Chicken nuggets are delicious but can you eat cold chicken nuggets? We all know that most of the time, they are storebought, which means that they are already premade and frozen, so all you have to do is just heat them up.
The thing that you have food that was already stored and kept frozen for a long time makes us uncertain if chicken nuggets are safe to eat the next day.
When talking about homemade chicken nuggets, we don’t question if they are still edible the next day compared to the frozen ones. This is quite obvious, a lot of food that we are making is still edible the next day if stored properly in the fridge.
In this article, we will talk about what you should know when eating leftover chicken nuggets, how long they can last, and how to reheat them properly.
Can you eat cold chicken nuggets?
Yes, you can eat cold chicken nuggets as long as they are stored properly in an airtight container or a plastic bag in the fridge. You should not eat chicken nuggets that were stored in the fridge for more than three days.
Cold leftover chicken nuggets might not be as enjoyable as the hot ones, but this doesn’t mean that they are not safe.
We will talk later in the article about how you can reheat them properly and how many times it is safe to reheat the chicken nuggets. So if you want to eat them cold because you are unsure if it’s safe to reheat them again, stick with me a bit.
How long do leftover chicken nuggets last?
Leftover chicken nuggets can last up to three days if refrigerated properly. You have to put them in an airtight container or a plastic bag but make sure they don’t stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours because that is how long it takes for bad bacteria inside the food to develop. It is called the “danger zone” for meat, so most meat types that are not cured can’t stay at temperatures between 40-140 F for more than two hours.
Don’t leave your leftover chicken nuggets out overnight, and expect them to be safe the next day. The night has more than two hours, and I think you don’t have less than 40 F or more than 140 F in your house, or at least I hope so.
How many times can you reheat chicken nuggets?
Chicken nuggets should be safe to reheat twice or even more times. However, the texture and taste can suffer if reheated more than twice.
Make sure you store them properly and not let them at room temperature for more than two hours after each time you reheat them.
The thing here is that there is no one to say that chicken nuggets are not safe to be reheated more than twice, but I would advise against it just to be on the safe side.
You should know how much you can eat, more or less, but you can’t be that far to reheat 3x as many nuggets as you need. They always come in small pieces, so it’s easy to reheat just as much as you need.
How to reheat chicken nuggets?
There are a few ways to properly reheat chicken nuggets, each of them having its pros and cons.
-Reheating chicken nuggets in the oven.
This is the best way of reheating chicken nuggets in order to keep their crisp texture intact, so while you get the best quality out of your chicken tenders, reheating them in the oven is for sure not the fastest way of doing it.
It is not fast but is fairly easy, all you have to do to reheat chicken nuggets in the oven is to get the chicken nuggets out of the fridge to let them get to room temperature, preheat the oven to 375 F, put the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and place them in the oven for about 20 minutes.
How long you have to let them in the oven depends on how many chicken nuggets you have and how big the pieces are, so it is better to check from time to time.
-Reheating chicken nuggets in the microwave
This is for sure the fastest way of reheating chicken nuggets, the downside of this method is that you will lose the texture of your chicken nuggets.
If you are at work or in a rush, this might be the only way of reheating the chicken nuggets, and I would say that it is much better than eating them cold.
All you have to do is to place the chicken nuggets on a plate, only one layer preferably, and put them in the microwave for one or two minutes but do it in 30 seconds intervals to check them from time to time. Overmicrowaving them will dry out your chicken nuggets, so make sure you keep an eye on them.
-Reheating chicken nuggets in a frying pan on the stove
Reheating in a frying pan takes less time than reheating in the oven but more work.
You can reheat the chicken nuggets in a frying pan with a bit of oil, this method will keep them crisp enough, and it’s faster than reheating them in the oven.
All you have to do is to put a touch of oil in the frying pan, put the chicken nuggets in and keep them for one or two minutes on each side until golden and brown.
-Reheating chicken nuggets in an air fryer
Reheating nuggets using an air fryer is quite fast and keeps the crisp texture. The one downside is that you have to reheat them in small batches since the air fryer is usually quite small, and the most important thing is that you have to have an air fryer.
All you have to do to reheat them this way is to put them in the air fryer with a bit of oil to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the air fryer and let them there for 5 minutes on 350 F.
So, why eat the nuggets cold when you have all those good reheating ways for your chicken nuggets?
How to check if chicken nuggets are bad?
One last important thing to decide if it’s safe to eat the chicken nuggets cold is to check if they have gone bad.
For the packed ones, it’s easy since you can check the expiration date. But that doesn’t guarantee that you kept them properly after the first time you heat them.
So I will give you a few things to check before deciding to eat the chicken nuggets, even if you want to eat them cold or reheat them again.
-Smell. Bad chicken nuggets will have a rotten smell when they are thawed completely, so make sure you check them after being thawed since frozen chicken nuggets can be deceiving.
-Color. If you see any color change, you should discard the nuggets. Especially look for the change in the color of the meat since the outside will not change that much.
-Texture. The reheating method can also impact texture, but the chicken nugget should be quite firm, not mushy or soft.
-Taste. The taste is the last thing you have to check, but it is also an indicator, a sour or an off-putting bitter taste is a clear sign that the chicken nuggets have gone bad.
Read Also: How Long Does Halloumi Last?
Eating cold nuggets is possible, and used in a sandwich, a salad something like that might not be a bad idea. However, most of the time, especially if you are at home, there is no point in eating the nuggets cold since there are quite a few good reheating methods.
I hope this article helped you know what to do with your leftover chicken nuggets, and if eating them cold is the best option, go for it.