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How do you use an instant pot air fryer for steak?

An instant pot air fryer is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used to cook steak in a few different ways. Air frying steak in an instant pot creates a nice crisp crust while keeping the inside juicy and tender. With the right techniques and seasonings, you can make restaurant-quality steaks right in your own kitchen.

Benefits of Using an Instant Pot Air Fryer for Steak

There are a few key benefits to using an instant pot air fryer to cook steaks:

  • Browned and crispy exterior – The hot air circulated around the food in the air fryer basket creates a nice browned and crispy crust on the outside of the steak.
  • Tender and juicy interior – The steaks cook quickly in the air fryer, locking in moisture and tenderness inside.
  • Versatile cooking – An instant pot air fryer can bake, roast, broil, dehydrate, and of course air fry. This allows you to cook steaks in different ways.
  • Quick cooking time – Steaks cook fast in the air fryer, usually in 15-20 minutes depending on thickness.
  • Easy cleanup – With minimal oil needed, there’s less splatter and mess than pan frying.

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

You can cook most cuts of steak in an instant pot air fryer, but certain steaks work best:

Cut Description
Ribeye Juicy and well-marbled with great beefy flavor.
Strip steak Leaner with a tender texture.
Flank steak Thin cut that cooks quickly and absorbs marinades well.
Skirt steak Thin and flavorful cut good for fajitas or stir fries.
Tenderloin Very tender though can dry out if overcooked.

For the best results, choose steaks that are 1-2 inches thick. Thinner cuts like flank or skirt steak cook quickly and develop a nice crust while staying tender inside. Thicker steaks like ribeye may take a little longer but the air fryer helps keep them juicy.

Preparing and Seasoning the Steak

Proper seasoning and preparation is key for the best air fried steaks:

  • Pat steaks dry – Make sure steaks are thoroughly patted dry before seasoning. This helps the seasoning stick better.
  • Season generously – Coat both sides of the steak evenly with seasoning. Popular options include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, oregano, and thyme.
  • Let sit – Let seasoned steaks sit for 15-30 minutes before cooking. This allows steak to come to room temperature and the seasoning to penetrate the meat.
  • Drizzle with oil – Right before air frying, drizzle a small amount of oil over steaks. This gives a crispier crust.

Air Frying Steaks in an Instant Pot

Air frying steaks in an instant pot is quick and easy:

  1. Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  2. Grease air fryer basket lightly with oil or cooking spray.
  3. Place steaks in a single layer in basket, making sure not to overcrowd.
  4. Air fry for 4-8 minutes per side depending on thickness. Check frequently and flip halfway through.
  5. Remove steaks when they reach desired doneness: 135°F for medium-rare, 145°F for medium, 160°F for well-done.
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Check steaks frequently as air fryer times vary. Use an instant read thermometer to test doneness and ensure steaks are cooked to your preference.

Tips for the Best Instant Pot Air Fried Steaks

Here are some top tips for air frying perfect steaks every time:

  • Don’t overcrowd – Cook steaks in a single layer with space between to allow air flow.
  • Flip halfway – Flip steaks halfway during cooking for even browning.
  • Use thermometer – Use an instant read thermometer for precision cooking to your desired doneness.
  • Let rest – Always let steaks rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking before cutting to allow juices to redistribute.
  • Add butter – Adding a pat of butter on top of steaks about 1 minute before done adds extra richness.
  • Try a rub – For more flavor, coat steaks with a dry rub instead of just seasoning. Blend spices like garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and brown sugar.

Cleaning Your Instant Pot Air Fryer

It’s important to clean your instant pot air fryer properly after cooking steaks:

  1. Unplug air fryer and allow to cool completely before cleaning.
  2. Remove air fryer basket, plate, and crisping lid and wash with hot soapy water.
  3. Clean inside of pot with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Do not submerge in water.
  4. Dry all parts thoroughly before re-assembling air fryer.

To minimize mess when cooking steaks, you can line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil or a silicone liner for easy cleanup. Proper cleaning keeps your air fryer in top condition.

Common Questions About Air Frying Steaks

Can you cook steak from frozen in an air fryer?

It is not recommended to cook steaks directly from frozen in an air fryer. Thick frozen steaks will not cook thoroughly. For best results, thaw steaks in the refrigerator overnight before seasoning and air frying.

How do you cook a thick steak in an air fryer?

For thicker steaks over 1 inch, preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Season steaks well, then cook for 6-8 minutes per side, flipping halfway through. Use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. The longer cook time ensures a thick steak cooks through without drying out.

Should you flip steak in air fryer?

Yes, it is important to flip steak halfway during air frying for even cooking. This allows both sides to develop a nice crispy crust. Check frequently and flip steaks once the bottom side has browned.

Air Fryer Steak Recipes to Try

Your instant pot air fryer opens up so many possibilities for quick and easy steak dinners. Here are some great air fryer steak recipes to try:

Spicy Cajun Blackened Steak

  • Coat steaks with Cajun seasoning and blackening spice blend
  • Air fry at 400°F for 6-10 minutes, flipping halfway
  • Top with sautéed bell peppers and onions

Garlic Herb Crusted Steak

  • Combine fresh garlic, herbs, salt and pepper for a rub
  • Coat steaks evenly with garlic herb rub
  • Air fry until steaks reach desired doneness

Teriyaki Steak and Vegetables

  • Marinate steaks in teriyaki sauce for 30 minutes
  • Air fry steaks with broccoli, carrots, peppers and onion
  • Drizzle with more teriyaki sauce before serving

Steak Fajitas

  • Season skirt steak with fajita seasoning blend
  • Air fry steak along with sliced bell peppers and onions
  • Wrap in tortillas with desired fajita toppings


An instant pot air fryer is a quick and convenient way to cook delicious, crispy steaks right at home. Properly preparing and seasoning your steaks is key, along with using the right time and temperature. With a few easy tips, you can make your steaks come out perfect every time. Air frying also opens up lots of possibilities for flavorful steak recipes beyond just the classic pan-fried steak. Give your instant pot air fryer a try for easy weekday dinners, or impress guests at your next barbecue with juicy, tender air fried steaks.