Do you know how to reheat Chinese food in an air fryer? There’s nothing more indulgent than eating Chinese food when it is fresh and steamy. And it can still be very delicious the next day even if you eat it cold. However, reheating Chinese cuisine the wrong way, e.g. throwing the Chinese leftovers in the microwave oven, etc. can ruin the whole experience. The good news is, it is easy to reheat such food. All you need is an air fryer.
An air fryer is one of the most versatile and functional kitchen appliances. Among their many features, reheating is what air fryers are particularly well-known for. They make reheating leftover Chinese food super easy but a lot of people have very little idea about how to do it. This ultimate guide aims to offer help in this regard. It lists the basic steps you can follow to reheat Chinese food in the air fryer, precautions to keep in mind when reheating, as well as some useful tips. So, read on!
Types of Foods Can You Reheat in an Air Fryer
Before you begin, it is important to know which food can be safely reheated in an air fryer. Generally, you can reheat virtually all crispy foods bought from Chinese restaurants. Reheating stews, soups, gravies, etc. in an air fryer is not recommended, however. Reheating anything saucy or fluid in an air fryer does not seem to come out right. Battered foods are also not suitable for reheating in an air fryer unless they are pre-fried and frozen.
It is also important to note that you must thaw your frozen food before reheating it. Some specific Chinese foods you can reheat in an air fryer include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Chicken wings
- Sesame chicken
- General Tso's chicken
- Kung pao chicken
- Orange chicken
- Chow mein
- Spring rolls
- Chinese egg rolls
- Pan-fried dumplings
- Vegetables (except fresh, leafy greens)
How to Reheat Chinese Food in an Air Fryer
The right way to reheat Chinese food in an air fryer varies depending on what has been cooked. Since every food is different, there is no single set of instructions. You would have to see what food you are working with and then adjust your heat settings and time on the air fryer accordingly. Generally, the following instructions should work on all kinds of Chinese food leftovers you want to reheat:
1. If the food you wish to reheat is frozen, then you should always make sure to thaw it first. You can either refrigerate the food overnight or simply leave it on your countertop so it can thaw naturally over time.
2. Once you are all prepped, plug in your air fryer and preheat it for 5 minutes at around 400°F. Afterward, you can proceed to add your Chinese takeout food to the air fryer basket.
3. Next, slot the basket in and set the air fryer to 350°F for 2-3 minutes. Allow the food to cook for that specific time, and then carefully pull the basket out.
4. Check to see if your food looks crispy and warm. If it’s not, simply slot it back into the air fryer and reheat it until it is sufficiently crispy and warm. Don’t forget to check every minute or two to make sure the food doesn’t get burned.
5. Once your food is reheated enough, remove the basket from the air fryer and then take out the food from it carefully. Put the basket into the air fryer and turn the appliance off.
Some Precautions to Keep in Mind
Reheating Chinese food in an air fryer is quite easy. However, you must take a few precautions for safety purposes. These include the following:
- Once you are satisfied with the warmth and reheating of your food, remove the basket from the air fryer. Turn off the appliance but don’t clean it immediately because it is still hot and can burn your fingers. So, be sure to let it cool down and then clean it.
- If you plan to reheat a lot of food, then it is recommended that you do it in multiple small batches to avoid over-stuffing your air fryer. Over-stuffing an air fryer is never a good idea as it can either take a long time to heat the meal or it may simply damage the appliance.
- The degree of reheating varies depending on the type of food. So, be sure to monitor your food at regular intervals so that you can avoid burning it.
- Never put a lid on the air fryer while it is in use. This is because doing so might lead to an explosion. If the food you wish to reheat requires a lid, then it means it will not work well with this appliance.
Tips When Using an Air Fryer to Reheat Chinese Food
As you can conclude from the above-listed steps, reheating your favorite Chinese food in the air fryer is super easy. But there are always some tips you can follow to achieve the best results while also ensuring safety. Here are some air fryer tips you should consider following:
- Always preheat your air fryer. This isn’t only required when making recipes with an air fryer but also when you want to reheat the leftover food. If you don’t preheat the air fryer, it will not perform its function properly and lead to poorly heated food.
- If there are lots of Chinese food items to reheat, avoid cramming them all in the air fryer at once. Instead, it is highly recommended that you heat them in multiple batches. While it may be a bit time-consuming, it will result in perfectly heated food. Not to mention you will also ensure that your air fryer is not damaged.
- Shake, toss, or stir your fried food items to make sure they get reheated evenly. You don’t have to do this for baked food.
- Air fryers don’t use steam to cook or reheat. This means they don’t work like pressure cookers at all. So, don’t treat it as one. For certain foods, it’s even a good idea to use an actual steamer instead of an air fryer.
- Put about 2 tablespoons of water into the bottom of your air fryer basket before putting in any foods that need reheating, such as fried rice or lo mein noodles. This keeps them from sticking together while they cook.
- Add flavor enhancers such as soy sauce or oyster sauce for extra taste. You can also add sesame oil or ground ginger for an Asian flavor profile.
The Bottom Line
Even if you are eating the best Chinese food, sometimes you just can’t finish it all. You wouldn’t want to let that leftover meal go to waste. The good news is, you don’t have to toss it. You can give your tasty Chinese meal new life within just a few minutes with an air fryer.
Air fryers are certainly one of the wonders of kitchen appliances. Among the different methods of reheating Chinese food, using an air fryer is arguably the best one. You can reheat your meals with ease in an air fryer. The reheating of Asian food in an air fryer is a very fast process in which the crispy texture and delicious taste of the food are retained.
Follow the above-listed guidelines to reheat your Chinese food and be sure to modify the steps according to your ingredients, so you can have a great eating experience. Also, keep the precautions in mind to ensure safety. Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below Happy cooking!:)