The Best Method To Reheat Chicken Fried Steak And Bring Back Its Crunch

Walk into a local diner or a mom-and-pop eatery somewhere in the southern United States and one of the dishes that's usually a staple on many menus is chicken fried steak. It's also a decadent dish to make at home. But when it comes to potential leftovers, the right method is essential to prevent soggy, tough, or overcooked steak. In case you don't know, the dish is a combination of thinly sliced steak that's battered and fried and served with gravy, but to maintain its crunch factor, avoid the microwave at all costs.

"Leftovers aren't ideal, but can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days," explains Michelle McGlinn, the Tasting Corner recipe developer behind our diner-style chicken fried steak recipe. McGlinn's two suggestions to reheat the leftovers and maintain their crunch are in an air fryer or your conventional oven. You might already know that one of the best uses for an air fryer is to reheat leftovers, and it's a faster option than waiting for your regular oven to preheat, although the traditional appliance is a solid second option. Either way, store the gravy separately so it doesn't make the fried steaks soggy.

Heat it quickly in an air fryer

To use an air fryer to reheat the extra chicken fried steak, set the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit so the steaks come out warm and crispy but not tough or dry. Depending on how thick the steak is cut, it should only take three to four minutes to be crispy, warmed through, and ready to eat. An air fryer uses hot air to heat food quickly, so it doesn't require much oil but you can add a little cooking spray on the bottom of the tray so it doesn't stick. You should also consider flipping the patties halfway through cooking.

You can also use your regular oven, but it might take a little more time. Set the oven between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While you wait for the oven to preheat, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper so the steak's breading doesn't stick to the pan. Another technique is to place the steaks on a wire rack over a baking sheet so the breading doesn't stick and gets crispy at the bottom due to air circulation. The steaks should be ready to go after about five minutes.

Heat the gravy separately, either in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave, then spoon it over the crispy reheated chicken fried steak. Then consider this hack for keeping gravy warmer for longer until each reheated steak is plated and served.