How Long to Reheat Chicken in the Microwave?

Today the PolyTechPress team asked the question: How long to reheat chicken in the microwave? Without hesitation, we brewed strong coffee, drank it and started heating the chicken in our microwave with a watch in our hands.

We have approached the process as simple as research, so this article provides specific recommendations. On reheating whole chickens, pieces, boneless breasts and shredded chickens based on factors such as microwave power, chicken size, starting temperature and more. We were able to determine the optimal microwave cooking time to safely and deliciously bring leftover chicken to the desired temperature.

Basic Guidelines

how long to reheat chicken in the microwave

Microwave ovens use electromagnetic waves to quickly vibrate water molecules in food, producing rapid internal heating. This makes the microwave convenient for quickly bringing chilled leftover chicken up to safe and palatable temperatures.

When reheating chicken in the microwave, it’s important to use microwave-safe cookware, arrange chicken pieces evenly, stir and rotate food for even heating, and cover dishes to better retain moisture. Monitoring reheating time is also key to prevent overcooking.

How Long to Reheat Chicken in the Microwave?

The time needed to reheat chicken in the microwave can vary based on several factors which will be covered later. But the following provides general guidelines for common types of chicken:

  • Whole Chicken: 8-10 minutes;
  • Chicken Pieces: 4-6 minutes;
  • Chicken Breast: 2-3 minutes;
  • Shredded Chicken: 2-3 minutes.

For whole chickens and pieces, reheating time may need to be longer if the chicken is very chilled or frozen. Microwave wattage can also impact times. Higher wattages above 1000W shorten reheating duration whereas lower wattages can take longer.

Factors Affecting Reheating Time

how long to reheat chicken in oven at 350

Several variables beyond just the type and cut of chicken can impact how long reheating takes:

  • Size of chicken pieces – Larger pieces take longer.
  • Microwave wattage as mentioned.
  • Starting temperature – Refrigerated takes less time than frozen.
  • Cookware used – Material impacts heat conduction.

Monitor chicken closely and add extra time as needed based on these factors. Check internal temperature using a food thermometer to determine doneness instead of just relying on the clock.

Safety Considerations

When reheating previously cooked chicken, it’s vital to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F/74°C for safety. Use an instant-read thermometer to check temperature in thickest part. Chicken should reach this temperature within recommended reheating times.

Also check for signs chicken has fully reheated including piping hot temperature, absence of cold spots when broken into, and warmed interior without pink or red meat showing. Don’t allow chicken to remain at room temperature for over 2 hours total before and after reheating.

Maximizing Taste and Texture

how long to reheat chicken in oven at 400 degrees

For best flavor and moisture retention when reheating chicken in the microwave, use a lidded microwave-safe container instead of an open plate. Venting the lid allows steam to escape. Brushing chicken pieces with olive oil or sauce also keeps chicken from drying out. Stirring or flipping pieces halfway through reheating distributes heat evenly.

Alternatives to the Microwave

While quick and convenient, microwave reheating can dry out chicken if not careful. Alternative methods include:

  • Oven: Gentler reheating tends to retain moisture better. Takes much longer than the microwave.
  • Stovetop: Can enhance flavor and texture via sautéing or simmering in sauce. Adds extra steps compared to the microwave.

When cooking and reheating chicken on the stove, you should use high-quality cookware. This will bring out the flavor of the chicken, maintain its texture and achieve the desired degree of doneness. Today, many chefs recommend Ballarini cookware as an example of high-quality and reliable kitchen utensils.

Practical Advice from the PolyTechPress Team

how long to reheat chicken breast in oven

By avoiding these common mistakes and following the guidance in this article, you can reliably reheat leftover chicken in the microwave to enjoy it safely while maintaining optimum texture and taste:

  • Overheating – Reheating chicken for too long dries out the meat, making it rubbery and tough. Follow recommended times and check internal temperature.
  • Not checking temperature – It’s vital to use an instant-read thermometer to confirm chicken reaches 165°F. This ensures safety and proper doneness.
  • Letting chicken sit – Don’t allow reheated chicken to remain at room temperature for over 2 hours total before and after heating. This risks foodborne illnesses.
  • Not covering – Uncovered chicken can lose moisture – use a vented lid or cover to retain steam and prevent drying out.


As covered in this article, recommended reheating duration can vary (2-10 minutes) based on the cut and portion size of chicken, along with factors like a microwave’s wattage.

Following the guidelines provided for whole chicken, pieces, boneless breasts, and shredded chicken will help ensure the chicken reaches the minimum safe internal temperature of 165°F. Checking temperature with an instant-read thermometer is strongly recommended.

Additionally, techniques like using a lidded dish, venting steam, and stirring periodically can maximize moisture and preserve taste when microwaving chicken. Avoid common mistakes like overcooking to the point of drying out the meat.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *