Guide: How Long to Cook Chicken in Air Fryer – Easy Steps

Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Francis

Cooking chicken in an air fryer is a quick and convenient way to achieve deliciously crispy results. Whether you’re craving tender and juicy chicken breasts or a flavorful chicken dinner, the air fryer is a versatile tool that delivers mouthwatering meals in no time.

Factual data: Air frying chicken breasts in the air fryer is a quick and easy way to make tender and juicy chicken. The key is to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are about 7 ounces in size. Start by mixing together spices like paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Lightly pound the chicken to flatten it and then coat it in oil and the seasoning blend. Cook the chicken in the air fryer at 375°F for 7 minutes on one side and then flip it over and cook for an additional 3 minutes. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts, ranging from 10 to 14 minutes. It’s important to not overcook the chicken to prevent it from drying out. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or frozen for later use. To reheat, add a teaspoon of water to the chicken and cover before microwaving to help retain moisture.

Key Takeaways:

  • Using boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are about 7 ounces in size is recommended for air frying.
  • Mixing together spices like paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper creates a flavorful seasoning blend.
  • Cook the chicken in the air fryer at 375°F for 7 minutes on one side and then flip it over and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • The total cooking time can vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts, ranging from 10 to 14 minutes.
  • Letting the cooked chicken rest for a few minutes before serving helps to retain its juiciness.

With these easy steps, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly cooked chicken in your air fryer every time. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or the whole family, the air fryer is a fantastic tool for achieving a crispy and flavorful meal with minimal effort. Try out this recipe and discover the convenience and deliciousness of cooking chicken in an air fryer.

Selecting the Right Chicken Breasts

To ensure the best results, it’s important to start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are approximately 7 ounces in size. This size ensures even cooking and prevents the chicken from drying out. Look for chicken breasts that are uniform in size and free from any blemishes or bruises.

how long to cook chicken is air fryer

When selecting chicken breasts for air frying, you have the option to buy pre-cut chicken breasts or whole chicken breasts that you can cut yourself. Both options work well, but cutting your own chicken breasts allows you to control the size and thickness for consistent cooking.

Make sure to thaw the chicken breasts completely if using frozen chicken. This can be done by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or using the defrost function on your microwave. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels before seasoning and cooking for the best results.

Tip: For added flavor, marinate the chicken breasts in your favorite mixture of herbs, spices, and marinades for at least 30 minutes before air frying.

Preparing the Seasoning Blend

Before cooking the chicken, create a delicious seasoning blend by mixing spices such as paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. This combination of flavors will enhance the taste of the chicken and add a delightful aroma to your kitchen. Adjust the measurements of each spice according to your personal preference, keeping in mind that a balanced blend will ensure a well-rounded taste.

To create the seasoning blend, simply combine the spices in a small bowl and mix them thoroughly. The paprika will lend a smoky and slightly sweet flavor, while the garlic powder adds a savory kick. Thyme introduces a subtle earthiness, and the salt and pepper bring out the natural flavors of the chicken.

air fryer chicken cook time

Pro Tip:

For a spicy twist, you can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the seasoning blend. Be mindful of the heat level and adjust accordingly to suit your taste buds.

Once you’ve mixed the spices, set the seasoning blend aside until it’s time to coat the chicken. This irresistible blend will infuse the chicken with a burst of flavor, ensuring a mouthwatering experience with every bite.

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Ingredient Measurement
Paprika 1 tablespoon
Garlic powder 1 teaspoon
Thyme 1 teaspoon
Salt 1 teaspoon
Pepper 1/2 teaspoon

Now that the seasoning blend is ready, you’re one step closer to savoring perfectly seasoned air fryer chicken. The enticing aroma wafting through your kitchen will leave you eagerly anticipating the final result.

Coating the Chicken

After creating the seasoning blend, lightly pound the chicken to flatten it, then coat it in oil and the spice mixture for maximum flavor. The coating process ensures that every bite of the air-fried chicken is deliciously seasoned and perfectly crisp.

To coat the chicken, start by brushing it with a thin layer of oil. This helps the seasoning stick to the chicken and promotes even browning during cooking. Then, generously sprinkle the seasoning blend over both sides of the chicken, pressing gently to adhere the spices to the surface.

Once the chicken is evenly coated, it’s ready to be placed in the air fryer basket. Make sure to arrange the chicken in a single layer, allowing enough space for hot air to circulate and cook the chicken evenly. Avoid overcrowding the basket, as this can lead to uneven cooking and less crispy results.

Now that the chicken is coated and ready to cook, it’s time to let the air fryer work its magic. Set the temperature to 375°F and cook the chicken for 7 minutes on one side. Then, carefully flip the chicken and cook for an additional 3 minutes. The combination of high heat and the air circulating in the fryer basket ensures that the chicken cooks quickly and develops a beautiful golden-brown crust.

Before moving on to the next section, take a moment to admire the perfectly coated chicken as it cooks to perfection in the air fryer. The tantalizing aroma of the spices will fill your kitchen, making you even more eager to enjoy this delicious dish. Once the cooking time is complete, proceed to the next section to learn how to flip and finish the chicken for a mouthwatering end result.

perfect cooking time for air fryer chicken

Preheat the air fryer to 375°F and then place the chicken in the basket, cooking it for 7 minutes on one side. This initial cooking time will help the chicken develop a crispy exterior and seal in the juices. Once the 7 minutes are up, carefully flip the chicken over using tongs or a spatula to ensure even cooking.

Continue cooking the chicken for an additional 3 minutes on the other side. This final cooking time will ensure that the chicken is fully cooked through and reaches a safe internal temperature. Remember to keep an eye on the chicken to prevent overcooking and drying it out.

It’s important to note that the total cooking time may vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Larger chicken breasts may require a slightly longer cooking time, while smaller ones may cook faster. Aim for a total cooking time between 10 to 14 minutes, adjusting as needed based on the size of your chicken breasts.

Once your air fryer chicken is cooked to perfection, remove it from the air fryer basket and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting time allows the juices to redistribute in the chicken, resulting in a more tender and flavorful bite. Enjoy your deliciously crispy yet juicy air fryer chicken!

air fryer chicken cooking time

Total Cooking Time Chicken Breast Size
10-12 minutes Small (5-6 ounces)
12-14 minutes Medium (6-8 ounces)
14-16 minutes Large (8-10 ounces)

Pro Tips for Perfectly Cooked Air Fryer Chicken:

  • Make sure to preheat the air fryer. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and prevents it from sticking to the basket.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Leave enough space between the chicken breasts to allow for proper air circulation and even cooking.
  • If you’re unsure if the chicken is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Feel free to experiment with different seasoning blends to customize the flavor of your air fryer chicken. Cajun, Italian, or lemon garlic are just a few options to consider.

Flipping and Finishing the Chicken

Flip the chicken over after the initial 7 minutes and cook for an additional 3 minutes for perfectly tender and juicy results. Flipping the chicken allows for even cooking on both sides, ensuring that each bite is flavorful and moist. This step is crucial in achieving that crispy exterior and succulent interior that makes air-fried chicken so irresistible.

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During the flipping process, you may notice the chicken starting to brown. This is a good sign! It means that the seasoning blend and oil are working their magic, creating a beautiful golden crust.

Once the additional 3 minutes of cooking time is complete, carefully remove the chicken from the air fryer. The internal temperature should reach 165°F to ensure it’s fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature if needed.

best-time-to-cook-chicken-in-air-fryer

Now that your chicken is perfectly cooked, it’s time to savor the deliciousness. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and juicy final product. You’ll be rewarded with a satisfyingly moist and flavorful chicken breast that pairs well with a variety of sides.

Takeaway:

Flipping the chicken and finishing it for an additional 3 minutes is a crucial step in air frying chicken breasts to perfection. This technique ensures that your chicken is cooked evenly on both sides, resulting in moist and tender meat every time. So don’t forget to flip and finish for that ultimate air-fried chicken experience!

Adjusting Cooking Time

The cooking time may vary between 10 to 14 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts used. It’s important to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure perfectly cooked air fryer chicken. Larger chicken breasts will require more time to cook through, while smaller ones may be done sooner. The table below provides a general guideline for adjusting the cooking time based on the weight of the chicken breasts:

Chicken Breast Weight Cooking Time
6-8 ounces 10-12 minutes
8-10 ounces 12-14 minutes
10-12 ounces 14-16 minutes

Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines and the actual cooking time may still vary. To ensure the chicken is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach 165°F (74°C) for fully cooked chicken. If the chicken breasts are thicker, you may need to increase the cooking time slightly. It’s always better to check for doneness and adjust accordingly.

Remember, the goal is to achieve a crispy and flavorful exterior while keeping the chicken moist and tender on the inside. Adjusting the cooking time based on the size of the chicken breasts is key to achieving that perfect balance. By following the recommended cooking time and keeping an eye on the internal temperature, you can enjoy delicious air fryer chicken every time.

Next, we’ll explore the importance of letting the cooked chicken rest before serving and provide storage and reheating instructions. But first, take a look at this mouthwatering image of perfectly cooked air fryer chicken:

perfect cooking time for air fryer chicken

Resting and Storing the Chicken

Allow the cooked chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving to ensure optimal juiciness. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful chicken. Simply cover the cooked chicken with foil and let it sit for about 5 minutes. This step is especially important after air frying, as it helps to lock in the moisture and prevent the chicken from drying out.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, making it a convenient option for meal prep. Place the cooled chicken in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to keep it fresh. To freeze the chicken, make sure it has cooled completely and transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container. Label it with the date and use within 3 months for the best quality.

When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover air fryer chicken, there are a few options for reheating. One method is to place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish, add a teaspoon of water to help retain moisture, and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat the chicken in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes. This will help to restore the crispy texture while ensuring the chicken is heated evenly.

Summary:

  • Allow the cooked chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving to ensure optimal juiciness.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or frozen for later use.
  • To reheat, add a teaspoon of water to the chicken and cover before microwaving or use the oven method to restore the crispy texture.
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Air fryer chicken resting and storing

Reheating Method Time
Microwave About 2 minutes
Oven 10 minutes at 350°F

Conclusion

Cooking chicken in an air fryer is a fantastic way to achieve perfectly crispy and flavorful results, all while saving time and effort. By using boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are about 7 ounces in size, you can ensure tender and juicy chicken every time.

To enhance the flavor, mix together spices like paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to create a delicious seasoning blend. Lightly pound the chicken to flatten it and then coat it in oil and the seasoning blend for an extra burst of flavor.

Cook the chicken in the air fryer at 375°F for 7 minutes on one side, then flip it over and cook for an additional 3 minutes. The total cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts, ranging from 10 to 14 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the chicken to prevent it from drying out.

After cooking, allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This will help to lock in the juices and ensure a moist and tender texture. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or frozen for later use. When reheating, add a teaspoon of water to the chicken, cover it, and microwave to help retain moisture.

FAQ

How long should I cook chicken in an air fryer?

The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts, ranging from 10 to 14 minutes. It’s important to not overcook the chicken to prevent it from drying out.

What type of chicken breasts should I use?

It’s best to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are about 7 ounces in size for optimal cooking results.

What spices should I use to season the chicken?

You can mix together spices like paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to create a flavorful seasoning blend for the chicken.

How do I coat the chicken with oil and seasoning?

After lightly pounding the chicken to flatten it, you can brush it with oil and then sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly on both sides of the chicken.

What temperature should I cook the chicken at?

Cook the chicken in the air fryer at 375°F for 7 minutes on one side and then flip it over and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Can I adjust the cooking time for larger or smaller chicken breasts?

Yes, the cooking time may need to be adjusted based on the size of the chicken breasts. Use the recommended range as a guideline and check for doneness using a meat thermometer.

How should I store and reheat the cooked chicken?

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or frozen for later use. To reheat, add a teaspoon of water to the chicken, cover, and microwave to help retain moisture.

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