Skip to Content

Are air-fried chicken nuggets the same as deep-fried ones? (Yay or nay)

Chicken nuggets have always been the dish I love to dig into, no matter what time of day it is, but I have never tried to make it at home.

But, after listening to the new sensation ‘air fryer, ‘I tried to give it a shot to let see if chicken nuggets taste as good as deep-fried or restaurant-style ones.

What I found is that the taste of air-fried chicken nuggets isn’t the same as deep-fried ones as it is a little dry, while deep-fried chicken nuggets are juicy. But air-fried chicken nuggets gives you the same and even better crispiness than deep-fried one.

The most significant difference between making chicken nuggets in an air fryer and a deep fryer is the amount of oil used.

Air-fried chicken nuggets and deep-fried chicken nuggets both have their advantages and disadvantages, and they both have a must-have place in the kitchen.

Nuggets can be served as an appetizer too.
Nuggets can be served as an appetizer too.

So, let’s find out the difference in taste between air-fried chicken nuggets and deep-fried chicken nuggets.

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is essentially a miniature convection oven that pumps hot air quickly over a frying basket.

Instead of immersing food in hot oil to achieve a delectably crispy crust: To air fry food, such as battered chicken or fries, simply brush the food with a thin layer of oil and insert batches of chicken, spaced out, into the air fryer basket to cook—unattended.

It’s become extremely popular online as a ‘healthier’ and less hands-on approach to making deep-fried-effect meals at home.

What is deep fry?

Deep-frying is a dry-heat cooking method that uses fat or oil to cook food.

The procedure involves totally immersing food in boiling liquid. A high temperature of up to 400°F (204°C) is maintained to create golden-brown surface textures in a short amount of time, depending on the type of oil used and the food being fried.

Do air-fried chicken nuggets taste as good as deep-fried ones?

It depends upon how much taste of fat you enjoy in chicken nuggets, as fat has its unique taste that adds value to any dish you’re cooking.

But, the air fryer doesn’t have fat flavor in its food as it doesn’t use much oil in chicken nuggets. The taste of air-fried chicken nuggets would be different than deep-fried ones.

So, if you like to have the fatty and melty flavors of oil in food, then you wouldn’t like the taste of air-fried chicken nuggets. But, if you don’t want to have fatty flavor, then my friend, you will love air-fried chicken nuggets.

Check out the following video to learn about the difference between air-fried chicken and deep-fried chicken.

Deep fried chicken vs. air fried chicken.

What do air-fried chicken nuggets taste like compared to deep-fried ones?

Air-fried chicken nuggets taste like oven-baked and crispy food as air fryers fry food without any fatty oils, by which you get 80% lesser oily food compared to deep-fried food.

The air-fried chicken nuggets taste delicious and are moist from the inside and crispy from the outside due to the circulation of hot air around chicken nuggets.

The moisture and color of air-fried chicken nuggets and deep-fried ones are the same but vary in texture and taste.

Besides this, your way of cooking chicken nuggets in an air fryer also affects the taste of the food. If you overcrowd the basket with nuggets, it wouldn’t get crispy and in brown color and will leave you with soggy spots.

But, when it comes to frozen chicken nuggets, the air fryer reheats them very well and gives the same texture and taste as deep-fried ones.

Deep fried nuggets have lot of oil.
Deep-fried nuggets have lots of oil in them.

Why is there a difference in taste between air-fried chicken nuggets and deep-fried ones?

The difference in taste between air-fried chicken nuggets and deep-fried ones lies in the usage of oil.

Oil is not used in air frying chicken nuggets; on the other hand, deep, fried chicken nuggets depend entirely on oil.

Admit it or not, the use of oil plays a significant role in developing the taste and flavor because the fats and calories in oil make the chicken nuggets more crunchy and juicy.

The own taste of the oil is very subtle, but it affects highly on food’s flavor, and fats in oil bring out the flavors that people enjoy, which is why many restaurants use butter, cheese, and oil in their food because they are flavor carriers.

You can also check out the nutritional information between air-fried chicken nuggets and deep-fried ones to know which one is good for you!

Air fried chicken nuggetsNutritional percentageDeep-fried chicken nuggetsNutritional Percentage
Total fat6% 4gTotal fat51%
Saturated fat5%
Saturated fat29%
Cholesterol 12%
Cholesterol 29%
Nutritional information of air-fried nuggets vs. deep-fried nuggets

How can I make air-fried nuggets taste like deep-fried ones?

Sadly, there is no way to make air-fried nuggets taste like deep-fried ones. If there would have been any way, then you wouldn’t see people using deep fryers anywhere. So, honestly, there is no replacement for deep fryer taste.

However, you can try the following tips to make nuggets taste a little more like deep-fried ones.

  • You can have the kick of deep-fried nuggets in an air fryer by adding more salt to the recipe.
  • Spray oil on chicken nuggets before cooking them in an air fryer as it would help to keep the moisture intact and lock in flavor.
  • Please focus on the sauces of chicken nuggets because most of the fried meal that you eat makes its way to your mouth through sauces.
  • Dip your nuggets in a liquid batter and freeze them before air frying as it would not work well, unlike the deep fryer, if you put them directly in the air fryer. Once they are frozen, then cook them in the air fryer.
Browned and crispy nuggets
Browned and crispy nuggets make a lovely sight.

Why is air fryers getting famous more than deep fryer if they lack in taste?

There are many reasons that people choose air fryers, but some of the biggest reasons are

• Air fryer has become a guiltless treat for people who are on a diet and avoid deep-fried food. Air fryer cuts down calories and fat by 1/3 of deep-fried food but achieves a similar crunch and color.

• People want to avoid cleaning the deep fryer utensils, which are often congealed in oil, and you have to keep on scrubbing it to wash deep fryer, which is time taking and fl of effort thing. While the air fryer is easy to clean.

• Another reason is some people are tired of eating greasy fried food, which is a big issue because they don’t want food to be blot before they bite. Hence, they switch to an air fryer.

• Cooking in a deep fryer heats your kitchen like pipping hot, making it hard for some cooks to stand. While air fryers don’t heat the kitchen like that, this is temperature friendly device.


  • Air-fried chicken nuggets don’t taste like deep-fried ones but have similar crispiness and color.
  • Air-fried nuggets are not as flavorful and crunchy as deep-fried ones because of no usage of oil.
  • An air-fried food cannot taste like a deep-fried one. There would always be differences in texture and taste.
  • Air-fried chicken nuggets are more healthy than deep-fried ones.
  • You can come close to the taste of deep-fried chicken nuggets in an air fryer by following some tips.
  • An air fryer is best for people who are on a diet and still want to enjoy deep-fried food items.

Related Articles

  1. How to make frozen chicken breast in an air fryer?
  2. Is an air fryer healthier than an oven?
  3. Deep frying vs. air frying.

Skip to content