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The Best Way To Reheat McNuggets [I Test 6 Methods]

If you’ve recently been defeated by a “sharing portion” of McNuggets, you may be wondering how to keep them and bring them back to their former glory.

(Seriously, who shares McNuggets?)

Reheating McNuggets can be a little tricky. It’s a fine balance between getting the coating crispy while not completely drying out the inside.

In this article, I personally test every single method of reheating McNuggets to find out which method rules supreme. These include using:

  • Air fryer
  • Toaster
  • Toaster oven (or oven)
  • Skillet
  • Microwave
  • Grill

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

What’s the best way to reheat McNuggets? The best way to reheat McNuggets is in the oven. Place the nuggets on a wire rack and cook at 350°F (180°C) for 8-10 minutes. For best results, lightly spray the nuggets with oil. Avoid placing the nuggets directly on a baking tray as this causes the bottom of the nuggets to go soggy.

A note about my experiment

After seeing so many conflicting suggestions posted online, I decided to put each method through its paces. Each reheating method was tested using 3 individual McNuggets (using a total of 18 McNuggets for the 6 methods).

How To Reheat McNuggets In The Oven (& Toaster Oven)

To reheat McNuggets in the oven, place them on a wire rack and cook at 350°F (180°C) for 8-10 minutes. For best results, lightly spray the nuggets with cooking oil. Avoid placing the nuggets directly on a baking tray as this can cause the bottom of the nuggets to go soggy.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Optional: spray the nuggets with a very light coating of cooking oil. This really elevates the crust and helps to mimic that ‘fresh-out-of-the-fryer’ texture.
  3. Place the nuggets on a wire rack in the middle of the oven.
  4. If you don’t have a wire rack, scrumpling up some tin foil so that the nuggets don’t sit completely flat will do the trick.
  5. Cook the nuggets for approximately 8-10 minutes.
  6. The nuggets should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
  7. Let the nuggets rest for at least 60 seconds before serving.

Thoughts

The oven is the best method for reheating McNuggets. It’s simple, effective, and gets the job done in just a few minutes. I was genuinely surprised by how good the McNuggets tasted after being reheated in the oven the next day.

If you have a toaster oven, use it. It’ll heat up faster and get the job done just as well.

How To Reheat McNuggets In The Microwave

To reheat McDonald’s McNuggets in the microwave, place them on a microwave-safe dish and heat on full power in 15-second increments. Once piping hot, let the McNuggets cool for 60 seconds before serving. Note that microwaved McNuggets will lose their crunchy coating and feel a bit limp (unless you have a microwave crisper).

Method

  1. Let the McNuggets come to room temperature before microwaving. This ensures that they cook evenly, improving the end result.
  2. Place the McNuggets on a microwave-safe dish.
  3. Cook the McNuggets on full power, checking them every 15 seconds.
  4. Once the McNuggets are piping hot, remove them from the microwave and let them sit for 60 seconds.
  5. Beware that any crunch the McNuggets may have had will disappear when using the microwave.

Thoughts

Many websites suggest using the microwave to reheat McNuggets, but I honestly question whether they have ever tried this method themselves.

Soggy, chewy, and rubbery McNugget-like lumps. The crispy coating that makes McNuggets so special: nowhere to be seen.

If a microwave is your only option, I would suggest investing in a microwave crisper pan. They’re clever-yet-simple pieces of metal that transform the microwave energy into conductive heat – similar to what happens on the stove.

This microwave crisper is great as it has a ridged bottom, helping to ensure the bottom of the McNuggets don’t get too soggy.

How To Reheat McNuggets In The Skillet

To reheat McNuggets on the stove, fill a skillet with 1” of oil and heat to 350°F (180°C). Place the nuggets in the hot oil making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry the McNuggets for approximately 20-30 seconds on each side. Let the nuggets cool on a paper towel briefly before serving.

Method

  1. Fill a skillet with approximately 1 inch of oil.
  2. Heat oil to 350°F (180°C). If you don’t have a thermometer – stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see bubbles form around the wood that then float to the top, your oil is ready.
  3. Carefully place the nuggets into the oil, making sure not to crowd the pan.
  4. Cook the nuggets for approximately 20-30 seconds on each side, turning once.
  5. Remove the nuggets from the oil and let cool on a paper towel for at least one minute.

It’s really easy to overcook the nuggets using this method.

Err on the side of caution and check on the nuggets frequently as they’re frying. You just need them to come back up to temperature (165°F or 74 °C) and no more. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, I would definitely consider investing in one (seriously, they’re so useful).

If you overdo the nuggets, they’ll turn rock hard with an incredibly crunchy and unappetizing crust.

Verdict

Slightly better than I expected.

You’ll either want to give this a try or think it’s the worst idea going. If you do try it, make sure the oil is hot enough to prevent a soggy, oily mess. Likewise, never leave hot oil unattended. The nuggets shouldn’t take much more than a minute (max) to be fully reheated.

Just try not to think about all the extra calories…

How To Reheat McNuggets In The Air Fryer

To reheat McNuggets in an air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 350°F (180°C). Place the McNuggets in the air fryer in a single layer, ensuring the air fryer isn’t overcrowded. McNuggets will take between 6-8 minutes to fully reheat. Let the Mcnuggets stand for 60 seconds after air frying.

Method

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes.
  2. Optional: lightly spray the McNuggets with cooking oil. This really elevates the ‘fresh-out-the-fryer’ feeling.
  3. Cook the McNuggets for 6-8 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  4. Let the McNuggets rest for 60 seconds after air frying.

Verdict

An air fryer is another excellent choice for reheating McNuggets.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference between using the air fryer and oven – especially when lightly spraying the McNuggets with cooking oil for both methods. In my tests, I used a fairly compact toaster oven with a strong convection feature. This likely aided the cooking process making it very similar in nature to how an air fryer works. If I had opted to use a large, traditional oven, the air fryer would likely come out on top.

If you have an air fryer available, I would use it. Otherwise, the next best option is to use the oven. 

How To Reheat McNuggets In The Toaster

I don’t recommend reheating McNuggets in a toaster. As the McNuggets are fairly small, you risk having a hard time removing them from the toaster once they’re done. You also risk some fat leaking out and creating a fire hazard.

You could potentially use a wooden skewer to hold a few McNuggets together while toasting, but this also comes with its own risks. 

Another (better) option is to invest in some toaster bags. The bag will make it easier to retrieve your nuggets, and it’ll catch any fat drips. Perfect!

Note: Inserting anything metal into a toaster can be fatal. Ensure that you exercise extreme caution and common sense if trying this method.

Verdict

I managed to toast a few McNuggets with average success. In my opinion, the extra work needed for something that appears ‘simple’ isn’t worth the end result. The nuggets were dryer and less appetizing using the toaster method.

How To Reheat McNuggets In The Grill

To reheat McNuggets on the grill, preheat the grill to a medium-high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes. Place the McNuggets on a wire rack and turn them once halfway through grilling. Optionally, you can spray the McNuggets with oil before grilling to enhance their taste and texture.

Method

  1. Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat.
  2. Optional: spray the McNuggets in a light coating of cooking oil.
  3. Place the McNuggets on a wire rack and grill for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Turn halfway through cooking to ensure an even cook on both sides.

Verdict

The grill method turned out OK. It’s less convenient than the oven as you have to make sure to turn the McNuggets to get an even cook. I would use the grill if I didn’t have access to an oven or air fryer.

Overall verdict

So there you have it. Six different ways to reheat your McNuggets.

My personal favorites are the air fryer and the oven. Both quick and easy, with a McNugget that is surprisingly close to what you’d get fresh out of the fryer at the restaurant.

If you take anything away from this article, let it be that the microwave is the enemy of McNuggets. Let me spare you the pain of having to eat a soggy, nuked McNugget reheated in that way.

If you’ve had success using any of my methods, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your stories.

How to store leftover McNuggets

To store McNuggets, individually wrap them in tin foil and place them in an airtight container. McNuggets stored in this way will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. For longer-term storage, you can freeze McNuggets. McNuggets will stay at their best for up to 2 months in the freezer.

Can you freeze McNuggets?

McNuggets can be frozen for up to 2 months. First, flash freeze the McNuggets by laying them on a baking tray and freezing for one hour. Next, wrap the McNuggets in foil and place them in an airtight freezer bag. This minimizes the chances of freezer burn and the McNuggets sticking together.

Is it safe to reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets?

It is safe to reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets for up to 4 days after purchase. To ensure you minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses, refrigerate the McNuggets as soon as possible. When reheating the McNuggets, the FDA recommends heating them to a safe internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).

The Best Way To Reheat McNuggets

If you’ve recently been defeated by a “sharing portion” of McNuggets, you may be wondering how to keep them and bring them back to their former glory.
(Seriously, who shares McNuggets?)
Reheating McNuggets can be a little tricky. It’s a fine balance between getting the coating just right and crispy while not completely drying out the inside.
In this recipe, I reveal my (tried & tested) best method for reheating McNuggets.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 person
Calories 250 kcal

Equipment

Wire rack
Tin foil
Oven

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion McNuggets
  • 3 sprays Cooking oil spray

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Optional: spray the nuggets with a very light coating of cooking oil. This really elevates the crust and helps to mimic that ‘fresh-out-of-the-fryer’ texture.
  • Place the nuggets on a wire rack in the middle of the oven.
  • If you don’t have a wire rack, scrumpling up some tin foil so that the nuggets don’t sit completely flat will do the trick.
  • Cook the nuggets for approximately 8-10 minutes.
  • The nuggets should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
  • Let the nuggets rest for at least 60 seconds before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 95gCalories: 250kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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