How to Reheat McDonald’s Nuggets? 8 Methods Explained

how to reheat mcdonalds nuggets

McDonald’s chicken nuggets are a world-known crispy delight, so it is easy to get carried away. Still, they are fried food and very greasy, so it is likely that you won’t be able to finish the entire portion in one sitting. Whether you have them at the restaurant or have them delivered, you might want to look at your storage and reheating options. So how to reheat McDonald’s nuggets? 

You can reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets in the oven, microwave, toaster oven, air fryer, waffle maker, on a stove, on the grill, or in deep oil. However, there are certain methods you should use to get the best results.

McDonald’s chicken nuggets are always welcome on my menu; however, I see that I don’t go too far, as they certainly are greasy. More often than not, I can’t finish the whole portion in one sitting, so I’ve had some unfortunate tries to reheat them. Exploring and experimenting, I have concluded a few things that will help you in this process. 

In the following paragraphs, I will explain how to reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets, what to do, what to avoid doing, and what works best for each method. 

Can You Reheat McDonald’s Nuggets?

Yes, you can reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets. But, since McDonald’s chicken nuggets fall under the fast-food category, first, I must give an overview of reheating fast food in general. 

The deciding factor in reheating fast food, including Big Mac, is the time from when the food was cooked until the reheating. Fast food, including chicken nuggets, is highly perishable, and it starts to disintegrate three hours after it’s been cooked. So, unless your chicken nuggets have been in the fridge, you shouldn’t reheat them, but sadly, throw them out. 

It is possible to reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets and make them as good as new. However, there are some details you need to consider to make this process run successfully.

Moreover, each of the reheating methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, so not all of them are suitable for everybody. Some methods require additional oil and a bit more time and effort. 

Still, if you properly follow the method of your choosing, your chicken nuggets will be delicious and as good as new without skipping the necessary steps.

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets in the Microwave?

The simplest and most obvious way to reheat your Mcdonald’s chicken nuggets is to microwave them. However, the nuggets tend to harden during the reheating process, so if you aren’t careful, you might end up with warm nuggets that are hard to chew.

There are two ways to avoid this from happening and restore your nuggets to be as close as they can be to freshly made. 

The first method is to put your nuggets on maximum heat for one minute in the microwave. After the time is up, take them out, cover them with aluminum foil, and let the heat distribute evenly. This will warm up the nuggets, and it won’t harden the meat. 

The air under the foil will evenly circulate and will give your nuggets the effect of air frying.

If you don’t use the foil, the nuggets will be warm on the outside and cold on the inside, and they will be hard to chew.

The other method is to microwave the nuggets in a few 30-second intervals on medium heat. Check your nuggets after each interval, and don’t let them sit in the microwave after you finish the last cycle. You can cover them with aluminum foil when you take out your nuggets, but it isn’t necessary. Remember to leave a 10-second pause between two intervals, check the nuggets after each, and don’t do more than five intervals

Regardless of which microwaving method you choose, you should transfer the nuggets from their original packaging and place them on a cloth-covered plate. The cloth will absorb the excess moisture from the nuggets so that they aren’t soggy when you’re done microwaving. 

If you leave them in their original packaging, your nuggets will be destroyed, as it isn’t suitable for microwaving and could also damage your microwave.

If you don’t cover the plate with a cloth, there won’t be anything to absorb the moisture, and you will end up with soggy and wet chicken nuggets.

Also, if you microwave your nuggets straight from the fridge, let them sit at room temperature for ten minutes before putting them in the microwave. 

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets in the Oven?

Another good way to reheat your nuggets is to put them in the oven. Here, the crucial thing is to place your nuggets on parchment paper and cover them with aluminum foil. Bake them at 350 °F, i.e., 180 °C, for ten minutes, and they will be as good as new. 

But, first, preheat the oven for about 10 minutes before putting the nuggets in. 

The parchment paper will prevent your nuggets from sticking, and the aluminum foil will help them rehydrate and distribute the heat evenly. So, don’t forget this step if you decide to use this method. 

If you don’t use parchment paper, your nuggets will stick to the pan, which will reduce the number of nuggets you can eat and will also burn them a little. 

Not covering the nuggets with aluminum foil will dehydrate them and harden them, making your nuggets dry and hard to chew. 

If you have just taken the nuggets out of the fridge, let them rest at room temperature for about ten minutes. 

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets in Toaster Oven?

A toaster oven s an excellent option to reheat your nuggets. You don’t need to cover them, as there isn’t much space for the hot air to circulate, so the nuggets will quickly absorb it without becoming soggy. 

Set your toaster oven to broil and let each side cook for about two minutes. Line your pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil to prevent your nuggets from sticking. If you don’t line your pan, the nuggets will stick and probably burn a bit.

As with the previous two methods, here too, you should let the nuggets sit at room temperature for ten minutes if you are reheating them straight from the fridge. 

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer?

This is probably the most efficient method with the best results. Since the air fryer works on air circulation, it won’t dehydrate and harden your nuggets. They will be soft and juicy, and you won’t waste time at all. 

In addition, it is a very clean way to reheat your nuggets, and it doesn’t require additional oil, nor does it include other steps.

All your nuggets need is three to four minutes at 400 °F, i.e., 200 °C and they will be as good as new. 

If they are fresh out of the fridge, don’t forget to let your nuggets rest at room temperature before putting them into the air fryer.

The air fryer is maybe the safest way to prevent burnt and hard nuggets. 

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets in Deep Oil?

Putting your nuggets in deep oil to reheat them is also a suitable method. It is pretty straightforward, and there isn’t much involved. But you must keep an eye on the hot oil, as it can heavily damage your skin.

The only thing you need to do is to preheat the oil before putting the nuggets in, and when I say preheat, I mean it needs to be boiling hot. Turn your deep fryer on five minutes before putting the nuggets inside and set the temperature at 400 °F, i.e., 200 °C.

Put the nuggets in the deep oil for 10 to 15 seconds and take them out. Don’t overcrowd the fryer. It is better to put fewer nuggets than it can fit. 

Put the reheated nuggets on a plate covered with a few layers of paper napkins to absorb the excess oil. 

If you use this method, expect your nuggets to be very greasy, so not covering the plate with paper napkins will be a huge mistake. Your nuggets will absorb the excess oil, and there will be a lot, which will significantly change their taste and structure. 

Let your nuggets sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before dipping them into hot oil if they are straight from the fridge. 

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets on the Stove?

This method is very similar to the one above, but you use a skillet or a frying pan instead of a deep fryer. 

Pour three fingers of oil into the skillet or frying pan and heat to 350 °F, i.e., 180 °C. Put the nuggets inside and let them fry for 15 seconds on each side. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, and put fewer nuggets than it can fit. 

As with the deep-frying method, you need the paper napkin-covered plate to absorb the excess oil. You should expect a lot of extra oil. 

Not covering the plate with paper napkins will make the oil absorb into the nuggets, giving you an extremely greasy meal, which would be better left uneaten. 

As always, let your nuggets sit at room temperature for 10 minutes if you have just taken them out of the fridge.

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets on a Grill?

Grilling your nuggets is a great way to reheat them. It is simple, easy, and significantly less greasy than deep and pan-frying. 

The only thing you need to do is to preheat the grill at medium temperature for four to six minutes before putting the nuggets. Then, spray the nuggets with a thin layer of cooking oil and place them on the rack. 

After four to six minutes, they will be ready. Keep them at room temperature before grilling them if they have been in the fridge. 

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets with a Waffle Maker?

Let your iron warm up for five minutes before you put your nuggets on it. Spray the nuggets with a thin layer of cooking oil and place them in. A very simple method, yet a very effective one. 

Please don’t put the nuggets too densely, but rather leave some space between them, about half an inch, between each two. 

Leave the hot waffle iron on the nuggets without pressing for one minute, and then gently press the waffle iron down. Once the top and bottom plates are one inch apart, stop pressing and let the nuggets cook for three to 4 minutes. 

Leave them at room temperature for ten minutes before putting them in the iron if your nuggets have been in the fridge. 

What Is the Best Way to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets?

The best three ways to reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets would definitely be the oven, toaster oven, and the air fryer, as they will really make your nuggets taste and look as if they were freshly made. 

The oven cooks the nuggets overall, without specific focus on any part, but you have to cover your nuggets with aluminum foil while baking them, as they will dry up if you don’t. The big plus of this method is that it doesn’t require oil to be additionally added to the already greasy nuggets. 

The toaster oven is an excellent method to reheat your Mcdonald’s chicken nuggets as it is very time effective, it is simple, clean, and here too, you don’t add oil. To avoid sticky nuggets, you just need to be careful and cover the pan with either aluminum foil or parchment paper. 

The absolutely best way to reheat your chicken nuggets is the air fryer. As practical as simple, this method will restore your nuggets as if they have just been made. You don’t risk drying or burning your nuggets, or do you have to worry about them sticking, as the air fryer pan is non-sticky. Your nuggets will come out of the fryer juicy and fresh and with no added oil. 

Can McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Sit Out Overnight?

Since McDonald’s chicken nuggets are highly perishable and start disintegrating three hours after being cooked, letting them sit overnight at room temperature is a horrible idea. 

They will spoil and become a breeding ground for bacteria, such as salmonella, so never leave your chicken nuggets at room temperature for over an hour, let alone overnight. 

Needless to say, if you accidentally leave your chicken nuggets out overnight, you can’t do anything to save them, and sadly your only option would be to throw them out.

On the other hand, if refrigerated, your Mcdonald’s chicken nuggets will be ok after a night in the fridge, after which you have to eat them, as they will hardly last another night. 

How Long Do McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Last?

If not refrigerated, McDonald’s chicken nuggets last for three hours after cooking. If you want to store them longer, you have to put them in the fridge. 

When refrigerated, you can extend the nuggets’ shelf life for about a day or a maximum two, but you have to store them properly. You must use either airtight containers, which is the best solution, or you can cover them tightly with plastic foil making sure that there’s no space where air could enter. 

The freezer can last for a month or two, again, if properly stored in airtight containers. If your freezer works on temperatures below 0 °F, i.e., -17 °C, your chicken nuggets will be safe indefinitely, a no bacteria can survive at those temperatures. 

How to Store McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets?

When you store McDonald’s chicken nuggets, make sure you don’t use the original packaging, as it is not suitable for storage. It isn’t airtight and is pretty soft. 

To properly store your nuggets, use shallow airtight containers. The containers need to be shallow so as not to have too much space to fit too many nuggets and not to have much air inside. 

If you don’t have airtight containers, place your nuggets on porcelain or metal plate, not plastic, not paper, as they will absorb the fridge moisture and transfer it to the nuggets. Wrap the plate tightly with plastic foil and make sure there are no holes or loose spaces for air to come through. 

Leave your nuggets on the top shelf to reduce the risk of them absorbing moisture from the fridge. 

If you want to freeze your nuggets, make sure they are in shallow airtight containers, and they will be safe for up to two months. You can keep your nuggets safe indefinitely if the freezer temperature is below 0 °F, i.e., -17 °C.

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!