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!
How to Cook Steak in an Air Fryer
Air frying steak is one of the quickest and easiest methods I know 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 watch over it so it is a really intensive kind of cooking.
One of the things I really love about air frying is that it is really hands off, you just prep the meat, put it in and wait. The tricky thing is getting the timing exactly right, but see below for help with that!
Preparing Steak for Air Frying
Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 40 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.
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.
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
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 airfryer is.
Estimated Air Frying Times
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 cook 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 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. It estimates the cooking time based on what you are cooking, how well you want it done, the temperature of the food and in the cooking pan.
I like a medium steak, with a little pink in the center. To achieve this you are aiming for an internal temperature of about 145°F.
The temperature of the steak 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.
How to 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 know as ‘resting juices’, and can be poured over the steak before serving for extra flavor.
What to Serve with Steak
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!
Air Fryer Steak Recipe
How to cook steak in an air fryer.
- 8 oz steak (1 in thick), (try sirloin steak, rump or filet mignon)
- olive oil spray (or other cooking spray)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher 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 in air fryer basket. If you are cooking more than one, make sure they are not touching.
- Air fry 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, 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.
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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
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