Buttermilk Fried Chicken (Air Fryer)

4 servings
1 hr

If you want to make buttermilk fried chicken in the air fryer, then this easy recipe is for you. Buttermilk fried chicken can be a messy thing to cook, especially when you do it the traditional way with several cups of oil and a large skillet for frying the chicken.

When you fry your chicken in the air fryer, it significantly cuts down on the mess and you can enjoy your air fryer fried chicken with less guilt.

Ingredients for Buttermilk Fried Chicken (Air Fryer)

  • Whole chicken broken down into 8 pieces, bone-in and skin on: The skin allows the flour to attach to it, and the bone helps the chicken be juicier.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is easily made by adding 1 ½ Tablespoons of lemon juice to 1 ½ cups of whole milk. Let those sit together for about 5 minutes until the milk starts to curdle. Use in place of the buttermilk.
  • Hot sauce: If you don’t want the chicken to be too spicy, decrease the amount of hot sauce to ¼ cup. I used Franks hot sauce, but you can use your favorite hot sauce.
  • Seasoned salt
  • Soy sauce: I used a low-sodium soy sauce, but you can use your favorite kind.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray: To get a crispy exterior in the air fryer, using cooking spray helps achieve the crispiness. Make sure to generously coat the chicken.

Soak the chicken in buttermilk, then make your seasoned flour.

Let the chicken rest after you bread it so the coating doesn't fall off. Your chicken will end up moist, juicy, and full of flavor.

Watch me make this lip smaking air fryer chicken recipe...

Air Fryer Buttermilk fried chicken Video

Supplies to make Buttermilk Fried Chicken

  • Air Fryer
  • Shallow mixing bowls
  • Tongs
  • Large zipper bag
  • Measuring tools

How do I store my leftover Air Fryer Fried Chicken?

You can freeze this cooked chicken for up to 1 month, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting in the microwave. Or, store it in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three days. Reheat in the air fryer at 300 F, for 3-4 minutes on each side or until it's warmed through.

Can I cook all the chicken pieces at one time when using the air fryer?

If you are using a basket-style air fryer, make sure not to overcrowd the basket. The air needs to get around each piece of chicken in order to cook it to perfection, so leave some room for that to happen.

Do I need to line my air fryer basket with parchment paper to make this recipe?

You don’t need to use any type of liner for this recipe. Most air fryer models come with a non-stick basket, so you only have to coat the chicken with spray oil to ensure a golden crust.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken (Air Fryer)
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 25 Minutes Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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For the Marinade:
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 pounds bone-in skin-on, chicken pieces (you should have a whole chicken broken down into 8 pieces)
For the Breading:
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • Cooking spray

Combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, seasoned salt, and soy sauce into a large bowl. Whisk everything until fully combined and then transfer to a gallon Ziploc bag.
Use a paper towel to completely dry the chicken pieces and then transfer them to the Ziploc bag with the marinade.
Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk the flour and seasoned salt together in a shallow bowl.
Transfer the chicken pieces from the marinade into the flour and dredge each piece with the flour thoroughly. Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes with the flour coating to make sure it adheres and does not come off when cooking.
Place the chicken pieces into the air fryer and cook for 9-15 minutes on one side and then 9-15 minutes on the other side. Spray generously with cooking oil halfway through to create a crispier outside.
Make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit which indicates it is fully cooked.
Remove chicken from the air fryer and then plate and serve.
  • The chicken pieces will be different sizes if you are breaking down a whole chicken. Put similar sized pieces of chicken into the air fryer and work in batches. You may not need to cook the smaller pieces for the entire 15 minutes or each side (start with 9 minutes/side for the smaller pieces and work your way up as needed).
Kalisha Blair Ocheni
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  • Sji28868825 Sji28868825 on Jul 17, 2022


  • Jinxx Jinxx on Jul 19, 2022

    First, it looks and sounds so good I’d like to go make some right now but it’s 2:27 am, I don’t have a whole chicken and all nearby stores are closed. But pretty soon it will be daylight!

    Second, this recipe was extremely well written and illustrated; one of the best I’ve seen. A rookie cook could not go wrong with this!

    Hundreds of extra bonus points for knowing the difference between “marinade”and “marinate” and clearly demonstrating the proper use of each. Hope this will be a learning experience for those who use the words interchangeably.

    • Mike Mike on Aug 13, 2022

      One is a verb, one is a noun, not too tough