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Can You Eat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets the Next Day?

Can You Eat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets the Next Day?

We’ve all eaten McDonald’s crunchy chicken nuggets. They taste pretty good when fresh out of the fryer, and the whole family tends to enjoy them around the dinner table.

It often happens that we buy too many nuggets, and many people wonder what you should do with the leftovers. Can you put them in the fridge, reheat them, and eat them the next day?

If you store them properly, you can eat your McDonald’s chicken nuggets the next day, even though they ususally won’t taste as good anymore. Additionally, you can refrigerate them for about 24 hours and reheat them in the oven. 

Keep reading this article and learn how to get the best out of your cold McDonald’s chicken nuggets.

Are McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Still Good the Next Day?

one day old mcdonalds chicken nuggets in a box with dipping sauce

We really like chicken nuggets, and while we mostly buy frozen store-bought nuggets or make our own at home, we sometimes buy a big pack of them at Mickey D’s.

We don’t always finish that pack, so we have first-hand experience of eating McDonald’s chicken nuggets the next day.

Our verdict? While you can safely eat one-day-old McDonald’s nuggets, they won’t be the best chicken nuggets you’ll ever have!

Depending on how you store them overnight, they’ll either end up dry or soggy, and they tend to lose some of their original flavor.

So if you want my recommendation, I suggest you finish those chicken nuggets while they’re still fresh and hot! They will undoubtedly taste better than eating them the next day.

Of course, there can always be leftovers, and you certainly don’t have to toss those! It is food, after all. And with a few tricks, you can still get a decent meal out of those old McDonald’s nuggets.

But you’ll have to store and prepare them the right way. So make sure to keep reading and find out how to do just that!

How Long Can You Keep McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets in the Fridge?

a bag of mcdonalds chicken nuggets in the fridge

Although you can generally refrigerate chicken nuggets for 3 to 4 days, you really shouldn’t keep your Mcdonald’s nuggets in the fridge for more than one day.

I find that 3 to 4 days only apply to either frozen or freshly cooked chicken nuggets, not the fast food type you can buy at McD’s.

The longer you keep them in the fridge, the worse they’ll get, both quality and taste-wise.

They can certainly manage a maximum of 24 hours in the fridge, but only if you package them correctly.

Don’t just wrap them up in plain plastic or aluminum foil; that’ll make them dry and hard.

And do not, under any circumstances, keep them in their original box! This might be the most convenient way of keeping them until the next day, but they can turn super soggy in that box.

Here’s what you do instead. Either put them in an airtight tupperware or a sealable freezer bag.

Those containers will keep your McDonald’s nuggets relatively fresh and rich in flavor.

After those first 24 hours, though, anything goes, and their quality will most likely decrease, even in these containers.

Can You Freeze McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets?

You can freeze McDonald’s chicken nuggets for 1 to 3 months without sacrificing much of their overall quality or flavor. 

But we have found that they can even last 3 to 6 months in the freezer.

Once again, it all depends on how you store them! An airtight Ziploc bag is probably your best choice. 

If you keep your nuggets away from any air or moisture and at a constant temperature of at least 0°F (-18°C), you can still enjoy them after many months in the freezer.  

How Long Can McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Sit Out?

mcdonalds chicken nuggets that have been sitting out for an hour

So how long should you keep them at room temperature, then? 

Whether you’ve just bought them, kept them in the fridge for a day, or kept them frozen for a few months and now want to defrost them, McDonald’s chicken nuggets should sit out for a maximum of 2 hours.

That 2-hour window is meant for food that sits out at room temperature.

If the temperature exceeds 90°F (32°C), you shouldn’t leave the food outside for more than 1 hour.

That’s because bacteria carrying foodborne illnesses thrive in such temperatures and can rapidly grow on foods sitting out for too long.   

Can You Eat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Cold?

You can enjoy your chicken nuggets cold if you want to, although they taste much better warm if you ask me.

They spread their flavor the most when they’re hot, making them taste a lot better than when they have cooled down.

Of course, sometimes, you just want to eat a few remaining cold nuggets, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Just remember to keep to that two or one-hour rule so you don’t get food poisoning from your cold nuggets!

Can You Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets?

But what if you want to eat your McD’s nuggets hot? Can you, and should you reheat them?

You definitely can reheat cold McDonald’s chicken nuggets. Whether they’ve just turned cold after you’ve bought them or they’re defrosting on your kitchen counter, reheating them will make them taste much better than eating them cold.

But how do you best reheat those nuggets?

How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets?

The internet will give you many answers to this question, and most food blogs will tell you to pop them into your microwave and nuke them for 30 seconds or so. 

But that’s pretty much the worst way you can reheat your Mickey D’s nuggets! 

The nuggets’ breading will turn very soggy, leading to an abysmal food experience when you eat them. 

We’ve tried the microwave a few times, and the result isn’t great! So don’t go for that alternative if you want your reheated nuggets to be yummy. 

Instead, you should reheat them in the oven! 

This might take a few extra minutes, but trust me; you’ll get a lot more out of them!

I only found one other food blog that suggested heating the nuggets in the oven the way we do it at home, which surprised me a little.

So here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°F (175°C)
  2. Put the nuggets on a wire rack. Don’t put parchment paper or aluminum foil on the rack. Just place the nuggets directly on it!
  3. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes. 

The amount of cooking time in the oven depends on the state of your nuggets, which is something to keep in mind. 

Sometimes, they undercook them slightly at McD’s. Other times, they will make them a little too crunchy. 

Just watch your nuggets closely and check the crust a few times! When they feel fresh and crunchy, they’re ready to be eaten!

Bon appetit!  

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