The Super Easy Way To Fake A Seared Steak In The Air Fryer

For many of us, when we picture the perfect steak, we picture it with a caramelized crusty outside that delivers a blast of mouthwatering flavor. Getting the perfect sear on your steak can be just as crucial as perfecting the temperature and level of doneness. It's easy to assume that you have to grill or cook your steak in a pan to get that beautiful crispy outside, but air frying a steak is an underrated method that can deliver a delicious seared steak too. Not only is the air fryer a less messy way to cook, but the hot air circulation cooks steak gently enough to keep it juicy and tender, which is definitely a plus. 

Searing a steak involves cooking it at a high temperature until a crispy browning occurs on the outside that is packed with savory flavor. That might seem difficult to do in an air fryer, which is a gentler cooking method, but the trick to achieving the best sear in an air fryer is easier than you might think: simply coat the steak in olive oil before air frying. Olive oil is the key to delivering that caramelized flavor and crispy texture we all strive for in our steaks. Not only does the fat in the oil heat up perfectly to create an even sear, but it has a nice mild flavor that isn't too rich or overpowering.

How to prep your steak with olive oil

When prepping your steak for the air fryer, coat both sides with your preferred olive oil — extra virgin will always get the job done nicely — and your favorite seasonings (salt and pepper work just fine, but add steak seasonings to take things up a notch). Place your steak in the air fryer set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cook for 3 minutes, then flip it and cook for another three minutes, ensuring you get an even sear on both sides. Cook for a few more minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness. 

The recommended total cook time for steak in the air fryer is 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare, 10 to 12 minutes for medium, and 14 minutes for medium-well. Finally, allow your steak to rest on a plate or a cutting board for 5 to 10 minutes before eating.