Grilled Chicken Air Fryer Recipe: A Flavorful And Healthy Delight

grilled chicken air fryer recipe

Grilling chicken has always been a favorite cooking method for many food enthusiasts. The delectable aroma, juicy texture, and smoky flavor make it a mouthwatering delight. However, traditional grilling methods often involve the use of oil, which can add unnecessary calories to an otherwise healthy protein. This is where the air fryer comes to the rescue! In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the world of grilled chicken in an air fryer, exploring everything from food science to culinary details, selection, cleaning, preparation, tips, variations, doneness checks, and of course, a tantalizing recipe!

Food Science: Why Choose the Air Fryer?

Before we delve into the specifics of grilling chicken in an air fryer, let’s understand the science behind this cooking method. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, creating a crispy outer layer similar to conventional frying but with significantly less oil. The rapid circulation of hot air in the air fryer ensures even cooking, resulting in a perfectly cooked grilled chicken, with a tantalizing golden-brown crust and tender inside.

Culinary Details: Selecting the Perfect Chicken

To achieve the best results with your grilled chicken in the air fryer, it’s essential to select the right type of chicken. Opt for boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs for a lean and healthier option. These cuts of chicken cook evenly and quickly, ensuring maximum tenderness. Ensure the chicken is fresh and of high quality to enhance the overall flavor of your dish.

Cleaning and Prepping the Air Fryer

grilled chicken

Now that you have the perfect chicken, it’s time to prepare and clean your air fryer. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Cleaning: Before you start cooking, make sure your air fryer is thoroughly clean. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance on cleaning your model. Typically, you’ll need to remove the cooking basket and wash it with warm, soapy water. Wipe down the interior and exterior of the unit with a damp cloth.
  2. Prepping: To ensure your chicken doesn’t stick to the air fryer basket, consider using a non-stick cooking spray or lining the basket with parchment paper. This will help keep your chicken intact while providing a hassle-free cleaning experience.

Preparation: Marinating for Maximum Flavor

grilled chicken

One of the keys to achieving an explosion of flavors in your grilled chicken in the air fryer is marinating. Marinating not only tenderizes the meat but also infuses it with an array of different flavors. Follow these steps for a mouthwatering marinade:

  1. Ingredients: Gather your favorite combination of marinade ingredients. This can include olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano), salt, and pepper. You can get creative with spices and even add a touch of sweetness using honey or maple syrup.
  2. Preparation: In a bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and coat it thoroughly with the marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but for even better results, marinate it overnight to enhance the flavors.
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Tips for Grilling Chicken in the Air Fryer

close up view of air fried grilled chicken

To achieve the perfect grilled chicken using your air fryer, consider these expert tips:

  1. Preheating: Preheat your air fryer for optimal cooking results. This helps ensure even heat distribution and reduces overall cooking time.
  2. Cooking Time: While the cooking time may vary depending on your specific air fryer model, a general guideline for boneless chicken breasts is to cook them at 375°F (190°C) for approximately 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Thicker chicken breasts will require more time, while thinner ones will cook quicker. Always check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches a safe minimum of 165°F (74°C).
  3. Air Fryer Capacity: Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket. Give each chicken piece enough space to allow proper air circulation for even cooking. If you’re cooking a large batch, consider doing it in multiple batches to maintain the ideal cooking conditions.
  4. Crisping: For an even crispier exterior, consider spraying or brushing a light coating of oil on the chicken before placing it in the air fryer. This will enhance the browning process and give your grilled chicken a beautiful golden hue.

Variations: Exploring Flavorful Options

close up view of air fried grilled chicken

Don’t limit yourself to just one grilled chicken recipe in your air fryer. Let’s explore some exciting variations to add a touch of diversity to your culinary adventures:

1. Spicy Garam Masala Chicken

Give your grilled chicken an Indian twist with a blend of aromatic spices. Prepare a marinade using garam masala, ginger, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and a hint of chili powder (if you prefer it spicy). Allow the chicken to marinate for a few hours or overnight for an explosion of flavors.

2. Lemon Herb Delight

For a refreshing and tangy flavor profile, try marinating your chicken in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. The fragrant herbs and citrusy notes will infuse the chicken, leaving you with a zesty delight.

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3. Smoky Barbecue Bliss

Create a classic barbecue experience in your air fryer by combining your favorite barbecue sauce with a touch of liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. The smoky aroma will fill your kitchen, and the result will be a saucy and finger-licking grilled chicken.

Doneness Checks: Ensuring Perfectly Cooked Chicken

To ensure your grilled chicken is cooked to perfection, follow these simple doneness checks:

  1. Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast or thigh without touching the bone. The thermometer should read 165°F (74°C) to indicate that the chicken is fully cooked.
  2. Juices: When you pierce the thickest part of the chicken with a fork or knife, clear juices should run out. If the juices are still pink or cloudy, the chicken needs additional cooking time.

The Recipe: Grilled Chicken Air Fryer Delight

Finally, let’s dive into a step-by-step recipe to create a delicious grilled chicken using your air fryer:


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, dried rosemary, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, ensuring they are coated thoroughly. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight for maximum flavor.
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off.
  5. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  6. Cook the chicken at 375°F (190°C) for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer, ensuring it reaches 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
  7. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  8. Slice or serve the grilled chicken whole alongside your favorite sides or use it as a protein-packed addition to salads, wraps, or sandwiches. The possibilities are endless!


Grilling chicken in an air fryer is a fantastic way to enjoy a healthy and flavorful meal. By harnessing the advantages of air circulation, you can achieve perfectly grilled chicken with a satisfying crispness and succulent interior. Remember to experiment with different marinades and flavor combinations to create a wide array of mouthwatering dishes. With the help of this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to embark on your air fryer grilling adventure, to impress your taste buds and those of your loved ones. Happy cooking!

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  • FAQS On Grilled Chicken Air Fryer Recipe

    How Do I Make Grilled Chicken In An Air Fryer?

    To make grilled chicken in an air fryer, marinate the chicken in your preferred seasoning and preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Place the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

    Do I Need To Preheat The Air Fryer For This Recipe?

    Yes, it is best to preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before adding the chicken to ensure even cooking and crispy results.

    Can I Use Frozen Chicken For This Recipe?

    No, it is recommended to use thawed chicken for best results. If using frozen chicken, it will need to be thawed beforehand.

    Should I Spray Oil On The Chicken Before Grilling In The Air Fryer?

    No, there is no need to spray oil on the chicken as the air fryer cooks with hot air circulation, giving a crispy texture without added oil.

    How Do I Know When The Chicken Is Fully Cooked?

    The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F to be fully cooked. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

    Can I Use Bone-in Chicken For This Recipe?

    Yes, you can use bone-in chicken but it may require slightly longer cooking time, so it is best to use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches the correct temperature.

    Are There Any Variations To This Recipe?

    Yes, you can try different seasonings or marinades for the chicken, or add vegetables on top of the chicken before grilling in the air fryer for a complete meal. You can also experiment with different cooking times and temperatures to find your desired level of crispiness.