Use your air fryer to make the perfect, most delicious, tender and juicy ribeye steak with ease.
We’ll use just a few pantry-friendly ingredients to bring out all the flavor, while our air fryer does it’s job to make us a delicious dinner with ease. You’re gonna love this one!
Can You Really Make a Steak in an Air Fryer?
You most certainly can! You see, the air fryer isn’t just about making chicken nuggets and fish sticks. Rather, it works similar to a small convection oven by moving super heated air rapidly around the food. This helps create the crisping on the outside.
For a recipe such as steak, we’d normally want a sear to come from a grill or flattop. While we won’t have the smoke and char of the grill, we’ll still get a steak that’s beautiful on the outside and cooked to juicy, tender perfection on the inside.
What Kind of Steak to Use?
We like to use ribeye steak for a few reasons. Not only is it the most popular steak in America, it hast good marbling to provide juiciness and flavor, while also being tender. Just what we want in a good steak!
Can I Use Different Steaks?
You absolutely can! The seasoning will all stay the same, as will the approximate cooking time. The absolute key to perfect steak in the air fryer is the internal temperature. More on that in a minute…
We’ll want to start with a couple of ribeye steak that are on the thicker side. I find that steaks of about 1 ¼″ thickness to be perfect. The reason thicker steaks are ideal for air frying is because it allows more time for the outside to get color and crispness, without overcooking the inside. Select ribeye steaks with good marbling too for ideal juiciness.
Our steaks will get a simple seasoning of pantry-friendly ingredients. Salt and pepper are almost necessities for all steaks. Stick with a coarse salt such as kosher salt. For the pepper, use a coarse grind for that too. Other ingredients include onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, oregano and a little brown sugar. Wait… brown sugar? Yep! No worries, you won’t be making a candied steak. Rather, the brown sugar in this small amount helps the other flavors pop more, while providing extra color and caramelization on the outside of the steak.
You’ve probably head this before, but take the steaks out of the fridge and let them sit on the kitchen counter for about a half hour before cooking. This way, we’re not putting an ice cold steak right on the heat. Steaks don’t like that. You’ll get much better results if your steaks have had some time out of the fridge first.
Unwrap the steaks and pat dry with a paper towel. Then give them a quick brushing on each side with some extra virgin olive oil. You don’t need a lot – about 1 tsp per steak will do. Mix all your seasonings together and liberally apply to both sides of the steaks. You should have just enough to be able to coat both steaks. Get some seasonings on the sides too.
That’s it! Your preparation is done. Now it’s time to get them into the air fryer.
How to Cook a Steak in an Air Fryer
Start by preheating the air fryer at 400°(F) for about 5 minutes. This is important. We want those steaks to sizzle as soon as they hit the tray or basket.
Now, your steaks will need about 8-16 minutes in the air fryer. But here’s the important thing… we really need to target the internal temperature of the steak more than anything else!
Cool to warm red center, soft and tender texture. Remove at 120°(F)
Medium Rare (ideal): 135°
Warm center, about 75% red. Perfect steak texture. Remove at 130°(F)
Hot, pink center with a firmer texture. Remove at 140°(F)
Medium Well: 155°
Hot center, just a little pink, tougher texture. Remove at 150°(F)
Well Done: 160°+
Hot center, no pink, much tougher and dry. Remove at 155°(F)
The time to completion will all depend on the thickness of your steaks, but you’ll find 8-16 minutes for most steaks, thin to thick. An instant read food thermometer is your best friend here. You can find inexpensive ones at most big box stores, supermarkets or on online.
I find that the “average” steak at most supermarkets seems to be about ¾″ thick. This would be on the thinner side and will reach medium-rare in about 8+ minutes. Most steaks labeled as “thick” are usually about 1 ¼″ thick and will be closer to 12+ minutes for medium rare.
Remember… there can be variations with different air fryers. Some run hotter than others; some larger ones have more cooking space inside which can mean longer cooking times.
Let Steak Rest When Done
When our steaks are done, carefully remove from air fryer and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This allows all the internal muscle fibers to relax and for the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. The internal temperature will also continue to rise a few degrees. That’s why we pull the steaks at about 5°(F) before the desired doneness.
To let the steaks rest, simple place them on a large plate or cutting board and loosely cover with a piece of foil.
Serving and Pairing
You steaks are now ready to serve and there’s really no right or wrong way to serve them. I mean, they’re steaks, dig in and enjoy!
As for pairing your steak with other foods, I’m a big fan of a green vegetables and potatoes. This covers all the categories for me. Oh, and I love a good buttered roll too.
Here’s some recipes that also go well with our air fryer steak…
- Instant Pot Parmesan Ranch Potatoes
Cheesy, ranch flavored red potatoes, cooked to perfection in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. The ideal side-dish that everyone will love.
- Air Fryer Roasted Lemon Pepper Broccoli
Air fryer broccoli is seasoned with lemon pepper and roasted to perfection in about 10 minutes. With bright, vibrant flavors, it’s the best way to enjoy fresh broccoli.
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
This oven roasted asparagus uses garlic and parmesan cheese to add additional layers of awesomeness. Ready in only 10 minutes.
Storage and Reheating
Steak is always best enjoyed when it’s made, but you can certainly save some for later too.
Store leftover steak on an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you have the juices from the steak still on the plate, save that with the steak too! It can be important for the reheating process.
Reheat Steak in Microwave
Moisten the steak with any leftover steak juices and place in a dish that can be covered with plastic wrap. If you don’t have an leftover steak juices, use some steak sauce. Basically we want to do everything possible to prevent the steak from drying out. Reheat in 30 second intervals until steak is heated through, usually 1-2 minutes. For best results, bring steak to room temperature first.
Reheat Steak in Oven
Reheating steak in the oven is popular because it can produce good results. Unfortunately it can also take the longest. Set the oven to 250°(F) and place the steak on a wire rack that’s on a baking sheet. Check the steak regularly for doneness. You’ll want to shoot for an internal temperature of 110°(F). Again, for best results, bring steak to room temperature first.
Reheat Steak in Air Fryer
So how about our air fryer to reheat steak? You bet you can! In fact, this is my favorite way. For the very best results, bring your leftover steak to room temperature first. Preheat your air fryer at 350°(F). Place the steak into the hot air fryer, use the air fry setting, and set for 2 minutes. Check for doneness. If not heated through, continue to heat in 1 minute increments.Print