Folks, I am an air fryer fanatic. I just loooooove how the air fryer lets me quickly and easily cook up healthier versions of my fried food favourites. And as I’ve been using my air fryer for a while now, I’ve gained some valuable insight into how to get the best results.
Following are what I think are the best 15 Air Fryer Tips and Tricks for making healthy, delicious air fried dishes that turn out perfect every time. I hope you find them to be as helpful as I do!
Air Fryer Recipes Tools
KITCHEN TOOLS, UTENSILS & APPLIANCES NEEDED
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Here are some of the items you will need to make these recipes.
- This Air Fryer is perfect for cooking your food.
- This 13 piece air fryer accessories kit.
- Use these measuring teaspoons for your seasonings.
- You need this awesome sharp knife for cutting your ingredients.
- Use this fun and colourful cutting board.
- These handy mixing bowls are good for mixing up ingredients.
- I love these tongs for turning food in the air fryer.
- Bowls with covers.
- Store leftover food in these bowls.
15 Top Air Fryer Tips and Tricks
Tip 1: Give your air fryer some space
Air Fryers need adequate space for air flow so they can operate efficiently and avoid overheating. Most manufacturers recommend allowing at least 5 inches of space on all sides. And never, ever place objects on top of your air fryer.
Tip 2: Reheating your food in the air fryer tastes soooo much better than reheating in your microwave
While it may be tempting to “nuke” your food in the microwave, the results are often disappointing. But reheating with the air fryer will easily make your food crispy and delicious again. In just a few moments you can reheat french fries or other “crunchy” foods and bring that delightful crunch back to life, instead of settling for limp and soggy leftovers.
Tip 3: Preheat the air fryer before cooking
Whilst most air fryer instructions specify that the air fryer should be preheated to ensure even cooking. I will confess I didn’t do it at first. My food still turned out delicious, but once I actually started using the preheat setting, I found my dishes were ready quicker. And if your air fryer model does not have a preheat setting, you can simply turn it to the desired temperature and allow it to run for around 3 minutes before adding your food.
Tip 4: Use the air fryer to dry itself
This little trick is quite simple, but oh-so-handy (and fun). After washing the air fryer basket and drawer, just pop them back into the air fryer and turn it on for 2 or 3 minutes. Effortless and totally efficient!
Tip 5: Check your food for doneness.
Since the actual temperatures can vary depending on the air fryer make and model, it is important to check your food for doneness using a kitchen kitchen thermometer and then adjust the cook time accordingly. You may find that your air fryer cooks at a faster rate, or perhaps it requires more time. Think of the published cooking time in your recipe as a guideline, not a hard and fast rule.
Tip 6: Use the right kind of cooking spray
If your air fryer basket has a non-stick coating, do not use cooking sprays that contain silicone, lecithin, or soy lecithin (such as Pam). These sprays are known to damage and even chip will the basket, so check the ingredients of your spray before using.
Tip 7: Less is more when it comes to oil
Using oil or cooking spray helps keep your food moist and prevents it from drying out, but don’t overdo it! The air fryer needs just the smallest amount – we’re talking anything from a light spritz to 1 tablespoon. Any more than that will result in limp, soggy and sad food. Do use a spray bottle to help dispense your oil.
Tip 8: Turn (or shake) your food at least once
Shaking the basket or actually turning your food items over using tongs at least once halfway through the cook time will allow for more efficient and even cooking, which means your food will turn out even more delicious.
Tip 9: Help lighter foods stay put
Because the air fryer fan is powerful, lighter foods can blow around inside the basket. Use toothpicks to hold stacked foods together, like the top slice of bread on a sandwich. When making tortilla chips and quesadillas, I place a metal trivet on top so they will stay flat.
Tip 10: Adding water to the drawer prevents smoking
When cooking greasy or fatty foods, adding water to the drawer underneath the basket helps prevent the resulting grease and oil drippings from smoking. I find it is helpful when cooking bacon, sausage and other fattier cuts of meat.
Tip 11: Use a sling to remove hot items
When cooking foods inside a dish or pan, make a sling out of aluminum foil to help remove it from the hot basket. Here’s how to do it:
- Fold a piece of aluminum foil into a rectangle that is at least 2 inches wide and 18 – 20 inches long.
- Center the pan or dish in the middle of the foil strip and use a pair of silicon kitchen mitts to hold the ends of the sling to lift the pan or dish and lower it into the air fryer basket.
- Tuck the ends of the sling into the sides of the air fryer basket. When you’re ready to remove, simply untuck and hold the ends to lift the pan out.
Tip 12: Don’t overfill your air fryer basket
This is probably the single biggest mistake made when using the air fryer. I get that it is tempting to try and fit all your food inside so you can cook in a single batch. But the air fryer needs to circulate air around all sides of your food, so you need to make certain that you give your food enough space. Overcrowding will result in food not being cooked evenly or sufficiently, and you’ll miss out on that lovely air fried crispness. And after all, isn’t that the beauty of cooking in the air fryer?
Tip 13: Accessorize!
Take your air frying to the next level by invest in some accessories to use in this little kitchen miracle. There are plenty of gadgets and tools made specifically for air fryers, some of the most popular items include racks, trivets, baking pans, springform pans (for baking cheesecakes) and ramekins. In addition, most any baking dish or cake pan that is oven-safe should be suitable for using in the air fryer. Just make sure it will actually fit inside the air fryer basket and that it won’t come in contact with the heating element.
Tip 14: Use this breading technique
When breading food, you’ll want to coat with flour first, quickly cover all sides with egg, let the excess egg drip off and then the breadcrumbs. And perhaps most important, make sure to press the breading firmly onto the food with your hands. This will help it adhere properly and not slip off or blow away during cooking.
Tip 15: Make sure the basket is cool before washing
The basket gets very hot when cooking, which makes the metal and coating expand. When water meets very hot, thin, coated metal, the metal will contract at a different rate than the coating, which can make the coating come loose from the basket. It can also warp your basket. Let your basket cool normally before putting water in it.
Air Fryer Recipes You Will Love
Even More Great Air Fryer Recipes
Looking for even more great recipes to cook up in your air fryer? Then check out this list of Easy and Healthy Air Fryer Recipes. And this collection of Zero Smart Points Air Fryer Recipes is chock full of super healthy, yet still delicious, air fried dishes.
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