How to Reheat KFC in Air Fryer: From Chicken to Fries, Find Out What To Do


Last Updated: March 17th, 2023

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Finger lickin’ good – We all heard this! And I agree to be fair! Their chicken is one of my favorites. However, that may not be the case when it isn’t hot. In this article you’ll learn how to reheat KFC in air fryer in this post!

A lot of times, I find myself having leftover KFC at home. They can sit in the fridge for days, and by the time I eat them, they are no longer as good. While it is convenient to heat them in the microwave, I suggest not to, especially when you have an air fryer.

Read on and find out how to reheat KFC chicken in an air fryer. As a bonus, I will also share how you can reheat other popular KFC menus!

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Why Reheat KFC in Air Fryer?

When it comes to reheating food, for sure, the microwave is the go-to option for many people. However, it may not be the best choice, especially if you are reheating chicken from KFC. A lot of times, it may end up soggy. Worse, you’ll fail to achieve crispy skin. As such, I suggest using the air fryer instead. Good thing, you can also find microwave air fryer combos, so you can have the best of both worlds.

Speed is another reason why you must reheat KFC in an air fryer. This is especially true when you compare it with heating on a stove or conventional oven. In an air fryer, it only takes a few minutes before you can enjoy your KFC!

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Reheat KFC in Air Fryer

The exact methods for reheating KFC in an air fryer can vary. Among others, the deciding factor would be the type of food you will reheat. Many of you are probably reading this post because you want to know how to reheat KFC chicken in an air fryer. Nonetheless, I will also share how you can reheat other KFC items.

1. KFC Chicken

What do you like most about KFC chicken? For me, I love the tasty and crispy skin while the meat is juicy and oozing with flavors. When it isn’t hot, however, it does not taste as good. Hence, here’s a quick guide on how you can reheat it in an air fryer.

  1. Start by preheating the air fryer to 370 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Once ready, arrange the chicken in the air fryer, making sure not to overcrowd or stack it. If you need a reminder about this, check out my previous post about how full can you fill an air fryer.
  3. For drumsticks and wings, reheat for eight to nine minutes. Meanwhile, thighs are thicker, so reheat at least ten minutes. If you are reheating chicken breast, do it for at least 12 minutes.
  4. Remove from the air fryer. Let the chicken cool and enjoy your KFC.

2. Fries

For sure, I am not the only one who hates eating fries when they aren’t hot! They are soggy and bland. Luckily, you can reheat them in an air fryer.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a healthier alternative to KFC fries, you might want to try air-fried Japanese sweet potato instead if you are in a mood for some delicacy. Alternatively you can go for a regular sweet potato side dish too.

  1. To start, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Arrange the fries in an air fryer. It can be tempting to dump them all in the basket or pan, but do not do this. Take the time to arrange them with enough space between each piece for proper heat circulation.
  3. Heat for three to five minutes.
  4. Take them out of the air fryer and enjoy!

3. Mashed Potatoes

I always make it a point to order mashed potatoes at KFC to go with my chicken. When I have leftovers at home, I reheat them in an air fryer. One thing to watch out for is getting dry. It can change the flavor and texture of mashed potatoes. 

  1. Preheat the air fryer. Set the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare mashed potatoes. Transfer to an oven-safe bowl or plate. Add butter and milk to the top. The exact amount will depend on the quantity of mashed potatoes you are reheating.
  3. Heat for three to five minutes. Open the basket and mix. Reheat for another two minutes.
  4. Let it cool and serve.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Before closing this article, here are some tips for reheating KFC in air fryer.

  • While it was not mentioned earlier, you can also use oil. The best air fryer oils are those with neutral flavors. This way, you can preserve the natural flavor of the chicken. This is a great way to make it crispy. Refined olive oil and avocado oil are good choices.
  • Freeze KFC if you will not eat it immediately. This can help prolong its shelf life. If it is frozen, you might need to reheat it longer. The good news is that there is no need to defrost before air fryer. Nonetheless, if you plan to eat it within the next day or two, the fridge will do.
  • Do not reheat KFC twice. After reheating it once, consume it immediately. Otherwise, reheating it again will not only compromise quality but also safety.

Safety Concerns when Reheating KFC in an air fryer

It’s important to follow food safety guidelines when reheating KFC, or any leftovers for that matter. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Internal temperature: To ensure that the KFC is safe to eat, it’s important to make sure that it reaches a safe internal temperature. The USDA recommends that chicken be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken before serving.
  • Time at room temperature: Don’t leave KFC out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. If you’re not planning on eating the KFC right away, it’s best to store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to reheat it.
  • Cross-contamination: Be careful not to cross-contaminate other foods with raw chicken. This means washing your hands, utensils, and surfaces that have come into contact with raw chicken before using them for other foods.

By following these guidelines, you can help to reduce the risk of food poisoning and enjoy your KFC leftovers safely.

Customizing Reheated KFC

Customizing leftovers: Reheating KFC in an air fryer can also be a good opportunity to get creative with your leftovers. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add some flavor: Before cooking the KFC in the air fryer, consider brushing it with your favorite spices or seasonings. Some options could include paprika, garlic powder, or Italian seasoning. You could also try brushing it with a sauce, like BBQ or buffalo.
  • Make it a topping: Turn your KFC into a topping for a salad or sandwich. Chop the chicken into small pieces and mix it with some greens, vegetables, and a dressing for a tasty salad. Or, use it as a topping for a sandwich or wrap with some cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
  • Get creative with sides: Instead of just reheating the KFC on its own, try serving it with some creative sides. For example, you could make a KFC bowl with some rice, beans, and vegetables, or use the chicken as a topping for a loaded baked potato.

By thinking outside the box, you can turn your leftover KFC into a whole new meal that’s just as delicious as the first time around.


Learning how to reheat KFC in air fryer is a great way to make your leftovers taste better! You can reheat not just chicken but also other KFC items, such as fries and mashed potatoes. Reheating in an air fryer is easy, fast, and convenient. Best of all, it can retain the crispy chicken skin that we all love!

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Thomas S.

Hey there! I've been cooking for myself and loved ones since the age of 18. In our busy world I've always looked for ways to be more time efficient when it comes to preparing food but also creating tasty and healthy dishes. That's when I came accross air fryers a few years ago and eversince I am trying to spread the word of the benefits of these wonderful machines.