How To Cook Frozen Chicken Nuggets In The Air Fryer
While frozen chicken nuggets are convenient, they aren’t always delicious. We often throw them in the oven or the microwave to get them done and start eating. Microwaved chicken nuggest taste okay, but they are usually a soggy mess.
Cooking them in the air fryer is a great way to make them fast, keep them delicious, and make them a little healthier.
Here is everything you need to know to make air fryer frozen chicken nuggets.
What You Need
You need frozen chicken nuggets and an air fryer. Those are the two main things. You can make them a little better with some seasoning, the right kind of sauce, some oil for extra crispiness. (I like to use this oil sprayer).
We’ll go over that later. First, here is how you prepare the nuggets for cooking.
What Brand of Chicken Is the Best?
The brand of chicken nuggets you use don’t really matter. It’s just a matter of taste preference, and if you’re particularly interested in the ingredients and sourcing process.
What does matter a little bit more is the thickness of the chicken nuggets. Do you like your nuggets to be thick and plump or thin and crispy?
Thinner nuggets will cook faster, but if you leave them in the fryer too long, they will burn. Thicker ones require more cooking time but give you more room for testing.
Should You Thaw Your Chicken Nuggets
No, you do not need to thaw your frozen chicken nuggets before cooking them in the air fryer.
The best thing about frozen chicken nuggets in an air fryer is that they are cooked on all sides quickly. Putting them into the oven or microwave frozen could cause them to become soggy because they are thawing and cooking simultaneously. The convection of an air fryer cooks them so fast that they don’t have time to get soggy. There is no reason to thaw them out before cooking them.
Do You Need To Spray the Air Fryer
Frozen Chicken Nuggets are usually already cooked. They have oil in them that is going to be released as they cook. You should not need to add any spray or oil to keep them from sticking. Cooking them in the air fryer removes some of the oil while they cook, making them come out a little healthier than other cooking methods.
However, this is also a matter of preference. If you want the nuggets to be a little bit juicier and crispier, you can add a little oil. How much you add should be decided with taste testing! I typically like to do one or two spritz with my oil sprayer.
How To Cook Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets
Step 1: Take the chicken nuggets out of the bag and place them in a single layer in the air fryer. You can season them with salt if you’d like, or toss them with your favorite seasoning blend. I personally prefer no seasoning and to go wild on dips and sauces!
Step 2: Don’t overcrowd the basket so air can flow freely. A good rule of thumb is to leave about a half inch of space between them so the air can flow freely.
Step 3: Set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius and the timer for 8 minutes. You don’t have to worry about pre-heating the air fryer. But if you just cooked something else, you might want to reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes.
Step 4: When the timer ends, take the nuggets out and turn them over. Put them back in the air fryer for another 4 minutes.
Step 5: Your chicken nuggets should come out crisp and fully cooked. If you want them to be a little crisper, put them back in for two more minutes. If you want them extra crispy, spritz them with oil.
Tip: Don’t Overcook The Nuggets
You don’t want them to burn or get dried out. You can always put them back in to cook a little longer, but if you overcook them, you can’t go back. The best thing is to cook your nuggets for 10-12 minutes total, then cook a little longer if you feel like you want them a little crispier.
The chicken nuggets will be done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius.
Tip: Sauce Them Up!
One of the best parts of eating chicken nuggets is dipping them in various sauces. When you buy them at a fast food restaurant, you probably get a few different sauces to try out. There’s no reason to settle for ketchup when you are at home.
You can quickly turn your air fryer frozen chicken nuggets into boneless wings by tossing them in a bowl with some buffalo sauce. Then serve them with some ranch or blue cheese dressing to dip. Or make honey mustard by mixing some yellow mustard in a bowl with honey and a pinch of brown sugar.
Another popular sauce is spicy aioli. You can make this easily by mixing some mayo with cayenne pepper, your favorite hot sauce, or some sriracha. It makes a nice, creamy sauce that adds a little kick to your nuggets.
My personal favorite dipping sauce is spicy mayo. It’s super easy to make. Just take mayonnaise and mix with as much hot sauce as you like. If you love mayonnaise and hot sauce, this is the best dipping sauce for your nuggets. I also like to switch out the mayo with sour cream sometimes.
Air fryer frozen chicken nuggets are quick and easy. With very few ingredients and just a few minutes of cooking time, you can make a meal or snack that you and your kids will love. You won’t spend all evening in the kitchen, and you have a decent chance of getting a clean plate back from the kids.
Pick up a bag of frozen chicken nuggets from the supermarket. Experiment with how long they need to cook to get to your liking. Have fun mixing up some different sauces and trying new seasonings. Making them like this is a great way to make one of your all-time favorites more delicious and healthy.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets
- 1 bag frozen chicken nuggets
- Take the chicken nuggets out of the bag and place them in a single layer in the air fryer. You can season them with salt if you’d like, or toss them with your favorite seasoning blend. I personally prefer no seasoning and to go wild on dips and sauces!
- Don't overcrowd the air fryer basket. Leave about a half inch of space between them so the air can flow freely.
- Set the temperature to 400 °F and the timer for 8 minutes. You don’t have to worry about pre-heating the air fryer. But if you just cooked something else, you might want to reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes.
- When the timer ends, take the nuggets out and turn them over. Put them back in the air fryer for another 4 minutes.
- Your chicken nuggets should come out crisp and fully cooked. If you want them to be a little crisper, put them back in for two more minutes. Safe internal temperature of frozen foods is 165 °F
Easy Air Fryer Lemon Donuts3 Comments
Comments & Reviews
What air fryer do you recommend since the Cosori has been recalled? I love your recipes! Thanks!
Hey there! I list my favorites here: https://amzn.to/41payg6
I recommend the Cosori Duo Blaze! I love mine ant would be hard to go back to a one burner air fryer.