How Long to Cook Cornish Hen in Air Fryer

Welcome to my kitchen! I’m Paula, and today I’m excited to share with you my go-to recipe on how long to cook cornish hen in air fryer. This recipe is not only quick, taking only 20 minutes for one bird, but it’s also a showstopper on the plate.

How Long to Cook Cornish Hen in Air Fryer


  • Achieve a delicious and elegant Cornish hen dish in just 20 minutes in the air fryer for a showstopper on your dinner table.
  • Learn how to truss your game hens to present them in a more refined manner, which will improve their appearance and flavor.
  • Taste-test different combinations of olive oil, liquid smoke, and seasonings to create flavors that suit your own palate.
  • Learn your air fryer’s cooking patterns by periodically checking for even cooking, resulting in a perfectly cooked and moist Cornish hen.
  • Serve up some perfectly seasoned Cornish game hens on your plate with some simple but tasteful sides for a visually striking and enjoyable meal.

So, let’s get cooking!

How to Cook Cornish Hen in Air Fryer

To cook Cornish hen in an air fryer, truss the hen, marinate with olive oil and seasonings, then air fry at 360°F for 20-25 minutes, checking for doneness with a meat thermometer. Rest before serving with your favorite sides.

How Long to Cook Cornish Hen in Air Fryer

Cook Cornish hens in the air fryer at 360°F for approximately 20-25 minutes, adjusting time based on the air fryer’s size and wattage. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165-170°F for doneness.

Cornish Hen Air Fryer Recipe

Cornish Hen Air Fryer Recipe

Yield: 2 servings (1 Cornish game hen per serving)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Let's begin with the step-by-step guide!


  • Cornish game hens (Tyson brand, two-pack)
  • Olive oil (extra virgin)
  • Liquid smoke
  • Lowry seasoning salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Mesquite grill seasoning
  • Smoked paprika

New Group

  • Air Fryer (Cook's Essentials recommended)
  • Small paring knife
  • Meat thermometer
  • Large bowl
  • Plastic cutting board
  • Paper towels


I'm excited to share this recipe with you, so let's dive in!

Step 1: Prepare the Cornish Game Hens

  • Rinse the hens under running water and check for any feathers, debris, or excess fat.
  • Let them soak in water for a few minutes.
  • Dry them off with paper towels and place them on a cutting board.

Step 2: Trussing the Hens

Trussing the Hens

  • Hold the legs up in a crisscross position.
  • Using a small paring knife, cut two holes into each side of the hen's skin.
  • Trim any extra skin or fat.
  • Season inside the holes and truss the legs for an elegant presentation.

Step 3: Marinating the Hens

Marinating the Hens

  • In a large bowl, cover the hens with olive oil.
  • Add a few dashes of liquid smoke, Lowry seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and mesquite grill seasoning.
  • Rub the seasonings well into the birds, ensuring the front, back, and inside are covered.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours up to overnight.

Step 4: Preheating the Air Fryer

  • Allow the hens to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5: Cooking in the Air Fryer

Cooking in the Air Fryer

  • Place the hens in the air fryer basket.
  • Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, depending on the size and wattage of your air fryer.
  • Open the air fryer occasionally to check for even cooking.

Step 6: Checking Doneness

Cooking in the Air Fryer

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, aiming for 165 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Let the hens rest for a few minutes after cooking.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

Cornish Hen Air Fryer Recipe

  • Pair the Cornish game hens with your favorite sides. You can pair them with steamed broccoli, lemon, and rosemary for a delightful presentation.


Can I use a different brand of Cornish game hens?

Yes, you can use any brand of Cornish game hens that you prefer. We recommend Tyson but feel free to choose the brand that suits your taste.

Can I use a different air fryer brand and size?

Cooking times may vary slightly depending on the brand and size of your air fryer. This recipe is based on a Cook’s Essentials air fryer, but you can adapt the recipe to your specific appliance.

How do I know if the hens are cooked thoroughly?

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the hens. They should reach 165 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption.

Can I skip the trussing step?

You can skip this step while trussing is recommended for an elegant presentation. Trussing helps ensure even cooking, but the hens will still be delicious without it.

What other sides can I pair with Cornish game hens?

Feel free to pair the hens with your favorite sides. We suggest steamed broccoli, but options like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a side salad also work well.

Can I marinate the hens for less than two hours?

Marinating the hens overnight enhances the flavor; you can marinate them for at least two hours. The longer the marination, the more flavorful the outcome.

Can I cook more than two hens at once?

Yes, you can cook multiple hens at once, but be mindful of your air fryer’s capacity. Adjust cooking times accordingly and ensure even spacing for consistent cooking.

Is it necessary to check the air fryer during cooking?

Checking the air fryer occasionally is recommended to ensure even cooking. Factors like uneven heating or hotspots can affect cooking, so a quick check is beneficial.

Can I use different seasonings in the marinade?

Customize the seasonings to your taste preferences. You can experiment with herbs, spices, or other seasonings that you enjoy.


There you have it! A quick and delicious Cornish hen recipe and also the answer on how long to cook Cornish hen in air fryer. Feel free to customize the seasonings to your liking, and don’t forget to share your experience in the comments. 

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