Here’s Every Way to Cook Chicken in Your Air Fryer
Air fryer chicken recipes are some of our most classic (and favorite) air fryer recipes! Coat chicken in breadcrumbs to create a healthier alternative to fried chicken, or cook it without breading to enjoy the most flavorful, tender chicken of your life.
The key to successful air fryer chicken wings is to cook the chicken in batches. You want the wings to lay in a single layer, barely touching each other, so each wing can get crisped by the hot air. Most air fryers can comfortably fit about a pound (10 to 12 drumettes).
Instructions: The wings turn out best if you cook them in stages: 350° F for 25 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through. Then, increase the heat to 400° F and continue to cook until the outsides are nice and crispy, about 5 minutes.
Here’s our air fryer cooking guide, courtesy of our Test Kitchen pros.
Tired of boring, dried-out chicken breasts? Cook ’em in your air fryer! The convection airflow works wonders at keeping the meat juicy. You may only be able to fit one or two chicken breasts in the air fryer at once, but you can return all the chicken to the basket at the end, and they should be reheated in about 2 to 3 minutes.
Instructions: Feel free to bread the chicken breasts first, or skip the breading for a low-carb meal. Either way, start by brining the chicken like this, and then cook it in the air fryer at 375° F. Flip halfway through, cooking for 15 to 20 minutes total.
We love making chicken thighs under the broiler or on the grill, and it turns out our favorite recipe for chicken thighs works in an air fryer, too! Most air fryers will fit about six to eight chicken thighs, depending on whether they’re boneless or bone-in.
Instructions: A 360° F temperature seems to work best, but the cook times will vary: 15 to 17 minutes for boneless and 22 to 25 minutes for bone-in, flipping halfway through. If you bought chicken thighs with the skin on, increase the heat to 400° F at the end and cook for an additional 5 minutes to crisp things up.
The drumsticks can be challenging to cook because they have more tendons than other chicken cuts. That said, they turn out super juicy and delicious if you cook them right. You may only be able to fit six drumsticks in the air fryer at once, but it only takes 2 to 3 minutes to reheat them when everything’s finished cooking.
Instructions: Feel free to add a Southern-style breading to your drumsticks, or coat them with a tasty glaze. Set the air fryer to 375° F and cook the drumsticks for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
Air fryer chicken tenders are an easy way to whip up a snack, an appetizer or a quick-and-easy dinner. The air fryer should fit about a pound of chicken, but that could be anywhere from three to eight tenders depending on the size of the chicken strips.
Instructions: This recipe works for both homemade breaded chicken strips and store-bought frozen chicken tenders. Set the air fryer to 390° F and cook the chicken in a single layer. After 6 minutes, flip the chicken and cook for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is crispy and no longer pink.
A whole chicken in the air fryer tastes like a rotisserie chicken: crispy on the outside and juicy and moist inside. You shouldn’t even have to cut the chicken into pieces; most air fryer baskets can fit a whole chicken.
Instructions: Season the chicken generously and spray it with cooking oil. Cook breast-side down in a 360° F air fryer for about 40 to 50 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook it for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, until the thickest part of the breast registers 165° F on an instant-read thermometer.