Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

Air fryer cubed steak is a thing of beauty.  I love cooking anything and everything in my air fryer because of how tasty everything turns out, and cubed steak is certainly no exception.  My air fryer cubed steak recipe calls for a delicious honey teriyaki marinade that helps make the meat extremely tender and juicy on the inside. 

Cooking it in the air fryer ensures that the outside of the beef or chicken fried steak gets a bit crispy.  The perfect combination for a mouth-watering meal.  If you’re ready to learn how to cook cubed steak in an air fryer, keep reading!  It’s easier than you may think!    

Air fryer cubed steak recipe

What is cubed steak?

Before we start talking about how to air fry cube steak, let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page about exactly what cube steak is.  Cube steak, which can also be called bucket steak, is typically made from top round or top sirloin cuts of beef.  

To make cube steak, the top sirloin or top round beef is flattened using a meat tenderizer.  You can make cube steak yourself using a meat tenderizer, but you can also often find it already tenderized and ready to go.  

Hearing that cube steak is flattened chicken fried steak may be a bit confusing.  After all, the name has “cube” in it, so you may have been picturing pieces of meat, almost like stew beef.  However, cube steak gets its name from the cube-like indentations that are left on the top of the meat after flattening it with a meat tenderizer.  

Is cube steak the same as ground beef?

At first glance, you could easily mistake cube steak for ground beef.  When you’re shopping at the grocery store, both can look the same when they are all packaged up.  However, cube steak and ground beef are two entirely different things.

As we shared above, cube steak is thin pieces of top round or bottom round beef that have been tenderized.  The indentations on the beef from the mallet used for tendering can make it look like ground beef.

However, unlike ground beef that will fall apart if you try to pick it up (because it is lots of little pieces of beef), a cube steak is a solid piece of meat.

How to cook savory air fryer cubed steak

Making Cube Steak Tender

By nature, air fryer cube steak is a tender piece of beef.  The process of making cube steak involves using a mallet to tenderize the top round or bottom round slices of beef.  

The process of tenderizing breaks down the muscle in the meat and softens the collagen.  The result is a much more tender and less chewy cut of beef.

You’ll often be able to find cube steak for purchase that has already been tenderized.  You can also tenderize your own pieces of top round or bottom round beef using a mallet or meat tenderizer to create your own air fryer cube steak.

Another way you can make cube steak even more tender is to marinate it before cooking.  This is one of the reasons I love these air fryer recipes that I’m about to share with you.  The cube steak marinates in a mixture of honey, soy sauce, and garlic for a few hours before cooking.  

Marinating meat increases the moisture content and can ensure the meat doesn’t dry out and end up too tough when it is cooked.  Marinated cube steak is simply delectable!

Cubed steak recipe in air fryer

How do you cook cubed steak in an air fryer?

Can you air fry cube steak?  You better believe you can!  Cubed steak in the air fryer turns out juicy and tender in the center with slightly crispy edges.  Your guests will never believe how simple this meal is to make based on how amazing it tastes.

What You Need for this Air Fryer Cubed Steak Recipe

Ready to learn how to make cube steak in air fryer?  Let’s start by looking at all the ingredients and tools you’ll need.

One of the things that I love about this recipe (besides how absolutely delicious it is), is that it is really pretty simple to make.  You only need a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have, and some basic tools.

Here’s all the ingredients and tools you’ll need to make my honey teriyaki air fryer cubed steak recipe:

Ingredients

Tools

  • Air fryer (if you don’t already have one, take a look at The Innsky Air Fryer)
  • Covered bowl, container, or gallon-size Ziploc bag
  • Measuring cup
  • Teaspoon measuring spoon
  • Garlic press
  • Knife
  • Whisk
  • Meat thermometer
  • Mallet (if your cube steak was not already tenderized)
Savory steak recipe sauce

Air Fryer Cubed Steak Recipe Overview

Ok, as I said above, making cubed steak in air fryer is not challenging.  Read through the step-by-step instructions for my honey teriyaki cube steak air fryer recipes below to see just how simple it really is.

Step 1

Add the honey, soy sauce, and onion powder to a small mixing bowl.  Use a garlic press to mince two cloves or garlic into the bowl.  You can also peel and mince the garlic if you prefer/don’t have a garlic press.  Use a small whisk to mix all the ingredients together.

Step 2

Place four pieces of air fryer cube steak into a bowl or container (preferably one that has a lid).  You can even use a gallon-size Ziploc bag if you prefer. Pour the marinade over all the steaks and use a spoon to make sure it is evenly distributed and fully covering each piece of beef.

Step 3

Cover the container or zip up the bag and place it in the refrigerator to marinate.  Let it sit for at least three hours.  You can even prepare everything the night before and let it marinate overnight!

Step 4

Once you’re ready to cook, set your air fryer to 400 degrees and turn it on to preheat for about 5 minutes.  Lay the steaks out in a single layer on the air fryer tray or air fryer basket.  When removing them from the marinade, give the excess marinade a second to drip off back into the bowl; you don’t want too much extra in the air fryer.

Step 5

Air fry the steaks at 400 for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how you like your steak cooked.  If you prefer your beef to be medium rare, you’ll probably want to stay closer to the 5-minute end of the range.  On the other hand, if you like your steak more well-done, aim for closer to 7 minutes. 

You can refer to the temperature guide below and use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of each piece of air fryer cube steak.

Step 6

Once fully cooked to your liking, remove the steaks from the air fryer and let them rest for 5 to 10 to finish cooking and ensure the juices get reabsorbed for a tender and tasty treat.

Step 7

Serve the cubed steak with the sides of your choice (see below for a few suggestions).

Step 8

ENJOY!

How can you tell if your cubed steak is done?

When cooking cube steak in the air fryer, you may be worried about determining when the steak is done cooking.  Everyone’s preferences for chicken fried steak are different.  Some like their beef to be pink or red in the center, while others prefer it to be more well done with no pink,

Generally speaking, air fryer cubed steak should only take a few minutes to cook. Country fried steak is a thin cut of meat, and even if you’re aiming for well-done, it should still take less than 10 minutes to finish.

You can use a Bluetooth meat thermometer to check the temperature of the cube steak.  Keep in mind that it will continue to cook a little bit after it is removed from the air fryer, so it is best to remove it when the temperature is about 5 degrees lower than your target temperature.

Use this temperature guide to help you determine when your steak is cooked to your liking.

  • Rare:  Remove from air fryer at 110 °F for a target temperature of 115 °F
  • Medium-rare:  Remove from air fryer at 120 °F for a target temperature of 125 °F
  • Medium:  Remove from air fryer at 130 °F for a target temperature of 135 °F
  • Medium-well:  Remove from air fryer at 135 °F for a target temperature of 140 °F
  • Well-done:  Remove from air fryer at 145 °F for a target temperature of 150 °F
Air fryer cubed steak

Air Fryer Cubed Steak Recipe Card

You’ll love the taste of this air fry cubed steak.  Marinating the country fried steak in the honey teriyaki marinade will help guarantee a tender and delicious meal.

Prep Time:  5 to 10 minutes 

Marinate Time:  3 to 4 hours

Cook Time:  5 to 7 minutes

Servings:  4

Calories:  338

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of cube steak
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce 
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and mix using a small whisk.
  2. Place the cube steaks in a bowl, container, or Ziploc bag.
  3. Pour the marinade over the steaks and ensure that each piece is fully covered.
  4. Cover the bowl or container (or close the bag), and place it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees (about 5 minutes)
  6. Place steaks in a single layer on the air fryer tray or air fryer basket (you may need to cook two batches).
  7. Air fry at 400 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes.  5 minutes will yield a medium rare steak with some pink in the center, while 7 minutes will yield a more well-done steak.
  8. After cooking, let the steaks rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

What can you serve with air fryer cubed steak?

Looking for some delicious sides to serve alongside your cubed steak air fryer?  Here are some tasty options to try:  

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Side salad
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Rice pilaf
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Yorkshire pudding
Air fryer cubed steak recipe with risotto

Savory Air Fryer Cubed Steak:  A Tasty Meal

Now you know how to cook cube steak in air fryer.  Seems pretty easy, doesn’t it?  Beef cube steak in air fryer is not only an easy meal, but it is also sure to be a crowd pleaser.  Whether you’re cooking up a romantic dinner for someone special, serving dinner for your family, or having a close friend over for dinner, this recipe won’t let you down. 

The honey teriyaki marinade really makes for a tender and flavorful meal!

FAQs

How long does it take to cook steak in Airfryer?

Air fried cube steak cooks relatively quickly.  The exact cooking time will vary based on how well-done you prefer your steak, but generally speaking, cube steaks should take between 5 and 7 minutes to cook.

How do you cook cube steak so it’s not tough?

When cooking cube steak, it is important to make sure the meat has been well tenderized.  Another trick for getting tender cube steak is to marinate it for several hours, or even overnight, before cooking it.

How do you tenderize cube steak?

The best way to tenderize cube steak is to use a mallet or meat tenderizer.  Use the mallet like a hammer to hit the steak multiple times.  Be sure to use the spiky side of the mallet, rather than the flat side.  Hit hard enough that you can see the imprint from the spikes on the meat, but not so hard that you end up smooshing the steak.

How long does it take to air fry a thin steak?

It won’t take long to air fryer cube steak with flour or a marinade.  This is especially true if the steak is already thin.  Thinner steaks could take as little as 3 minutes to reach a medium rare temperature.  However, the temperature you set your air fryer to and the exact thickness of the country fried steak will determine exactly how long is needed.  Be sure to check the internal temperature of your steak before removing it from the air fryer to confirm that it is cooked to your liking.