If you’ve ever had great, fresh fish and chips, you know it’s a combination of flavor and texture. The batter is crispy and the fish is light and flaky. So how do you get leftovers to come out the same way? Here’s how to reheat fish and chips!
Known as the national dish of Britain, “chippies” first began making fish and chips in the UK in the 1860s. Now more than 380 million portions of it are sold there every year. And millions more are consumed worldwide.
The common components of a great serving of this popular dish are a golden brown, thin, crispy batter and a light, flaky fish that isn’t too greasy.
Usually, I clean the plate when eating fish and chips… because they’re so tasty! But if you happen to have some left over, don’t worry. Here’s how to reheat them so you get that signature crispy texture every time.
The best ways to reheat fish and chips
When it comes to leftover fish and chips, you have 4 main reheating methods:
- Air fryer
- Toaster oven
The best way will be the air fryer due to the way it can heat foods more evenly. But the other three methods also work well.
Here’s a closer look at each of the different ways, along with step-by-step instructions on how to use them to reheat fish and chips.
How to reheat fish and chips in an air fryer
Ah, the air fryer. This is one of our favorite kitchen appliances. I’m not exaggerating when I say we probably use it at least every day, if not twice a day.
Rather than heating from the bottom up like a pan on a stovetop — or using gobs of oil like a deep fryer — an air fryer circulates hot air. That means each side of the food gets warmed up evenly. And it makes food crispy without drowning it in extra oil.
This is why the air fryer is the best reheating method for fish and chips. Every side gets hot and crispy, without the risk of it getting soggy.
To do it, just follow these steps:
Step 1 – Apply a bit of cooking spray to the air fryer basket(s) and to the fish and chips.
Step 2 – If you have an air fryer with two baskets (this is the one we have), add the pieces of fish to one side and the chips to the other in a single layer. This will allow them to cook more evenly.
A single-basket air fryer will still work well. Just be sure not to overcrowd the basket. You may need to do it in batches if you have a lot.
Step 3 – Set the temperature to 375° Fahrenheit and the time to 7 minutes.
Step 4 – Halfway through, flip the fish and give the chips a shake with a spatula or wooden spoon so they aren’t sticking together.
Step 5 – After 5 minutes, check to see if they’re done. If the fish and chips are not yet crispy on the outside and warm inside, air fryer them for the remaining 2 minutes.
⭐️ Note: The fries may be done before the fish. If that’s the case, remove them and continue warming up the rest.
Step 6 – Remove from the air fryer and let rest on a plate for a minute so they aren’t too hot when you eat them. Enjoy!
How to reheat fish and chips on the stovetop
Another great way to heat up fish and chips is on the stovetop. This uses more oil than an air fryer. But it’s quick and it still gets the food hot and crispy, so you shouldn’t end up with soggy chips or fish.
Step 1 – Warm up some vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat.
Step 2 – Once the oil is warm, reduce heat to medium-low and add the fish and chips.
Step 3 – Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes.
Step 4 – Carefully flip the fish and toss the chips. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, moving them around the pan in between so they don’t risk getting burnt.
Step 5 – Once the fish and chips are hot and crispy, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel so it can absorb any leftover oil.
How to reheat fish and chips in an oven
A conventional oven is also a good option for reheating fish and chips. It warms them evenly and you don’t need to add any oil. The only downside is that the oven method takes a bit longer than the other ones.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
Step 2 – Line a baking sheet or baking tray with aluminum foil. This prevents the fish from sticking to the sheet and the batter from coming off. Then place the fish and chips on the baking sheet.
Step 3 – Bake the fish and chips for 12 minutes. Flip the fish over halfway through.
Step 4 – After 12 minutes, check to see if the internal temperature of the fish reads 145° F. If it does, they’re done.
Step 5 – Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate.
How to reheat fish and chips in a toaster oven
If you prefer to do your cooking in a toaster oven, you’re in luck. Because you can use it to reheat fish and chips as well. And you’ll still get pretty good results.
The process is similar to that of a regular oven.
Step 1 – Preheat the toaster oven to 350° F.
Step 2 – Place the fish on a foil-lined toaster oven tray. Then cover with foil.
Step 3 – Bake for 8-10 minutes until hot and crunchy.
Can I heat up fish and chips in the microwave?
I wouldn’t recommend heating up fish and chips in a microwave oven, for several reasons:
- Microwaves aren’t great for making foods crispy. Rather, they often make foods softer when reheating them. This can leave you with a soggy mess instead of crispy leftover fish and chips.
- The microwave can draw moisture from the fish into the batter. So you’ll end up with the fish itself being dry, but the batter potentially ending up mushy.
- It’s very easy to overcook fish in a microwave. If you do, that can make it unpleasantly soft to eat.
- It can be smelly. There’s a reason no one likes the person who heats up fish in the office microwave. It can leave a lingering fishy smell.
For best results, skip reheating fish and chips in the microwave.
The most common fish to use is cod. This white fish is affordable, mild in flavor, and it becomes flaky and moist when fried well. Halibut is another great white fish option, but this thin fish is more expensive than cod. It’s also not unusual to see fish and chips made with salmon, though it’s an oiler fish and does not become as light and flaky as cod or halibut.
Fish and chips will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Just let them cool down completely first before refrigerating.
More answers about leftovers
Find out how to store and reheat more of your favorite leftovers. Check out these posts.