If You're Not Reheating Chicken Wings In The Oven, Try It ASAP

A pile of chicken wings is a universally beloved food during sports and tailgating season — or any time of year, really. Easy to eat with your hands and great with all types of drinks, Americans are projected to eat 1.45 billion wings in 2023's Superbowl Weekend alone (per the National Chicken Council). Whether grilled with barbeque sauce, slathered in lemon pepper, or tossed in the classic buffalo sauce, it is safe to say we won't be tired of eating chicken wings anytime soon.

Of course, whether you're ordering enough wings to feed a horde of people or you simply have leftovers from dinner, reheating chicken wings seems easy enough. But microwaving them doesn't really return them to their fresh state. Microwaved wings tend to be rubbery and chewy, and uneven heating can lead to a scorching hot wing next to a lukewarm one. But before you throw your leftover wings away, there is one thing in your kitchen to revive your chicken wings: the oven. By reheating them in the oven instead of a microwave, you will get the wings back to their crispy glory.

The oven is better for reheating chicken

To reheat leftover chicken wings in the oven, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, place your wings on a sheet pan atop a piece of aluminum foil, keeping them evenly spaced. Place the tray in the center rack of the oven, and the wings should be heated through in 10 to 15 minutes — this may take longer or shorter, depending on how many wings you're heating. Just make sure the internal temp is just under 165 degrees Fahrenheit as the residual heat will keep warming them. The gentler heat of the oven helps the wings heat up, making the inside warm while crisping the skin. When they're ready, you can toss them in a bit of extra sauce — just to freshen them up.

On the other hand, if you heat wings in the microwave, the electromagnetic waves bombard the wings, causing the food to get hot unevenly. However, as the waves penetrate the food, they heat the inside very quickly, which leads to water becoming steam. That is why sometimes you hear foods "pop" inside the microwave, which is when the steam bursts from the food to escape. When these waves are directed at chicken wings, the pop means moisture is literally escaping from the meat, meaning you are watching your wings become dry before the skin gets hot and crisp.

The oven is great for reheating

Although waiting for the oven to preheat is a test of your patience, there are a lot of leftover foods that are better to reheat with the oven than the microwave. For example, seafood dishes are better reheated in an oven because you can control the temperature better. Since there is a fine line between perfectly reheated shrimp and a dry shriveled shrimp-flavored ball of rubber, your expensive seafood leftovers should avoid the microwave at all costs. Pizza is another thing that reheats very well in the oven, especially if you have a pizza stone that spreads out the heat evenly.

If using an oven is too cumbersome, or you simply do not have access to one, you can use a toaster oven or an air fryer for the same effects. Their method of creating a pocket of hot air to heat your food will work in the same way as an oven — although you should keep an eye on your dishes to prevent them from burning.