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Reheat Fish Like a Pro – Best Ways to Revive Leftover Fish


Reheating leftover fish is a great way to reduce food waste and enjoy your favorite seafood dishes again. However, reheating fish incorrectly can lead to overcooked, dry results. Follow these simple instructions for reheating fish using microwave, oven, air fryer, griller or other appliances to keep it moist and flavorful.

Microwave Method

The microwave provides a quick and easy way to reheat fish.

  • Cut the fish into smaller, uniform pieces to help it heat evenly. Fish reheats better in smaller portions.
  • Arrange the fish pieces on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer. Avoid overlapping.
  • Cover loosely with a paper towel or microwave splatter guard. This prevents splatter and helps retain moisture.
  • Microwave on HIGH power in 30 second intervals until heated through, checking and turning the fish halfway. The time will depend on the amount of fish and thickness. Most fish reheats well within 1-2 minutes.
  • Allow to rest 1-2 minutes before serving. The fish will continue cooking from residual heat.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a knife tip into the thickest part. The fish should be hot and opaque throughout.

Pro Tip: Add a splash of water or white wine to the plate to create steam and prevent drying out.

Oven Method

The oven allows you to reheat larger portions or whole fillets and fish steaks evenly.

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Use a lower temperature to prevent overcooking.
  • Place fish on a lightly oiled baking sheet or oven-safe dish. Brush both sides with oil or butter for added moisture.
  • For best results, cover tightly with foil. This traps in steam to keep fish moist.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through. The time will vary based on oven, amount of fish and thickness.
  • Check internal temperature by inserting a food thermometer into the thickest part. Fish should reach 145°F.
  • Rest 5 minutes before serving. The residual heat will gently finish cooking the fish.

Air Fryer Method

Air fryers mimic deep frying for crispy, juicy results without all the oil. Use this method for both battered and non-battered fish.

  • Cut fish into smaller pieces, if necessary, for even cooking.
  • Spray or brush air fryer basket with oil. Place fish pieces in a single layer, without overcrowding.
  • Air fry at 380°F for 4-8 minutes, flipping fish halfway. The time will depend on the thickness and amount.
  • Check frequently and remove immediately once fish looks heated through and begins to flake. It will continue cooking off heat.
  • Let rest 1-2 minutes before serving to allow steam to redistribute through the fish for a moist interior. Enjoy!

Griller Method

You can use either an indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to reheat fish fillets to get a nice char.

  • Oil grill grates well so fish won’t stick. Indoor grill pans may not need extra oil.
  • Place fish over direct medium-high heat. Grill skin-side down first if cooking skin-on fillets.
  • Grill 3-5 minutes per side until lightly charred and fish flakes easily. Brush with a little oil or butter to prevent sticking.
  • Check for doneness using a knife tip down to the center. Fish should be opaque throughout.
  • Allow to rest off grill for 2-3 minutes before serving. The fish will finish cooking from residual heat.

Tips for Reheating Fish

  • Check the fish carefully before reheating. Look for any signs of spoilage like bad odors, sliminess, or discoloration. Only reheat fish that still smells and looks fresh.
  • Take the thickness of the fish into account. Thicker cuts like salmon steaks or tuna cuts will take longer to reheat than thin fillets or flakes. Adjust cook times accordingly.
  • Cut whole fillets or steaks into smaller pieces to help them reheat faster and more evenly. Pieces should be uniform in size.
  • Arrange fish in a single layer rather than stacking pieces when reheating. This promotes even heating.
  • Brush or drizzle fish with oil, butter, marinades or acids like lemon juice before reheating. This adds flavor and moisture.
  • Cover the fish with microwave-safe lids, parchment, foil or a paper towel when reheating to trap in steam.
  • Use lower temperatures and frequent checking to avoid overcooking. Fish can dry out quickly.
  • Allow a rest time after reheating so the heat redistributes through the fish and it finishes cooking gently.
  • Flake thicker fish pieces with a fork after reheating to check for doneness. Fish should be opaque throughout.
  • Add veggies, aromatics or a starch like rice when reheating baked fish casseroles or dishes to prevent drying.
  • For breadcrumb coated fish, mist it lightly with oil spray before reheating to recrisp the coating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to reheat fish in oven?

Most fish will reheat within 10-15 minutes at 325°F oven temperature. The time will vary based on amount and thickness. Use a food thermometer to confirm fish reaches 145°F at thickest part.

How to reheat cooked fish?

For cooked fish, use the microwave, oven or air fryer reheating methods above. Cut into smaller pieces if needed for even heating. Reheat covered to retain moisture until fish is hot and opaque throughout.

How to reheat baked fish?

Baked fish reheats beautifully in the oven. Simply cover the dish tightly with foil and bake at 325°F for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Check for doneness and allow to rest before serving.

How long to reheat fish in microwave?

Fish will typically reheat within 1-2 minutes in the microwave depending on the amount. Microwave in short intervals to avoid overcooking. Check for doneness by inserting a knife into the thickest part of the fish.

How to reheat grilled fish?

You can reheat grilled fish on an indoor grill pan or outdoor grill heated to medium-high. Grill briefly 3-5 minutes per side until reheated through and lightly charred. Brush with oil to prevent sticking.

How to reheat frozen cooked fish?

For frozen fish, thaw first by refrigerating overnight. Then use the oven, microwave or air fryer methods above to gently reheat until hot and flaky throughout. Add moisture like wine or broth to prevent drying.

Recipes and Recommended Product Models

Here are some example recipes for reheating fish using different appliances, along with 5 recommended models for each:


Lemon-Butter Salmon

  • Salmon fillet
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of dill

Brush salmon with melted butter. Place in microwave-safe dish, skin-side down. Splash lemon juice on top and sprinkle with dill. Cover with paper towel. Microwave on High for 1-2 minutes until flaky.

Recommended microwave models:

  • Panasonic NN-SN766S
  • Toshiba EM131A5C-BS
  • Sharp R-930AK
  • GE JES1656SMSS
  • Breville Quick Touch BMO734


Baked Mahi Mahi

  • Mahi mahi fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Brush fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes until fish flakes easily.

Recommended oven models:

  • GE JB750SJSS
  • Bosch HGI8056UC
  • LG LDE4415ST
  • Whirlpool WOS31ES7JS
  • Frigidaire FGIS3065PF

Air Fryer

Crispy Cod

  • Cod fillets
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Lemon wedges

Coat fillets in panko crumbs. Spray or brush air fryer basket with oil. Air fry at 380°F for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recommended air fryer models:

  • Cosori CP158-AF
  • Ninja AF101
  • Philips HD9641/96
  • Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1
  • Chefman 6.3 Quart Digital


Cedar Plank Salmon

  • Salmon fillet
  • Cedar plank
  • Maple syrup
  • Lemon slices

Soak cedar plank in water 1 hour. Place salmon on plank and brush with maple syrup. Grill over medium heat 15-20 minutes until salmon flakes easily. Top with lemon slices.

Recommended grill models:

  • Weber Spirit II E-310
  • Char-Broil Performance 4-Burner
  • Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 4-Burner
  • George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Grill
  • Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill

Reheating leftover fish allows you to cut down on food waste and enjoy your favorite seafood dishes again. With the proper techniques, you can revive refrigerated or frozen cooked fish using common appliances like the microwave, oven, air fryer and grill. Follow the recommendations in this article for reheat times and temperatures, moisture-adding ingredients, and checking doneness to ensure your fish stays tender and moist. With the ideal models and these foolproof reheating methods, you can reheat fish like a pro every time.

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