Can You Put BBQ Sauce In Air Fryer

Adding BBQ sauce to foods in an air fryer can elevate the flavor of your dishes, giving them a delicious, tangy, and smoky taste. However, when and how you add BBQ sauce is important to avoid burning and ensure an even cook. Here’s what you need to know:

Tips for Using BBQ Sauce in an Air Fryer

Add at the End: BBQ sauce contains sugar, which can burn if exposed to high temperatures for too long. It’s best to add BBQ sauce towards the end of the cooking process. For most meats, brush the sauce on in the last few minutes of cooking.

Pre-cooking Application: If you’re marinating meats in BBQ sauce before air frying, make sure to wipe off any excess sauce to prevent burning. You can always apply a fresh coat closer to the end of cooking.

Using Foil or Parchment: When applying BBQ sauce, consider placing your food on a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper within the air fryer basket. This can help minimize cleanup, as the sauce can become sticky and caramelized when cooked.

Temperature Adjustments: Since BBQ sauce should be added later in the cooking process, you might need to adjust the cooking temperature downwards when you apply the sauce to prevent it from burning. Cooking at a slightly lower temperature for the last few minutes can help.

Recipe Idea: BBQ Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer


  • Chicken wings
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce


  1. Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (about 193°C).
  2. Season the Wings: Season the chicken wings with salt and pepper, ensuring they’re evenly coated.
  3. Cook the Wings: Place the wings in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through the cook time, until they’re nearly cooked through and have a crispy exterior.
  4. Apply BBQ Sauce: In the last 3-5 minutes of cooking, brush a generous amount of BBQ sauce over the wings. Return them to the air fryer to finish cooking. The sauce should become sticky and slightly caramelized.
  5. Serve: Once the wings are fully cooked and coated with delicious BBQ sauce, remove them from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Using BBQ sauce in the air fryer can enhance your dishes with minimal effort. By following these tips, you can enjoy the rich, smoky flavors of BBQ without the mess of outdoor grilling or the risk of burning your food.

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Bubbly Chef author