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Two sliced air fryer chicken breasts on a homemade ceramic serving plate.
4.78 from 50 votes

Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Breasts that are tender, juicy, and delicious every time. Make this easy, foolproof recipe for a fast and simple weeknight dinner, or use it in your favorite meal prep recipes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Soak Time30 mins
Total Time47 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 262kcal


  • Air Fryer



  • Fill a large bowl or pot with 6-8 cups of lukewarm water. Add approximately 3-4 tablespoons of kosher salt and mix well until dissolved. Do not add warm or hot water as it will start to cook your chicken.
  • Add the chicken breasts to the water. Let them rest for approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove from the water and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the salt water and set the chicken breasts aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if using). Lightly spray the chicken breasts with nonstick spray (you may also brush with a light coat of oil) and season both sides with your homemade seasoning - use your fingers to rub the seasoning all over the entire surface.
  • Lightly spray the inside of your air fryer basket with nonstick spray and preheat your air fryer (if necessary). Add the chicken breasts (work in batches, you don't want to stack the chicken breasts on top of each other). Set temperature to 380°F and cook for approximately 8-12 minutes total, flipping halfway through cooking.
  • After approximately 6-8 minutes, use a digital read meat thermometer to check the doneness of your chicken. You know it's done cooking when it registers between 160-165°F.
  • Remove chicken breasts from the air fryer to a clean plate and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving. Enjoy!


  • The overall weight and thickness of your chicken breasts will greatly influence the overall cooking time. To make your life easier, try to purchase chicken breasts that are about the same weight (anywhere from 6-8 ounces each). If one end of your chicken breast is especially thick (as is sometimes the case with chicken breasts) you may wish to pound the thicker end between plastic wrap so that the two ends are equal thickness. This helps ensure that the whole chicken breast cooks evenly.
  • Bring your chicken breasts to room temperature. I did this by adding them to a bowl filled with lukewarm water and salt and letting them rest, at room temperature, for about 20-30 minutes. This will not only help them cook in less time, but also help them cook evenly (preventing the outside from cooking faster, and drying out when compared to the inside).
  • I own this Cosori XL Air Fryer. So far, it's been great. Please note that different air fryers may cook differently from each other.
  • I also line my air fryer with these silicone liners for easier clean-up.
  • Keep leftover chicken stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 844mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 367IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
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