Air fryer steak – delicious juicy steak is easy to cook in an air fryer. This recipe is my go-to for an easy Friday night dinner. Top with garlic herb butter and serve with a side salad and fries – simply delicious!
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How to Cook Steak in an Air Fryer
Air frying steak is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cook it.
I do love a steak dinner grilled outdoors on a BBQ or a cast iron grill, but cooking it indoors in a pan can be messy, and you have to constantly watch over it so it is a really intensive kind of cooking.
This is why air frying is really great!
The thing I love most about air frying steak is that it is really hands off. You just prep the meat, put it in and wait. However, the difficult thing with air frying steak is getting the timing exactly right, but see below for help with that!
Another reason air frying is a great way to cook steaks is that the action of the hot air helps to quickly form that delicious outer crust, but without adding a lot of extra fat.
The air fryer that I have* even claims to remove the saturated fat from food making it even healthier!
Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer steak recipe, or read on for all the details!
The best cuts of steak for air frying are tender cuts with some fat marbled. Some great options are:
- Boneless ribeye steak/ scotch fillet
- Filet mignon/ eye fillet/ beef medallions
- Top loin/ New York strip steak
- Top sirloin
- Rump steak
Any cut that is good for grilling of shallow frying will be good air fried.
Getting the seasoning right is key for air frying that perfect steak. I generally go for classic peppered seasoning: Sprinkle lots of cracked black pepper flakes and kosher salt on to a plate, then press the steak into the seasoning just prior to cooking.
For a more subtle flavor, you can add whole garlic cloves or flavorsome herbs like rosemary or thyme to the air fryer basket along with the steak.
Alternatively you can use regular store-bought steak seasoning or steak rub (try Montreal steak seasoning*).
You will get the best results air frying steak if you use a little oil. I normally use light olive oil, but almost any regular liquid cooking oil will work. Choose one with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.
Step 1: Prepare steak
Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before cooking – meat that starts at room temperature will cook much more evenly as it doesn’t have to warm up so much before it starts cooking.
For similar reasons it is important to preheat the air fryer before cooking a steak. Preheat air fryer to 400°F/ 200°C.
Mix oil and seasoning on a plate and press the steak into the seasoning on both sides.
Step 2: Place steak in the air fryer
Place the steaks into the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching. Steaks need a lot of room to cook in an air fryer, so don’t be tempted to squeeze them in too tightly!
If you have more than will fit comfortably in the basket, air fry steaks one or two at a time, then leave them to rest as you cook more. Alternatively, air fry one much larger thicker steak and carve it to serve.
Step 3: Air fry steak
Cook steak in the air fryer at 400°F/ 200°C for 7-12 minutes until cooked to your liking (for more details on cook times check out the section below).
Step 4: Rest steak
After cooking, the meat should rest at room temperature for approximately five minutes (but not longer than 10) before serving. This allows the fibers of the meat to reabsorb the juices, resulting in a moist and tender steak.
To rest, place the cooked steak on a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Leave for five minutes.
You will notice some juices on the plate – these are known as ‘resting juices’, and can be poured over the steak before serving for extra flavor.
How long to cook steak in an air fryer
Cook time depends on how big your piece of steak is (in particular how thick it is), how well you like it done, and how efficient your air fryer is.
Estimated air frying times chart
As a rule of thumb, start with 5 minutes per inch of thickness for rare steak, and add two minutes of cooking time for each degree of doneness. I have summarized some air fryer steak cooking times in the table below.
|How well done?||1 inch thick||1.5 inch thick||Internal |
|Rare||5 mins||7 mins||125°F/ 52°C|
|Medium-rare||7 mins||10 mins||135°F/ 57°C|
|Medium||9 mins||13 mins||145°F/ 63°C|
|10 mins||15 mins||150°F/ 66°C|
|Well done||12 mins||18 mins||160°F/ 71°C|
Remember, cooking times vary, and will depend on factors including which type of airfryer you have – some require you to turn food halfway through the cooking cycle to ensure it is cooked evenly.
Check the internal temperature
The best way to tell how well done your steak is, is to use a thermometer to check the temperature in the center of the meat.
These days I always use a meat thermometer. There is just nothing more disappointing than overcooking a beautiful piece of meat.
My meat thermometer of choice is the Meater* – a truly wireless thermometer – which means it is just perfect to use with an air fryer!
It is basically just a skewer that you stick in the meat, which then uses Bluetooth to tell your phone when the meat is ready. You can see it sticking out of the steak in the photo above. It estimates the cooking time based on what you are cooking, how well you want it done, the temperature of the food, and the cooking pan.
An instant-read meat thermometer is also a good choice, it is just not quite as easy to monitor how well-cooked your steak is while it is still cooking as you have to keep opening the air fryer to check on its progress.
I like a medium rare steak, with a little pink in the center. To achieve this, you are aiming for an internal temperature of about 135°F/ 57°C.
The temperature of the meat will continue to rise a little while it rests, so you want to remove it from the cooking heat when it is a couple of degrees below the target temperature.
One of the really great things about the Meater* is that it will alert you to remove the food from the air fryer in time so that it reaches the target temperature while it is resting.
I like to serve air fried steak topped with compound butter (garlic butter or herb butter), with a side salad and air fryer french fries, but air fryer potato wedges, or sweet potato fries are also great.
If you are looking to cook sides in the air fryer as well as the steak, just cook them initially for five minutes less than the full cook time, then toss them back in the air fryer to finish cooking while the steak is resting!
Storing and reheating
Store any leftover steak in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days.
You can reheat leftover steak in the air fryer, air fry for 3-4 minutes until warmed through. See this post for full details: Reheat steak in an air fryer.
Alternatively, you can reheat steak in the microwave, 1-2 minutes on high, but you will get much better results if you use your air fryer.
Air Fryer Steak Recipe Card
How to cook steak in an air fryer.
- 8 oz steak (1 in thick) [Note 1]
- Olive oil
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Remove steak from the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to cooking to allow it to reach room temperature before cooking.
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F/ 200°C.
- Mix salt and ground pepper (or other seasoning) on a plate.
- Pat steak dry, then rub or spray with a little olive oil.
- Press each side of the steak into the salt/pepper mix, then place in air fryer basket. If you are cooking more than one, make sure they are not touching.
- Air fry at 400°F/ 200°C for 7 minutes for medium-rare (12 minutes for well-done).
- If you want to be precise about how well your steak is done, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature - it should be 130°F (55°C) for perfect medium-rare steak [Note 2].
- Remove steak from the air fryer, cover with aluminum foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Ribeye, filet mignon, top sirloin, steak, rump
- Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature:
- Rare: 125°F/ 52°C
- Medium-rare: 135°F/ 57°C
- Medium: 145°F/ 63°C
- Medium-well done: 150°F/ 66°C
- Well done: 160°F/ 71°C
See recipe post for estimated cook times.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474.3Total Fat: 32.1gSaturated Fat: 14.3gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 138.3mgSodium: 1280.9mgCarbohydrates: 0.6gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 45.7g
You may also like:
- Air fryer beef tenderloin
- Air fryer beef jerky
- Air fryer pork steaks
- Air fryer lamb steaks
- Air fryer pork chops
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