This air fryer bbq chicken is perfectly juicy and tender and is so much faster than firing up the grill. It needs a handful of ingredients and cooks in under 20 minutes.
Craving barbecue but don’t have the patience to whip out the grill? This air fryer bbq chicken recipe is your answer.
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Why this recipe works
This chicken may look incredibly fancy, but it’s so easy to whip up.
- It is hassle-free. BBQ is almost synonymous with smoking and grilling. And not everyone is equipped with the means, leisure, or preference for traditional grilling. For such cooks, this air-fryer recipe is the perfect solution!
- Quick and easy. No long marination time, breading, or complicated ingredients. This recipe is as simple as it gets.
- Amazing texture and flavor. The texture of the chicken is perfectly tender, juicy, and moist. The sauce gives it a sweet and tangy barbecue flavor that leaves you craving more.
This air fryer barbecue chicken is so easy, and besides the chicken and the sauce itself, there isn’t much else needed to make. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chicken. Opt for fresh, pink, uniformly sized chicken breast fillets. The smaller they are, the easier they will be to fit in the air fryer basket.
- Salt & pepper. To taste.
- Onion & garlic powder. For flavor seasoning.
- BBQ sauce. Use your favorite BBQ sauce, or opt for one with the least added sugar.
How to make air fryer bbq chicken
Bbq chicken in the air fryer is easy to make: just remember to pat dry the chicken pieces before rubbing the spices over it.
Prep the air fryer: Grease the air fryer with oil or cooking spray and preheat it at 180°C/350°F.
Prep the chicken: Dry the chicken and rub the spice mix all over it.
Air fry the chicken: Cook the chicken for about 8 minutes on each side.
Coat with BBQ sauce: Remove the chicken briefly from the air fryer, baste it with BBQ sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Tips to make the best recipe
Line the air fryer basket: Layer the air fryer basket with parchment paper to avoid a messy basket.
Avoid overcrowding: Layer and space the chicken evenly for the best cooking and consistent results.
Start with room-temperature chicken: To ensure the chicken is cooked evenly in the air fryer, take it out of the fridge half an hour before cooking.
Use a meat thermometer: If you have variable-sized pieces, the best way to confirm the doneness of your chicken is to check its internal temperature. If it is at 165°F, your chicken is ready.
To store. Allow the chicken to cool down completely. Then, refrigerate it in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.
To freeze. Toss the leftover BBQ chicken in a freezer-safe container and freeze for 2 months.
To reheat. If using frozen chicken, let it thaw in the fridge and warm it in the air fryer until ready.
More delicious ways to air fry chicken
- Air fryer chicken thighs
- Air fryer chicken nuggets
- Air fryer chicken drumsticks
- Air fryer whole chicken
- Air fryer chicken wings
- Air fryer cornish hen
Frequently asked questions
Of course! Make air fryer BBQ chicken thighs, chicken legs, or chicken drumsticks using the same process and ingredients.
If using frozen chicken, thaw it completely in the fridge, pat dry, and use it like fresh chicken. Be sure to pat dry the chicken to ensure there is no excess moisture.
I don’t recommend doing this. The sugars in BBQ sauce will burn during the long cook and yield rubbery chicken. It’s best to slather it during the last 2 minutes of the cook.
Air Fryer BBQ Chicken
- Preheat the air fryer to 180C/350F. Grease the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel. Rub the spices all over the chicken.
- Air fry the chicken for 8 minutes, flip, and cook for another 8 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the air fryer basket and cover generously in the barbecue sauce.
- Return the covered chicken to the air fryer basket and cook for another 2 minutes.
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