Recipes

Air Fried Chicken Strips

Does your family love chicken strips? The air fryer is a great way to make them without the mess and as a bonus they are healthier too.

I’ve been testing out the a air fry setting on my Breville oven and I’ve also tested out several chicken strip recipes. I’m going to share with you my favorite and also give you some practical tips about using your air fryer.

As I was looking for a good chicken strip recipe I came across two different batters. Some people use an egg wash and then breading and some people like to use buttermilk before the breading. I tested them both and there’s a clear winner.

I also noticed that some people like to coat their chicken strips with flour as the breading and some people like to use bread crumbs or panko. I tried both of these and I will explain why one is so much better. Of if you prefer click here to go straight to the printable recipe card.

Ingredients for Air Fried Chicken Strips

air fried chicken strips

Option 1 – Using buttermilk and flour

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of Buttermilk
  • 1 cup of Flour
  • Dried basil
  • Dried thyme
  • Garlic powder
  • Oil spray (I used olive)

Option 2 – Using egg wash and bread crumbs

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs or panko
  • Dried basil
  • Dried thyme
  • Garlic powder

Steps to make chicken strips

The steps are the same for both methods.

1.) Generously sprinkle salt on both sides of the chicken strips about 1 hour before you plant to cook them. It’s sort of like dry brining a turkey or a chicken. This gives the salt a chance to soak in and keeps the chicken more moist during cooking.

2.) Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.

air fried chicken strips

3.) Set up your egg or buttermilk in a shallow dish (I made both to compare)

4.) Set up your flour or bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1 teaspoon of dried basil to the breading and mix to combine.

5.) Line your air fry basket with parchment. Be sure the sides of the basket aren’t covered, just the base. Tip: when you air fry you want to allow as much air to circulate around the food as possible.

6.) Dip each strip in the wet ingredients and then the dry ingredients. Set the strips in your air fry basket. Be sure they have about 1 inch between strips. Tip: Don’t overcrowd food if you want maximum crispiness.

The disadvantage of an air fryer is that it only works if air can circulate around your food. This means you can’t pack a lot of chicken onto a pan and expect it to get really crispy. I cooked these chicken strips in two batches.

7.) Fry for 10 minutes and then flip and fry until browned. For the chicken cooked with buttermilk I sprayed the strips with oil after flipping them to help them brown better. The first time I tried the recipe I skipped this oil and they didn’t get very brown. Perhaps they would have eventually, but then the chicken would have been overcooked.

Tip: If you don’t want a mess to clean up in your air fryer, use parchment paper.

air fry chicken

The bottom line is that when it comes to air frying, the buttermilk method just doesn’t cut it. The buttermilk flour combination didn’t crisp up or brown as well as the egg and bread crumb method. Here are the two side by side.

air fried chicken strips

Printable Recipe Card

air fried chicken strips

Air Fried Chicken Strips

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Air fried chicken strips are a family favorite. They are quick and easy.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg beaten (or 1 cup of buttermilk)
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs or panko (or 1 cup of flour)
  • Dried basil
  • Dried thyme
  • Garlic powder

Instructions

    1.) Generously sprinkle salt on both sides of the chicken strips about 1 hour before you plant to cook them. It's sort of like dry brining a turkey or a chicken. This gives the salt a chance to soak in and keeps the chicken more moist during cooking.

    2.) Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.

    3.) Set up your egg or buttermilk in a shallow dish.

    4.) Set up your flour or bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1 teaspoon of dried basil to the breading and mix to combine.

    5.) Line your air fry basket with parchment. Be sure the sides of the basket aren't covered, just the base. You want to allow as much air to circulate as possible.

    6.) Dip each strip in the wet ingredients and then the dry ingredients. Set the strips in your air fry basket. Be sure they have about 1 inch between strips. The disadvantage of an air fryer of any kind is that it only works if air can circulate around your food. This means you can't pack a lot of chicken onto a pan and expect it to get really crispy. I worked mine in two batches.

    7.) Fry for 10 minutes and then flip and fry until browned. For the chicken cooked with buttermilk I sprayed the strips with oil after flipping them to help them brown better. The first time I tried the recipe I skipped this step and they didn't brown up. Perhaps they would have eventually, but then the chicken would have been overcooked.

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