Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro and this time to another ‘bro meals’ article. Today I want to look at the idea of cooking a frozen chicken patty in the air fryer, ideally so it is not dry and cardboard like!! The air fryer is still quite new, so a lot of people are still scratching their heads about cooking certain frozen foods in this appliance……hopefully not any more after reading this article.
What is a Chicken Patty?
For those of you that have no idea what we are talking about, a patty is a flat and round serving of ground meat. In this case we are talking specifically about chicken, but you can also get patties with other ingredients such as beef, meat alternatives and vegetables or grains.
I am originally from the United Kingdom, where we would refer to this as a burger (even if it doesn’t have any bread buns attached to it :)).
Where I currently live, the best chicken patties I could find were these chicken burgers from Tesco (a British supermarket chain). Regular readers might be getting sick of seeing Tesco products, but this is pretty much the best source of reasonably priced western food available to me right now. Unfortunately, brands such as Tyson are out of the question right now to the Air Fryer Bro 🙂
Best Way to Cook a Chicken Patty in an Air Fryer?
Rather than just present a simple recipe, I want to take you through the steps and the thinking behind the experiments I did to get to the best result when air frying frozen chicken patties. Although this is my first time to do this, I have used my air fryer a lot and am getting pretty good at guessing good cook times and temperatures. This should help you do the same with your setup.
It was a good job on this occasion, as weirdly these Tesco chicken burger patties didn’t have any cooking instructions on them at all. However, if you have cooking instructions on yours, then I would usually use just over half the cooking time recommended for oven cooking.
The cooking temperature I went for was 356 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature I used throughout the series of tests below.
Attempt 1: 5 Minutes Each Side to Start
This may seem a little long, but remember when you cook from frozen, your cook times will be a little longer. I wanted to flip the burger patty halfway to make sure that both sides have equal time to brown and crisp up.
What was the result of five minutes on each side? Well, the patty had browned up pretty well and was well cooked. I think a little too well cooked, as it was a little on the dry side. We want juicy, not dry!
You can see what my first attempt looked like from the picture below.
Attempt 2: 3 Minutes on Each Side
This turned out pretty good, the chicken patty was fully cooked and pretty juicy inside. If you were going to dress this up in a burger bun and don’t really care about the look and crispiness of your patty, I would go with this timing.
However, I wanted to get a bit more of a grilled look to my patty and have a more crispy crunch to bite through. So I decided to go on.
Attempt 3: 4 Minutes on Each Side with Oil
As long time readers on this blog will already know, if you want to get a good crisp on the outside of certain air fried food, you need to spritz or spray a little oil on it. So this is what I did here. A slightly longer cook time and a quick spray of oil on each side of the patty to help it crisp up.
You may now be shouting at the screen, asking me why I would add extra calories to my frozen patties?? Well, I am only using a little spray of oil, and in this case I used olive oil. This is certainly much healthier than deep frying or shallow frying in a pan.
We have a whole article talking about the best oils for an air fryer, if that interests you.
What was the result? For me, this was frozen chicken patty perfection. The outside had a nice golden brown crisp to it, and inside had a great juicy texture to it. I am so happy I had whipped my oil spray out 🙂 Therefore, this is the cooking time and method I will settle on from now on (and will be the basis of my recipe below).
See the end result in all its glory below…
Notice how it had a much better golden brown look than even my first attempt, even though it had been cooked for a shorter time. This is the magic of oil sprays and air fryers 🙂
Anything Else to Consider?
If you have an air fryer oven, you will be using racks similar to a regular oven. This would make it easy to cook multiple frozen patties at once. However, if like me, you are using a traditional air fryer with an air fryer basket, this is a bit more tricky.
My 3.5 quart air fryer could only fit two frozen chicken patties in one go. Don’t be tempted to stack either! As soon as you do this, or even have patties that overlap, the hot air won’t be able to get up in there and you will get uneven cooking.
You May Have to Adjust
One of the reasons this is more of an investigation than a simple recipe is so that you can understand the process I went through to get the best cook times for my particular situation.
The thing is, your situation might be different. You probably have a different air fryer than my Philips unit, and your chicken patties might be thicker or thinner than mine. All of these factors might change your cook times, so please be aware of this.
When people talk about frozen chicken patties in America, they often refer to a breaded variety made by Tyson. When adding such a breading, you will have to cook for slightly longer. As stated before, you should start by finding the timings for oven cooking and doing just over half this time in the air fryer.
Use a Meat Thermometer
We all know that chicken is notorious for giving you food poisoning if not cooked properly. Throughout this test, I used a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of my chicken patties each time after cooking.
You should look for a cooked internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit [or 77 degrees Celsius] before eating your chicken patties.
If you don’t already have a meat thermometer, head over to my recommended products page to find one that I like.
Preheat Air Fryer?
Many ‘air fryer people’ talk about the importance of preheating an air fryer before cooking anything in it, but for me it is just a waste of time and energy! With an air fryer, you are dealing with almost instant heat, so there really is no need to preheat. I never preheat my air fryer when cooking in it and I still get great results every time. The only time I might recommend preheating is if you have a very large appliance like a big air fryer oven.
That’s all folks, for my final directions for cooking chicken patties in your air fryer read the recipe below. If you have your own experience air frying frozen chicken patties, let us know in the comments section below.