How to cook juicy, delicious steak in an air fryer. This air fried steak recipe is my go-to for an easy Friday night dinner. Top with herb butter and serve with a side salad – simply delicious!
Preparing air fryer steak
Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking – meat that starts at room temperature will cook much better in an air fryer as it doesn’t have to warm up so much before it starts cooking. For similar reasons it is important to preheat the airfryer before air frying a steak.
Getting the seasoning right is key for air frying steak. When I am air frying steak I generally go for a classic peppered steak. Sprinkle lots of cracked black pepper and sea salt on to a plate, then press the steak into the seasoning just before placing it into the airfryer.
You can also use a marinade to enhance flavor and tenderize the meat. Try balsamic vinegar, or a coating of honey and mustard – both reduce down to a sweet glaze. However do not marinate for long periods as this can leave the meat too soft and unappetizing.
For a more subtle flavor, you can add whole garlic cloves or flavorsome herbs like rosemary or thyme to the airfryer basket along with the steak.
Steaks need a lot of room to cook in an air fryer, don’t be tempted to squeeze them in too tightly anyway. 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.
How long to cook steak in an air fryer
How long to cook steak in an air fryer depends on how big your piece of steak is (in particular how thick it is), and how well you like it done.
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 done-ness. I have summarized some 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 do vary, and will depend on factors including which type of air fryer you have. Some air fryers require you to turn food halfway through the cooking cycle to ensure it is cooked evenly.
The best way to tell how well done your steak is, is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
These days I always use a meat thermometer. There is just nothing more disappointing than overcooking a beautiful piece of steak. I recently discovered the Meater [affiliate link] – a truly wireless meat thermometer – which I love, Love LOVE! I use it way more than I expected, and it is just perfect to use with an air fryer as there are no wires.
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 have to keep your phone nearby). It estimates the cooking time based on what you are cooking, how well you want it done, the temperature of the food and the temperature in the cooking pan (or air fryer).
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 130°F. Remember that the temperature of the steak will continue to rise a little while it rests. One of the really great things about the Meater is that it will alert you to remove the steak from the air fryer in time so that it reaches the target temperature while it is resting.
How to rest steak
After cooking steak it should rest at room temperature for approximately five minutes (but not longer than 10) before serving. This allows the fibers of the steak to reabsorb the juices, resulting in a moist and tender steak.
To rest, remove the cooked steak from the air fryer, place on a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Leave for five minutes. You will notice some juices on the plate – these are know as ‘resting juices’, and can be poured over the steak before serving for extra flavor.
Air fryer steak recipe
- 8 oz steak (1 in thick) (try sirloin steak, rump steak or filet mignon)
- olive oil spray
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Remove steak from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature before cooking.
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
- Mix sea salt and ground pepper 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 steaks in air fryer basket. If you are cooking more than one steak, make sure they are not touching.
- Air fry steak 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 medium-rare, or 160°F (71°C) or above for well done.
- Remove steak from the air fryer, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
What to serve with air fried steak
Here are some great side dishes to go with this steak recipe: