How To Cook Chicken Breast In An Air Fryer Perfectly, 3 Ways

Chicken breast baked with monterey cheese and cheddar, bacon, tomatoes and barbecue sauce close-up on the table. horizontal top view from above

How To Cook Chicken Breast In An Air Fryer Perfectly, 3 Ways

Chicken is a lean and popular meat. One reason it is popular is because of the versatility it carries. The recipes to which chicken can be added are endless! Whether you love chicken tacos, alfredo, or a simple chicken salad, there are many possibilities. Additionally, chicken is a lean meat, making it very healthy. However, sometimes, chicken can seem monotonous and bland. That is why knowing the best tips on how to cook chicken breast in an air fryer can come in handy! 

Tips to Keep in Mind Before Cooking Chicken Breasts

If you want to enjoy succulent and tender chicken this week for dinner, look at these tips before making the perfect chicken breasts in the air fryer. 

  • An instant-read thermometer will give you the quickest answer to knowing when the chicken is ready to eat. 
  • Allowing meat to rest gives it time to continue to cook. Pulling it from the air fryer at around 160 degrees will give the chicken time to rest, reaching 165 degrees Fahrenheit, without becoming chewy and dry. 
  • Tenting the chicken with foil after removing it from the heat traps the warmth. 
  • Use your favorite seasoning rub and olive oil on the chicken for added flavor. 
  • One of the main reasons for dry chicken is overcooking. 
  • You can store cooked chicken in a refrigerator for four days in an airtight container.
  • Frozen cooked chicken can last for three months.
  • Some great seasonings for chicken are premade, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. For spicier chicken, use cayenne pepper or cumin.
  • Brining chicken is one way to give it moisture and flavor before cooking. This process also helps produce juicy and tender results. 
  • The size of the chicken will determine the time needed for cooking in the air fryer. Small chicken needs around 7 to 10 minutes, while large chicken breasts need around 12 to 16 minutes or sometimes more. 
  • Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The Benefits of Using an Air Fryer

Air fryers are becoming more and more popular across homes. There are several benefits to using an air fryer. For starters, many claims state that they are better than deep-frying foods for several reasons. One of the main reasons is the lack of hot oil, which means the fat content is automatically lower. 

The way an air fryer works is very unique. It pushes hot air down and around the food, cooking it until the outer layer becomes crunchy. Yet the inside stays juicy or soft. Food in an air fryer responds this way because it has reached the Maillard reaction. If you are looking for convenient and simple ways to cook chicken in an air fryer, look below! 

An electric Air Fryer on table with blurred kitchen background. Lifestyle of new normal cooking.
Air fryers are popular in many homes. They are quick and easy to put a healthy dinner on the table any day of the week!

©Casezy idea/Shutterstock.com

How to Cook Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer, Perfectly

Below are simple ways to cook chicken breast in an air fryer perfectly. These cooking methods utilize olive oil, seasoning, and marinades to deliver juicy and tender meat time and time again! 

Chicken Breast With a Seasoning Rub

The Time it Takes: 7 to 16 minutes

What You Need

  • Air fryer
  • Cutting board
  • Meat mallet
  • Bowl
  • Olive oil
  • Combination of spices such as pepper, paprika, and garlic powder
  • Chicken breasts 
  • Salt
  • Meat thermometer


The first step in cooking delicious and tender chicken breast in the air fryer is to pound the chicken with a meat mallet until it reaches around 1/4 inch of thickness. Placing the chicken into a ziplock bag can prevent this process from being too messy. Otherwise, use a cutting board when pounding the chicken. 

Next, brine the meat with a saltwater mixture or dry salt. Then, allow the chicken to sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The salt will penetrate the meat, add flavor, and allow it to absorb more moisture. While you wait, combine your seasonings to create your seasoning blend, or use a premade one. 

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature; this helps it cook evenly in the air fryer. 

When ready to cook, rub the seasoning blend onto both sides of the chicken breasts. Then, drizzle the olive oil over both sides of the chicken breasts.

Place the chicken in the air fryer and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of time the chicken cooks will vary depending on the size of the chicken. For smaller chicken, cook for around 6 to 7 minutes; for larger chicken breasts, cook for 12 to 16 minutes. Halfway through cooking, turn the chicken breast. When the temperature reaches at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from the heat, tent, and allow to rest. Giving chicken 5 to 10 minutes to rest after cooking will allow it to continue to cook, reaching the necessary internal temperature without overcooking. Eat while hot as a main dish or with your favorite meal! 

Note: Chicken is considered safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Cooking skinless chicken breast with spices in an air fryer
Air frying chicken breast is an excellent and quick way to cook a juicy and tender chicken breast. A quick seasoning rub with olive oil enhances flavor.

©Francisco Zeledon/Shutterstock.com

Chicken Breast With a Marinade 

Time it Takes: 7 to 16 minutes

What You Need

  • Airy fryer
  • Meat mallet
  • Cutting board/or ziplock bag
  • Bowl
  • Preferred spices
  • Chicken breasts 
  • Salt
  • Favorite marinade 


Marinated chicken adds delicious flavor and can be adaptable to fit whatever weeknight dinner you have planned. The marinade will keep the chicken breasts juicy and tender. 

The first step is the same as cooking chicken with just seasoning. Pound the chicken until it reaches around 1/4 inch in thickness. This can be done with a ziplock bag or on a cutting board. 

Then, brine the chicken with salt water solution or dry salt. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and then remove and allow to reach room temperature. 

Make your marinade or prepare a premade one by placing it in a bowl during this time. Set aside. 

Before cooking, place the chicken into the marinade bowl and cover completely. Chicken breast that marinates for at least 30 minutes has time to absorb the liquid for a juicier and more flavorful bite. You can marinate chicken for up to 12 hours in the refrigerator; this step is great to do in the morning before going about your day.

Spray the air fryer with cooking oil. When ready to cook, place the marinated chicken in the air fryer and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 16 to 20 minutes. The time will vary depending on the size of your chicken breast. 

Cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, being sure to flip halfway through cooking time. Remove from heat, tent, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Ensure that the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit before enjoying! 

Raw marinated chicken breast on dark background with spices ready to cook.
Using your favorite marinade for chicken breasts allows you to experiment with flavors and juiciness. Marinated chicken breast still cooks amazingly in an air fryer!


Chicken Breast Cut into Chunks or Slices

Time it Takes: 10 to 12 minutes

What You Need

  • Airy fryer
  • Meat mallet
  • Cutting board/or ziplock bag
  • Bowl
  • Preferred spices/marinade
  • Chicken breasts 
  • Salt


Cooking chicken chunks instead of full chicken breasts in the air fryer will reduce cooking time. This is especially helpful if you add the chicken to another recipe, such as fajitas or salad. 

You can pound the chicken until it reaches a 1/4-inch thickness. However, this step is optional. 

Cut the chicken into one-inch chunks and then brine with dry salt or a saltwater solution. Place chicken chunks in the refrigerator and brine for 30 minutes. Next, remove from the refrigerator and allow the chicken to reach room temperature. 

After reaching room temperature, cover the chicken in olive oil and your favorite spices or a marinade. You can let the chicken chunks marinate for a while or go straight to cooking. 

When ready to cook, spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the chicken chunks into the air fryer and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes; be sure not to overcrowd the basket. Check the doneness after 10 minutes; if the chicken is not entirely done, cook in 2-minute increments until the chicken chunks reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Remove from heat, tent, and allow the chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes; it will continue to cook. Check the temperature to ensure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy the chicken on its own, or add it to your favorite dish! 

Healthy low carb food. Zucchini zoodles noodles spaghetti pasta with fried chicken chunks and cheese on plate. Closeup.
Chicken chunks are versatile and can be added to a variety of dishes. These dishes include salad, tacos, and chicken alfredo!


Delicious Chicken Breast Recipes 

One Finale Thought

Chicken is a versatile meat that is very healthy and lean. Sometimes, it gets a bad rap for being dry and dull. However, there are many ways to dress up chicken and enhance its taste. Experiment with different spices or marinates to reach the perfect combination of flavors. When cooking chicken in the air fryer, the methods are very straightforward. There are just a few tips to keep in mind. 

Chicken that cooks in an air fryer doesn't have to cook on as high heat as the oven. Also, when the internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe to eat. When chicken is dry and chewy, that typically means it is overcooked. Try one of these methods of cooking chicken in the air fryer today for a juicy, tender, and flavorful weeknight dinner!

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