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Food Hygiene & Safety

Can you Reheat Fish? The Science and Process of Reheating Fish


Lead Academy

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Want to save that fish fillet you made for dinner? Confused about whether you can actually reheat them? Worry not! You don’t have to throw out the leftover fish fillets after dinner. You can simply store them to reheat the next day.

If you are searching over the internet by typing- Can you reheat fish? this blog can provide you with the answer. You just need to spare a few minutes to know how you can reheat the dish that you prepared with so much love and care!
Simply, give this blog a read!

What is Reheating?

According to Merriam-Webster, “Reheating is to make (something) hot or warm once more.” When it comes to fish reheating, it means warming up the previously cooked fish safely at the correct temperature.

Can you Reheat Fish?

You might have had a wonderful dinner with your favourite fish curry or soup and now you want to save the leftovers for the next day. But, can you reheat fish? No wonder you can. You can safely reheat your fish after it has been cooked. The only challenge you might face is that it can dry out or get a fishy smell. As long as you know the proper way of reheating fish, you will never have to worry about reheating the leftovers.

You can check our other blog, Can you reheat salmon?

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Different Ways to Reheat Fish

Close-up of hand of man putting raw salmon steak into oven.

Fish can be reheated using an oven or stovetop depending on your preference; however, it would be better to avoid using the microwave. Find out how you can reheat your fish safely from below-

Reheating Fish using Oven

The standard oven is perfect for reheating medium to large-sized fish. For this, you need to-

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Spread your fish in a dish or pan and cover it with loose foil if it is unbreaded. If your fish is breaded or battered, you can leave it uncovered to help return the crispiness; however, you may lose the moisture.
  • Reheat the fish for 10-15 minutes and flip it over every 5 minutes.

Before putting your fish into the oven, let it thaw on the counter. You can season the fish with spices or a splash of lemon to liven up its flavour. The duration of reheating would depend on the thickness of the fish. If your fish is battered, reheat it a bit longer.

Reheating Fish using Toaster Oven

Toaster ovens work very well in reheating battered and fried fish. Most toaster ovens provide even and gentle heating.

  • Cover your fish with foil before placing it in the toaster oven.
  • Set the oven between 275-350°F.
  • Check continuously if it is heated and remove when it is warmed to your taste.

Reheating Fish using Stovetop or Skillet

You can use the stovetop to reheat fried fish if a fishy smell does not bother you. Use the same method of cooking if you are reheating sautéed fish or a fish stew.

  • Heat the skillet on low, then add oil and fried fish.
  • Check every three minutes to see whether it is heating evenly and you are not overcooking.
  • Flip as little as possible so that the fish does not flake.

Reheating Fish using the Air Fryer

Close-up of Air fryer with crispy fish cake roll.

  • Load your fish into the basket. Squirt a bit of olive oil over the fish.
  • Air fry your fish at 320°F for 4 minutes. You might flip them over with a pair of tongs.
  • Reheat the fish for 2 minutes more by increasing the heat to 360°F.
  • You can test for doneness by sticking a thermometer into the centre of the fish. The temperature should record at least 145°F.

Do not preheat your air fryer, otherwise it will increase in temperature as it reheats, causing the fish to overcook. Also, do not over-crowd the basket and make sure that the pieces do not overlap.

Reheating Fish using a Frying Pan

The best way to get that crispiness and extra fatty flavour of any fish is by shallow fry it in a frying pan.

  • Heat the frying pan over a low-medium flame. Coat the pan with oil and heat up for several minutes.
  • Depending on the thickness of the fish, shallow fry it for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • Wrap up the fish with a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil. Let it rest for a while on a dish lined with paper towels to get rid of the excess grease.

For extra richness and flavour, you can use clarified butter. Preheat the pan before adding oil and use a non-stick pan for good measure.

Let’s check out our other blog, Can You Reheat Chicken?

How to Reheat Whole Fish with Skin?

If you have a whole fish, whether a mullet, bass or bream, reheat it by keeping the skin as the skin will help to retain the moisture inside the fish. When reheating, warm slowly over low heat.

  • Preheat the oven to 275 °F
  • Place your fish on a baking sheet
  • Bake the fish for about 15 minutes
  • Once reheated, check the temperature. It should be 130°.

How to Reheat Skinless Fish Fillets?

In the case of fish fillets, the fish might dry out a lot when reheated. What you need to do is, you have to reheat the fish in the oven.

  • Preheat the oven to 275 °F.
  • Wrap the fish leftovers in foil together with the sauce to keep the fish fillet’s juiciness.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes.

Some Useful Tips to Reheat your Fish

Who doesn’t want to get the same taste from last night’s fish fillet or steak? Though you might miss the actual flavour, you can have your fish tender and juicy if you follow these simple steps-

Store Properly

Abstract illustration of fish fillets plastic tray container with cellophane cover.

Properly storing your leftover fish is important to get the best results when reheating. Before keeping your fish inside the fridge, allow it to cool down at room temperature. Then store it in an airtight container and do not keep it for more than 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Freezing your fish might reduce the flavour and texture of the dish, but this might be the only option for storing the leftovers.

Be Gentle

Since fish is a delicate meat, you should be gentle while reheating. No matter how you cook it, cook slowly and gently at a low temperature. While reheating, wrap the fish in tin foil to retain the moisture. Also, sprinkle some water if the fish is on the dry side, like salmon.

Raw salmon fish fillet in foil on black setting.

The Thicker the Better

The moistness and flavour can be well preserved for thicker cuts of fish. Thin fish like trout and flounder dry out and overcook quickly. Your fish will remain more tender and juicy if you are reheating tuna steaks or thick swordfish instead.

Try Avoiding the Microwave

Microwaves are quick and convenient, but they can dry out and overcook your fish. Reheating in a microwave might also reduce the actual flavour of last night’s fillet. Sometimes, the fish from the microwave spreads an unpleasant aroma due to the oxidation of its fatty acids.

Cover the Fish while Reheating

You can save yourself from fish smells by covering it loosely with foil while reheating in the oven. This will also prevent the middle of your fish from drying out before being warmed all the way through.


Can you reheat fish and chips?

Yes, you can reheat your leftover fish and chips in the oven, air-fryer or frying pan. It is better not to use the microwave since it can make the fish and chips soggy with cold spots in the middle.

Can you reheat fish fingers?

You can reheat fish fingers just like any other fish items. You just need to know the correct temperature and procedure to reheat your fish fingers in the oven or stovetop.

Can you reheat battered fish?

You can certainly reheat battered fish. They can be shallow fried, deep fried, grilled or even baked in the oven to reheat.

Can you reheat cooked fish in the microwave?

It is not recommended to reheat cooked fish in the microwave. Microwaves apply high heat and dry out your fish. It can also overcook your fish and spread an unpleasant fishy smell.

How many times can you reheat fish?

There are no limits to how many times you can reheat fish. However, the best practice is to limit doing so because the more you heat, the more you destroy the actual flavour and taste of your dish. It is advised not to reheat your fish more than once.


It might be hard for you to resist reheating the leftovers of your favourite Salmon or Tuna. But, reheating should not turn into a horrific experience! If you don’t want that pungent fishy smell because of reheating your dish, follow the above steps, you will definitely enjoy your favourite fillet the second time around!

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