Pollo Asado Air Fryer Recipe: A Delicious And Healthy Twist To Classic Grilled Chicken

pollo asado air fryer recipe

Grilled chicken is a staple in many cuisines, loved for its juicy and flavorful nature. However, traditional grilling can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Enter the air fryer, a versatile kitchen appliance that allows you to enjoy the same deliciousness of grilled chicken with less effort and a healthier twist. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the world of pollo asado, a traditional Mexican grilled chicken dish, in the context of an air fryer recipe. From the food science behind air frying to preparation tips and variations, we have got you covered.

Understanding the Food Science behind Air Frying

To truly appreciate the magic of air frying, it’s essential to understand the science behind it. Air fryers work by circulating highly heated air around the food, creating a crisp and golden exterior while sealing in the moisture within. In the case of pollo asado, this unique cooking method enhances the flavors and ensures a tender and succulent chicken.

Selecting the Perfect Chicken for Pollo Asado

When it comes to selecting chicken for pollo asado, it is crucial to opt for quality ingredients. Look for fresh, skin-on chicken pieces, such as drumsticks, thighs, or bone-in breasts. The skin is important as it adds flavor and helps create that desirable crispy texture.

Cleaning and Preparing your Air Fryer

pollo asado

Before diving into the preparation process, ensure that your air fryer is clean and free from any residue. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines. Generally, most air fryers have dishwasher-safe components, making the cleaning process a breeze. Ensure you clean the air fryer basket, tray, and any other removable parts thoroughly to prevent any flavors from previous meals from interfering with your pollo asado.

Tenderizing and Marinating the Chicken

To ensure maximum flavor and tenderness, it’s crucial to take the time to tenderize and marinate your chicken. Using a meat tenderizer or a fork, gently pierce the chicken pieces to allow the marinade to penetrate and tenderize the meat. For the marinade, you can go for a traditional Mexican blend of citrus, herbs, and spices. A classic pollo asado marinade often includes a combination of lime juice, orange juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least one hour, but for the best results, marinate it overnight in a sealed container or plastic bag in the refrigerator.

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Tips for Achieving Crispy, Golden Chicken in the Air Fryer

While the air fryer does an excellent job of creating crispy food, there are a few tips and tricks to achieve the perfect pollo asado.

  • Preheat your air fryer: Just like with an oven, preheating the air fryer helps to ensure even cooking and a crispy exterior. Preheat it to around 400°F (200°C) for a few minutes before placing the chicken inside.

  • Don’t overcrowd the basket: To achieve that desired texture, make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. Leave some space between the pieces to allow the hot air to circulate freely around the chicken.

  • Flip the chicken halfway through: To ensure uniform cooking and an evenly crispy exterior, flip the chicken pieces halfway through the cooking time. This will help to achieve an all-around golden brown result.

  • Use a rack: If your air fryer comes with a rack, use it! A rack allows the excess fat to drip away from the chicken, promoting crispiness and reducing the greasiness.

Checking Doneness: A Guide to Perfectly Cooked Chicken

close up view of air fried pollo asado

Properly cooked pollo asado should have an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure its safety and optimal taste. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken before serving. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone to get an accurate reading. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can also make a small incision in the thickest part of the chicken. If the juice runs clear without any pink or signs of blood, your pollo asado is ready to be enjoyed.

Pollo Asado Air Fryer Recipe

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of preparing mouthwatering pollo asado using your air fryer.


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a bowl, combine the lime juice, orange juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish or a plastic bag, and pour the marinade over them, ensuring all the pieces are well coated. Cover or seal the dish/bag and refrigerate for at least one hour, or preferably, overnight.
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and shake off any excess. Place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring space between each piece for optimal air circulation.
  5. Cook the chicken thighs in the preheated air fryer for 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.
  6. Check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer. Once it reaches 165°F (74°C), remove the chicken from the air fryer.
  7. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving to let the juices redistribute.
  8. Serve the pollo asado with your favorite side dishes, such as rice, beans, or tortillas, and enjoy!
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Creative Variations to Spice Up Your Pollo Asado

While the classic pollo asado recipe is undeniably delicious, feel free to experiment with variations to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Spicy Pollo Asado: Add a kick of heat by including diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes in the marinade.

  2. Citrus Herb Pollo Asado: Enhance the citrus flavor by adding chopped fresh cilantro or parsley to the marinade.

  3. Honey Lime Pollo Asado: For a touch of sweetness, substitute half of the lime juice with honey and add a tablespoon of soy sauce to the marinade.

  4. Smoky Chipotle Pollo Asado: Infuse a smoky and slightly spicy flavor by including chipotle powder or canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the marinade.

Remember, personalizing your pollo asado with these variations allows you to tailor it to your unique taste preferences and take advantage of the versatility of the air fryer.


Air fryers have revolutionized the way we cook, allowing us to enjoy our favorite dishes with less added oil and a quicker cooking time. This pollo asado air fryer recipe not only provides a healthier twist to the classic grilled chicken but also brings the flavors of Mexico right to your kitchen. With the right selection of chicken pieces, a flavorful marinade, and a few tips to achieve that perfect crispiness, you will be delighting your taste buds and impressing your guests with a dish that is both easy to prepare and bursting with flavor. Enjoy the mouthwatering journey!

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    FAQS On Pollo Asado Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is A Pollo Asado Air Fryer Recipe?

    A pollo asado air fryer recipe is a method of cooking marinated chicken in an air fryer, resulting in a flavorful and crispy exterior.

    What Ingredients Are Needed For A Pollo Asado Air Fryer Recipe?

    The ingredients typically include chicken, lime juice, orange juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

    How Long Does It Take To Cook Pollo Asado In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time can vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces, but it usually takes around 25-30 minutes at 375°F in an air fryer.

    What Should The Internal Temperature Of The Chicken Be When It’s Done Cooking?

    The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F to ensure it is fully cooked and safe to eat.

    Can I Marinate The Chicken Beforehand?

    Yes, marinating the chicken in the citrus and spice mixture for at least an hour before cooking will enhance the flavor and tenderness of the meat.

    Can I Use Boneless Chicken For This Recipe?

    Yes, boneless chicken thighs or breasts can be used for a pollo asado air fryer recipe, but bone-in chicken will result in a juicier and more flavorful dish.

    What Can I Serve With Pollo Asado Cooked In An Air Fryer?

    Pollo asado pairs well with traditional Latin sides such as rice, beans, tortillas, and salsa, as well as a fresh salad or grilled vegetables.