How to Reheat Fried Fish in an Air Fryer

by Véronique Raymond
fish fry with chilli

Reheating fish properly can be tricky to grasp. After all, fish usually break and dry out easily. Therefore, successful reheating hinges on knowing the ideal time and temperature.

If you have an air fryer it can come in handy in the process as it reheats without drying, breakage, and more importantly, your fish will retain the burst of flavour.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through a few pointers on how to reheat fried fish in an air fryer. The tips discussed are suitable for fish sticks, fish fillets, and battered fish.

A Step-by-Step Process of How to Reheat Fried Fish in an Air Fryer

To get started, follow the steps below.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Put the fried food onto the tray or air fryer basket while carefully leaving space between them.
  3. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Use a meat thermometer to check if the fish is reheated evenly before removing it from the air fryer and serving.

Tips on Reheating Fried Fish in your Air Fryer

Now that you know how to reheat fried fish in an air fryer, keep the following tips in mind for a better outcome.

  • Reheat similarly-sized pieces together. If the pieces of fish vary significantly in size, reheat them in batches.
  • Ensure the fish are spaced out for proper air circulation.
  • If the pieces of fish are oily, don’t add extra oil.
  • For fish with a drier coating, you might want to lightly spritz oil before reheating.
  • Turn over the fish gently to reheat both sides uniformly and avoid breakage.
  • Avoid reheating fish twice or more.
  • Reheat leftover fried fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 63°C (145°F).
  • It’s worth keeping in mind that the cooking temperatures we’ve mentioned can differ from one model to another. For that reason, it’s always wise to check a meat thermometer for doneness and increase the temperature if need be.

Preparation and Storage

Prepare Ahead

Set the fish out for 20 to 30 minutes for it to come to room temperature before you put it in your air fryer.


You can store leftover fish in your fridge for 2 days. Avoid reheating the leftover fish twice or thrice.


You can only freeze leftover fish that hasn’t been reheated for up to 1 month.

Easy Fish Air Fryer Recipes

Here are some quick fish recipes you can try out in your air fryer.

1. Lemon Pepper Fish Filet

Cook time: 10 minutes
Each Serving: 41g protein, 358 calories, 19g fat, and 1g carbohydrates
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 12 ounces of white fish fillets
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • Brush the fish fillets with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, and olive oil.
  • Put the fish fillets into the multi-level air fryer basket.
  • Insert the basket into the instant pot.
  • Cover the pot with the air fryer lid.
  • Activate the air fry mode and set the fillets to cook for 10 minutes at 360°F.

2. Old Bay Seasoned Tilapia

Each Serving: 21g protein, 102 calories, 2g fat, and 0.2g carbohydrates
Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • A pinch of salt to taste
  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper


  • Brush the fillets with salt, old bay seasoning, butter, and lemon pepper.
  • Transfer them into the multi-level air fryer basket.
  • Insert the basket into the instant pot.
  • Use the air fryer lid to cover the pot.
  • Set the unit to air fry mode and leave your fillets to cook for 7 minutes at 400°F.

3. Catfish fillets

Each Serving: 24g protein, 286 calories, 16g fat, and 6g carbohydrates
Cook time: 20 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 3 catfish fillets
  • ¼ cup fish seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Brush the fillets with dish seasoning and olive oil.
  • Put them into the multi-fryer level air fryer basket.
  • Place the basket into the instant pot.
  • Cover the pot with the air fryer lid.
  • Turn on the air fry mode and let the fillets cook for 20 minutes at 400°F.
  • After 10 minutes, garnish them with parsley on each side.
fish fry dish

Source: Pexels


Let’s delve into some of the most commonly asked questions about reheating fried fish in an air fryer.

1. Can you preserve leftover fish?

Yes! Let the fish cool before you put it in an airtight container to store it in your fridge. Leftover fish should be eaten in 2 days.

2. How long should you reheat fish in an air fryer?

You can reheat battered fish fillets, for instance, in 6 to 7 minutes. Nevertheless, the time required boils down to the model you’re using and the size of the fish. The smaller the fish, the less time needed. Tip: cooking food on high heat will not necessarily cook it faster – it will most likely just burn your food.

3. Should you reheat fried fish in a microwave?

While using a microwave is faster and more convenient, it’s not the best method as you’ll forgo the crispy fish coating that you’d achieve with an air fryer. To reheat the fish in a microwave, put it on a plate layered with a paper towel. Heat it in 30-second increments, remembering to flip each side until it’s uniformly heated.

4. Should you reheat the fish in the oven?

It’s a great option to consider for those who don’t own an air fryer. However, it takes a significant amount of time. Once you preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F put the fish on a baking sheet. Heat the fish for anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes or until it’s heated evenly. For the extra crispiness that makes the fish more flavorful, reheat it on an oven-friendly wire rack.

5. What’s the ideal temperature to reheat fried fish in your air fryer?

It’s worth noting that an air fryer is best suited to reheat fish at dual temperatures. Therefore, start heating your fish at 320°F before you gradually increase it to 360°F to heat through. Doing so means your fish will regain the crispiness you yearn for.

6. How long should you cook frozen fish in an air fryer?

Once you glaze the fish with hot oil coupled with seasoned breadcrumbs, it’s time to cook the fish. Transfer it to the basket of your air fryer and move the fried chicken carefully to avoid losing the layer of crumbs. Set your unit to ‘fry’ and leave your fish to cook for anywhere between 12 and 15 minutes. The breaded fish should be the same golden brown colour you’d achieve from frying after thawing. At this point, you’ll notice that your fish is not only infused with flavour but also flaky and would pair well with tartar sauce as a dip.

To Wrap Up

You can’t deny that fish breaks and dries out easily. Therefore, with insight into the proper reheating time and temperature, the process will be a success as there will be no drying, breakage, and your fish will taste great.


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