Convection oven fried chicken tenders

Gin Lee
Air frying chicken tenders in a convection oven/Gin Lee

Convection oven fried chicken tenders

If you have been duped into thinking that you have to buy an air-fryer oven to have a healthier version of fried chicken, better think again!

Convection baking is all that an air-fryer does and you can already air-fry anything you want to in a convection oven. To prove my point today I am making "air-fried" chicken tenders in my convection oven.
Preparing the chicken tenders to be air fried in a convection oven/Gin Lee

First, I sprayed oil on my pan. Then I tossed a simple flour coating onto the pieces of chicken. I added the seasonings into my flour and placed the chicken tenders into the pan.

Next, I coated the topsides of each piece of chicken with cooking spray, and sprinkled a little more pepper, seasoning salt, and smoked paprika over the pieces.
Rotating the pan of chicken tenders/Gin Lee

Then the pan went directly into my convection oven. I never had to rotate the pieces of chicken. I merely moved my pan closer to the broiler at the last few minutes of cooking.
The results of my air fried chicken/Gin Lee

I set the temperatures to 400 degree F and cooked the chicken for about thirty minutes (for extra crispy).


I seasoned the flour coating with smoked paprika, turmeric, soul seasoning, red cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, and seasoning salt. I did not measure anything. I just eyeballed it when I sprinkled it in.

Air frying isn't truly frying anything. I use this term loosely. A true southern knows that frying food is done in a skillet where the food is immersed in a hot grease. There are three methods of frying food: pan frying, deep frying, and stir frying.

I have tested different air fryers, convection ovens, versus using a regular oven, and from my experiences, the fans in convection type ovens and air fryers evenly distribute the heat and cook food evenly throughout. The circulation of the heat actually does cook food much faster than cooking food in a conventional oven.

As far as cooking time is considered, I couldn't see any major differences between convection ovens and air fryer ovens. Note: When I am referring to an air fryer, I'm referring to the bigger air fryer ovens, not the compact air fryers.

Compact air fryers are smaller than convection ovens, so it stands to reason that they cook less food at one time than that of a traditional convection oven and larger air fryer ovens and, of course, the compact air fryer does cook food at a faster rate.

If you don't own a convection oven or air fryer oven, you can still make oven baked chicken in the same manner and the chicken will turn out just as amazing. It just takes a little longer to cook.

As with any breaded foods that you prepare in convection ovens, you'll still need to coat the outside breading with cooking spray, same as when or if you use an air fryer.

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