Chicken breasts are known for how quickly they lose moisture and dry, especially if the right cooking instructions aren’t followed carefully. An air fryer, however, prevents this from happening. The rapid cooking time keeps the chicken breasts soft, while the high air circulation within the machine keeps the breading exceptionally crispy. All without using any oil, the results are short of a miracle!
In this article, you’ll learn the ideal way to cook boneless chicken breasts in your air fryer and some really helpful tips to achieve wonderful-tasting and satisfying results.
Chicken Breast Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Boneless Chicken Breast in Air Fryer
The following tips have been outlined to help you get the best out of the cooking process with boneless chicken breasts in an air fryer:
Ideal timing – Cooking chicken in an air fryer typically takes varying amounts of time depending on the size of chicken breasts you’re working with. Keep the following guidelines in mind:
- 7 to 10 minutes for small chicken breasts (5 to 7 ounces)
- 10 to 12 minutes for medium-sized chicken breasts (8 to 10 ounces).
- 12 to 16 minutes for large-sized chicken breasts (11 ounces or more).
To be sure that the chicken cooks evenly, flip it halfway during the cooking time.
Ideal temperature – The temperature control settings for air fryers vary by brand and model. Consult your handbook for suggested temperature settings if your air fryer does not have the same temperature setting specified in the recipe you’re following.
Working with frozen chicken breasts – Raw chicken in a frozen state can also be cooked in an air fryer. Sadly, it wouldn’t be possible to brine or pound them to an equal thickness (therefore, the results may not be as juicy). However, it’s still a nice option if you ever forget to defrost your chicken before cooking them in the air fryer.
In the Air Fryer, cook frozen chicken breasts as follows:
- Heat the air fryer to a minimum temperature of 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Smear olive oil over the chicken and season to taste.
- Using a nonstick spray, coat the basket of the air fryer.
- Afterward, cook the chicken in the air fryer for 18 to 20 minutes, making sure to flip the pieces halfway through.
A note on brines and marinades – The crunchy coating around the cooked chicken breasts should typically compensate for the lack of flavor from the marinade if you decide against using one. Plus, because of the air fryer’s rapid cooking time, the chicken breasts won’t dry up, which is one of the issues a marinade is supposed to help with.
If you still decide to marinate, go ahead and do it! A marinade must normally include fat, salt, acid, and flavor. One popular favorite you should try is a Ginger Soy Marinade!
Brines are usually reserved for larger birds like a full chicken or turkey. Brines can be excessively salty for individual boneless chicken breasts because they contain a lot of salt.
Cook in batches, if necessary – You can cook four chicken breasts at a time if they fit into your air fryer’s basket without overlapping. Cook the chicken breasts in batches if they’re particularly large, or use three chicken breasts at a time (the seasoning amount should remain the same). Cooking time will be increased by a minute or two for larger chicken breasts.
Storage and reheating tips – Keep the following in mind:
- Refrigerate chicken breasts for up to 4 days inside an airtight storage container.
- Gently reheat the chicken in an air fryer or a 350°F oven.
- Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months; however, they first need to be kept in an airtight freezer-safe storage container. Allow the cooked breasts to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
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Cooking Time for Boneless Chicken Breast in Air Fryer
The ideal cooking duration for boneless chicken breasts in an air fryer has been described in the table below:
Size of Chicken Breasts
Small chicken breasts (5 to 7 ounces)
7 to 10 minutes
Medium-sized chicken breasts (8 to 10 ounces)
10 to 12 minutes
Large-sized chicken breasts (11 ounces or more)
12 to 16 minutesPrint
- To begin with, olive oil should be brushed on the chicken breasts.
- Afterward, season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper on one side.
- Place the seasoned side of the chicken breasts down inside the air fryer basket. Season the opposite side after setting them up this way.
- Preheat your oven to 360°F and bake the chicken breasts for 9 minutes (this timing is assuming you’re using an 8-ounce chicken breast). Cook for an extra 9 minutes after flipping the chicken breast. Larger chicken breasts usually require a longer cooking time, whereas smaller ones require less.
- So that the chicken breasts don’t keep cooking in the heat, open the air fryer right away.
- Using an instant-read thermometer, measure the temperature of the chicken breasts in the thickest or heavier portion. The temperature must be between 158 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is below this, close the cover of the air fryer and leave the chicken to cook for a few minutes in the residual heat. Then double-check it.
- Place the cooked breasts on a platter and cover them loosely with foil, allowing them to rest for 5 minutes. In the remaining heat, the chicken will continue to cook (during this period, the juices will get reabsorbed into the meat). After 5 minutes, check the temperature again. The temperature must be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve right away, or set the chicken aside to prepare for dinner or another recipe.
When boneless chicken breasts are cooked in the air fryer, the results are so tasty and satisfying, and you’ll probably not want to eat chicken breasts any other way. Feel free to try and enjoy this recipe with your family; it’s a great way to put your air fryer to use.
If you’d like more recipe ideas for air fryer boneless chicken breasts, we recommend that you check out this video recipe.