18 Air Fryer Tips for Better Air Frying

Calling all air fryer fans! I have rounded up 18 super helpful Air Fryer tips and tricks that make cooking with your Air Fryer easier, efficient, and more fun. Whether you’re new to the world of air frying or a seasoned pro, you’ll want to keep these tips on hand for quick reference.

Post includes links to some of my favorite (and most popular) Air Fryer recipes.


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 favorites.

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 18 Air Fryer Tips and Tricks for making healthy, delicious air fryer dishes that turn out perfect every time.

I hope you find them to be as helpful as I do!

*****Please click here to grab the Beginners easy air fryer recipes ebook!!!*****

But before we get to the tips……..

Easy Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love

And, you’ve got to try these easy DIY seasoning recipes when cooking air fryer food;

air fryer cheat sheet printable

 18 Top Air Fryer Tips and Tricks 

Tip 1: Give your air fryer some space

Air Fryers need adequate space for airflow 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.  Here is how to reheat your Pizza in the Air Fryer. 

You can also Reheat Steak In Air Fryer and Reheat Fried Chicken in Air Fryer.


I have everything that you need for Air Fryer Tips here in this article.  But it is a long read. If it’s more convenient, you can purchase the PDF file for only $1.99. It has the full article. This way you can print it out and will be available for you to refer to anytime you want. (Click on the image below to purchase).

air fryer tips and tricks sales blog image

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. Learn more about How To Preheat Your Air Fryer.

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 or drawer, just pop it 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 thermometer and then adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Especially when cooking treats like these juicy Air Fryer Hamburgers and crispy Air Fryer Chicken Breasts.

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.

Related: How To Clean An Air Fryer in 7 Easy Steps.

Graphic saying the complete air fryer cooking bundle

Tip 6:  Use the right kind of cooking spray

Check out this post to learn how to oil your Air Fryer.

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 them. Why not spray with some oil?


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. And I recommend using a spray bottle to help dispense your oil.

three pieces of Air Fryer Corn on the Cob served on a white plate

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 air fryer tortilla chips and chicken quesadillas in the air fryer, I place a metal trivet on top so they will stay flat.

the finished air fryer tortilla chips served with dipping sauce

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 recipes like this crispy air fryer bacon, air fryer sausages, and other fattier cuts of meat.

Tip 11: Use a sling to remove hot items

When cooking and baking foods inside a dish or pan, like this Air Fryer Sweet Potato Pie, 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?

So when cooking up fried food favorites like Air Fryer French Fries, Air Fryer Chicken Thighs and delicious Air Fryer Zucchini Fries be sure to give them plenty of room!

close up of the completed air fryer frozen french fries

Tip 13: Use this breading technique

When breading food, you’ll want to do it properly, 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.

Head over to this post that shows you how to bread chicken properly.

one finished piece of bread chicken served with cucumbers and dipping sauce

Tip 14: Accessorize!

Take your air frying to the next level by investing 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, almost any baking dish or cake pan that is oven-safe should be suitable for use 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 15: Clean your air fryer as you use it

To get the best out of your Air Fryer you should keep it clean and the best way to do this is to clean it after you use it instead of waiting till it is completely gunked up. Cleaning tools you will need

Make sure your Air Fryer is turned off and unplugged and cool before cleaning it.

  • Clean the basket. Clean the Air Fryer basket with some warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge.
  • Soak to remove stubborn residue. If any food is stuck on, you can soak the basket in a bowl of hot soapy water before washing with a non-abrasive sponge. You can wash the basket in a dishwasher if you prefer.
  • Clean the outside of the Air Fryer. Wipe the outside of the Air Fryer with a damp microfiber cloth. Then if needed wipe the outside with warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge.
  • Remove food in the heating element. Use a soft brush to clean any food stuck in the heating element.
  • Dry everything. Make sure everything is dry by air frying or wiping with a clean microfiber cloth. Then put everything back into the air fryer.

Important! Do not ever put the heating element of the Air Fryer in water.

Tip 16: 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.

Tip 17: Use air fryer cookbooks

Check out this list of the Best Air Fryer Cookbooks that can help you get the most out of your Air Fryer.

Tip 18: Cook frozen food in air fryer

Folks, here’s the tip that will save you when you’re short on time but need to get dinner on the table fast. Keep your freezer stocked with a variety of frozen foods that you can easily cook from frozen in air fryer!

We’re talking everything from cooking frozen burritos in air fryer, air fryer frozen fish, and frozen chicken breast to crave-worthy snacks like frozen tater tots, frozen jalapeno poppers, and frozen potato skins can go from freezer to air fryer to table in just minutes.

Plus they turn out deliciously crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked inside every time.

one cooked frozen burrito being removed from the air fryer with tongs

Air Fryer Recipes You Will Love

crispy air fryer chicken breasts



Air fryer hot dogs


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.

Air Fryer Desserts

Did you know you can use the air fryer for more than frying? This collection of awesome Air Fryer Dessert Recipes will help you whip up all your favorite sweet treats in the air fryer!

Thank you for reading my 18 Air Fryer Tips and Tricks Post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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