Steaks deliver exceptional umami and juicy flavor that cannot be produced by any other meat. When perfectly cooked, they are crisp on the outside and tender inside. If you are a beginner, it can sometimes get difficult to cook steaks in a smoker or a cast iron skillet, especially when they are thinly sliced. However, with the air frying method, you are almost certain to get perfectly thin sliced steaks every time.
To cook thin steaks in an air fryer, simply use a dry rub or massage every slice with oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the steaks in a single layer in the air fryer basket and then cook them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 204.4℃). Depending upon the desired degree of doneness, thin steaks in the air fryer are usually prepared in 8 to 12 minutes.
Cooking steaks in an air fryer is a great alternative if you do not want to invest in a flat-top grill or a smoker. You can also use this method when it is raining outside or on days when you just want to cook indoors. Here is a complete guide on how to cook thin steaks in an air fryer in a few simple steps.
How To Cook Thin Steaks In An Air Fryer
Flavorful and lean cuts of steaks are undoubtedly delicious. But, cooking them can be very challenging because thinner steaks tend to dry out very easily compared to thicker cuts of steak.
The Best Cuts
For air frying thin steaks, some of the best cuts are – rib eye, New York strip, and tri-tip. It is always better to purchase the meat from a professional butcher than to get packed options from the local supermarket.
Prerequisites To Cook Thin Steaks
Before cooking, soak the thinly cut steaks in a marinade or season them with your favorite spice blend to get the perfect, flavor-rich juiciness in every bite. The right temperature setting and the cooking time also play a very crucial role.
Step-by-Step Guide For Cooking Thin Steaks In An Air Fryer
- Clean and trim any excess fat or unwanted portions from the steaks and cut the steaks into ¾-inch to 1-inch slices.
- Coat both sides of the steaks with any cooking oil (preferably extra virgin olive oil) and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the steaks in the air fryer basket. The steaks should be arranged in a single layer to avoid overcrowding. This ensures that the steaks get evenly cooked.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 204.4℃).
- Depending upon the desired degree of doneness, place the steaks into the air fryer and cook for around 8 to 12 minutes. Flip halfway through to ensure that both sides are evenly cooked.
- Check the internal temperature according to the chart given below.
- Once done, remove the steaks from the air fryer and let them sit for about 5-7 minutes before serving.
How Long To Cook Thin Steaks In Air Fryer
Thin steaks are usually done in 8 to 12 minutes in an air fryer. Remember that you can always adjust the cooking time depending upon the thickness of the steaks. Thicker cuts of steaks would take a little more time to cook than thinner steaks.
Air Fryer Steak Cooking Chart
Here is a quick air fryer steak cooking chart that will help you cook the finest steaks ever:
|Types of Steak (roughly (~1 inch thick or 12 oz)||Temperature||Time|
|Flank Steak||400 ℉||12 minutes|
|Round Steak||400 ℉||12 minutes|
|Sirloin Steak||400 ℉||9-14 minutes|
|Tuna Steak||400 ℉||7-10 minutes|
Note: ½-inch thin slices will require less time to cook.
The cooking time will also depend on your preferred degree of doneness of the steaks. You can use an instant-read digital thermometer to check the doneness of the meat. The different internal temperatures and the time required to cook thin steaks are:
|Desired Degree of Doneness||Internal temperature||Total Time Required to Cook|
|Rare||120 to 130 ℉||3 minutes|
|Medium Rare||130 to 135 ℉||6 minutes|
|Medium||135 to 145 ℉||9 minutes|
|Well-done||145 to 155 ℉||12 minutes|
How To Cook Air Fryer Flank Steak
Flank steak is boneless, skinless, and a versatile cut of meat. Use a dry rub to season the air fryer flank steak. A dry rub can be prepared by mixing salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, and brown sugar. Gently massage the dry rub on both sides of the steak. This will also tenderize the meat.
For a medium degree of doneness, place the steak in the air fryer basket and air fry at 350 degrees Fahrenheit ( or 176.6℃) for about 8 minutes (flip midway to ensure even cooking). Always check the internal temperature before removing the steaks from the basket.
How To Cook Air Fryer Round Steak
Before cooking round steaks in an air fryer, watch this video and learn how to cut and save the eye of round beef. Once cut properly, marinade/ massage with a dry rub, drizzle some oil, and air fry the round steaks with the same settings as that of flank steaks.
How To Improve The Taste of Thin Steaks In Air fryer
For those who love to sear steaks, air frying can be a difficult switch. But, with a few simple tips and the right settings, you can retain the maximum flavor and juiciness of thin steaks in an air fryer.
- Start with a clean basket every time.
- It is important to let the steaks rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. You can even loosely cover and tent the steaks with aluminum foil. With this step, the juices are reabsorbed, the fibers expand, and the steaks become crunchy on the outside and tender inside. You can also top with some garlic butter to add more flavor to the cooked steaks.
- Raw thin steaks should be stored in a vacuum-packed zip-lock bag to avoid cross-contamination, leakage, and spoilage.
- Bring the steaks to room temperature or thaw them properly before cooking. Before you add dry rubs or marinades, you should pat dry the steaks with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Marinade the thin steaks for up to 8 hours or at least an hour for tender and juicy results.
- To get a golden-brown crust, increase the temperature by ~10 degrees in the last 1-2 minutes of air frying.
- Cooked steaks should be stored within 2 hours of cooking. You may add some garlic butter before refrigerating them. Thinly sliced beef steaks can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and 6-8 months in the freezer.
- Extra flips allow the steak to get more quickly. It also gives more juicy results. Always use a tong to flip the steaks. Do not shake the basket to flip.
- Visual cues can be deceiving. Hence, always use a good quality meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature and doneness.
- For easier clean-up post-cooking, you can lay down the steaks on aluminum foil or parchment paper and then place them in the basket. This will help catch any excess liquid.
- The steaks will have a nice brown coating when you drizzle some oil on the top.
- Never overcrowd the basket. Keep space between the steaks so that the hot air can easily circulate and each slice gets evenly cooked.
If you prefer having steaks frequently, air frying is hands down the best method. Cooking steaks in an air fryer not only saves you a lot of time compared to a smoker or a skillet, but the chances of error are also negligible.
Scot has loved smoking food in his free time for the last few years. Each major holiday or off-weekend, Scot spends days testing and prepping new recipes for perfection.