The Kitchn: Yes, you can cook steak in the air fryer
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The Kitchn: Yes, you can cook steak in the air fryer

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STEAK

Air frying combines the ease of baking with all the deliciousness of pan-searing.

Classic pan-seared steak is undeniably delicious, but it takes some practice to get it right every time. Cooking steak in the oven is easier, but it doesn't always achieve the crisp exterior you're after. That's where the air fryer comes in.

Air frying combines the ease of baking with all the deliciousness of pan-searing. The hot, circulating air quickly browns the outside of the steak, resulting in golden brown edges that mimic a hard sear. You don't have to mess with a hot pan, worry about setting off your smoke detector, or deal with any oil splatters.

This date-night dinner is practically foolproof as long as you stick to some simple steps. Before you fire up your air fryer, keep these tips in mind.

1. Let your air fryer heat up for at least 10 minutes before adding the steaks. If you set your air fryer to 400 F as soon as you begin prepping the steaks, it'll be perfectly hot by the time you add them. This ensures that the outside of the steaks get nice and brown, similar to searing. If you were to skip this step, the steaks could end up grey and overcooked by the time the outside browns, so be patient and let the air fryer heat up.

2. Flip the steaks halfway through cooking. Flipping the steaks gives them a perfectly golden-brown color on all sides and helps them cook evenly. After five minutes of cooking, flip them using a pair on tongs and continue air frying.

3. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the doneness. Although this recipe gives suggested times for how long to cook the steaks, it really varies based on the thickness of the steak. The thickest part of the steak should register 125 F for rare, 130 F to 135 F for medium-rare, and 140 F for medium. If you check the steaks and they're not at your preferred temp, continue cooking them and check the temperature after two more minutes of air frying.

Air Fryer Steak

Serves 2

For the herb butter:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the steak:

  • 2 (1-pound) bone-in ribeye steaks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Make the herb butter

1. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small bowl and let it sit out at room temperature to soften. Meanwhile, mince 1 small clove garlic. Finely chop until you have 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves and 1 tablespoon fresh chives.

2. Add the garlic, parsley, chives, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the softened butter and smash and mix together with a rubber spatula until well combined. Scrape the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll into a 2-inch log, using the edge of a bench scraper or metal spatula to form a tight cylinder. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to tighten the log, tie each end into a knot, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Make the steak

1. Set an air fryer to 400 F and let heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prep the steaks.

2. Season two ribeye steaks all over with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Use tongs to transfer the steaks into the air fryer basket in a single layer.

3. Air fry, flipping halfway through, 11 to 13 minutes total for medium-rare. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. The thickest part of the steak should register 125 F for rare, 130 F to 135 F for medium-rare, and 140 F for medium. If the steaks are not at the desired temperature, continue air frying and checking the temperature in 2-minute increments.

4. Transfer the steaks onto two serving plates and let rest for 5 minutes. Unwrap and cut the herb butter crosswise into four slices. Place the butter on top of the steaks and serve immediately.

Recipe notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to two days. The herb butter can be made up to five days in advance and refrigerated.

(Jesse Szewczyk is a studio food editor contributing to TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com.)

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