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Exactly How To Reheat Fish Sticks – I Test 5 Methods [Pics]

Anyone with kids will know just what God-sends fish sticks are.

But it can be a bit of a challenge to reheat your leftover fish sticks. The crumbed coating often ends up soggy and the fish inside dries out.

To find the best way to reheat my fish sticks, I tried 5 methods to see which one gave me the best results, with the least amount of fuss.

The best way to reheat fish sticks is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the fish sticks on a wire rack with a baking tray underneath it to catch any drips. Reheat the fish sticks for 5-10 minutes until they’re hot and crispy. For extra-crisp, use the broiler function.

(Unless you have an air fryer – if so, see below.)

A note on my experiment

I hate rubbery fish and soggy batter. So, I used that as my yardstick to assess how successful each method was.

This is what I tried:

  • In the oven (a little too time-consuming, but consistent results)
  • In a skillet (messy but a crisp outside)
  • In an air fryer (my favorite method)
  • In the microwave (avoid)
  • In the toaster (okay results, quick)

I’d recommend using the oven or the air fryer to reheat your fish sticks. 

They were the easiest methods and produced nice crisp fish sticks. If the oven is too slow, you also have the option to broil the fish sticks.

Reheating fish sticks in the oven

Preheat a toaster oven to 350°F (180°C) or a conventional oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the fish sticks on a wire rack with a baking tray underneath it to catch any drips. Heat the fish sticks for 5-10 minutes until they’re hot and crispy. For extra crisp, use the broiler function.  

How to reheat fish sticks in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F (190°C) or 350F (180°C) if it’s a smaller toaster oven.
  2. Arrange your fish sticks on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath to catch any grease that may escape as it heats.
  3. Heat the fish sticks for 5-10 minutes until they’re hot.

Tip: For quicker heating or to make them crisper, use the broiler function.

Using a wire rack allows the air to circulate freely, so the fish sticks crisp all the way around. 

If you don’t have a suitable wire rack you can use a baking tray, but you’ll need to flip the fish sticks over halfway through heating them.

My verdict

The oven was a really consistent method and all the fish sticks ended up nicely crisp (but not as crisp as with the air fryer).

If you only have a big oven, the process is a bit slow but this is less of a problem in a toaster oven. 

Reheating fish sticks in a skillet

To reheat fish sticks in a skillet, lightly oil a pan and place it on medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the fish sticks. Fry them on one side for 1-2 minutes, pressing them down a bit as they fry. Flip them over and fry the other side for another 1-2 minutes. Continue until they’re heated through.

How to reheat fish sticks in a skillet:

  1. Lightly oil a skillet and heat it on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the fish sticks once the pan is hot.
  3. Press down on the fish sticks, and fry on one side for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Flip them over and fry for another 1-2 minutes
  5. Continue heating until they’re crispy,

Pressing down on the fish sticks means more batter touches the pan so it crisps better.

You will only need to lightly oil the pan, too much oil and the fish sticks will become greasy.

Be careful when you’re flipping the fish sticks as sometimes the skin can pull away from the fish inside and fall off.

My verdict

The fish sticks got crispy on the outside and tasted delicious. 

They were almost as good as when I first made them.

The only downside is that it is a bit messy as you have to clean the pan and stovetop after frying.

Reheating fish sticks in an air fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 400F (200°C). Arrange the fish sticks in the air fryer basket with some space around them. Heat them for 4-5 minutes until they’re hot. If previously fried, there’s no need for extra oil, but you can spray a little oil on the fish sticks if you want some extra crunch.

How to reheat fish sticks in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place the fish sticks in the air fryer basket (optionally spray them with some oil for super crunch, but it’s not needed if they were previously deep-fried).
  3. Heat for 4-5 minutes until they’re hot.

Avoid overcrowding the air fryer with fish sticks.

Keep them in a single layer and leave enough space around each one for the air to circulate properly.

If you impede airflow, the fish sticks won’t crisp properly.

If you’ve got lots of fish sticks to heat, you might have to do them in batches.

My verdict

This is a great option and I was really happy with the outcome.

My batter crisped up perfectly and on biting into the fish sticks, I was treated to a delightfully crunchy texture.

The air fryer was also fast enough that the fish didn’t dry out.

Reheating fish sticks in the microwave

To reheat fish sticks in the microwave, arrange them on a microwave-safe plate lined with a paper towel. Microwave the fish sticks in 15-second intervals until piping hot. After heating the fish sticks, allow them to rest for 30 seconds before serving to avoid burning your mouth on the hot steam inside.

How to reheat fish sticks in the microwave:

  1. Line a microwave-safe plate with a paper towel.
  2. Place your fish sticks on the plate.
  3. Microwave them in 15-second intervals until hot.
  4. Allow the fish sticks to cool for 30 seconds before serving.

Heating the fish sticks in short time bursts means you’re less likely to overcook the fish.

The paper towel is there to soak up any grease that may leak out of the fish sticks.

Eat the fish sticks as soon as possible after they come out of the microwave because once they start to cool down they will taste horrible and dry.

My verdict

The microwaved fish sticks weren’t good.

All I got was a mouthful of soggy batter (yuk).

I don’t recommend this method unless it’s your only choice.

Reheating fish sticks in the toaster

To reheat fish sticks in the toaster, use a toaster bag. Arrange the fish sticks in the bag and heat them on high for a few minutes. You can use folded parchment paper if you don’t have any toaster bags. You need some sort of protection to stop any grease from dripping into the toaster. 

The toaster actually produced decent results. The fish sticks were evenly warm, and they had some crisp (although admittedly not loads).

How to store fish sticks

Blot any grease away with a paper towel and allow the fish sticks to cool to room temperature. Line an airtight container with a paper towel and arrange the fish sticks inside. Separate the layers with parchment paper and cover the top with a paper towel. Fish sticks will keep for 3 days in the fridge.

By allowing the fish sticks to cool down to room temperature first, you reduce the chances of condensation building up as they cool down in the fridge.

The paper towel will soak up moisture that does make it into the container, preventing the crumbed coating from becoming too soggy.

Can you freeze fish sticks?

I wouldn’t freeze fish sticks unless they’re homemade and have never been frozen before. Refreezing previously frozen fish sticks destroys their quality. The fish will be dry and the coating mushy. If you do want to freeze them, flash freeze them first and then keep them in a tightly sealed freezer bag.

How to freeze fish sticks:

  1. Let your fish sticks cool to room temperature.
  2. Arrange them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper so they’re not touching.
  3. Flash freeze the fish sticks in the coldest part of your freezer for 2-3 hours.
  4. Once they’re frozen, remove them from the freezer and put them in a freezer bag.
  5. Remove as much air as you can and seal the freezer bag.
  6. Label and date the bag before storing it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Flash freezing your fish sticks prevents them from sticking together when you transfer them to the freezer bag.

This allows you to take out only the amount that you need instead of having to reheat the whole bag.

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use a straw to suck the air out of the bag or submerge it in water to push the air out.

How to reheat frozen fish sticks

It’s not recommended that you thaw frozen fish sticks before reheating them because they can become very soggy. Reheat them directly from the freezer using an oven or an air fryer. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and heat them for 15-25 minutes on a wire rack over a baking tray to catch any drips.

Exactly How To Reheat Fish Sticks

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover fish sticks.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fish sticks, reheat fish sticks
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 249kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion fish sticks

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375F (190°C) or 350F (180°C) if it’s a smaller toaster oven.
  • Arrange your fish sticks on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath to catch any grease that may escape as it heats.
  • Reheat the fish sticks for 5-10 minutes until they’re hot.

Notes

Tip: For quicker heating or to make them crisper, use the broiler function.
Using a wire rack allows the air to circulate freely, so the fish sticks crisp all the way around.
If you don’t have a suitable wire rack you can use a baking tray, but you’ll need to flip the fish sticks over halfway through heating them.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 249kcal

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