This post may contain affiliate links to products I use and highly recommend. You can read my full disclosure .
This Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Breast recipe is perfect when you have a taste for grilled BBQ chicken breasts, but don’t want to grill outside. With simple spices and your favorite barbecue sauce, this is an easy weeknight dinner or meal prep that the whole family will enjoy.
Why Make This
- Char-grilled flavor in your air fryer: I like making BBQ foods (especially barbecue chicken) in the air fryer because it is an easiest way to char the sauce like it was on the grill, but it doesn’t require you to have a grill or even step outside.
- Quick & easy: this air fryer chicken breast recipe requires just a few ingredients and comes together in a cook time of less than 20 minutes for an easy weeknight meal. This is by far some of the quickest and best air fryer BBQ chicken breasts that you can make at home.
- Versatile: Enjoy this juicy chicken breast as a main dish with simple sides like my keto coleslaw or any of these bbq chicken sides.
- Chicken Breasts: I’m using raw, boneless chicken breast with the skin off.
- Avocado Oil: a little oil helps to brown the meat and allows the spices to stick to the meat.
- Spices: I’m using common pantry spices like smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning. You could swap these for my bbq rub for chicken or chicken spice rub. They include things like brown sugar substitute and cayenne pepper.
- BBQ Sauce: I’m using homemade keto bbq sauce (I also used it on my air fryer bbq wings). But, you could use any hickory BBQ sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce.
How to Make BBQ Chicken Breasts in an Air Fryer
- Pat the boneless skinless chicken breast dry with paper towel.
- Combine the spices, chicken breasts, and oil in a large bowl
- Add the seasoned chicken breasts in a single layer inside of the air fryer basket
- Air Fry on 400 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Flip the meat.
- Continue cooking for 7-9 more minutes. For best results, add bbq sauce to both sides of the meat during the last 5 minutes.
Top Cooking Tips & FAQs
- Use any hickory or mesquite BBQ sauce you prefer: my keto bbq sauce option tastes closest to those; it even includes liquid smoke.
- Add sauce near the end: you can use sauce in an air fryer, but save it until the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. It’ll char the sauce, but not burn it.
- Spray all sides of the chicken with cooking spray or non-stick spray to help prevent them from sticking to the air fryer basket.
- Use air fryer parchment paper for a mess-free clean-up.
How to Store Leftovers of Air Fryer Barbecue Chicken Breasts
The best way to store this bbq chicken is in an airtight container for the next day (up to 5 days).
How long does it take to cook chicken breasts in the air fryer?
Air Fryer Chicken Breasts take 15-18 minutes to cook. The cook times vary based on the size of the chicken breast.
Can you use sauce in an air fryer?
Yes. But, but most sauces like barbecue sauce need to be added during the last five to 10 minutes of cooking.
BBQ sauce cannot stand the temperature needed to cook and grill most meats. So, if you apply it at the beginning of cooking, it will burn.
How long do you grill with an air fryer?
The cook times to get grilled foods with an air fryer vary by protein. For chicken breasts it takes a cooking time of less than 20 minutes.
What to Serve this With
- Keto Coleslaw
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Creamed Spinach
- Pressure Cooker Cabbage
- Air Fryer Broccoli or Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer
More Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Recipes
- Air Fryer BBQ Wings
- BBQ Chicken Thighs
- BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- Dry Rub Chicken Legs
- Air Fryer Dry Rub Chicken Wings
If you try this recipe, please stop back and leave it a star rating and/or a review in the comments. Stay connected & share photos of your creations with me & others on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Breasts
Use DRDAVINAHS at checkout to save on some equipment & ingredients!
- Mix the spice mixture in a small bowl
- Add the spices, chicken breasts, and avocado oil to a bowl. Toss the chicken until it's coated evenly.
- Place chicken wings on a flat layer in the air fryer basket.
- Air Fry the chicken breasts on 400 degrees for 9 minutes.
- Flip the chicken breasts with tongs. Cook them at 400 degrees for 7-9 more minutes (depending on the chicken's size). Add BBQ sauce to both sides of the meat during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Optional: Serve with additional bbq sauce on the side.
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!