The Juiciest Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Are you ready for the easiest and juiciest chicken breast? This Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe is fool-proof, bursting with flavor, and the easiest way to get a chicken dinner on the table any night of the week! Made in partnership with my friends at Farmer Focus.

Chicken breast in air fryer

Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer

We love chicken breast recipes around here! When cooked right (ahem… not overcooked and dry), this leaner cut of chicken is so delicious and versatile! This is my new favorite method of cooking chicken breasts because it checks off a ton of boxes:

  • It’s super easy!
  • It cooks chicken quickly
  • It uses hardly any oil
  • It results in juicy and moist chicken breasts every time

Trust me, you’ll be using this method time and time again! And… at this point you know I love my air fryer. It’s just one of those magical appliances that I cannot get enough of. This chicken breast air fryer recipe is naturally gluten-free, low carb and keto, paleo-friendly, and allergy-friendly!

Ingredients Needed

Here is an overview of the ingredient list. Keep scrolling for the full recipe!

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast: You’ll see below on the proper cook time for various sizes, my favorite chicken to buy, and many more tips to ensure the most tender chicken breast ever!
  • Oil of Choice: I use avocado oil or olive oil here.
  • Seasoning Blend: I use a quick blend of garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt and black pepper for a delicious seasoned chicken breast. 

Want a different spice blend? Try our Homemade Taco Seasoning, Cajun Seasoning, or simply make it a touch spicier with a dash of cayenne pepper.

Quality Chicken is Key: Meet Farmer Focus!

Chicken is of course the star of this dish, so it is incredibly important to use the best quality! I am so happy to partner with my friends at Farmer Focus to bring you this easy time-saving recipe. Farmer Focus has been my go-to, trusted chicken for years because they pride themselves in producing the highest quality meat grown on family-owned farms.

You can 100% taste the difference. I love knowing that, without a doubt, when I pick up Farmer Focus chicken at the grocery store, it’s the best there is and I don’t have to question whether it was raised in a humane way. They are a company that supports their farmer partners and they are working hard to do things right and truly raise and produce the highest quality chicken! Every Farmer Focus product includes a 4-letter Farm ID that traces your chicken to the farm that raised it!

Farmer Focus chickens are humanely raised and fed a diet free from animal byproducts, pesticides, and antibiotics. On their website you can see where all of the farms are located, so you know just where your chicken was raised! How awesome is that? You can also use their easy store locator to find where you can get this amazing quality chicken near you!

How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in Air Fryer

So the goal of cooking chicken breasts in the air fryer is to cook them just right, quickly, without much oil, and get the most perfect juicy and moist chicken breast! You don’t want to overcook them as that can mean dry chicken. You don’t want to undercook them, because that, of course, means raw chicken.

We always suggest using an instant-read thermometer (we love our Thermapen) to check the temperature of meat, but the goal is to get the chicken cooked to 165º. And the biggest indicator of proper cooking time of air fryer chicken breasts is the size of the chicken breasts!

Size Matters!

Chicken breasts these days can range in size anywhere from 9 ounces to more than 14 ounces! The actual time needed in the air fryer will depend exactly on how large your chicken breast is. Our best tip is that if you are cooking more than 1 chicken breast at a time, try to make sure they are all similar sizes.

We recommend weighing the largest one before determining the amount of time needed. It is not the cumulative weight of all of the chicken breasts, but just the weight of the largest one that determines the number of minutes needed.

Cooking Time as Determined by Weight

As mentioned above, how long it will take to cook chicken in the air fryer will vary based on the size of your chicken breasts. Keep in mind that you will need to flip the chicken halfway through cooking!

  • Small Breasts that are roughly 5 to 7 ounces: 7 to 10 minutes
  • Medium Breasts that are roughly 8 to 10 ounces: 10 to 13 minutes
  • Large Breasts that are 11 ounces or more: 14 to 18 minutes

As all meat does, the chicken will continue to cook while it is resting, and this is a good thing. After the chicken has finished cooking, check the temperature. It should ideally be around 155ºF or 160ºF.

Let the chicken sit for an additional 5 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise as the chicken rests. Double-check one more time that the temperature has risen to 165ºF after it has rested! Then you are ready to eat!

Thought you had the right cook time but didn’t?

If for some reason the chicken is below 155ºF once it has finished cooking, you can simply cook the chicken for 2 more minutes or so!

For sure it’s a delicate balance when cooking chicken between making sure it’s fully cooked, but not overcooked!

How I Brine My Chicken Breast

If you’ve made my Thanksgiving Turkey (with Herbs and Citrus), you know I am a big fan of a dry brine over a wet brine. When thinking about making simple air fryer chicken breasts for a weeknight dinner or meal prep, a wet brine was a big no for me! I can achieve the same juiciness with a dry brine, and it’s way easier and less messy!

But wait, you may be asking, do I need to brine my chicken breast?

I recommend it! It’s definitely the secret for juicy chicken in the air fryer! Brining with salt helps the meat to absorb extra liquid!

A quick dry brine for your chicken (it’s easy!)

  1. Pat your chicken dry
  2. Place your chicken in a small bowl
  3. Sprinkle it with salt on both sides
  4. Place in the refrigerator for at minimum 30 minutes
air fryer chicken breast

What Type of Air Fryer to Use

We’ve tried quite a few air fryers over the years. We’ve have and use this basket style, this Instant Pot air fryer attachment and this toaster-style air fryer! They all work great! It’s quite a personal preference which you choose. Do you want/need a new toaster? Do you have space for a solo new appliance? All these things will go into consideration when shopping and deciding which of those will work for you. It’s not a small appliance, so make sure you have space for it!

What there is to be aware of about air fryers though is that some of them can be quite small. If yours has a small capacity, you may have to make the chicken breasts in batches. Though I’m guessing if you’ve been using this air fryer for a while, you’ve already learned that.

Cooking it in batches, if you have a small capacity air fryer, ensures there is plenty of air circulation around the wings so they can get crispy. If you do need to do it in batches, at the very end you can put all of the wings back in the basket and cook for one minute to warm them all back up!

Is air fried food good for you?

So you know I’m not at all afraid of healthy fats, but when I fry foods, I use avocado oil and it can get expensive. I really like that this is such a small quantity of oil, which means money saved! And if you are looking to cut down on some fats, this appliance definitely can help you achieve that. It’s also convenient and super easy.

Storing and Reheating

  • Store. Store you chicken breasts in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • Reheat. Warm chicken breasts back up in the oven or the air fryer at 350ºF for just a few minutes.
  • Freeze. Freezer your leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Air Fryer Chicken Breast Pro Tips

  1. Size matters. You want the chicken to cook evenly, so pounding them to the same size, or choosing roughly the same size chicken breast will matter!
  2. A quick dry brine. You’ll see above why I love this quick method over a wet brine! But don’t skip this step, it’ll make your chicken moist every single time!
  3. Give your chicken space. Don’t overcrowd your air fryer basket or tray. This will ensure they cook evenly.
  4. Check the temperature. You’ll do this to avoid over, or undercooking your chicken.
  5. Let it rest. The temperature will continue to rise and lock in those juices.
Chicken breast in air fryer cut into strips

Ways to Use Cooked Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Knowing how to cook chicken breasts is great if you need a quick meal, but using this method is also a way to cook bulk chicken for different recipes. Here are our favorite ways of making meals out of cooked chicken breasts:

Tools We Use Making Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer

chicken breast air fryer on a plate with broccoli

How to Make This a Chicken Breast Recipe into a Meal

There are so many options for serving with this meal. You can, of course, serve with a quick side salad for a simple meal. Or dress it up a bit with a favorite side dish:

Other Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipes to Try:

Watch The Video:

Print

The Juiciest Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Are you ready for the easiest and juiciest chicken breast? This Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe is fool-proof, bursting with flavor, and the easiest way to get a chicken dinner on the table any night of the week

  • Author: Lexi

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (see note)
  • Salt, for quick brine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Seasoning Blend:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pat chicken dry. Place into a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the spice blend.

Notes

Cook times based on chicken breast sizes:

  • Small Breasts that are roughly 5 to 7 ounces: 7 to 10 minutes
  • Medium Breasts that are roughly 8 to 10 ounces: 10 to 13 minutes
  • Large Breasts that are 11 ounces or more: 14 to 18 minutes

Thought you had the right cook time but didn’t? If for some reason the chicken is below 155ºF once it has finished cooking, you can simply cook the chicken for a few more minutes.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 244
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 34g
  • Cholesterol: 94mg

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8 comments
December 13, 2021

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8 Responses

  1. The very best chicken breast. I used sumac as a dry rub and bbq sauce when turning. Love that times are given by weight. Super helpful!

  2. So SO amazing 🤩 Such a quick recipe, and works great with meal prep! Thanks for another go to recipe, Lexi!

  3. This is SO good! I put it in ramen and in burrito bowls, both amazing. The air fryer is definitely my new favorite way to cook chicken, thanks to you!

  4. Tried this out tonight and my 9 yo daughter said it was the best thing she’s ever tasted. Looks like it’s going into regular rotation! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. I’m using the air fryer for first time. I’m not sure which trays to use for chicken for example. it easy to use the basket, but that will make a mess.. I guess

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