the sizzling perfection of juicy BBQ chicken cooked to mouthwatering tenderness in an air fryer

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken

Craving tender and juicy BBQ chicken without having to fire up the grill? Your air fryer can help!

This recipe will help you achieve the perfect blend of smoky flavors and crispy skin in no time. Get your apron ready and enjoy this delicious dish any time of the year.

Follow these simple steps to start savoring finger-licking good BBQ chicken.


To comprehend the history of Air Fryer BBQ Chicken, you must recognize how this cooking approach emerged.

Companies started trialing a new way to cook food in the early 2000s, with the objective of crafting a healthier substitute to deep-frying, but still maintaining the crunchy texture and delightful taste. This led to the innovation of the air fryer, a home appliance that uses hot air circulation to cook food.

As for BBQ chicken, it has always been a beloved dish, treasured for its smoky flavor and succulent tenderness. By combining the two, Air Fryer BBQ Chicken was formed, providing a healthier and stress-free way to experience this classic dish without weakening the flavor.


To make Air Fryer BBQ Chicken, you’ll need certain ingredients. Here are the key items you’ll need:

  • Chicken: Choose bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces like drumsticks or thighs for optimal flavor and juiciness.
  • BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce. Opt for a flavor that suits your taste, whether it’s sweet, tangy, or spicy.
  • Olive Oil: A small amount of olive oil helps to coat the chicken pieces and enhance their crispiness in the air fryer.

These three ingredients are essential for creating delicious and succulent Air Fryer BBQ Chicken. Make sure to have them on hand before you start cooking.


To make Air Fryer BBQ Chicken, you need to adhere to the steps below.

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).

  • In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of your preferred barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.

  • Place 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large zip-top bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken, making sure it’s evenly coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator for more flavor.

  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

  • Brush the chicken with additional barbecue sauce and cook for an additional 2 minutes to caramelize the sauce.

  • Remove from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy your delicious Air Fryer BBQ Chicken!

Be sure to follow the instructions precisely for optimal results.

Tips for Cooking

For optimal results in cooking Air Fryer BBQ Chicken, take note of the following tips.

Tips Description
Preheat the air fryer Set the temperature to 400°F and preheat for 5 minutes to ensure the chicken cooks evenly and the skin gets crispy.
Pat dry the chicken Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning to help the spices adhere better and promote browning.
Use a meat thermometer Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F.
Baste with BBQ sauce Baste the chicken with BBQ sauce during the cooking process. This adds flavor and can create a sticky glaze.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have followed the tips for cooking Air Fryer BBQ Chicken, it’s time to wrap up.

Cooking chicken in an air fryer is a great way to get crispy and flavorful results without having to use too much oil. Marinating the chicken before preheating the air fryer is a great way to make sure you get maximum flavor and tenderness.

The cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces, so it’s important to keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking. An instant-read thermometer can be used to check if the chicken is done.

Additionally, it’s recommended to let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.

With these tips in mind, you can enjoy delicious BBQ chicken straight from your air fryer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Regular Oven Instead of an Air Fryer to Cook BBQ Chicken?

Yes, you can cook BBQ chicken in a regular oven instead of an air fryer. To ensure it’s cooked properly and has a nice crispy skin, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time and temperature. Follow these steps and you’ll be good to go!

How Long Does It Take to Cook BBQ Chicken in an Air Fryer?

To cook BBQ chicken in an air fryer, it takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Preheat the air fryer, place the chicken in the basket, and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Enjoy your delicious meal!

Can I Use Frozen Chicken to Make Air Fryer BBQ Chicken?

Yes, it is possible to use frozen chicken to make air fryer BBQ chicken. Just make sure to thaw the chicken completely before cooking. This will help to make sure the chicken is cooked through evenly and is safe to eat. Following these steps will ensure your BBQ chicken turns out delicious.

How Do I Prevent the BBQ Sauce From Burning in the Air Fryer?

To keep the BBQ sauce from burning in the air fryer, apply it near the end of the cooking time. This will reduce the amount of time the sauce has to caramelize and burn.

Can I Marinate the Chicken Before Cooking It in the Air Fryer for Extra Flavor?

Yes, you can marinate the chicken before cooking in the air fryer for added flavor and to help keep it moist. Just make sure to blot the chicken dry before placing it in the air fryer.

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