How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer? Good Tips in 2021
Did you know that there are many ways to prepare and cook frozen chicken? The most popular way is through the oven or stovetop. However, did you know that air fryers can also be used to cook it? This blog post will explore How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer? Besides that, we provide some tips and guides on cooking Frozen chicken. Let’s discover!
1. Steps by Steps on How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer?
If you like to buy frozen chicken in bulk and then cook each package separately, then it can be done in an air fryer. How? For this you need to know how many minutes does the air fryer take when cooking the frozen chicken. This article will tell you what you need to do when your oven is preheating for cooking a frozen chicken.
Preparation: Collect all required things such as half-thawed but still cold pieces of frozen chicken, oil spray bottle, clean kitchen towel, tongs and also oven mitts. Besides that grab salt and pepper.
Step 1: Take out the tray from the Air Fryer and then place a small bowl in which add salt and black pepper.
Step 2: Not that evenly the pieces of chicken and sprinkle salt and pepper on top of them. Spray with oil before placing them in the air fryer to avoid sticking.
Step 3: Put back the tray and close the lid and set the timer for 7 minutes for 500-watt Air Fryer. When cooking time is over, move a piece of chicken and check if cooked through or not. If it needs more time then put it again and cook for another 4 minutes or less depending on your oven wattage.
Also keep rotating every 2 minutes so all pieces are cooked evenly on each side or it can be cooked separately as well or you have extra trays to use later on after they are done cooking. Open the lid and move the pieces to a plate. Using tongs will get you burnt hands so we suggest using oven mitts.
Step 4: Wait for 2 minutes before placing another piece in the air fryer again so it can cool down and stay safe from overcooking. Cook all pieces in batches and do not over crowd your Air Fryer with lots of chicken at once because the food is sure to end up steaming which is undesirable for crispier texture.
So, you can cook frozen chicken pieces in an air fryer but keep monitoring closely if cooking time changes by any chance, then add some more minutes on top of what was instructed or until it’s cooked perfectly tender.
Another thing that we suggest doing while cooking is turning off the machine for about 30 seconds and then again turn it on because the food gets cooked from all sides and not just one which makes it even.
2. What happens when you cook frozen chicken in air fryer
Bone-in, skin-on with some moisture like thighs and drumsticks tend to do better than boneless chicken pieces that are thin such as cutlets or breasts. Also if you put chicken with bones into an air fryer, they might come out more tender than those without them as the bones provide extra flavor and protection from overcooking.
Frozen meat usually takes less time to cook so we suggest standing next to your oven and monitoring closely for this recipe especially during summer months when it is hot outside or you are cooking in a hot kitchen.
Cooking time for frozen chicken pieces can vary depending on many factors such as how small or big the chunks are, whether they are skin-on, bone-in or boneless. So set your oven timer for 7 minutes and check if it is cooked through before you take out because this will depend on the size of the piece too.
If about half of the chicken has some pink spots then put it back in and cook for another 4 minutes or so until done perfectly tender with no pinkness inside.
Air fryer chicken pieces are not just perfect for salads but also great to get really crispy slathered in barbecue sauce that’s homemade without any added sugars using tomato paste, vinegar, molasses pepper powder, salt and liquid smoke. While baking chicken in an oven, you wouldn’t get the crispy texture as the pieces would end up steaming which makes them tender and not crispier.
Tips and Guides on How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer
The recipe guides you to cook up to 5 average-sized chicken pieces at a time in an air fryer which is about 500-watt power. We suggest cooking all the chicken pieces first and then taking out one piece and running it under cold water for 30 seconds before checking if the inside is completely cooked through or not, this way you stay safe from overcooking them and getting ill.
As we mentioned already, if half of the chicken has some pink spots then put it back into the oven and set another 4 minutes on top of what was suggested. Also since frozen chicken takes less time to cook than fresh does as its already preheated, standing next to your oven while cooking will help avoid overcooking because that’s the only way you will know when it’s done.
Overcooking will make them very dry and not tender at all. We suggest cooking frozen chicken pieces for 7 minutes first, then check if it has some pink parts inside or not before adding 4 more minutes to make sure they are perfect tender.
Turning off the oven for 30 seconds after reaching the cook time is also a good idea especially if the kitchen is hot because this helps avoid overcooking later on because standing by your oven doesn’t mean that you need to do it all day long either.
Air fryer chicken pieces are perfect for salads, garnished over mashed potatoes or even used in casseroles too. You can easily convert this recipe into an oven version as well but baking times will vary.
As there is no smoke or oil in an air fryer it can be used even in a small apartment without any fuss, so if you have one you should definitely try out this recipe for cooking frozen chicken in air fryer and let us know how come worked for you!
1. What are benefits of Cook Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer?
Cooking frozen chicken in air fryer is one of the most convenient ways to cook it as you don’t need to defrost before cooking unlike oven or stove top methods which takes longer time. You can easily fit about two average-sized chickens with some room around them inside your air fryer basket, so per person you can get 2-3 pieces depending on size.
Not just for lunch or dinner but cooking up frozen chicken pieces in air fryer also makes them perfect for salads or casseroles too! If you are into healthy eating then this is something you should definitely try out at least once or twice a month!
Air fryer chicken pieces not only taste good but are also very moist, tender and so easy to cook. Even if you overcook them for some reason they won’t dry out which is the best thing about air fryers because even when you forget cooking something in oven or stove top it ends up drying out whereas this doesn’t happen with air fryers.
But yes, make sure you don’t overcook them either especially when cooking frozen chicken because this way they will be too chewy and nothing like a juicy sandwich filling that we all love!
2. How to choose good quality of Frozen Chicken?
When choosing frozen chicken pieces make sure they are not all white and mushy but a bit pink in color. Also avoid those which have a lot of ice crystals inside the bag as this means it has been refrozen many times before, so try to pick those bags with less number of “freezer burned” spots.
Frozen chicken should be thawed completely before cooking because defrosting at room temperature will only take longer than using an oven or even air fryer, so forget about that myth that if you cook frozen chicken it will turn out chewy and overcooked because once again this is not true unless it’s already overdone!
3. How long to Cook Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer?
Cooking frozen chicken in air fryer is one of the best ways to do it because if you overcook them then they will not dry out but just become tough. Cooking frozen chicken in an oven or stove top can get the edges browned and crispy, but still it won’t retain its moisture since all the juices inside are evaporating quickly with heat transfer.
But cooking frozen chicken in an air fryer is very different as no matter how much time you cook them for they never turn out dry or chewy which shows this is a great way to go when cooking up dinner or lunch too! There are two key points that you should keep in mind while cooking frozen chicken in an air fryer:
a. Set timer according to weight of the chicken so they turn out perfect tender, and not chewy.
b. Don’t overcook them because its only for a few minutes.
Cooking frozen chicken pieces in air fryer is very easy and quick too compared to oven or stove top methods which take more time. So you can easily fit about two average-sized chickens with some room around them inside your air fryer basket, so per person you can get 2-4 pieces depending on size.
Not just for lunch or dinner but cooking up frozen chicken in an air fryer also makes them perfect for salads or casseroles too! And if you are into healthy eating then this is something you should definitely try out at least once or twice a month.
We suggest using boneless chicken breast for this recipe, but you can also use thighs with bone-in too if that’s what you have at home. Thigh meat is full of flavor and remains really juicy after cooking in an air fryer so there are no compromises on taste either!
4. Some Frozen Chicken recipes:
a. Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer
Ingredients: 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts 2 Tbsp butter, melted salt and black pepper to taste. Directions:
Step 1: Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper if you have one for non-stick use. If not then just skip this step. In case of using frozen meat place it directly on the tray without defrosting because it take less time to cook this way and we don’t want them getting too chewy which can happen if we overcook them while they are still partly frozen.
Step 2: Drizzle melted butter all over the chicken and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper . Try and turn and spread out the pieces so they get coated evenly with the melted butter. Place the tray with the chicken in air fryer basket.
Step 3: Set your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes which is a good amount of time to cook frozen chicken in an air fryer, but if you want to crisp up the edges a bit more then go ahead and give them a couple more minutes while checking on them every two minutes.
Make sure they never turn golden brown because this makes them overcooked and chewy instead of tender which we want to achieve while cooking frozen chicken in an air fryer.
b. Frozen Chicken Drumsticks with Potato Wedge Fries
Ingredients: 1 lb. frozen chicken drumsticks 8 oz. potatoes 2 Tbsp canola oil salt and black pepper to taste ¼ cup olive oil juice of onion.
Step 1: Slice the potatoes into wedges and place them together with canola oil in a large bowl so they get coated evenly over all sides. Spread them out on a lined sheet pan making sure they don’t overlap so they crisp up nicely while cooking in air fryer basket.
Step 2: Set your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 minutes which is enough time to cook frozen chicken with potato wedges, but if you want then you can also go up by two minutes or more for extra crunch on the edges fries too! Chicken will cook quicker than the fries so you don’t need to switch them around during cooking process.
Step 3: In a small bowl combine together olive oil with onion juice and give it a good stir until combined. Arrange chicken drumsticks evenly on top of potatoes in air fryer basket, pour over prepared olive oil mixture all over both chicken and potatoes generously and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place tray back inside air fryer basket, set your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes which is more than enough time required to cook this frozen meal perfectly tender, while checking on its progress every two minutes.
c. Frozen Chicken Schnitzel with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Ingredients: 2 lbs. frozen chicken schnitzel 8 oz. potatoes 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt and black pepper to taste ¼ cup unsalted butter 3 cloves garlic, minced ½ cup all purpose flour 1 cup low sodium chicken broth.
Step 1: Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper if you have one for non-stick use then place it directly on the tray without defrosting because this will save time and we don’t want them getting chewy which can easily happen if we overcook them while they are still partly frozen.
In case of using frozen meat place it directly on the tray without defrosting because it take less time to cook this way and we don’t want them getting too chewy which can happen if we overcook them while they are still partly frozen.
Step 2: Drizzle olive oil all over the chicken schnitzel and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper . Turn each piece so it gets coated evenly with the olive oil. Place tray inside air fryer basket.
Step 3: Set your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes which is enough time to cook this frozen meal perfectly tender, but if you want then you can also go up by two minutes or more for extra crunch on the edges of the Schnitzel too! Make sure you don’t overcook them at any point because this will make them chewy instead of juicy & delicious which is what we want from a good tasty Schnitzel.
Step 4: Peel potatoes, rinse them under cold running water then place together with minced garlic cloves in a large pot. Cover with cold salted water, bring it to boil over high heat for 10 minutes until completely fork tender.
Drain well and return back to the same pot you used for boiling potatoes. Add butter, milk , salt & pepper to taste and mash your mashed potatoes until smooth consistency which shouldn’t take more than half minute of mashing .
Step 5: In a small saucepan melt unsalted butter over medium high heat, whisk together flour with 1/2 cup chicken broth until mixture is lump free then continue whisking while gradually adding rest of chicken broth into this mixture.
Let it simmer stirring the time for about five minutes then stir in garlic. After that, slowly pour this mixture into your mashed potatoes while stirring so they will get thicker and creamy.
5. Common mistakes when cooking frozen chicken in Air Fryer
a. When you are cooking frozen meat in air fryer it’s likely to shrink more than the fully thawed chicken, so if this happens just cut them into smaller pieces and continue with recipe as described.
b. If you want your breaded chicken schnitzel to turn extra golden brown then don’t cover basket with a lid because this will trap too much moisture inside instead leave the lid open for about 20 percent of time during cooking process and they should come out nice and crispy .
c. Don’t overcook your breaded chicken Schnitzel otherwise they become chewy instead of juicy and delicious which is what we all want from a good tasty Schnitzel.
d. When cooking frozen food in air fryer keep your temperature between 360 degrees Fahrenheit and 400 degrees Fahrenheit . If you go much higher temperatures then they will burn on the outside before being cooked properly through.
e. Don’t cook frozen meat more than for 25 minutes because this is where bacteria can start growing which is something that you definitely don’t want to happen when cooking chicken schnitzel in the oven.
f. Make sure your air fryer basket isn’t overcrowded with meat, otherwise they won’t get crispy . This goes for all kinds of meats!
g. One of my most important tips whenever I’m cooking my food in an air fryer is to not open the lid too often because it will change the temperature inside and you will have to adjust it.
h. Many people ask me if it’s possible to bake frozen chicken thighs in the oven and I’m here to tell you that it’s not a good idea! Chicken thighs tend to get very dry when baked straight from the freezer because their skin releases moisture into the meat which gets lost during baking process, so whenever we can avoid this by defrosting them first then cooking them right away .
The only time you should ever cook high chicken thighs from frozen is if they are breaded/ deep fried or boiled as this method creates steam inside of meat which keeps it moist throughout cooking process. But for air fryer cooking lightly coat your chicken thighs with some olive oil which will make a crispy skin when they are cooked through.
i. It’s very important to remember that most recipes for making chicken Schnitzel in oven are made for fully thawed meat which is why most of them tell you to cover your baking tray with some aluminum foil before placing your meat on it because this will trap the juices inside & prevent the schnitzel from drying out so make sure you follow instructions when using my recipes.
This way you’ll get deliciously tender and juicy baked chicken schnitzel without any food safety issues.
j. You can cook frozen chicken legs, thighs & wings just like what I described in paragraph number eight but there will be one extra step involved because after cooking skinless chicken for 25 minutes then remove them from the oven and turn your schnitzel over which you did before cooking them. Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit then put your chicken back inside of the basket with skin side up.
This will make skin nice & crispy . Now you can continue baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for another 10 – 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. Make sure that chicken is not pink inside otherwise it’s not done and if this happens to you, leave them in oven for longer next time.
Common Question Related with Cooking Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer – FAQs
1. Can I cook frozen meat in an air fryer?
Answer: Yes you can if it’s not too thick.
2. How long do I have to cook my chicken in the oven when it’s still frozen?
Answer: 25 minutes for boneless thighs/legs, 20 minutes for wings & 30 minutes for chicken breasts . Then turn them over and continue cooking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit , unless you are using another recipe.
3. What is best way to cook frozen food in an air fryer?
Answer: Bake at 360 – 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes then turn them over and continue baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they are cooked through.
4. Can I cook frozen chicken from the supermarket in an air fryer?
Answer: Yes, you can!
5. Is it safe to eat a chicken schnitzel which is still cold inside?
Answer: It’s not safe to eat a chicken Schnitzel which is cold because this means that bacteria have started multiplying and by putting it back in oven will just kill all of them while cooking process. This will not be enough to keep them away forever so make sure you defrost your meat properly before using this method.
6. What temperature do I cook my frozen food at?
Answer: You should cook frozen food at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes then turn over and continue baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until done .
7. How long do I cook my raw meat?
Answer: If you like your meat pink , cook at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes then turn over and continue baking at 400 degrees for another 10 – 20 minutes . If you like it more well done , cook at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes then turn over and continue baking at 300 – 350 degrees Fahrenheit until internal temperature reaches 169 – 175 degrees Fahrenheit .
8. What is the best way to reheat cooked food?
Answer: Never use microwave because all of nutrients will be lost during this process. Preferably, you should reheat your food in oven on 300 – 400 degrees Fahrenheit until internal temperature reaches 165 – 176 degrees Fahrenheit or serve it hot with a sauce.
9. How long do I bake raw chicken schnitzel?
Answer: Bake raw chicken Schnitzel at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes then turn over and continue baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until skin is crispy and meat is not pink inside.
10. How do I reheat cooked chicken in oven?
Answer: Preheat your oven to 300 – 350 degrees Fahrenheit , place your schnitzel on a pan covered with aluminum foil and bake for around 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 – 176 degrees Fahrenheit .
In this article, we will provide you with Steps by Steps on How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Air Fryer? Besides that, we also introduce a few helpful tips on how to cook frozen chicken in air fryer. We hope that these guidelines help make your cooking experience easier and more enjoyable!
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