The Perfect Fillet Steak: An Air Fryer Recipe To Savor Every Bite

fillet steak air fryer recipe

If you’re a steak lover who aims for perfection, then the air fryer is your secret weapon. This comprehensive guide will unlock the incredible world of fillet steak cooked to perfection using an air fryer. We will delve into the culinary details, explore the science behind cooking, cover the selection process, discuss cleaning and preparation, share valuable tips and variations, provide doneness checks, and finally, present you with a mouthwatering air fryer fillet steak recipe.

The Science Behind Cooking

To understand the magic behind a perfectly cooked fillet steak, it’s important to explore the science that takes place during the cooking process. When heat is applied to meat, a series of chemical reactions occur, transforming the muscle fibers and collagen into tender, juicy goodness. This process, known as the Maillard reaction, is responsible for the savory aromas and mouthwatering flavors associated with well-cooked steak.

Culinary Details for the Best Fillet Steak

Before diving into the air fryer recipe, it’s essential to grasp the culinary details that will enhance your fillet steak experience.

1. Selecting the Perfect Fillet Steak

Choosing the right cut of meat is crucial when aiming for a delectable fillet steak. Look for a well-marbled piece of fillet, as this fat contributes to the tenderness and flavor. The meat should have a vibrant red color and be free of any odor. Opt for a thick cut to ensure even cooking and a juicy center.

2. Cleaning and Preparing the Fillet Steak

Before cooking, make sure to pat the fillet steak dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This step is crucial as it helps achieve a beautiful caramelized crust. Avoid salting the steak before cooking, as it can draw out moisture and result in a less juicy end product.

3. Doneness Levels

Personal preference plays a significant role in determining the degree of doneness. Understanding the different levels will help you achieve your desired result:

  • Rare: Deep red center, juicy with a lot of pink.
  • Medium-Rare: Red center, warm with a pinkish hue.
  • Medium: Pink center with a touch of pale pink.
  • Medium-Well: Pale pink center with slight juiciness.
  • Well-Done: No pink, uniformly cooked throughout.

Tips and Tricks for Air Fryer Success

fillet steak

To ensure exceptional results when cooking your fillet steak in the air fryer, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Preheating the Air Fryer Basket

To achieve a perfectly seared crust, preheat the air fryer basket for a few minutes before cooking. This step will create a sizzling effect as soon as the steak hits the hot basket, resulting in a mouthwatering caramelized surface.

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2. Utilizing the Right Cooking Oil

When it comes to oil selection, opt for one with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil. These oils can withstand the high temperatures required for searing, preventing them from breaking down and impacting the flavor of the steak.

3. Timing and Temperature Control

Air fryers are known for their efficiency and speed, but it’s important to choose the appropriate time and temperature for the perfect outcome. A general guideline is to cook a 1-inch thick fillet steak at 400°F (200°C) for about 8-10 minutes for medium-rare. Adjust the timing according to your desired level of doneness and the thickness of the steak.

4. Resting the Steak

Once the fillet steak is cooked, remove it from the air fryer and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Resting is key for redistributing the juices throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak.

Variations to Spice Up Your Fillet Steak

fillet steak

While a perfectly seasoned fillet cooked in the air fryer is already a delight on its own, experimenting with flavors can elevate your culinary experience. Consider these variations to add a dash of excitement to your steak:

1. Garlic and Herb Infused

Create a garlic and herb-infused fillet steak by adding minced garlic, finely chopped rosemary, and thyme to melted butter. Brush this aromatic mixture onto the fillet before cooking, enhancing both the taste and aroma.

2. Spicy Cajun Rub

For those craving a spicy kick, sprinkle a generous amount of Cajun seasoning onto the fillet steak before air frying. The combination of paprika, cayenne pepper, and various spices will take your taste buds on a fiery journey.

3. Balsamic Glazed Delight

Drizzle a balsamic vinegar reduction over your cooked fillet steak to add a tangy sweetness. The reduction can be made by simmering balsamic vinegar in a saucepan until it thickens slightly. This glaze will create a delightful contrast to the rich flavor of the beef.

Checking for Doneness

close up view of air fried fillet steak

The key to a perfectly cooked fillet steak lies in being able to determine its doneness without cutting into it. Apply these guidelines to ensure your steak is cooked to perfection:

  • Visual Test: Use a kitchen timer and consult a doneness chart to gauge the cooking time based on the thickness of your fillet steak.
  • Touch Test: Gently press the center of the steak, comparing its firmness to different parts of your hand. A rare steak will feel like the base of your thumb when your thumb and index finger are touching, while a well-done steak will feel like the tip of your nose.
  • Internal Temperature: Invest in a reliable meat thermometer to accurately measure the internal temperature of your fillet steak. For medium-rare, aim for 130-135°F (55-57°C).
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Air Fryer Fillet Steak Recipe

close up view of air fried fillet steak

Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for: the mouthwatering air fryer fillet steak recipe. Follow these detailed steps, and savor every tender and juicy bite:


  • 2 thick-cut fillet steaks
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes.
  2. Pat the fillet steaks dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
  3. Brush both sides of the steaks with avocado oil, ensuring a light and even coating.
  4. Season the steaks generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, pressing the seasoning into the meat.
  5. Once the air fryer is preheated, carefully place the steaks into the basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  6. Cook the fillet steaks for 4-5 minutes on each side for medium-rare, adjusting the time according to your desired level of doneness.
  7. Once done, remove the steaks from the air fryer and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Serve the fillet steaks whole or sliced, and enjoy your perfectly cooked, restaurant-quality meal.


Cooking a fillet steak to perfection in an air fryer allows you to enjoy a gourmet-level meal in the comfort of your own home. With a solid understanding of the culinary details, essential tips and tricks, tantalizing variations, and foolproof doneness checks, you are now equipped to explore the delectable world of air fryer fillet steak. So, fire up your air fryer and prepare to dazzle your taste buds with an unforgettable steak experience.

  • How to Test Steak Tenderness / Doneness Video
  • How to Check if Steak Is Done Using the Finger Test: 9 Steps
  • FAQS On Fillet Steak Air Fryer Recipe

    Can I Use Frozen Fillet Steak In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can definitely cook frozen fillet steak in an air fryer. However, it may take longer to cook and may not have the same texture as freshly thawed steak. It is recommended to thaw the steak before cooking for optimal results.

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    How Long Should I Cook Fillet Steak In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steak and your desired level of doneness. As a general rule, for a 1-inch thick steak, cook it for 10-12 minutes for medium-rare, 12-14 minutes for medium, and 14-16 minutes for well-done.

    Do I Need To Preheat The Air Fryer Before Cooking The Fillet Steak?

    Yes, it is recommended to preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before adding the steak. This ensures that the cooking temperature is evenly distributed, resulting in a more evenly cooked steak.

    What Is The Best Temperature For Cooking Fillet Steak In An Air Fryer?

    The ideal temperature for cooking fillet steak in an air fryer is 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius. This will ensure that the steak cooks evenly and achieves a nice crust on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside.

    Can I Marinate The Fillet Steak Before Cooking It In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, marinating the steak can add flavor and enhance the texture. However, make sure to pat dry the steak before placing it in the air fryer to prevent excess oil from causing smoke.

    How Do I Know When The Fillet Steak Is Cooked To My Desired Level Of Doneness?

    The best way to determine the level of doneness is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature for a medium-rare steak should be 135 degrees Fahrenheit, medium should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and well-done should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Can I Cook Other Ingredients With The Fillet Steak In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can add vegetables or potatoes in the air fryer basket along with the steak for a complete meal. However, make sure to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly for the additional ingredients.