How to Cook a Steak in the Air Fryer

The air fryer isn’t just for snacks! Read on to learn advice, tips, and tricks for cooking a tender and juicy steak in your air fryer any night of the week.

<p>Getty Images/brebca</p>

Getty Images/brebca

The air fryer isn’t just for frying anymore. This handy kitchen appliance has taken over kitchens everywhere, and with good reason! It's as much a countertop oven as it is a fryer, making it ideal for a hands-off approach when roasting vegetables, baking cookies, making pizzas, and yes, even cooking a beautiful cut of steak to tender and juicy perfection. Save yourself time and a smoky kitchen by reading on to learn the tips and tricks for cooking a perfect steak in your air fryer any night of the week. We're also sharing our favorite recipes for air-fried steak including pasta dishes, salads, and more.

Related: The 8 Best Air Fryers of 2023 for Crispy, Golden Brown Food, According to Testing

How To Cook Steak in an Air Fryer

High heat is ideal for cooking steaks because the less time steak spends cooking, the more tender the interior will be. This makes the air fryer perfect for cooking steaks, since it cooks the meat quickly and evenly by surrounding it with extremely hot air. Air fryer steaks are beautifully seared on the outside and juicy on the inside, but it’s all about proper preparation and cook time.

Preheat the air fryer to 400 F degrees. Rub the steak with extra virgin olive oil, and then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow it to sit and reach room temperature before cooking. This helps the steak cook more evenly, and the salt will intensify the flavor and create a dry surface on the steak, resulting in a crispier sear once cooked.

Related: 9 Common Air Fryer Mistakes—And How to Avoid Them

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

High heat and a hot air fryer are essential for achieving a crisp sear and juicy interior. One major benefit of cooking steak in the air fryer is that it removes any guesswork for how long it needs to be cooked. Depending on how you prefer your steak, the required cook time will vary. Here is a simple breakdown, using a 1-inch-thick cut of steak in an air fryer that has been preheated to 400°F degrees:

  • Rare: 4-6 minutes, 125°F degree interior

  • Medium Rare: 6-8 minutes, 135°F degree interior

  • Medium: 8-10 minutes, 145°F degree interior

  • Medium-Well: 10-12 minutes, 155°F degree interior

  • Well Done: 12-14 minutes, 160°F degree interior

Do You Need to Flip Steak in an Air Fryer?

Because of the air fryer's trademark ability to circulate intensely hot air evenly around food as it cooks, you don't need to flip steak in the air fryer. If you prefer to flip your steaks, that works too! Flip the steak halfway through the required cook time.

Whatever you choose, always allow your steak to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This allows time for the juices to redistribute, resulting in each bite being juicy and tender, rather than dry and overcooked. While your steak rests, top it with a teaspoon of garlic butter to intensify the flavors as the juices redistribute.

Do You Need To Add Oil?

You do not need to put oil in the air fryer before cooking the steak. Most air fryer baskets are nonstick to start. However, don’t put that olive oil away quite yet. When preparing your steak for the air fryer, you’ll want to rub the meat generously with olive oil and season with salt. In the air fryer, the steak’s exterior will caramelize, and that perfect crispy, seared crust will be accomplished.

Air Fryer Steak Recipes

Now that you know how to cook steak in the air fryer, try whipping up one of these delicious air fryer steak recipe ideas. Our Test Kitchen has developed air fryer steak recipes for everything from flank steak to a steak salad. Each of these recipes can be cooked just how you like your steak. A pasta bowl can be a great option for a well-done steak while strip steaks can be served medium.

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