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How to Reheat Food in the Air Fryer

To reheat food in the air fryer, preheat it to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the leftover food in the air fryer basket, ensuring proper spacing for even heating.

Reheat it for 3-5 minutes, checking for desired warmth. You can also lightly spritz food with oil to enhance crispness. Avoid overcrowding for optimal results.

Vegetables Reheated on an Air Fryer

With an air fryer, it’s so easy to enjoy your favorite leftovers in a fraction of the time!

How to Reheat Food in the Air Fryer 

If you have an air fryer, chances are you love it. It’s just so convenient, right?! I’ve gotten much lazier since investing in mine, but I’m not complaining. 

And reheating food in an air fryer is just as easy as cooking it. It’s a simple process that requires minimal effort. 

It has the convenience of microwave reheating but the taste and nutrition of the oven. Here’s a general overview of how to do it: 

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use 380 if your air fryer doesn’t increase in temperature by fives. 
  2. Once the air fryer is preheated, remove the basket and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. If you use air fryer liners, add one at this time, then spray it. 
  3. Place the food in the basket. Return the basket securely to the air fryer. 
  4. Cook. Most foods will require only 3 to 5 minutes to reheat. Keep a check on it. Remove it once it’s heated through. 

Remember to place liquid-based foods in an oven-safe dish inside the air fryer. You can safely reheat them that way without making a mess. (Admittedly, these reheat better on the stove.)

Also, keep in mind that these are general guidelines. Specific foods may require more or less heat and more or less time in the air fryer. 

Whole Roasted Chicken on an Air Fryer

Why Use an Air Fryer to Reheat Food

There are many reasons to use an air fryer to reheat your leftovers. The most obvious one is convenience. 

Most leftovers won’t need longer than 5 minutes in the air fryer. That’s pretty close to being on par with microwave reheating times. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. 

However, unlike the microwave, the air fryer keeps your food crisp and fresh. It doesn’t dry the leftovers out, and it’s easy to prevent burning and overcooking. 

After all, you have to set a timer on the air fryer. So even if you get absorbed in your Netflix show, the air fryer will stop cooking once that timer goes off. (Unlike an oven or the stove.) 

Finally, it’s a healthy way to reheat your food. Putting leftovers in the microwave has always been convenient. But it’s not always nutritious. 

Cooking food in the microwave sometimes zaps it of its nutrients. The air fryer will crisp your goods back into “just cooked” shape without leaching them of all their good stuff. 

Pizza Slices Reheated on an Air Fryer

Best Foods to Reheat in an Air Fryer 

You can reheat practically anything in an air fryer. However, some foods do better than others. Here are my favorite foods to reheat in the air fryer:

  • Pizza. The air fryer works incredibly well on pizza. It re-crisps the crust, melts the cheese, and warms the toppings. It’s my favorite leftover food to pop in the air fryer. 
  • Meat. Whether steak, fried chicken, or something else, meat does well in the air fryer. The only meats I avoid reheating this way are whole roasts and fish. I just don’t like the smell fish gives my air fryer, and roasts are too large. You can, however, slice the roast and reheat it that way. 
  • Fried foods. The air fryer is the best way to get that crisp coating on fried foods. This can include anything from chicken and chicken nuggets to fries and onion rings.
  • Roasted veggies. They crisp up nicely after a few minutes in the air fryer. If you originally fried your veggies in an air fryer, you can reheat them this way, too. 
  • Rice dishes. Place the leftovers in an oven-safe container before adding them to the air fryer. 
  • Burgers. Only reheat burgers if they don’t have toppings. Burgers on buns with cheese are fine. 
  • Breakfast foods. Most breakfast foods, from meat and eggs to biscuits and omelets, reheat well in the air fryer. 

Which Foods Should You Not Reheat in an Air Fryer?

Here are the foods better left to other reheating methods: 

  • Soups and stews. You can reheat these in the air fryer, but they do better on the stove. Using the air fryer can be a messy process that’s more hassle than it’s worth.
  • Gravies and sauces. Like soups and stews, these items are liquid-based. You can heat them in the air fryer with the proper equipment. However, if you have a stove or microwave, those are much simpler reheating options. 
  • Pasta dishes. Pasta dishes are typically covered in lots of sauce. That sauce is liquid-based (like soups, stews, gravies, etc.). 
  • Whole meats. I mentioned this above, but it merits repeating. Don’t heat whole meats (whole chickens, whole roasts, etc.). They’re too large and won’t reheat through properly. You can cut them into smaller pieces and reheat those, though. 
  • Large pieces of steak. Like whole meats, big chunks of steak won’t reheat well. Cut the steak into smaller pieces first, then reheat it. 
Chicken Slices on an Air Fryer

Tips for Reheating Food in the Air Fryer

Here are a few final tips to keep in mind: 

  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer. If you put too much in the air fryer, your leftovers won’t heat evenly or effectively. It’s better to reheat large amounts of leftovers in small batches than all at once. 
  • Don’t add liners to an empty basket. Doing so can cause your air fryer to catch on fire. Wait until after you’ve preheated the basket to add the liner. Then, ensure it’s covered at least 3/4 full with food before reheating. 
  • Set the timer yourself. Some air fryers have buttons for specific food items. Don’t use those. Set the timer and heat settings yourself. That will ensure you don’t overcook your leftovers. 
  • Shake the basket halfway through cooking. Alternatively, you can flip the food over. Either way, just be sure there’s some movement about halfway through the cooking time. It will ensure things cook more evenly. 
  • Check the food regularly the first time you reheat it. Check it every 3 minutes to ensure you don’t overcook it. Then, note how long it takes to reheat your favorite foods for future reference. 
How to Reheat Food in the Air Fryer

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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