Should I sear the steak before putting it in the air fryer?

No. You don’t need to sear your steak before putting it in the air fryer. The air fryer will take care of the good sear on your steak. While cooking an air fryer steak, you just need to prepare your steak according to your recipe, rubbing or marinating, and preheat the air fryer. Once you put your steak in the basket, the hot air will circulate around it to make it perfectly seared while creating a crust on the outside and a tender juicy texture inside.

Does air fryer steak taste as good as traditional steak?

Absolutely. You can make a succulent steak in the air fryer. The steak will be brown, perfectly seared on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside when cooked in the air fryer thanks to the hot air circulating within. Besides cooking the same delicious steaks as the pan frying method, air fryers also use less oil, add almost no calories to the inherent calories of the steak, and avoid any oil splashes in the kitchen.

Does my steak get brown in the air fryer?

Yes. Hot air circulating within the air fryer will immediately cook the outside of your steak without drying it out. This immediate cooking will create a perfectly golden brown seared outside while preserving the juice inside to have a tender and juicy texture at the end.

Should I flip the steak in the air fryer?

It depends on what type of air fryer you use. You should flip the steak halfway through for even cooking if you are using a basket-type air fryer. Most of the basket-type air fryers will notify you when to flip. You can also get notified on your phone or smart watch if you have a smart air fryer.

On the other hand, you do not need to flip the steak if you are using an oven-type air fryer. You place the steak on a mash rack in the oven-type air fryer and the hot air circulating within can reach all parts of the steak evenly.

How do I know if my steak is cooked?

If you cook your steak in the air fryer, you can follow the chart below for perfect doneness according to the thickness of your steak.

Air Fryer Steak Cooking Chart

Air Fryer Steak Doneness LevelAir Fryer Steak Cooking TemperatureAir Fryer Steak Cooking Times
1 inch thick1½ inches thick2 inches thick
Rare400°F5 min7 min9 min
Medium-rare400°F7 min10 min13 min
Medium400°F10 min13 min15 min
Medium-well400°F13 min15 min17 min
Well400°F15 min17 min19 min

If you cook your steak by other methods, grilling, pan frying etc., you can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature inside the steak. The temperatures you should see on the thermometer according to the doneness level of the steak are listed below.

Steak Doneness LevelSteak Inside Temperature

Can I cook frozen steak in the air fryer without thawing it?

Yes. You don’t need to thaw the steak to cook in the air fryer because the hot air circulating through the machine will handle the cooking anyway. So, don’t worry if you forget to remove it from your fridge in time! However, making the steak get to room temperature before cooking will provide a more delicious taste at the end so it is still important.

What are the advantages of cooking steak in the air fryer?

Below are the advantages of cooking steak in the air fryer:

  • Air fryer will produce the same crispy seared outside and a tender juicy inside as the other methods used to cook steak.
  • Air fryer is a very healthy method since it uses very little oil and adds almost no additional calories to the steak.
  • Grilling also uses no oil but you have to stand outside for grilling which is not practical especially when it is cold whereas you use the air fryer in your warm kitchen.
  • While making steak on the stove, oil splatters all around the stove creating a mess to be cleaned thereafter, and a smoke as well as a smell fills the kitchen. You can avoid all these with an air fryer.
  • You don’t have to take care of the cooking process when making a steak in the air fryer. You can prepare other foods for the meal when the air fryer cooks the steak.
  • Air fryer takes the guesswork out of whether the steak is sufficiently cooked or not, and avoids worries about if the steak is overdone or underdone.

What herbs and spices can I use in my compound butter to be put on top of my steak?

Garlic, parsley, chive, thyme, dill and rosemary will go great with the butter on top of your air fryer steak.

air fryer

everything you need to know to cook air fryer steak

Emine Aslan February 27, 2024
Everything You Need to Know to Cook Air Fryer Steak

Traditional cooking methods such as deep frying, roasting, grilling etc. have recently lost their significance in kitchens around the world because of people’s desire to eat healthier food and air fryers have started to take their place more and more as a healthier and practical alternative. There are many foods which can be cooked in the air fryer. Steak is one of those foods and can be made in the air fryer more easily and healthily while still tasting delicious. Since air fryers do not add extra calories to the inherent calories of the food and require very little oil, there is no need to worry about the calories and the risks in consuming high fat when eating the steak made in an air fryer, as well. Using an air fryer to cook steak will also avoid oil splashes all over the stove and the smoke in the kitchen. Let’s see some details about making steak in an air fryer below.

How to Cook Steak in an Air Fryer

Making succulent steak in an air fryer is pretty simple and unexpectedly quick as long as you pay attention to what is needed for different steak types and follow air fryer steak cooking charts. Air fryer steak cooking chart shows recommended cooking durations for a steak according to its thickness and the required doneness level.

Whichever steak recipe you use, cooking the steak in an air fryer requires the same steps listed below:

  • Remove your steaks out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking in order to get them to room temperature
  • Preheat the fryer
  • Rub the steaks with oil and seasonings of your choice or according to your recipe
  • Put the steaks in the air fryer
  • Cook the steaks flipping them halfway through if you use a basket-type air fryer
  • You should check the details about different steak cuts and the air fryer steak cooking chart below to decide how long you should cook your steak to have the taste you look for at the end.
  • Top with garlic butter and let them rest for 5 minutes
  • Enjoy!!!

Different Steak Types to Cook in the Air Fryer

Different steak cuts produce different tastes and texture and may need different treatment before cooking. Even though it seems that the rib eye steak is the most favorite one in the United States, choosing the right steak type depends on the personal taste and preference of your family members.

Sirloin steak in the air fryer

Sirloin steak is a cut from the back of a cow, located at the back of its ribs and ahead of its rump. It contains high protein and low fat. It is flavorful and tastes delicious but its leaner structure makes it less tender compared to rib-eye and New York steak. It is recommended to marinate sirloin steak before cooking to overcome the effects of leanness. Ideal thickness for sirloin steak is 1½ inches. Sirloin steak costs you less cooking time since it is usually smaller than other steak cuts.

Rib-eye steak in the air fryer

Rib-eye steak is a cut from the rib section of a cow, from ribs six through twelve which makes little muscle work which makes the meat tender. It also contains intramuscular fat creating a beautiful marbling. Rib-eye steak is very flavorful and known especially for its tenderness and juicy taste. It is suitable for fast and hot cooking due to its fat marbling. Marinating or dry rubbing will make the rib-eye’s already delicious taste excellent. Ideal thickness recommended for rib-eye steak is 1½ inches.

New York steak in the air fryer

New York steak, also known as strip steak, is a cut from the short loin of a cow, a region which makes little muscle work and produces a tender meat as rib-eye steak. New York strip steak is very tender and juicy but firm enough to get marinated as well. You can also consume it just by dressing with sauces or flavored butters. Ideal thickness recommended for New York strip steak is 1½ inches.

Steak fingers in the air fryer

Steak fingers, also called steak strips, are traditionally coated with flour and seasoning, and then cooked by deep frying. However, if consumed a lot, deep fried foods carry health risks such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and some types of cancer due to the fact that the oil used in deep frying heats up to high temperatures with some harmful effects, and that the amount of oil absorbed by the food is so high. You can see the detailed benefits of using air frying instead of deep frying in our related blog.

Air frying is a healthy alternative to deep frying to cook steak fingers as well, by using only a very small amount of oil and cooking mainly by hot air. It also adds almost no additional calories to the inherent calories of steak fingers.

To make steak fingers in the air fryer, first you should prepare them according to your recipe and preheat the air fryer, and then put them into the basket and cook for 9 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius). Now, your steak fingers are ready, being as delicious as they are deep fried and much more healthier. You can also make fajitas with these steak fingers.

Steak bites in the air fryer

Steak bites are usually made by pan frying but making steak bites using this method is challenging especially because of the oil splashes. An air fryer is a handy alternative to pan frying to avoid oil splashes all over the stove while cooking steak bites.

To make steak bites in the air fryer, you should first preheat the air fryer and prepare the steak bites according to the recipe you use and then place them into the basket and cook them for 6 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius). You can add butter and/or additional seasoning if you like. You steak bites are ready to enjoy its delicious taste!

Give a try to our Beef Wellington Bites Recipe tailored to your Air Fryer if you wish!

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

The time you need to cook air fryer steak depends on the doneness level you prefer and the thickness of the steak. The air fryer steak cooking chart below summarizes all the information you need to decide on cooking duration. You should flip your steak halfway through the cooking times shown in the chart if you use a basket-type air fryer.

Air Fryer Steak Cooking Chart

Air Fryer Steak Cooking Chart: Steak cooking times & temperatures

Some Additional Tips for a Perfect Steak in the Air Fryer

Preparing the steak for cooking

Treatment of the steak before cooking is important to have a better taste and juicy, easily chewable steaks at the end. First of all, you should get rid of all the connective tissue and large pieces of fat. Marinating the steak for at least three but preferably 12 hours will improve the taste, texture and tenderness a lot. Salt should be added while cooking, not during marinating, because it will make the steak become tough.

Preheating the air fryer to cook steak

Even though there is no need to preheat the air fryer to cook food in it, preheating will provide better results when it is to cook steak. Most air fryers come with a preheat function so you should use this function for preheating which will probably take 5 minutes. Once the preheating cycle is complete, you can place the steak into the basket and start the cooking function.

Serving air fryer steak and the side dishes that goes well with it

You can serve your steak either as a whole or by cutting it diagonally but after letting it rest for 5 minutes. You should arrange the plate including side dishes. The most preferred side dishes which go perfectly well with steak are potato based recipes such as mashed potatoes with different sauces, fried or roasted potato recipes, sweet potato fries, etc. Other boiled or fried vegetables such as red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, onion rings, green beans and asparagus are also among the popular side dishes that are served a lot with steak. Salad is another alternative side dish for steak especially if you are on a weight loss diet due to less calories it has.

Storing air fryer steak and reheating it

You can store leftover steaks in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can also put it into the freezer to eat later. Steak can safely stay in the freezer for up to one month. If you leave a frozen steak on the counter in your kitchen, it will thaw within 2-3 hours. You can also thaw it in your air fryer. To reheat your steak, it is better to use either your air fryer or a microwave instead of using a pan or oven.