How to Cook Chicken in an Air Fryer

Air fryers are a great (and healthy) way to cook all of your favorite foods, especially those that may have a reputation for not being that healthy to begin with.

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Today I want to talk about something many people eat quite often, and how to cook it in the air fryer.

how to cook chicken in air fryer

Today we ware going to talk about how to cook chicken in a air fryer, no matter what kind of chicken you want!

How to Cook Chicken in Air a Fryer

When you cook chicken in the air fryer, it really boils down to three different types of chicken:

  • Skinless chicken
  • Chicken with Skin 
  • Breaded chicken

Now, I am going to teach you how to cook each of these types of chicken in the air fryer.

How to Cook Skinless Chicken in a Air Fryer

Cooking skinless chicken is the easiest type of chicken to cook in an air fryer.

Simply prepare the chicken how you normally would for grilling or sautéing.

Place it in the air fryer, and cook it at 400 degrees F.

Remember, the air fryer works by circulating very hot air around the food, like a very powerful connection oven or fan.

If you marinated your chicken, remove it from the marinade before you place it in the basket of your air fryer, just don’t dump it all in or you will have a mess on your hands.

How to Cook Chicken with Skin in a Air Fryer

This is a bit more difficult than cooking skinless chicken in the air fryer, but if you like crispy chicken skin, the difficulty is worth it.

Remember, as tasty as it is, chicken skin is basically fat.  As it fat is heated, it renders, or turns to oil.

According to our friends at, the smoke point of chicken skin is about 325 F.

That means if you cook chicken with skin above this temperature, you are going to be in for a horrible smoky mess.

I always cook my skin on chicken at 300 F.  This is hot enough to render the fat and make the skin crispy, but not hot enough to smoke out my kitchen.air fryer chicken thigh recipe with crispy skin

Don’t miss my Best Air Fryer Chicken Thigh Recipe, which is gluten free, dairy free, and allergy friendly!

How to Cook Breaded Chicken in a Air Fryer

When it comes to making breaded chicken in an air fryer there are a couple of secrets.

First, if you are breading the chicken yourself, add a little bit of your favorite cooking oil to the bread crumbs and mix it well before you bread your chicken.

The oil in the crumbs will help it get to that golden brown and delicious color everyone loves so much.

If your chicken is already breaded, there may already be oil in the crumbs.  If you don’t get the browning you desire, spray it with a light layer of your favorite cooking oil before putting in the air fryer.

I like to take a two step approach to cooking breaded chicken, which also depends on how thick the chicken is.

I start at a lower temperature like 350 F or 375 F to make sure the chicken has enough time to be cooked thoroughly.

Then, I raise the temperature to 400 F for a few minutes to help make that breading get nice and golden brown.

How Long to Cook Chicken in a Air Fryer

There are many things that come into play when cooking chicken in an air fryer.

The three main things are:

  • Thickness of chicken
  • Fresh or frozen chicken
  • Cooking temperature of chicken

You may need to experiment with the cooking time for your favorite type of chicken in the air fryer.

Remember, it is super easy to add more cooking time to an air fryer.  I also like to use a thermometer to make sure my chicken has been cooked to at least 165 F.

Here are some guidelines for cooking chicken in the Air Fryer:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast: 7-10 minutes at 400 F
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into pieces: 5-7 minutes at 400 F
  • Chicken with skin: 15 to 20 minutes at 300 F
  • Breaded chicken cutlets: 5 minutes at 350-375 F, an additional 5 minuses  at 400 F
  • Breaded chicken tenders or nuggets: 5 minutes at 350-375 F, an additional 3 minutes at 400 F
  • Frozen chicken: Add time based on thickness of chicken.  Add additional 5 minutes for cutlets, tenders, and nuggets.  Add additional 1o minutes for large chicken pieces.  You may also want to start at a lower temperature.

Remember, these cooking times are just guidelines.  All air fryers are NOT created equal, and each air fryer cooks a little bit differently, even if it is set to the same temperature.

Always check the temperature of your chicken when it is done cooking to make sure it is above 165 F.

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