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If you have a taste for grilled BBQ chicken breasts, you can get char-grilled flavor in your air fryer with this easy Ninja Foodi Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Breast recipe. I’m using my homemade keto BBQ sauce, but this tastes great with any hickory or Kansas City-style BBQ sauce you prefer. Enjoy this with my keto coleslaw, air fryer broccoli or air fryer green beans.
Why Make This
- Char-grilled flavor in your air fryer: I like making BBQ foods in the air fryer because it chars 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 less than 20 minutes
- Chicken Breasts: I’m using raw, boneless chicken breasts with the skin off.
- Avocado Oil: this helps to brown the meat and allows the spices to stick to the meat.
- Spices: This includes common pantry spices like smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning. You could use this, but an alternative (if you have it already made), is to use 1 tablespoon of my homemade chicken dry rub.
- BBQ Sauce: I’m using homemade keto bbq sauce, but you could use any hickory or Kansas-city style BBQ sauce that you prefer. It tastes great on these chicken breasts and other recipes like my fall off the bone ribs.
How to Make BBQ Chicken Breasts in an air fryer
- Combine the spices, chicken breasts, and oil in a bowl
- Add the chicken breast to the air fryer cooking basket
- Air Fry on 400 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Flip the meat.
- Continue cooking for 7-9 more minutes. 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.
- Use air fryer parchment paper for a mess-free clean-up.
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 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 Recipes
- Air Fryer BBQ Wings
- BBQ Chicken Thighs
- BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- Dry Rub Chicken Legs
- Air Fryer Dry Rub Chicken Wings
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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Breasts
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- 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!