How Long You Should Cook Steak Bites In The Air Fryer

The air fryer has totally transformed how many of us cook, providing a simple-to-use, low-oil way to create delicious food with crispy coatings. Some are even saying goodbye to the hassle of the grill and the mess of the pan by cooking their steak in the air fryer, and you might be surprised how quickly it's ready to eat when cooked in bite-sized form.

In Mashed recipe developer Kate Shungu's garlic and herb air fryer steak bites recipe, the bites take just six minutes of cooking time for medium doneness. This doesn't include the time it takes to preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which can add five to 10 minutes, depending on your model of air fryer. Once you've placed your steak bites in the basket in a single layer (leaving room in between for the heat to circulate), cook them for three minutes before flipping them to ensure they're evenly cooked.

If you're looking for medium-well steak bites, add another minute or two in the air fryer. Remember, though, that for this recipe, you'll also be tossing them in a skillet with Shungu's mouthwatering garlic and herb sauce, so they'll continue to cook for a short while after coming out of the fryer.

The right size, the right steak

An underrated factor when air frying steak is also the size of the meat. The six-minute cooking time is based on steak that's cut into roughly 1-inch cubes or strips. Larger or smaller pieces will require adjusting the frying time. In any case, the most important factor is cutting your steak into consistently sized bites that will reach the same level of doneness throughout. Freezing the steak for 20 minutes beforehand should sufficiently firm it up to make cutting easier.

It's also vital to remember that different cuts of steak can have different cooking requirements. Shungu's recipe uses ribeye, but New York strip will work just as well as a more affordable alternative. In general, you'll want to stick to these and other tender beef cuts like tri-tip, tenderloin, and top sirloin when using an air fryer, as the marbling of fat can keep it from drying out.

So, while steak may not be the most common choice for this tool, there's no doubt it's among the best meats to cook in an air fryer thanks to its succulent texture — and how fast it gets dinner on the table.