How to Cook Perfect Beef Brisket in an Air Fryer

Cooking beef brisket in an air fryer is a great way to make this classic BBQ staple with less mess and faster cooking time. With the right techniques, you can get fork-tender brisket with a crispy bark in your air fryer.

Benefits of Cooking Brisket in an Air Fryer

Air fryers have some advantages over traditional oven or smoker brisket:

  • Shorter cook time – Brisket can cook up to 4x faster in an air fryer compared to other methods. A 3 lb brisket takes only 1 hour!

  • Less messy – Air frying contains grease and smoke indoors No need to constantly tend a smoker or oven

  • More convenient – Simple one-pot cooking and easy cleanup.

  • ** moisture retention** – The hot air circulates around the brisket, cooking it evenly and locking in natural juices.

Tips for Cooking Brisket in an Air Fryer

Follow these tips for perfect brisket every time:

  • Choose the right cut – Look for a well-marbled packer-cut brisket around 2-3 lbs. Avoid lean brisket which dries out.

  • Trim brisket – Trim off excess hard fat for better crisping. Leave about 1⁄4 inch of fat intact for flavor.

  • Apply rub – Coat all sides in a flavorful dry rub. Let rest 30 minutes before cooking.

  • Preheat air fryer – Heat air fryer to 400°F for faster searing and bark creation.

  • Sear brisket – Sear fatty-side down first for 5 minutes. Sear other sides 2 minutes each.

  • Cook on wire rack – Elevate brisket on a rack for air circulation. Flip halfway.

  • Spritz with liquid – Use apple juice or broth to keep brisket moist, Spritz every 30 minutes

  • Let rest before slicing – 10-15 minutes rests redistributes juices. Slice against the grain.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps for foolproof brisket:

  1. Trim excess hard fat from brisket. Leave about 1⁄4 inch.

  2. Make rub: Mix salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, etc. Coat brisket fully.

  3. Preheat air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.

  4. Place brisket fatty-side down in air fryer. Sear for 5 minutes.

  5. Sear remaining sides for 2 minutes each.

  6. Reduce heat to 275°F. Cook 25-35 minutes per pound. Flip halfway.

  7. Every 30 minutes, spritz with apple juice to keep moist.

  8. Cook until probe tender. Internal temp 195-203°F.

  9. Rest 10-15 minutes before slicing against the grain.

And you’ve got tender, juicy brisket with a crispy bark in just 1-2 hours!

Air Fryer Brisket Cook Times

Use these time guides for air fryer brisket based on weight:

Brisket Weight Total Cook Time
1 lb 35-45 minutes
2 lbs 55-70 minutes
3 lbs 1-1.5 hours
4 lbs 1.25-2 hours
5 lbs 1.5-2.5 hours

Cook at 275°F flipping once halfway. Check for doneness at 195°F internally.

Dry Rubs for Brisket

Dry rubs add tons of flavor. Try these recipes:

  • Basic Brisket Rub – 1 tbsp each salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder.

  • Texas-Style – Salt, pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cayenne.

  • Coffee Rub – Salt, pepper, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, ground coffee.

  • Spicy Rub – Salt, brown sugar, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano.

  • Kansas City Rub – Salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, garlic & onion powder.

Experiment with your own signature blends too! Apply liberally over entire brisket.

Basting Sauces for Moisture

Use these flavorful liquids to spritz brisket every 30 minutes:

  • Apple juice or cider

  • Beef or chicken broth

  • Beer or wine

  • Water

  • Fruit juice blends

  • Oil and vinegar

Spritzing adds moisture and flavor as brisket cooks. It prevents drying out.

Doneness Tests

Check these signs to know when brisket is ready:

  • Probe slides in easily

  • Internal temp 195-205°F

  • Crispy bark exterior

  • Meat shreds apart easily

Use an instant read thermometer to accurately measure the internal temperature in thickest section.

Serving Tips

  • Let brisket rest 10-15 minutes before slicing to retain juices.

  • Cut diagonally against the grain for tender slices.

  • Serve brisket slices on bread, tacos or slider buns.

  • Pair with BBQ classics like baked beans, coleslaw, fries or mac and cheese.

  • Use leftovers for sandwiches, breakfast tacos or brisket baked potatoes.


Can you cook frozen brisket in an air fryer?

Yes, just add 5-10 extra minutes per pound. Thaw in the fridge overnight first for best results.

What temperature should I cook brisket in an air fryer?

Cook at 400°F to sear then reduce to 275°F for remainder of cook time. Check internal temp of 195-205°F.

Should you flip brisket in the air fryer?

Yes, flip brisket halfway during cooking to ensure even doneness on both sides.

How long does brisket last refrigerated?

Leftover brisket stays fresh 3-4 days refrigerated. Slice and freeze portions for longer storage.

Get Perfectly Cooked Brisket in Your Air Fryer

Cooking brisket in an air fryer delivers tender, mouthwatering BBQ in record time. With the right cut, dry rub, and cooking technique, you’ll impress everyone with your brisket mastery! Preheating, searing, spritzing, and resting are keys for success. In 1-2 hours, you can enjoy the brisket of your dreams. Give it a try and taste the air fryer brisket magic.

Beef Brisket in the Air Fryer

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