Chicken tenders, also known as “chicken strips” are a fan favorite at mealtimes. The frozen variety is quick and easy to make, and they are tasty and filling.
If you can’t be bothered cooking a full meal from scratch, frozen chicken tenders offer a tasty option to your entire family that is sure to leave everyone satisfied by the end of dinnertime.
Though they are usually cooked in the oven, have you ever tried cooking them in the air fryer?
If you haven’t then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be showing you exactly how to cook frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer, so you can enjoy them faster!
Also, instead of pairing your chicken fingers with french fries, learn how easy is is to cook crunchy frozen onion rings in the air fryer!
How To Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders In An Air Fryer
Cooking frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer is a very straightforward process. If you follow the instructions we’ve provided, you’ll have absolutely no issues or risk burning them.
So let’s take a look at how you do it.
- First, you will want to preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees.
- Next, you need to lay your frozen chicken in the air fryer basket. Though they can touch ever so slightly, you need to make sure that there is enough room in the air fryer for the air to circulate and cook them properly.
- You want to then cook the chicken tenders for about 12 minutes in total. Remember to flip them halfway through the cooking time to ensure an even cook.
- Finally, remove them from the air fryer and serve them!
It is super simple to cook frozen chicken tenders in your air fryer because your air fryer does most of the work. You’ll be enjoying your chicken tenders sooner rather than later.
Do You Need To Spray The Air Fryer Basket?
Some food requires you to spray the air fryer basket before you put the food in to cook. In the case of chicken tenders, you can skip this step completely.
The reason you don’t need to spray the air fryer basket is that the bread on the chicken is frozen. As the air circulates around the fryer, the bread will crisp up and won’t stick to each other or the basket.
There is also some oil already in the chicken tenders, and oil stops them from sticking to anything they are in contact with, so you don’t need to spray your air fryer basket.
Why Should I Air Fry My Chicken Tenders?
You might be wondering why air frying your chicken tenders is even a good idea. Well, we can answer that question for you.
Air frying actually saves a lot of time, reduces calories, and even reduces some of the fat in the chicken tenders. If you want a slightly healthier option to serve to your family, air frying is your best option.
If you were to deep-fry your frozen chicken tenders, there would be a lot of oil involved that is incredibly unhealthy.
The only oil you will be using in the air frying method is the small traces of oil that are already in the chicken tenders.
Air frying is just a better option if you want your meal to be a bit more healthy or you’re watching your calorie intake.
If you wanted to avoid the oil and breading completely, you could always make your own. These delicious copycat Cracker Barrel chicken tenders featured in our best Nuwave air fryer recipes are a great choice!
How To Know When Your Frozen Chicken Tenders Are Done Cooking
In order for your frozen chicken tenders to be considered safe to eat, their internal temperature needs to reach 165 degrees.
The beauty of the frozen brand chicken tenders is that they are already precooked, so they will reach the desired temperature even faster.
If you’re concerned about your chicken tenders being undercooked, make sure you cook them for the full 12 minutes and flip them halfway through the cooking time.
Other than that, you can use an Instant Read Thermometer to check their internal temperature.
If you trust your eyes though, all you need to look out for is the bread being crispy and fried in texture, and the meat itself will be juicy and hot. If you see both of these signs, that means they are safe to eat.
Can You Air Fry Raw Chicken Tenders?
If you’re curious to know if raw chicken tenders can be air fried, then you’ll be happy to that yes, they can!
The only caveat of cooking raw chicken tenders in your air fryer is that they are going to have to be cooked at different times, and temperatures and the whole process will be vastly different from cooking frozen chicken tenders.
You can find multiple recipes online to help you cook raw chicken tenders, just make sure that you follow those recipes exactly.
You can find multiple recipes online to help you cook raw chicken tenders, just make sure that you follow those recipes exactly. Check out the crispy tenders featured in our best Breville air fryer recipes to get you started!
Raw chicken has to be cooked through completely, or you can get food poisoning, so be careful if you choose to go for raw chicken tenders!
Can You Reheat Leftover Chicken Tenders In An Air Fryer?
If you have leftover chicken tenders and you want to try air frying them, you absolutely can! Follow these steps to make sure they are completely cooked and safe to eat.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
- Take your leftover chicken tenders and place them in the air fryer basket.
- Once you’ve done this, cook them for 5 minutes.
- When you are sure they are heated through, you can serve them.
It is really important that you make sure they are completely heated through, so if you don’t trust your eyes, make sure you use an instant read thermometer to check and confirm the internal temperature.
Frozen chicken tenders pair perfectly with an air fryer, so if you’ve never tried them out in your air fryer before, this is your sign to do it!
As long as you follow the instructions we have provided, you will be snacking on these delicious treats in no time. Your family will love the air-fried chicken tenders and they’ll be begging you to make them again and again.
If your family loves dippable finger-foods, you may like to know how long to cook mini corn dogs in the air fryer as a great alternative or accompaniment!
You can also make another kid-friendly meal by learning how to cook frozen hamburgers in the air fryer.
And remember, if you aren’t sure they are completely cooked, you can use an instant read thermometer to confirm it!
If you want an even more poppable snack or appetizer, learn how to cook frozen popcorn chicken in the air fryer!
Easy Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders
- 4 oz frozen breaded chicken tenders (2-3 tenders depending on size)
- Preheat air fryer to 360°F, following manufacturer guidelines
- Place frozen chicken tenders in air fryer basket, allowing space between them for air circulation (small overlap is OK)4 oz frozen breaded chicken tenders
- Cook chicken tenders for about 12 minutes, stopping to flip halfway through
- Remove chicken strips from air fryer – careful, they will be hot
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy
- No additional oil is needed on the tenders or in the basket
- Depending on the size of your fryer, you can cook approximately 3-4 tenders in a basket at a time. Split larger quantities into batches
- Dipping sauce suggestions: ranch, BBQ, sriracha, honey mustard (pictured), honey, “secret” sauce, ketchup, sweet & sour, or use your favorite!
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