Homemade KFC in an Air Fryer

by Barry Lewis


Approx 8 chicken legs / thighs (skin on)

400g buttermilk

2 large eggs, beaten

280g plain flour

1tsp thyme

1tsp basil

1tsp celery salt

1tsp oregano

1tsp black pepper

1tsp salt

1tsp mustard powder

3tsp white pepper

2 teaspoon garlic salt

1tsp ginger

2tbsp paprika

1tbsp baking powder

Spray oil (optional, but recommended)

I got hold of an air fryer recently – just a budget one for £50 compared to the super expensive models! Apparently making homemade KFC in them is supposed to be pretty good, so lets find out! The one thing I will warn you is depending on the size of your air fryer, this will take about 25 mins per batch – I could only fit 3 pieces of chicken in my 4 litre capacity air fryer.

Recipe steps below.

Fancy another healthy twist on KFC? Here’s some healthy KFC Zinger burgers

Air Fryer KFC Recipe

Alright first up, we marinade the chicken in buttermilk overnight, the acidity helps the chicken so really do this step, don’t skip it! Grab a large bowl, add in your chicken pieces and then top with the buttermilk to fully coat, spreading with a spatula if necessary. Place in the fridge covered in cling film to chill overnight.

Next day (or at least give it 4 hours in the fridge, ok? Deal)… add all of the herbs and spices together in a large bowl including the baking powder which helps to form a crispy crust and the flour. So get a large bowl and add everything except the eggs. Mixing it together until well combined, this is a super delicious KFC style coating! Don’t sniff it though, it’ll make you sneeze!

Have the beaten eggs in another bowl to one side to create a dunking station. Remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk, shaking off any excess, coat it in the flour spice mix, then into the egg, then back into the spice mix, shaking off as you go so that again any excess falls off. Lay your coated chicken piece on a wire rack for the time being whilst you repeat with the other pieces. You could possibly freeze the chicken at this point, but I wouldn’t recommend it as the coating is quite wet.

Line the base of an air fryer with baking parchment. One good tip suggested to me from the community is to make some holes in the baking parchment when cooking to help with the air flow so please consider that. place in the chicken and cook at 200C / 390F for approx. 14 mins per side, turning half way for a full cook of approx. 28 minutes. Keep your eye on it towards the end in case it burns. You can add a little bit of spray oil if you like during cooking, this may decrease the cooking time. Either way if you are unsure, slice into a chicken piece to make sure it is white / not pink or with a temperature probe check that it is at least 160c.

Cook in batches and keep the rest warm in the oven if making large quantities – it tastes amazing and is far healthier than fried chicken, just be warned it’ll take quite a while if making a chunk! Enjoy and eat warm after cooking.