Air Fryer BBQ Chicken (Quick and Delicious)

Air fryers are a great way to cook your meals quickly and with a minimum amount of oil.

If you just got some unexpected guests or you were stuck somewhere and came back home late and now you are worried about what you are going to put on the dinner table because the clock is running, know that an air fryer is always there to rescue you.

BBQ chicken is one of the simplest and easiest recipes that you can try in your air fryer which will be a healthy, delicious, and quick meal for you and your family.

The only thing that makes me question cooking in an air fryer is when I want to make a large meal as I have more people to serve food to.

Air fryers are great but their baskets have limited capacity for meal preparation. If you are making food for two to three people then you have nothing to worry about but if you have guests over then the air fryer would require you to cook in batches and that can be a hassle for you.

Even with little capacity, air fryers have so many benefits that this one thing can be overlooked.

Today, let us get into the details of how can you make BBQ chicken in an air fryer. Shall we?

Why do you brine chicken?

Brining may appear to be an extra, unneeded process, but once you try it, you’ll understand!

Brining the chicken beforehand assures that it will be exceptionally moist (due to some of the liquid absorbed by the meat while brining) and tasty (thanks to the seasoning in the brine).

There are numerous elaborate brining recipes, but the basic premise is salted water. We start with just water and salt and then add extra flavorings like dry rub right before cooking. If you really want to spice up the taste, you could add dry rub right to the brine.

Store and reheat

You can refrigerate for 3-4 days, well covered. To reheat, you can always use the microwave.

Alternatively, shred the chicken and use it to make a quick chicken salad or sandwich. There’s no need to reheat the chicken.

How long to cook chicken breast in an air fryer?

Chicken breasts come in all shapes and sizes and so their cooking timings and temperatures work differently.

After preheating your air fryer for a few minutes, cook your chicken breast for about 18 to 20 minutes at 360°F. Make sure to flip it midway so that your chicken is cooked evenly.

Before putting your chicken breast in an air fryer, make sure that you have hammered it, hammered it GOOD! Flattening your chicken piece makes it easy for the chicken to get tender and juicy in very less time.

I know it is obvious but I still feel like telling this that small chicken breasts require little time for cooking and large breasts require more time in the air fryer. So, adjust your timings accordingly.

The timings and temperature also depend on your brand and model of the air fryer.

Check out this recipe for air-fried BBQ chicken.

Air-fried BBQ chicken

Do I need to defrost the chicken breast before air frying?

Inflation has called for many measures and freezing our food in our freezers is one of them. It is always better to freeze food rather than see it go stale and watch your money go down the drain.

People who are short on time also buy frozen food and I understand them too. But with ease, frozen food brings the pain of waiting to defrost it, not anymore.

When you are cooking your chicken breast in an air fryer, you do not have to worry about defrosting it or thawing it. You can always just put the frozen chicken in the air fryer and follow your recipe. The results will be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Some people prefer frozen chicken breasts rather than defrosted ones. Why? Because this way the exterior of the chicken gives the extra feel of crunch.

BBQ, Beef, Rosemary Skewers
BBQ, Beef, Rosemary Skewers

Can I use BBQ sauce in an air fryer?

BBQ sauce in jar with a few tomatoes at a side
BBQ sauce

Air fryers can be a great replacement for ovens, toasters, microwaves, and much more but this appliance has its limitations.

There are so many things that can be listed as air fryer friendly but we still have some things that are not safe to be used in an air fryer and sauces are one of them.

Wet batters, sauces, and a few other things can be hazardous to an air fryer. Things like these can even cause explosions in your air fryer so be very careful when you are using any of them.

Though sauces and liquids are not safe to be used in an air fryer, you can add a small amount of sauce that is thick for a couple of minutes and in the end.

You can sure add BBQ sauce to your air fryer but make sure you are adding it at the last minute. With the BBQ sauce in an air fryer, you should not cook the chicken for more than 2 minutes.

While adding sauce for a long time can be harmful to the appliance, it can also ruin the color of your chicken breast. The more the chicken is cooked with the sauce, the darker the chicken will get.

Check out this table to see the things that should be avoided when using an air fryer.

Things to avoid in an air fryerWhy?
WaterYou can add water but just about a spoon only. The water can cause smoke.
Sauces You can add them at the last minute. Sauces can drip to the bottom.
Wet batterThe wet batter can be dripped.
Wax paperThe wax from the paper will melt eventually.
Things to avoid in an air fryer

Can I put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

Lining air fryers have made cleaning the appliance way too easy.

Other than parchment paper/baking paper, silicone, and aluminum foil are one of the most used linings for an air fryer.

The main reason for using aluminum foil in an air fryer is that it keeps the spices intact with the food.

Aluminum Foil
Aluminum Foil

While putting aluminum foil make sure that you make holes in it so that the air can pass through it with ease.

Also, experts suggest that parchment paper is more convenient than aluminum foil as foil can reach your food if the food has citric ingredients in it.

Aluminum foil, however, is great for making handles to pick up food from an air fryer as the foil does not get hot even at extreme temperatures.


BBQ chicken is an ultimate favorite at a dinner table and to prepare them quickly, air fryers are used.

In this article, you have read.

  • Chicken breast comes in different shapes and sizes hence temperature and timings are determined accordingly.
  • Generally, it takes about 18 to 20 minutes at 360°F with a midway flip to cook your chicken breast in an air fryer, evenly.
  • Thankfully you do not need to defrost your chicken before air frying it.
  • You can use BBQ sauce in an air fryer but you have to put it in the last couple of minutes.
  • Aluminum foils are a good option for cooking meat in an air fryer to keep the spices together.

Related Articles

Why Does Food Stick to My Air Fryer Basket?

Can You Put Aluminum Pan In The Air Fryer?

Can Chicken Wings Be Stacked In An Air Fryer?

Scroll to Top
Skip to content