leftover chicken pieces, reheating them on the stovetop can save you time. 

Here’s how:

  1. Remove bones and cartilage from the chicken pieces. If you’re warming up skinless chicken breast, cut it into inch-thick cubes. 
  2. Get a cast iron skillet or a nonstick pan
  3. Turn the flame to medium-low heat. 
  4. Add some butter or oil to the pan. The alternative is to add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Once the oil or butter is warm, add the smoked chicken thighs. If you’re using water, wait until the water simmers before you add the meat. 
  6. Don’t be tempted to turn on the heat to high to rewarm the chicken pieces faster. It will only burn the outside of the meat while leaving the inside cold. 
  7. After about a few minutes, flip to warm the other side. 

If you were wondering how to reheat smoked chicken wings, this is how to do it when you’re running out of time. 

How To Reheat Smoked Chicken Quarters In An Air Fryer

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How To Reheat Smoked Chicken Quarters In An Air Fryer

Ideal for reheating fried chicken or chicken tenders, the air fryer is versatile enough to accommodate smoked chicken thighs, wings, and other small pieces for perfect reheating.

It retains the great, crispy texture of the chicken without letting it become dry. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 375°F (190°C) after you have read the instructions manual for your particular model. Make sure you are aware of how to preheat air fryer
  2. Arrange the smoked chicken quarters in a single layer without stacking them. 
  3. This step is optional. You can brush a layer of oil or butter to prevent the smoked chicken from getting dry while reheating. 
  4. Heat the chicken quarters for 2 minutes and then shake the basket or tray. 
  5. Continue heating for another 2 minutes
  6. Check if the internal temperature of the chicken quarters is 165°F (74°C).
  7. Remove from the tray/basket and serve. 

How To Reheat Smoked Chicken In The Microwave

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How To Reheat Smoked Chicken In The Microwave

Although the microwave is the last resort to reheat chicken, it is still a good idea to use it when you don’t have the time to reheat smoked chicken thighs or other parts on the stovetop or in the oven. 

For the best results, follow these steps:

  1. On a microwave-safe dish, arrange the chicken so that the smaller pieces are in the middle and the larger ones are close to the plate’s edge. 

This will prevent the smaller pieces of smoked chicken from drying out.

  1. Brush the chicken pieces with a mixture of water and olive oil

Alternatively, you can use any sauce, chicken broth, or salsa to moisturize the chicken to preserve its crispiness and also give it an added flavor. 

  1. Use a microwave-safe plastic wrap to cover the chicken. We recommend covering it with a food plate cover
  2. Remove the plate from the microwave after one minute on full power, then check to see if the chicken is reheated. 
  3. If not warm enough, flip and warm at 30-second intervals to reheat smoked chicken thighs thoroughly. 

Ways To Reheat BBQ Chicken

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Ways To Reheat BBQ Chicken

The best way to reheat BBQ chicken is to pop it on the BBQ. 

Put the chicken on a BBQ-safe dish and brush on BBQ sauce or any other sauce you like on the chicken for the meat moist. 

With the BBQ lid on, heat the BBQ chicken on a slow flame until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C).

If reheating on the BBQ is not an option, you can always pop the BBQ chicken in the oven within a temperature range of 300-325°F (148 -163°C) for warming it up.  

Reheating Shredded Chicken The Right Way

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Shredded Chicken

Shredded or pulled chicken is a great solution for quick meals. To store shredded chicken, you can choose either the fridge or the freezer. For freezing shredded chicken, you need to cool the cooked chicken and then freeze it in an airtight container within two hours.

You can reheat shredded chicken on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in the oven.

On the stovetop, simply put a skillet on medium heat and add butter or oil. Add the shredded chicken and stir until the temp clocks at 165°F (74°C). 

If you want to use the microwave to reheat shredded chicken, put it in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel to prevent drying. Microwave on High at one-minute intervals for five minutes. Stir after every minute. Remove the towel and serve. 

Reheating shredded chicken in the oven will require you to defrost the chicken overnight in the fridge if it’s frozen. Then put the chicken in an oven-proof dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Keep in the oven at 425°F (218°C) for 20 minutes or until the temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C). Stir in between to ensure uniform heating. 

FAQs

How To Reheat Pulled Chicken?

You can reheat pulled chicken in the same way as shredded chicken – in the oven or microwave or on a stovetop. 

Can You Reheat BBQ Chicken?

Yes, you can. Reheating BBQ chicken requires you to fire up your BBQ and reheat the chicken with the lid on and on a slow flame until the chicken hits the internal temp of 165°F (74°C). 

Can You Reheat BBQ Chicken In Air Fryer?

Yes, you can reheat BBQ chicken in an air fryer by preheating the air fryer for 5 minutes at 375°F (190°C), placing the chicken in a single layer, and reheating for 4 minutes. After 2 minutes of heating, you can brush the chicken with some BBQ sauce for moisture. 

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