HOW TO AIR FRY CHICKEN: TIPS AND RECIPES
Chicken is one ingredient that lends itself to reinvention time and time again. The latest take—air fryer chicken—is an alternative to deep fried chicken or pan fried versions. Learn how to air fry chicken breasts, wings and more for a cooking technique that opens new healthy possibilities.
CAN YOU AIR FRY CHICKEN?
Yes, chicken is an ideal ingredient to cook in your air fryer. Though there are many different air fryer chicken recipes to try, most call for a light breading or seasoning and just a spritz of oil. From tangy BBQ chicken wings to herb-crusted cutlets, air fried chicken comes out moist on the inside with a satisfying crunch on the outside.
Learn more about getting started with our First Time Guide to Air Frying.
WHY USE AN AIR FRYER TO MAKE CHICKEN?
Air fryers produce similar results to deep frying with a fraction of the oil. If you’re craving the comfort of fried chicken, an air fryer can be an alternative way to prepare it. Air fryers can be generally less messy to use and clean up than other frying methods. Since an air fryer is smaller than an oven, you may generally spend less time waiting for it to preheat, too.
KitchenAid® Countertop Ovens with Air Fry begin preheating at the press of a button and signal you when it’s time to add your chicken or other dish. The KitchenAid® 360° Air Fry System with No-Flip Air Fry Basket allows you to air fry chicken and other ingredients without interrupting the cooking process.
WHAT TYPES OF CHICKEN CAN YOU MAKE IN AN AIR FRYER?
Depending on your air fryer capacity, you can make any kind of chicken in an air fryer—from fried chicken drumsticks and thighs to lightly marinated lemon-garlic chicken breasts. You can cook any kind of chicken you would put into your oven or on your cooktop or grill. The result will be closest to deep frying or convection baking, depending on your recipe. With a few exceptions, your only limitation is capacity.
The KitchenAid® Dual Convection Countertop Oven with Air Fry can fit two full size chickens (3.6 lbs each) for a juicy result with a crackly, golden-brown skin.
Click on the type of air fryer chicken below to learn more:
AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE
Chicken may be the single most-loved fried food across cultures (think Korean chimaek, pollo frito, schnitzel, ayam goreng and Southern buttermilk fried chicken). These chicken dishes all have one thing in common: a breaded, crispy, crunchy fried exterior. You can prepare these recipes and more in your air fryer and be confident that you’ll get a nearly indistinguishable result with a fraction of the oil.
Chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
Olive oil cooking spray
About 75 minutes
- KitchenAid® Dual Convection Countertop Oven with Air Fry
Resealable plastic bags or containers
Bowl or dish
Plate or wire rack
About 35 minutes
About 1 hour 50 minutes
STEP 1: MARINATE THE CHICKEN
Combine the buttermilk, chicken pieces, salt and pepper in a large airtight plastic bag or container. Place the bag in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour, and up to one night.
STEP 2: MAKE THE BREADING
Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder in a bowl or dish. Stir well.
STEP 3: BREAD THE CHICKEN
Remove the chicken pieces from the refrigerator and dip them into the breading mixture. Avoid coating the chicken pieces too heavily, which could cause clumps of dry flour to form.
STEP 4: FRY THE CHICKEN
Spray the air fryer basket with a thin layer of cooking spray. Preheat the air fryer to about 425 °F. Coat the chicken with cooking spray and place in the air fryer basket, cooking for about 25–35 minutes. (Cooking temperatures and times may vary between air fryer models.) The finished chicken should be crisp and have a deep, golden color.
TIPS and TRICKS FOR HOW TO FRY CHICKEN IN AN AIR FRYER
This classic comfort food can be customized however you like it with herbs and spices from a variety of cuisines. Try using panko, fresh ginger and rice vinegar in your breading mix for this Air Fryer Chicken Katsu Sandwich. Learn how to get started with answers to your air fryer fried chicken questions including tips on techniques along with ideal cook times and temperatures.
HOW LONG TO COOK FRIED CHICKEN IN AN AIR FRYER
It generally takes 15–25 minutes to cook many kinds of fried chicken dishes in an air fryer. This will vary depending on your recipe and portion sizes. Because air fryers use similar technology as convection ovens (rapidly circulating hot air), you may find some dishes cook faster in an air fryer vs. a full-sized oven or over a deep fryer. Keep an eye on your dish the first time you make it to get the timing just right.
WHAT TEMPERATURE TO AIR FRY FRIED CHICKEN
The ideal temperature for fried chicken in an air fryer will depend on your model, the quantity and your recipe. Many standalone air fryers use lower temperatures between 350 and 375 ℉ to air fry chicken. A countertop oven with an air fry setting may use closer to between 400 ℉ and 450 ℉ for fried chicken recipes.
OIL FRYING VS. AIR FRYING CHICKEN
Air fried chicken is hard to tell apart from deep fried chicken even for the experienced fryer. The exterior may be drier and crispier than the sometimes oily crust on deep fried chicken. While many see this as a benefit of air frying chicken, it may simply come down to personal preference. Other benefits of air frying include using less oil which can provide a healthier and less messy alternative to deep frying. You may spend less time on setup and cleanup since there is no need to fill a dish with oil or dispose of it afterwards. A small air fryer may also reach the temperature needed faster than a pan of oil, saving you time before you even start frying.
CAN YOU USE FLOUR IN THE AIR FRYER?
Yes, you can definitely use flour in an air fryer. Flour is often a key ingredient in the breading that gives deep fried chicken its memorable crunch. Use an egg or milk wash first to help flour stick to your chicken. When dredging, you may need to stick with just one layer of flour instead of double dipping. Because you will not submerge your air fryer chicken in oil, you could end up with some dry flour spots if the coating is too thick.
CAN YOU USE BREADING IN THE AIR FRYER?
Yes, fried chicken is just not the same without breading and air fryer fried chicken is no different. Breading can be made from seasoned flour, bread crumbs, panko, crushed cereals and more. You will want to stick with breading and avoid wet batter when frying chicken in an air fryer. If your outer coating is too wet, it will drip off of your food before it cooks.
CAN YOU REHEAT FRIED CHICKEN IN AN AIR FRYER?
Yes, using an air fryer to reheat fried chicken is the best method to regain its crispness. It will take much less time when you’re reheating vs. cooking so keep an eye on your food. If you’re using a KitchenAid® countertop oven, you can simply use the Reheat function to revive soggy, leftover fried chicken. Learn more about the many functions available on KitchenAid® countertop ovens with air fry in our guide to air fryer settings.
WHY IS MY AIR FRYER CHICKEN TOUGH?
The chicken may come out feeling tough when the pieces haven't been cooked long enough, or if the air fryer basket is too crowded. To combat this make sure to fill the basket properly, taking care not to let the pieces touch inside the basket.
Follow the temperature and cooking times of your recipe closely to help reduce the risk of undercooking your air fryer chicken. Use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken has reached an internal temperature of at least 165 °F before consuming.
DO YOU HAVE TO BRINE CHICKEN IN THE AIR FRYER?
Although it isn’t always necessary to brine chicken when air frying, it can give a delicious boost to your recipe. Brining in salty water is a great way to tenderize the meat and infuse flavor throughout. If you choose to brine before air frying, aim for about 3—6 hours for the best results.
Experiment with different types of seasonings to enhance your favorite recipe. Consider adding a touch of salt or a few garlic cloves to the brine for a delicious punch of flavor in the final result.
CAN YOU MAKE CHICKEN BREASTs IN AN AIR FRYER?
Yes, chicken breasts—like any other part of the chicken—are ideal for air frying. Add delicious flavors and textures to this healthy cut of meat for a weeknight dinner alongside your risotto or atop a bed of greens.
AIR FRYER CHICKEN BREASTS RECIPE
For a lighter take on fried chicken, marinate chicken breasts in your favorite flavorings, breading-free, and add to your air fryer. This lean cut is easy to overcook and dry out in an oven or even when pan frying. An air fryer can help you achieve a crisped-up exterior while sealing in the moisture with very little oil.
Additional seasonings (optional)
Olive oil cooking spray
About 15 minutes
- KitchenAid® Dual Convection Air Fry Oven with Air Fry
About 10 minutes
About 25 minutes
STEP 1: PREP THE CHICKEN
Preheat your air fryer to 400 °F. While the appliance is heating, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Cut the chicken breast into two halves.
STEP 2: SEASON THE CHICKEN
Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and any additional seasonings, such as garlic or onion powder.
STEP 3: FRY THE CHICKEN
Lightly coat the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pieces of chicken in the air fryer basket, making sure they don't overlap or touch each other to help ensure even cooking. Close the lid or door securely and set the timer for about six minutes at 400 °F.
Once the timer goes off, open the air fryer or countertop oven carefully and use tongs to turn each piece of chicken over; close again and cook for an additional 6—10 minutes, or until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 °F. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving.
HOW LONG TO COOK CHICKEN BREASTS IN AN AIR FRYER
Depending on your air fryer and portion sizes, it typically takes between 12–15 minutes to cook chicken breasts in an air fryer. In general, the thicker the breast, the more time you’ll need to air fry it. If you choose to butterfly or pound the breasts to an even thickness, you will want to reduce the cook time for your recipe.
TIPS FOR CHICKEN BREASTS IN AN AIR FRYER
One of the best ways to cook chicken breasts in an air fryer is to marinate the meat in your favorite oil plus seasonings beforehand. This helps add flavor and moisture to the chicken, and results in a crispier exterior without adding breading. For even more moisture, you can try the brining method of soaking chicken breasts in salted water for around 30 minutes before adding any oil or seasonings. However, you can streamline your process by skipping these steps and simply add seasoned breasts directly to the air fryer. You can even air fry raw, frozen chicken breasts, though this method is not ideal for imparting added flavors through spices or marinades.
CAN YOU MAKE CHICKEN WINGS IN AN AIR FRYER?
Absolutely. Chicken wings and air fryers are a match made in culinary heaven. Bread or season your chicken wings, air fry to crispy perfection, then douse them in your favorite sauce. Experiment with different flavors from bold and spicy to sweet and tangy, or have multiple sauces on hand for a special wings night.
AIR FRYER CHICKEN WINGS RECIPE
Just like fried chicken in an air fryer, wings are hard to distinguish from their deep fried counterparts. Because an air fryer crisps by moving heated air around food, ingredients with a lot of surface area especially benefit from this method. Wings will come out tender with a crispy skin.
- Chicken wings, tips removed
Olive oil cooking spray
Choice of sauce (i.e. hot sauce)
Ranch or blue cheese dressing, for serving (optional)
About 10 minutes
About 30 minutes
About 40 minutes
STEP 1: PREP THE AIR FRYER
Spray the air fryer basket with a layer of cooking spray and preheat to 360 °F.
STEP 2: SEASON THE CHICKEN
Season the chicken thoroughly with salt and pepper.
STEP 3: FRY THE CHICKEN
Place the seasoned chicken wings into the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook for about 12 minutes at 360 °F. Once time is up, flip the wings over with tongs and cook for an additional 12 minutes.
Flip the chicken wings once more, increasing the heat to 390 °F and cooking until the skin is crispy, about six minutes.
STEP 4: MAKE THE SAUCE
As the wings are cooking, prepare the sauce by melting the butter in a microwave-safe bowl before whisking in the hot sauce.
STEP 5: COAT THE WINGS
Finish the wings by tossing them in the sauce. Serve with your desired dipping sauce.
HOW LONG TO COOK CHICKEN WINGS IN AN AIR FRYER
Wings typically take 18–30 minutes to cook in an air fryer depending on the model, temperature used and quantity. Bone-in meat usually takes longer to cook than boneless cuts so be sure to adjust your time depending on the type of wings you want to air fry. The recommended time for wings air fried in a KitchenAid® countertop oven is around 18–20 minutes from start to finish—no need to pause for flipping.
TIPS FOR CHICKEN WINGS IN AN AIR FRYER
When making air-fried chicken wings, it’s important to dry the wings before adding them to the fryer. If you marinate the wings, dry them off before tossing in olive oil, cornstarch or flour (though you can air fry them plain, too). Make sure the wings aren’t touching in the air fryer basket so every angle gets beautifully crisp. Many recipes will call for you to increase the temperature during the last 5 minutes or so. Air frying at the lower temperature ensures your wings cook all the way through without drying out, while the extra blast of heat at the end helps caramelize and crisp up the skin.
CAN YOU MAKE AIR FRYER CHICKEN WINGS WITHOUT OIL?
Yes, chicken wings have enough natural oil in them to air fry without adding more. You can pat your wings dry, season and air fry for delicious, oil-free wings. If you are looking for that extra crunch, though, a little oil can help you get there. One method for extra crunchy air fryer chicken wings is to coat them in a thin layer of cornstarch and then spray with oil. This will produce an extra crunchy crust that just might make the added oil worth it.
CAN YOU MAKE CHICKEN PARMESAN IN AN AIR FRYER?
Yes, this Italian favorite is easy to make in an air fryer, bubbly cheese topping and all. You’ll first air fry the chicken, then add your sauce and cheese before returning to the air fryer. If you use a KitchenAid® countertop oven to air fry your chicken parmesan, you can use the Broil setting to give your cheese a golden-brown finish.
AIR FRYER CHICKEN PARMESAN RECIPE
Air fryer chicken parmesan will taste and look a lot like the traditionally prepared dish. Cooking your chicken breast in the air fryer is a great alternative to baking or pan frying.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Parsley, for garnish (optional)
Pasta, for serving
About 5 minutes
About 13 minutes
About 18 minutes
STEP 1: PREP THE AIR FRYER AND BREADING
Preheat the air fryer to 350 °F. As the appliance heats, combine the flour, bread crumbs, parmesan and Italian seasoning in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs.
STEP 2: DIP THE CHICKEN
Dip the chicken pieces into the egg wash, allowing any excess to drip off. Then, coat the chicken pieces evenly in the breading mixture.
STEP 3: FRY THE CHICKEN
Place the prepped chicken breasts into the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook for about 7–8 minutes at 350 °F. Once the crust has turned a deep brown color, add a few tablespoons of marinara sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella to the chicken. Cook for an additional 4–5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
If desired, garnish with fresh parsley and serve with a plate of pasta and sauce.
HOW LONG TO COOK CHICKEN PARM IN AN AIR FRYER
Most air fryer chicken parmesan recipes will take less than 15 minutes to cook once the ingredients are prepped. You will usually butterfly your chicken breast for this recipe, so the chicken needs less time to fully cook through. You can expect to air fry the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side if flipping, or 10 minutes total if using a no-flip method. Once you add the sauce and cheese, it usually just needs a few more minutes in the air fryer.
TIPS FOR CHICKEN PARM IN AN AIR FRYER
To make sure your chicken cooks evenly, cover the butterflied breasts with parchment paper and pound the breast with a meat mallet until it’s all the same thickness. This will also ensure the chicken cooks all the way through without drying out. If your air fryer has a broil setting, you can switch over to it in order to finish off your cheese. The broil setting will activate only the top heating elements, where you need it most.
CAN YOU COOK RAW CHICKEN IN AN AIR FRYER?
Yes, most chicken air fryer recipes will start with raw chicken. As always, make sure to use caution when working with raw chicken and keep your work surfaces clean. Prepping methods for raw chicken in the air fryer depend on what you are making. Be sure to follow your recipe for best results.
HOW TO USE AIR FRYER CHICKEN IN OTHER RECIPES
Air fryer chicken is a great way to enjoy the flavor of fried chicken without the excess fats and oils associated with traditional frying—and it's also incredibly versatile. Get creative with different recipes by adding air fried chicken to salads as a crispy and delicious topping, or chopping it into pieces and folding it into a quiche for an unexpected twist.
You can also try using your air fryer chicken in an enchilada casserole by layering it between tortillas and cheese or mix it with soft cooked pasta for a delicious homemade chicken noodle soup.
HOW TO STORE AIR FRYER CHICKEN
Air fried chicken makes for a delicious snack or meal, but proper storage is essential to ensure optimal flavor and texture. Allow the chicken to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container, or wrap the pieces in aluminum foil. and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
When you’re ready to enjoy your leftovers, you can reheat the chicken in the air fryer for a few minutes to regain its delicious crispy texture.
Shop KitchenAid® Countertop Ovens with Air Fry
Choose from two different KitchenAid® countertop ovens featuring the KitchenAid® 360° Air Fry System with No-Flip Air Fry Basket. Cook foods from crisp fried chicken to delicate fish, without the need to stop and flip food or shake the basket. Both are designed to offer endless possibilities and help you make delicious air fried recipes using little to no oil.
EXPLORE MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES FROM KITCHENAID BRAND
How to Cook Steak in an Air Fryer Toaster Oven Learn how to cook a perfectly seared, juicy steak in an air fryer toaster oven. Discover cooking and temperature tips with this air fryer steak recipe.
How to Cook Air Fryer Vegetables: Recipes and Tips Learn how to cook vegetables in an air fryer. From roasting to cooking - our guide will help you prepare air fryer vegetable recipes for the whole family.
Air Frying Tips: Air Fryer French Fries Discover our air frying tips guide to make the best air fryer french fries. You’ll learn how long to air fry french fries, the best potatoes to make french fries and more.