This article may contain links from our affiliate partners. Please read how we make money!
Seasoned with a blend of spices and a squeeze of citrus, quail transforms into a mouthwatering, tender dish sure to impress your family and friends. Learning how to air fry quail is quick and easy – with a few simple steps, you’ll have a well-browned, crispy quail with a deliciously tender inside.
How to Air Fry Quail
When making tender quail with crispy skins, you can rely on the air fryer to deliver perfect results every time. The air fryer cooks quail faster, crispier, and better than any other cooking method.
Here’s how to air fry quail in nine easy steps:
- Start by thawing your quail. It’s best to leave it in the fridge overnight, but you can leave it on the counter for an hour or two – these small birds defrost in no time!
- Rinse the quail with cold water and pat it dry using paper towels. Patting the skin dry helps remove any excess moisture from the quail, ensuring elusive crispy skin.
- Truss the quail – tie the legs together – using butcher’s twine to help it cook more uniformly. Trussing the quail creates extra space, usually enough to pop another quail in the air fryer basket.
- Sprinkle the bird with your favorite spice rub or marinade. Be sure to add some to the inside of the quail too.
- Lay freshly sliced lemon to the bottom of the air fryer to prevent the quail from sticking to the air fryer basket. Plus, it imparts a delicious lemony flavor.
- Preheat your air fryer to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Lay the quail breast side up on the lemon slices in a single layer. Cook the quail at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. You can spray the skin with olive oil once or twice while cooking for extra crispy skin.
- Use a thermometer to ensure the quail’s internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.
- Plate and enjoy.
If I’m really in a rush, I like to spatchcock the quail instead of trussing it to shorten the cooking time. Spatchcocking quail requires you to simply snip out the backbone of the quail with a pair of kitchen shears, working from the tail end up to the neck. Then, press the bird flat for quicker cooking.
You can use several tried-and-true methods to prepare quail, from grilling to roasting, frying, and even sautéing. However, air frying ensures you lock in maximum flavor and juices while achieving crispy skin. Now, there’s always a hot debate between home cooks regarding the merit of purchasing the best air fryer under 100 – isn’t it essentially a mini oven?
Why Cook Quail in The Air Fryer?
While an oven’s heating element is generally located towards the back of the oven, an air fryer has a removable grill pan and a heat source that works its way from the top down, allowing air to circulate around the food, creating a crispy exterior and tender inside. An air fryer also heats up quickly and can shorten your cooking time by up to 20%. If an air fryer is not heating up as it should be, this is how to fix an air fryer that is not working.
One of the top benefits of cooking quail in the air fryer is that it’s a healthy alternative to standard frying and cooking methods. You can enjoy moist, tender quail with a crispy exterior without using excessive amounts of unhealthy oil, making it an ideal dish for those watching their diet. Lightly spray the bird with olive oil, and you’re good to go.
How to Serve Air Fried Quail
Quail lends a flavor often comparable to a cross between a chicken and duck, but its flavors are more intense and delectable.
The best way to serve air-fried quail is to make it the star of the show. Pair it with simple accompaniments like garlic butter potatoes, creamy coleslaw, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, or stuffed portabella mushrooms.
My favorite self-bought gift is the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer Air Fryer. It has a sleek, modern design with twin baskets and Sync Cook and Sync Finish features, ensuring your baskets are ready at the same time, even if the foods have different cooking times or temperatures. This allows me to whip up a showstopper dinner and side dishes in no time.
Reheating Air Fried Quail
You’re missing out if you haven’t used your air fryer to reheat last night’s leftovers! After using the air fryer, you won’t ever want to return to using the microwave or oven. Compared to mini convection ovens, air fryers reheat leftovers in a short time span, and they allow you to relive the delicious crunch when biting into your food.
Follow these simple steps to reheat your quail:
- Preheat the air fryer for approximately 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the quail in the air fryer basket and lightly spray with olive oil.
- Cook the quail at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 5 minutes or until it reaches a safe temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
An oil sprayer bottle isn’t essential, but it sure is a helpful tool for air frying foods. It helps you coat the ingredients lightly and evenly and helps you use less oil (which is a lot healthier). I have a Home Delighted Olive Oil Mister and Cooking Oil Sprayer. It is a reusable oil spray bottle made with high-quality BPA-Free, Lead-Free, and Food-Safe durable glass, meaning no more endless purchases.
Can You Cook Quail Eggs in the Air Fryer?
Cooking quail eggs is quick and easy and can even be done in the air fryer – fried, hard-boiled, and scrambled.
- Air fryer fried quail eggs: Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with olive oil or cooking spray. Crack one quail egg in each compartment. Air fry the eggs for 3 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or until the white sets.
- Air fryer hard-boiled quail eggs: Place the quail eggs in the air fryer with a bit of room between them. Air fry them for 5 minutes at 270 degrees Fahrenheit. Plunge the eggs in ice water immediately afterward to stop them from cooking further.
- Air fryer scrambled quail eggs: Lightly spray a mini pie tin with olive oil or cooking spray. Whisk the quail eggs together and pour them into the tin. Air fry the quail eggs for 3 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk the eggs and air for another 2 minutes.
Aside from air fried quail eggs, there are also healthy air fryer recipes you can try.
Do You Need to Put Oil on Quail in the Air Fryer?
While your air fryer doesn’t require oil to cook the quail, lightly coating the bird with oil helps create crispy skin and improves the overall taste of your quail.
What Temperature Should Quail be Air Fried at?
Approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature to cook quail in the air fryer. Cooking quail in the air fryer at a lower heat is possible, but it won’t give you the same crisped skin results.
How to Tell if the Quail is Fully Cooked?
Quail is typically fully cooked when the meat is slightly firm – like a cooked chicken breast – and the juices run clear. However, ensure the internal temperature of the quail reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating it.
Quail is typically fully cooked when the meat is slightly firm – like a cooked chicken breast – and the juices run clear. However, ensure the internal temperature of the quail reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating it. You can also try cooking air fryer turkey burger.
Irresistibly tender and juicy quail with a crisp skin – yum! After switching to the air fryer to prepare quail, you won’t ever want to use a different cooking method. Season the quail with your favorite spice and marinade and cook it for a short 15 minutes.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.