If you’re anything like me, you might have asked yourself this question, “Can I cook frozen chicken strips in air fryer?” Yes, you can air fry chicken strips even if they’re frozen. This is good news if you often buy chicken strips in bulk and store them in the freezer.
Air fried frozen chicken strips are as healthy as the oven-baked version because they use little to no oil in the recipe. But personally, I found the air fryer chicken strips to be more delicious. You get that nice crunchy texture on the outside and tender meat on the inside.
So, the next time your kids crave for fast food chicken, surprise them with this healthy air-fried alternative.
How To Cook Frozen Chicken Strips In Air Fryer
Chicken strips are normally made from the breasts and thighs of the chicken. They’re ice-glazed inside a resealable freezer bag so they won’t stick together. Every time you need to use them, you can easily pull each chicken strip.
When you cook them in the air fryer, there’s no need to thaw. Great, right? I love these frozen chicken strips because they’re always tender. They never get tough even how long you leave them in the freezer.
Since you don’t have to thaw them, you can pull a quick meal anytime. Simply air fry them for about 12 minutes and you can enjoy their crispiness as you do with fried chicken takeouts.
What You’ll Need
You can use any brand of air fryer that you have at home. For me, I use the Philips Airfryer XXL which has a 4-quart air fryer basket capacity. This capacity is large enough to make meals for up to six people.
Frozen Chicken Strips
Also known as chicken tenders, frozen chicken strips are pieces of chicken breaded and seasoned for taste. Now, not all chicken strips are made equal. Some are gluten-free while others are halal and free-range.
The best frozen chicken strips are made of real white meat and not mixed with fillers. I love the [Applegate Chicken Breast Tenders] because they’re flavorful and gluten-free. If you want crispy breading, I recommend Market Pantry Crispy Chicken Strips which you can buy at Target. There’s a hint of peppery flavor on the coating, which I love because they give a kick to the flavor.
If you have a favorite chicken strips brand, use those. The cook time may change depending on the size of the chicken. The thicker the chicken strip, the longer it takes to cook.
You want a pair of tongs to use when you flip the chicken strips halfway through cooking. To protect the non-stick coating of your air fryer basket, look for silicone-tipped tongs. The silicone won’t scratch the coating like the metals would.
If you’re making thin slices of chicken strips, you can forget about the tongs and simply shake the air fry basket. A simple shake can help flip the chicken to cook on the other side.
1. Preheat The Air Fryer
Select the AIR FRY setting in your unit and set the temperature to 390 degrees Fahrenheit or whatever the manufacturer instructs. In most units, they recommend the highest temperature setting. Set the time to three minutes then select the Start button.
Although your air fryer won’t require preheating, I recommend that you still do it because the food comes out extra crispy and good.
2. Line Up The Chicken Strips
Open your bag of frozen chicken strips and shake to remove any extra loose breading. Place the frozen chicken strips into the air fryer basket.
Line them up in a single layer so you don’t overcrowd the basket. Give space between them to allow the air to flow under the food, resulting in a crisper outer layer.
3. Cook The Chicken
Set the temperature to 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. Halfway through, pause the cooking process and flip the chicken strips using your tongs. Resume the cooking process to cook the other side.
4. Check For Doneness
Three minutes before the time, check the chicken strips whether they’re cooked or not. If they’re undercooked or soggy, continue cooking up to 12 minutes.
5. Serve And Enjoy
When the chicken strips are cooked, serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce. I like to make my own sauce with a combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. You can also pair these treats with salad, coleslaw, and french fries.
Additional Pro Tips
To boost the crispiness of your chicken strips, consider spraying them with a little bit of cooking oil before cooking. You can also spray some cooking oil into the air fryer basket.
If you like to make your own frozen chicken strips, combine the melba toast with cereal, Parmesan, paprika, and salt in a resealable bag. Crush them into tiny pieces using a rolling pin and throw them into a bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk egg whites with water.
Dip the chicken strips into the egg mixture then to the bread mixture. Bake and freeze up to 1-2 hours in a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to freezer bags and store up to one month.
Invest in a good thermometer. Sometimes, it’s hard to determine whether your chicken is thoroughly cooked inside when the outer layer looks golden brown. I recently bought ThermoPro TP18 and I must say that it’s a good investment.
Cooking your frozen chicken strips in air fryer is a healthy alternative than eating fast food. You get crunchy skin outside and juicy meat inside. All you need is an air fryer and 12 minutes of cooking time.
Let me know how you air fry your chicken strips. Is there anything you do that makes them better? Share your tips and questions in the comment section below.
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