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Air Fryer Bone-In Chicken Breasts

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Air Fryer Bone-In Chicken Breast is coated in brown sugar and seasonings for a sweet and easy dinner idea.

Bone-In Chicken Breasts in air fryer

There’s nothing like cooking juicy chicken breasts in the air fryer and these cook much faster than in an oven!

I use skin on split chicken breasts with the bone in to create this deliciously sweet and caramelized brown sugar chicken recipe.

It contains absolutely no breading and these directions with work with other seasonings if you’re looking to cut back on sugar or make this recipe low fat.

In this post, I will teach you:

  • How to cook air fryer bone-in chicken breasts
  • About flipping chicken in the air fryer
  • How to get super juicy chicken in the air fryer EVERY time!
  • Ideas to serve with the chicken
  • How to cook Frozen Bone-in Chicken Breasts in the air fryer
  • Instructions to reheat split chicken breasts in the air fryer

How to Make Air Fryer Bone-In Chicken Breast

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees.

STEP TWO: Remove the bone-in chicken from its packaging and set it aside. I use the kind with the skin on, but if yours are skinless, that’s okay too.

STEP THREE: Mix the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes into a small bowl.

Spices mixed in a white bowl with a blue rim

STEP FOUR: Baste the melted butter on all sides of the split chicken breasts then evenly coat the chicken with the brown sugar mixture on all sides of each breast.

I like to just pour the brown sugar mixture on top of the chicken breasts to avoid extra dishes, but you can also place the mixture into a big bowl and toss the split chicken breasts in there.

Two photos of a hand putting brown sugar mixture on split chicken breasts that are on a cutting board

STEP FIVE: Place the bone-in chicken breasts in the air fryer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping with about 10 minutes left. Larger chicken breasts may take a few extra minutes to cook.

Raw bone-in soit chicken breasts in the air fryer

STEP SIX: Remove the bone-in chicken breasts from the air fryer then enjoy!

Cooked bone in chicken in air fryer

Do I Need to Flip the Chicken in the Air Fryer?

Not all chicken needs to be flipped, but this recipe does require flipping.

An air fryer has a heating device on the top of the machine and blows air around into a 360-motion. This means more heat comes from the top and blows around the rest of the food.

In this recipe, the brown sugar coating starts to caramelize on top of the chicken breasts to give them a nice sweet taste. If not flipped, one side will start to blacken while the other side doesn’t get that nice caramelized look and taste.

For some foods, like this air fryer boneless chicken breast recipe, it’s not required to flip the chicken, however, I still prefer to.

Air Fryer Split Chicken Breast on a white plate with slices cut out

How to Get Juicy Chicken in the Air Fryer

The secret to cooking juicy chicken in the air fryer is to cook it until it JUST hits 165 degrees F at its thickest point.

The easiest way to check it is using an Instant-Read Thermometer that takes only 2-3 seconds to show the temperature. Then you can open the air fryer quickly, check both chicken breasts and close it within 10 seconds.

If you are cooking multiple air fryer bone-in chicken breasts, it’s important to check both of them each time and pull any that are done right away.

Overcooking chicken results in dry chicken and no one wants that!

If you love making chicken in the air fryer, check out these 40 other air fryer chicken recipes!

Fork holding a bite of the chicken

What Can I Serve with Air Fryer Split Chick Breasts?

I love to serve these with some quick air fryer vegetables and some easy homemade garlic bread.

See a list of other easy air fryer vegetables here!

You can help with any mess from the chicken breasts by using some parchment paper rounds or even a silicone basket.

I LOVE my silicone basket. It goes right in the dishwasher after using and my air fryer basket stays clean!

Overhead photo of two chicken breasts on white plates with a knife and fork for each

How to Cook Frozen Bone-in Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer

I’ve found with thicker cuts of frozen meat preheating your air fryer is not necessary.

  1. Place the frozen split chicken breasts in the air fryer and turn to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook for 40 to 50 minutes, basting the butter and adding the brown sugar mixture to the chicken on both sides halfway through cooking.
  3. Flip then cook the remaining time.
  4. Remove the chicken breasts from the air fryer and enjoy!
Closeup of air fryer bone-in chicken breasts cut into slices

How to Reheat Bone-in Chicken in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the leftover bone-in chicken breasts in the air fryer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until warmed thoroughly.
  3. Remove from the air fryer and enjoy!

Try These Other Delicious Air Fryer Recipes!

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Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Bone-In Chicken Breasts

Cooked bone in chicken in air fryer

Air Fryer Bone-in Chicken Breasts are coated in brown sugar, paprika, and red pepper flakes for a sweet and spicy dinner dish.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts (I used split chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees.
  2. Remove the chicken from its packaging and set it aside.
  3. Mix the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
  4. Baste the oil on both sides of the chicken and coat them with the brown sugar mixture.
  5. Place the split chicken breasts in the air fryer and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping the chicken at about 10 minutes left. Cook until the thickest part reaches 165 degrees F. Thicker or larger chicken breasts may take a few minutes longer.
  6. Remove the chicken from the air fryer and enjoy!

Notes

How to Cook Frozen Bone-in Chicken Breasts in the Air Fryer

1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.

2. Cook chicken for 40-50 minutes, coating it with the oil and brown sugar mixture and flipping halfway through cooking.

3. Remove the bone-in chicken breasts from the air fryer and enjoy!

How to Reheat Split Chicken Breasts in the Air Fryer

1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.

2. Place leftover chicken in the air fryer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until warmed thoroughly.

3. Remove the chicken from the air fryer and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 313mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 19g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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6 thoughts on “Air Fryer Bone-In Chicken Breasts”

  1. Hi, The c. breast nowaday are huge .(must be all the hormones they pump in them). I only see ones that are twice the thickness of your pictured. Will these huge pieces cook ok in air fryer?

    Reply
    • Hi Tammy, yes they will cook in there okay! The larger bone-in chicken breasts I have made in there needed about 5 to 10 minutes longer to fully cook.

      Reply
  2. I made this recipe for dinner last night. I think they turned out great. I thought 1/4c of sugar seemed like an awful lot so I used about 2T. I also used spray oil rather than a tablespoon of oil. Just trying to keep the calories in check. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it, Kathleen! 1/4 cup can seem like a lot and I’ve tested with less and while it’s still delicious, as you noted, we ended up preferring the 1/4 cup amount for the recipe. But it’s a great way to cut back on the sugars!

      Reply
  3. What side of the chicken should be face down when you put it in the air fryer? Does it matter if you cook the chicken breast side up and then flip, or does it cook better to put breast side down and then flip? I’m just wondering if it effects the carmelization or tenderness of the chicken to do it one way or the other?

    Reply
    • Hi Shauna, since the chicken is flipped halfway through, I find that it doesn’t matter which side is cooked first. I personally put them breast side down when cooking, but it’s more a habit for me.

      Reply

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