The 2-Ingredient Crispy Air Fryer Chicken That's Too Easy Not To Make

When it comes to making crispy chicken, whipping out the air fryer is the way to go. Because this device circulates hot air around all sides of your food, it's easy to achieve the golden-brown skin you're looking for while keeping the meat inside nice and juicy. But if you want to take your chicken's crispiness to a whole new level, don't rely on the air fryer to do all of the work. It may surprise you, but using baking powder — just one extra ingredient — can seriously upgrade the texture of your poultry's outer layer.

Why baking powder? You may associate this white substance with your desserts rising in the oven, but it can bring major benefits to your bird as well. When you rub it on the outside of your chicken, it dries out the skin by raising its pH level — and as we know, moisture is the enemy of crispiness. Plus, baking powder mixes with the oils and juices in your poultry to create bubbles (aka carbon dioxide), which opens up more room for the skin to get crunchy. This ingredient works so well, you can even use it to make baked chicken (like this herby green goddess) crispy — but when combined with the magic of the air fryer, you'll get the crunchiest skin imaginable.

Baking powder and salt are a match made in crispy heaven

Before you get started, let's clear this up: You'll want baking powder rubbed on your chicken, not baking soda. The two typically aren't interchangeable in baking, and they aren't here either since the latter will give you a wholly unappealing flavor. And if you want the best-possible-tasting baking powder (yes, there is such a thing), choose an aluminum-free version.

Then, once you've picked the right ingredient, all you'll need to do is coat your poultry in it. You can either toss your chicken pieces in a bowl of baking powder or use a brush, but try to get a thin, even coating throughout. While it's not necessary, adding salt will turn things up a notch. Salt is often used for dry-brining because it helps extract moisture, so in this case, it will assist your baking powder in keeping things crispy. And feel free to throw some pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, or chili powder into the mix as well.

To air fry, lightly coat your basket with cooking spray. After preheating your device to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 minutes is all you need to achieve golden, crispy poultry.