If you own an air fryer, it is hard to resist crispy food, especially chicken. However, air fryer users often complain that the chicken dries out once they are done cooking. So, the question is how to keep chicken from drying out in an air fryer.
To keep your chicken from drying out, try the following:
- Try marinating the chicken
- Use some oil to add juiciness
- Make sure to brine the chicken
- Always preheat the air fryer
- Invest in a food thermometer
- Make sure to adjust the cooking time
- Try to use aluminum foil to lock in moisture
Let’s take a closer look at each technique to help your chicken retain moisture.
Top tips to keep your chicken moist in the air fryer
1. Try marinating the chicken
Marination is one of the best ways to prevent the chicken from drying out in an air fryer, especially if you are cooking skinless or boneless meat. Once you have prepared the marinade, leave the chicken soaking in it for a couple of hours or overnight.
Note: It isn’t necessary to keep the chicken soaked in marinade overnight each time.
You can marinate a few hours before cooking if you are short on time. The purpose of marination is to help the chicken retain moisture. Otherwise, the meat will simply lose moisture during the air frying process.
Furthermore, marination is all about adding a unique flavor to the chicken. We will suggest using an olive oil base and trying out flavors of your choice. If you still find the chicken dry, try adding some corn flour or honey.
2. Use some oil to add juiciness
Spraying the chicken with oil gives it a juicy touch. You can also try dipping food in oil but make sure you do not do excess of either.
Spraying or dipping in too much oil will cause it to burn. One or two tablespoons should suffice. This will help the chicken retain its moisture and texture without compromising the health benefits.
You might be thinking that an air fryer isn’t supposed to use oil, but a little bit is totally fine!
3. Make sure to brine the chicken
The salt in the brine solution alters and deprives the proteins of their natural qualities. As a result, the chicken is able to stay moist. Through brining, the muscle fibers in the chicken swell, which helps it retain moisture.
People often confuse brining and marinating, assuming both are the same. In reality, they serve different purposes. While brining helps trap moisture, marinating adds a unique flavor to the meat.
4. Always preheat the air fryer
Although preheating the air fryer is not required in every case, if your chicken is drying out, you can give it a try. Preheat the air fryer for about 10 to 15 minutes before cooking! Make sure that you place the chicken in the air fryer once it has preheated.
A preheated air fryer is already at the temperature at which the chicken is supposed to cook, so the food starts cooking as soon as you load it in and turns out perfect.
5. Invest in a food thermometer
A food thermometer, as the term suggests, is specifically designed to determine the temperature of the food. Chefs and people conscious of food quality use a food thermometer to ensure the food is being cooked at the right temperature.
In addition to that, kitchen appliances can also show discrepancies in the temperature. This is why you should not blindly trust your air fryer, as it is simply an electronic appliance. The actual temperature of your air fryer might differ from the one mentioned on the packaging.
Therefore, investing in a food thermometer is going to be a wise decision if you want to prevent your chicken from overcooking.
6. Make sure to adjust the cooking time
One of the common reasons chicken turns out dry while cooking in an air fryer is the cooking time. Most users are not considerate of the time and temperature relationship. The longer the chicken is cooked, the more the chances are of it drying out.
The best way to avoid that is by consulting your air fryer’s cooking chart or user manual. Cooking charts indicate the amount of time and the right temperature required to cook different types of food items.
So, if you do not have access to one, you can easily look it up on the internet.
7. Try to use aluminum foil to lock in moisture
The aluminum foil helps trap the moisture in the chicken by not letting it evaporate and escape into the surroundings. This way, your chicken remains tender and juicy.
In the end, all it takes to prevent the chicken from drying out is marinating, brining, using aluminum foil, etc. Additionally, keep an eye on the temperature and cooking time to prevent things from going south just when you are about to serve dinner. We hope our tips helped; happy air frying!