None of us want to waste food, but there is no denying that sometimes reheating certain foods like chicken wings never tastes the same as when it is freshly made. Buffalo wings or battered wings are especially tricky to reheat, but don’t worry; this guide will give you some ideas and new methods that will give your reheated wings life.
Deep-fried chicken wings have been a Southern kitchen staple for years. The rise in chicken wing popularity came in the 80s when watching American football and nibbling this fast food were a match made in heaven. Bars, sports stadiums, and restaurants that were showing the game had to rustle up easy to manage food that was convenient, and wings were the number one choice.
Buffalo wings, on the other hand, are a far newer creation. In 1964, at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, one of the owners of the bar decided to cook leftover chicken wings in a hot peppery sauce. The wings were such a big hit that the owners put the saucy wings on the menu the next day, and so, “Buffalo Wings” were born!
Now that we know about chicken wings’ history and traditions let’s dive into some methods and reheating advice. Enjoy!
There are a few methods for reheating chicken wings, but not all of them are going to be appropriate for each wing type. Here are some methods for reheating buffalo wings, fried wings, and grilled wings:
In the Oven
This is the slowest reheating method for grilled wings, but if your wings are looking a little dry and your main goal for this dish is to get as much moisture back into the meat, then this is the way to do it.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the chicken wings in a baking dish and add a few tablespoons of chicken stock.
- Cover the dish in tin foil and cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Please note that cooking times will vary, so keep checking your chicken to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
On the Stove
Grilled wings taste great when they are reheated on the stove. This method doesn’t take long, and when done correctly, the meat will taste just as good as it did the day you made it.
- Grab a skillet and add a few tablespoons of chicken stock.
- Put the skillet on the heat and wait for the water to start simmering.
- Add the chicken wings and cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
In the Microwave
This is certainly the quickest and most convenient way of reheating chicken wings, but I have to say, it isn’t the tastiest. Use this method if you don’t have a lot of time or decide to take your leftovers to work with you for lunch.
- Place the wings in a microwave-safe dish.
- Splash the wings with some water.
- Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high heat for three minutes.
- Check that the internal temperature reaches 165°F before eating it.
In the Oven
Reheating fried wings in the oven will put the crispiness back into the wings. The only problem is that if you don’t keep an eye on them, they could dry out. Don’t worry though, if you make a nice hot sauce or aioli dipping sauce, you won’t know the difference.
- Preheat the oven to 360 degrees.
- Get a brush and a beaten egg and put a light egg wash over the wings.
- Once the oven has reached 360 degrees, lower the temperature and put the wings in.
- Once the top side has browned, turn them over.
- Keep an eye on them and serve once both sides are golden brown.
On the Stove
Reheating fried chicken on the stove is another great way of getting them nice and crisp. You will need a pan or skillet and some vegetable oil or butter for this.
- Grab your pan or skillet and add some butter or a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Heat the pan until the oil or butter is hot.
- Put the chicken on the heat and cook until golden brown on both sides.
- Serve once the wings reach an internal heat of 165°F.
In the Microwave
This method is not recommended for reheating fried wings as it will make the batter very soggy and unpalatable.
Turn Fried Chicken Wings into Buffalo Wings
Fried chicken wings can easily be transformed into fresh and delicious buffalo wings. Fried buffalo wings have a delicious fried chewiness that makes them unique and oh-so-yummy. Why not make a blue cheese dipping sauce on the side for added flavor?
- First, you will need to make the buffalo wing sauce. You can follow your favorite buffalo wing sauce recipe or simply purchase ready-made sauce from the grocery store; the choice is yours!
- Use the stove or oven reheating technique as usual.
- Dip the reheated wings into the buffalo sauce once ready and serve.
In the Oven
Reheating buffalo wings in the oven is a great way to get them nice and chewy again. Putting saucy wings in the oven can give them a wonderful texture, and it is a great way to bring buffalo wings back to life.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the oven is hot enough, put the wings into a baking tray and cook them evenly on either side.
- Serve the wings once they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Top Tip: Make some more buffalo sauce on the side just in case you or your guests want some more.
In the Microwave
Microwaving your buffalo wings is very convenient and actually tastes a lot better than you might expect. The moisture in the buffalo sauce keeps the wings soft and juicy. This microwave method may not be ideal if you are trying to reheat deep-fried buffalo wings as it will make the batter very soggy.
- Place the wings into a microwave-safe dish.
- Add some extra buffalo sauce.
- Microwave on high heat for three minutes.
- Check that the wings have reached 165°F before serving. If they haven’t, microwave them in one-minute intervals and keep checking their temperature.
When Shouldn’t You Reheat Chicken Wings?
Whenever you are considering reheating meat, you should inspect it to ensure it is safe for consumption. Look out for signs of mold, slime, or a strange smell. If your chicken doesn’t look or smell right, do not eat it.
Another suggestion I would like to make to you is to always defrost meat before reheating it. Cooking chicken wings from frozen can change the texture and cooking times, which could lead you to eat undercooked meat.
How to Store Wings
There you can store wings in the refrigerator and in the freezer. Planning your meals for the week will help you decide whether you should freeze your wings or not.
You can keep chicken wings in the refrigerator for up to four days, so that means that once the wings are cooked, you have plenty of time to think about how you are going to incorporate your leftovers in your weekly meal plan.
Wings should be placed in a sealable container in the refrigerator. Make sure that your refrigerator is set to the correct temperature setting. If your refrigerator is too cold, it may start to freeze food left at the back, and if it is too hot, it will not keep the food at an appropriate and safe temperature.
Top Tip: Writing the refrigerating date on a sticker and putting it on the box will help you keep track of the dates so that you can be confident that any food you grab is edible.
If you have lots of wings leftover that need freezing, you should freeze some of them so that nothing goes to waste. Frozen cooked chicken can stay in the freezer for up to three months, which is a great way of keeping ready-made food fresh and edible.
Vacuum sealed bags are ideal for storing wings in the freezer. You want there to be as little oxygen as possible around the wings to avoid freezer burns and damaged meat.
Do not overfill the bags. Ideally, place a one-person portion in each bag for convenience. If you do not have freezer bags, you can use a well-sealed container instead.
Benefits of Writing a Weekly Meal Plan
Making up a weekly meal plan for you and your family makes keeping food waste to a minimum easier. Small children can tend to be fussy eaters, but if they know what meals are planned for them during the week and there are no surprises, it can help them overcome their pickiness. If you want to learn more about the benefits of writing a weekly meal plan, take a look at the following points:
1.Planning your meals will lower food costs drastically. We spend hundreds and even thousands of unnecessary dollars on snacks and ingredients that we don’t need or use every year. For example, turning up to the office unprepared without any lunch could set you back over $20!
These numbers add up over time. No one is saying you can’t treat yourself to a take-out or restaurant meal at lunchtime now and then, but planning it is important.
2. Weekly meal planning also encourages healthy eating habits. If you know what you are going to eat during the week, you won’t buy as many ready meals, potato chips, and cookies at the grocery store.
3. The most beneficial pro to planning your weekly meals is that you and your family are more likely to sit down and eat together more often.
When reheating wings, or any other piece of meat for that matter, it is important to keep it as moist and hydrated as possible. This is so that the meat stays tender and doesn’t become chewy and hard.
Here are some methods that will keep wings moist and succulent:
Using steam during the cooking process is a clever way to keep the meat moist when reheating it. This can be done using a bain-marie or dampening the wings and covering them with foil in the oven.
Putting a few spoonfuls of chicken stock or water in a frying pan or oven dish and cooking the wings inside will keep them very tender. This isn’t such a great method for reheating deep-fried wings as it will make the batter soft, but if you aren’t looking for a crispy texture, this sure is a wonderful technique.
Covering meat with a damp cloth and heating the food quickly in the microwave is a great method to use if you are in a rush.
Tips for Reheating Wings
Remembering these simple tips and tricks will help you reheat meat perfectly every time.
- Always Check the Internal Temperature Before Serving meat. Undercooked meat can be very dangerous and unsafe for consumption. Checking the internal temperature doesn’t take long to do, so don’t miss out on this step!
- Moisture, moisture, and more moisture! There is nothing worse than dry wings, so use water during the cooking process to rehydrate your meat.
- Never cook wings from frozen. Always leave them out to defrost first.
- Check that the meat is safe for consumption before reheating or cooking it. Undercooked or gone-off meat is a huge safety hazard, so checking the food before cooking it is vital.
Do you have some unanswered questions about reheating wings? That is only natural! We all want to eat the best food, and cooking or reheating it in a suitable way makes a huge difference to how we enjoy our food. Read the following frequently asked questions, along with their answers to learn more.
Q: What is the best way to reheat chicken wings?
A: You should choose a reheating method from the methods listed above, depending on the texture and style you want. Not every method is appropriate for your leftover wings, so read through the guide carefully and choose the appropriate one for you.
Q: Can you reheat wings the next day?
A: Yes, you can reheat wings the next day. In fact, you can store wings in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Q: Can I freeze cooked chicken wings?
A: Yes, you can. Freezing cooked chicken wings is a great way to store them and keep them fresh.
Q: How long can I leave wings outside?
A: You shouldn’t leave wings outside for more than two hours. If the temperature is above average, you should only keep cooked wings out for about an hour. This is to ensure that the wings are safe to eat and haven’t developed any harmful bacteria.
Q: Can you eat pink chicken?
A: You should never eat wings or chicken that hasn’t been cooked for long enough for the internal temperature to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw chicken meat is very dangerous and should never be consumed.
Q: Can I eat chicken wings that have been out overnight?
A: No, you shouldn’t eat wings that have been left out of the refrigerator overnight. If the meat has been left out for more than 48 hours, you must throw it away!
Q: Does reheating chicken wings kill bacteria?
A: Foodborne bacteria can be killed off very easily by reheating the food to a certain temperature. In this case, chicken and chicken wings need to be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q: Can I make chicken wings ahead of time?
A: Yes, if you are expecting guests, or you want to prepare a meal ahead of time so as to take the load off you for lunch or dinner, then you can! Boiling or steaming chicken wings ahead of time and then frying them when you are ready to eat is a great way to cook.
Q: Is it possible to keep wings crispy overnight?
A: It is very hard to keep wings crispy if you are storing them in a refrigerator overnight. The best thing you can do is to wrap each wing up in kitchen paper and place them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This will keep the wings as crispy as possible. You might need to reheat them in the oven to give them added crunch the next day.
Q: How can I get my wing sauce to stick?
A: Using flour is essential to getting the sauce to stick to your chicken wings. The thick sauce sticks much easier to wings than thin and runny sauce.
Did you find the information in this article helpful? Hopefully, now you feel like a chicken wing pro. Please Let me know if you have any more tips and tricks up your sleeve and share some of your cooking secrets!