Best way to air fry chicken breasts

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Air frying chicken breasts is a convenient and healthier alternative to traditional frying methods, offering a crispy exterior and juicy interior without the need for excessive oil. Air frying preserves the natural flavor of the chicken while reducing calories and fat, making it an ideal option for those looking to enjoy a delicious meal without compromising on health. In this guide, we'll explore the best way to air fry chicken breasts, providing step-by-step instructions and tips for achieving perfectly cooked chicken every time.

Selecting the Chicken

  1. Choose Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: Opt for boneless, skinless chicken breasts for air frying, as they cook evenly and are easy to prepare. Ensure the chicken breasts are of uniform thickness to promote even cooking.

  2. Trim Excess Fat: Before cooking, trim any excess fat or skin from the chicken breasts to promote crispiness and prevent flare-ups in the air fryer.


  1. Brining (Optional): For extra juiciness and flavor, consider brining the chicken breasts before air frying. To brine, submerge the chicken breasts in a solution of water, salt, and any desired seasonings for 30 minutes to 2 hours in the refrigerator. Rinse the chicken breasts thoroughly before air frying and pat them dry with paper towels.

  2. Seasoning: Season the chicken breasts generously with your favorite spices and herbs. Common options include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, or a pre-made poultry seasoning blend. Rub the seasoning mixture evenly over the surface of the chicken breasts for maximum flavor.

Preheating the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to the desired temperature, typically between 360°F to 400°F, for 3 to 5 minutes. Preheating ensures that the air fryer is hot and ready to cook the chicken evenly from the start, resulting in a crispy exterior and juicy interior.


  1. Arrange the Chicken: Place the seasoned chicken breasts in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving space between each piece for air circulation. Avoid overcrowding the basket, as this can prevent proper airflow and result in uneven cooking.

  2. Cooking Time: Cook the chicken breasts in the preheated air fryer for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. The exact cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts and the model of your air fryer. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F, indicating that it is fully cooked and safe to eat.

  3. Check for Doneness: To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast. The thermometer should register 165°F, and the juices should run clear with no pinkness remaining. If the chicken is not yet fully cooked, continue cooking for an additional 1 to 2 minutes and check again.

Resting and Serving

  1. Resting: Once the chicken breasts are cooked to perfection, remove them from the air fryer and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. Allowing the chicken to rest allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful final product.

  2. Serve: Serve the air-fried chicken breasts hot as a main dish or slice them and use them in salads, sandwiches, wraps, or pasta dishes. Pair the chicken with your favorite side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, rice, or a fresh green salad, for a complete and satisfying meal.

Tips for Success

  1. Use Cooking Spray: Lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray or brush it with oil before adding the chicken breasts to prevent sticking and promote crispiness.

  2. Do Not Overcook: Avoid overcooking the chicken breasts, as they can become dry and tough. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature and remove the chicken from the air fryer as soon as it reaches 165°F.

  3. Experiment with Seasonings: Get creative with your seasoning blends to add variety and flavor to your air-fried chicken breasts. Try different spice combinations, marinades, or sauces to customize the taste to your liking.

  4. Adjust Cooking Time: If using chicken breasts of varying thicknesses, adjust the cooking time accordingly. Thicker chicken breasts may require additional cooking time, while thinner ones may cook more quickly.

  5. Avoid Overcrowding: Ensure that the chicken breasts are arranged in a single layer in the air fryer basket with space between each piece. Overcrowding can hinder airflow and result in uneven cooking.

By following these steps and tips, you can achieve perfectly air-fried chicken breasts that are crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and packed with flavor. Experiment with different seasoning blends and cooking times to customize the recipe to your taste preferences. Air frying offers a convenient and healthier way to enjoy delicious chicken breasts with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Whether served as a main dish or incorporated into your favorite recipes, air-fried chicken breasts are sure to become a staple in your meal rotation.