Fire up your air fryer and prepare for a finger-licking good meal with our Air Fryer Grilled Chicken! Juicy chicken breasts seasoned with a delightful BBQ dry rub perfectly “grilled” in the air fryer, delivering a delicious and healthy dish that’ll satisfy your taste buds. Fry it to believe it!
🚨 Important! While you can cook this recipe in any air fryer, you can only “grill” it in select air fryers. For instance, only those air fryer + indoor grill combo (affiliate links):
However, to get grill marks on both sides of the chicken, your air fryer grill must have a heating element in the bottom, which is rare. So, if you cook this recipe in a regular air fryer, don’t expect those luscious grill marks.
Notes: We are currently in the development and testing stage for this grilled chicken air fryer recipe. Stay tuned for more updates. If you have any tips on making this dish even better, please leave us a comment below. We appreciate your input!
Here’s a video of a similar recipe that we’re going for.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Grilled Chicken
Here are all you need to make grilled air fried chicken.
- Chicken breasts
- Avocado oil
- BBQ dry rub
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
If you want a juicier grilled chicken, use chicken thighs instead. Just know that bone-in chicken thighs will have a longer cooking time. To be more precise, 20 – 24 minutes.
Click here to learn how to air fry bone-in chicken thighs. I also recommend this boneless chicken thighs recipe.
You can skip cayenne pepper or increase its amount, depending on how spicy you like your grilled chicken.
How to Cook Grilled Chicken in an Air Fryer?
With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a delicious meal ready to serve quickly!
1. Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, set your desired temperature then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.
🚨 Important! Reduce the cooking temperature to 380°F (193°C) if you’re using a 4-quart air fryer or smaller. They are hotter due to the heating element being closer to the food.
2. Prepare ingredients.
Mix sugar, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a small bowl. That’s your dry rub.
Then, pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. If needed, trim any excess fat or skin.
Pro tip: Pound the chicken breasts using a meat mallet or rolling pin. The chicken should have even thickness throughout. This’ll allow the chicken to cook evenly, which results in a juicy and tender chicken breast.
Brush the chicken breasts with avocado oil, ensuring they’re evenly coated. Sprinkle the BBQ dry rub mixture over both sides of the chicken, gently pressing to help it stick.
3. Air fry chicken for 14 – 20 minutes at 400ºF (204ºC).
Place the chicken in the air fryer. Space them out to encourage proper airflow.
Air fry the chicken breasts at 400ºF (204ºC) for 14 – 20 minutes. Using silicone tongs, flip the chicken halfway and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF (74ºC) and the chicken is nicely “grilled.”
Important! The cooking time will significantly vary depending on your chicken’s thickness (as well as the air fryer’s specs). Thus, before taking out the chicken, use a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached the safe temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
Also, if you tenderize your chicken, it’ll cook faster, so check its internal temperature occasionally (starting at the 12-minute mark).
4. Serve & Enjoy!
Once cooked, remove from the air fryer. Then, let it rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the air fried grilled chicken and serve and enjoy it with your favorite sides.
Pair it with roasted vegetables, a fresh green salad, or creamy mashed potatoes. For an extra burst of flavor, drizzle with BBQ sauce or enjoy it as is!
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Air Fryer?
- Roasted sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup.
- Air-fried broccolini with a drizzle of lemon-infused olive oil.
- Coleslaw with a tangy dressing for a refreshing crunch.
- Creamy macaroni and cheese for the ultimate comfort food pairing.
- Serve with a side of cornbread and a dollop of honey butter.
More Barbecue Recipes
Freezing & Storage
Freezing: To freeze, let it cool to room temperature first. Then, place the grilled chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag, separating each piece with parchment paper to prevent sticking. It will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
To cook chicken breast from frozen in the air fryer, cook at 400°F (204°C) for about 18 – 22 minutes or until heated through.
Fridge: Leftover air-fried grilled chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 350ºF (177ºC) for 5 – 7 minutes until warmed.
How to reheat grilled chicken in an air fryer?
To reheat grilled chicken in an air fryer, preheat it to 350ºF (177ºC). Then, place the grilled chicken in the air fryer. Reheat for 5 – 7 minutes until it’s warm and reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
Can you grill chicken in an air fryer?
Yes, you can grill chicken in an air fryer, provided your air fryer doubles as an indoor grill. While you won’t get the same grill marks as outdoor grilling, achieving a delicious grilled texture and flavor is still possible. Simply season the chicken, place it in the air fryer basket, and cook following the instructions. Enjoy the convenience and taste of grilled chicken without an outdoor grill.
How long to reheat grilled chicken in air fryer?
Reheating grilled chicken in an air fryer takes around 5 – 7 minutes at 350ºF (177ºC). The duration may vary based on chicken thickness and quantity. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165ºF (74ºC) for safe eating.
Quick & Easy Air Fryer Grilled Chicken
- 2 chicken breasts boneless
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
BBQ Dry Rub:
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper adjust to your spice preference
- Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
- Prepare the BBQ dry rub. Combine all the BBQ dry rub ingredients in a small bowl – sugar, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Season the chicken. First, use paper towels to pat the chicken breasts dry. Then, brush both sides of each chicken breast with avocado oil. Then, sprinkle the BBQ dry rub mixture over both sides of the chicken breasts, pressing gently to help it adhere.
- Air fry the chicken. Transfer the seasoned chicken breasts to the air fryer. Then, cook for 14 – 20 minutes at 400ºF (204ºC). Flip the chicken halfway through. Starting at the 14-minute mark, check the chicken’s internal temperature. The chicken breasts are fully cooked once the thickest part reaches 165ºF (74ºC).
- Once cooked, remove it from the air fryer and rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy. Slice the air-fried grilled chicken and serve it with your favorite side dishes.
- Remember that cooking durations may differ depending on the chicken’s thickness and your air fryer’s size and model. Before serving, ensure it has been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
- Tenderize the chicken breast into even thickness for even cooking, creating a juicier result.
- If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food.
- You can skip preheating by adding 2-4 minutes to your cooking time. Increment gradually to prevent burning the grilled chicken.
- I used a 6-quart (air fryer) to test the grilled chicken. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
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