Jamaican Oxtails Air Fryer Recipe: A Flavorful And Easy-To-Make Dish

jamaican oxtails air fryer recipe

If you are a fan of Jamaican cuisine or simply love exploring new flavors, the Jamaican Oxtails dish is a must-try. Known for its rich flavors and tender meat, this recipe is a favorite among many food enthusiasts. In this comprehensive and in-depth article, we will guide you through every aspect of preparing Jamaican Oxtails using an air fryer. From understanding the food science behind the dish to selecting the best ingredients and mastering cooking techniques, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive right in!

Understanding the Food Science

Cooking oxtails requires understanding the unique properties of this flavorful meat. Oxtail comes from the tail of a steer or a cow. It is a tough yet collagen-rich cut of meat, which means it benefits from slow and long cooking to break down the tough fibers and become tender.

The air fryer is a perfect kitchen appliance to achieve the desired tenderness and lock in those irresistible flavors. The powerful circulation of hot air in the air fryer helps to crisp up the outer layer of the oxtails while keeping the inside moist and juicy.

Selecting the Best Oxtails

When choosing oxtails for your recipe, opt for fresh meat from a reputable butcher or grocery store. Look for oxtails that have a bright red color and are well-marbled with fat. This marbling adds flavor and contributes to the tenderness of the meat during cooking.

Ensure that the oxtails are properly cleaned and trimmed. Trimming excess fat and removing any bone fragments will help prevent unnecessary flare-ups during cooking.

Cleaning and Preparing Oxtails

jamaican oxtails

Before cooking, it’s essential to clean and prep the oxtails properly. Rinse the oxtails under cold water to remove any debris or bone fragments. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Next, season the oxtails generously with salt and pepper. You can also add your favorite Jamaican spices, such as allspice, thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder, to enhance the flavors. Allow the oxtails to marinate for at least 30 minutes, giving the spices time to penetrate the meat.

Tips for Successful Cooking

jamaican oxtails

To ensure a successful cooking process and ensure the flavors shine through, here are some essential tips:

1. Preheat your Air Fryer

Preheating your air fryer is crucial for achieving even and consistent results. Set your air fryer to the desired temperature (we recommend 375°F) and allow it to preheat for about 5-7 minutes. This step ensures that the oxtails start cooking immediately when placed in the air fryer, sealing in the juices and flavors.

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2. Use the Right Cooking Oil

To prevent the oxtails from sticking to the air fryer basket, lightly spray or brush it with a high-heat cooking oil such as vegetable, canola, or avocado oil. This will help the oxtails develop a delicious crispy crust while preserving their moisture.

3. Do Not Overcrowd the Air Fryer Basket

To ensure even cooking and a crispy exterior, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket. Give the oxtails ample space to allow hot air to circulate freely around them. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the oxtails in batches.

4. Flip and Baste

Halfway through the cooking process, flip the oxtails using tongs to ensure they cook evenly on all sides. Additionally, basting the oxtails with any reserved marinade or cooking juices will keep them moist and further enhance the flavors.

5. Monitor Cooking Time

Cooking times can vary depending on the size and thickness of the oxtails. It is essential to monitor the cooking process closely to achieve the desired level of doneness. Consider using a digital kitchen thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. Oxtails are typically cooked to an internal temperature of 180-190°F for optimal tenderness.

Recipe: Jamaican Oxtails in the Air Fryer

close up view of air fried jamaican oxtails

Now that we have covered important aspects of cooking Jamaican oxtails in an air fryer, let’s proceed with the recipe.


  • 2 pounds of oxtails
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of allspice
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or avocado oil)
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional, for heat)
  • Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F.
  2. Rinse the oxtails under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Season the oxtails with salt, pepper, allspice, dried thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder. Allow them to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly spray or brush the air fryer basket with cooking oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Place the oxtails in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  6. Cook the oxtails in the air fryer for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  7. While the oxtails are cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  8. Add the onion, scallions, minced garlic, and scotch bonnet pepper (if using). Sauté until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
  9. Add the beef broth to the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Allow the sauce to reduce slightly.
  10. Remove the oxtails from the air fryer and place them in the skillet with the sauce.
  11. Toss the oxtails in the sauce, ensuring they are well-coated.
  12. Transfer the oxtails and sauce to the air fryer basket and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 180-190°F.
  13. Remove the oxtails from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes.
  14. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and serve hot.
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Variations and Serving Suggestions

close up view of air fried jamaican oxtails

While the traditional Jamaican oxtails recipe is delicious on its own, you can add your own twist to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few variations and serving suggestions:

  1. Spicy Oxtails: If you love an extra kick of heat, you can increase the amount of scotch bonnet pepper in the recipe or add a dash of hot sauce to the sauce for added spiciness.
  2. Jamaican Rice and Peas: Jamaican oxtails pair beautifully with Jamaican rice and peas. Serve your oxtails over a bed of flavorful rice cooked with kidney beans and coconut milk.
  3. Steamed Vegetables: Balance the richness of the oxtails with a side of lightly steamed vegetables. Broccoli, carrots, and green beans make great accompaniments.
  4. Oxtail Stew: If you prefer a saucier dish, you can turn this recipe into a flavorful oxtail stew by adding more beef broth and simmering on low heat until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.

Doneness Checks and Tips for Tender Oxtails

To ensure that your oxtails are cooked to perfection, use the following doneness checks and tips for tender meat:

  1. Visual Check: The meat should be nicely browned and have a crispy crust on the outside.
  2. Tenderness Test: While cooking times may vary, the oxtails should be fork-tender and easily pull apart when done.
  3. Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the oxtails. The meat should reach an internal temperature of 180-190°F for optimal tenderness.


The Jamaican Oxtails recipe is a delicious and flavorful dish that you can easily prepare using an air fryer. By understanding the food science, selecting the best ingredients, and following the tips and instructions provided, you can create a mouthwatering meal that will impress your family and friends. So, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure and enjoy the rich, tender, and fragrant Jamaican Oxtails made in your very own air fryer!

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FAQS On Jamaican Oxtails Air Fryer Recipe

Is It Possible To Make Jamaican Oxtails In An Air Fryer?

Yes, it is possible to make delicious Jamaican oxtails in an air fryer.

What Are The Benefits Of Cooking Oxtails In An Air Fryer?

Cooking oxtails in an air fryer results in a healthier dish with less oil and fat, while still achieving a crispy texture.

Can I Use Any Type Of Oxtails For This Recipe?

Yes, you can use any type of oxtails, such as beef or goat, for this recipe.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Jamaican Oxtails In An Air Fryer?

It takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook Jamaican oxtails in an air fryer, depending on the size and thickness of the oxtails.

Do I Need To Marinate The Oxtails Before Cooking In The Air Fryer?

It is recommended to marinate the oxtails for at least 2 hours before cooking in the air fryer to enhance the flavors.

Can I Add Any Additional Spices Or Seasonings To The Oxtails?

Yes, you can add your favorite Jamaican spices and seasonings to the oxtails to customize the flavor to your liking.

What Should The Internal Temperature Of The Oxtails Be When Cooked?

The internal temperature should reach 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.