Break out the air fryer and use it like an expert following these best tips and tricks!
At this point in time, you either have an air fryer or you know someone that is trying to convince you to buy one. Am I right?! The promise of “fried” foods without the guilt is something our ears all perked up when we first heard/read it.
I know mine did! “Fried” mozzarella sticks without the actual deep-frying?! TAKE MY MONIES!!!!
But for real, I’m an air fryer fan. You should be too!
Air Fryer Set Up Tips
- Always preheat your air fryer – yes I know this sounds pretty intuitive but trust me, most folks just will throw in a bag of frozen fries, start it up, and then super mad when the fries aren’t done in the recipe 15-18 minute mark. Just like your oven at home, it needs to get to the temperature first to cook something. Or even your pressure cooker. It has to build up pressure first and THEN it starts to pressure cook. Kapeesh?
- Coat the tray or pan with oil – Just a light coating is all you need to help prevent the foods from sticking.
- NEVER USE COOKING SPRAY – nonstick aerosol sprays can damage your air fryer. Use an oil mister to coat your tray and foods.
Air Fryer Cooking Tips
- Coating with Oil – Now even though this is an air fryer, you still need to add a little bit of oil to help get the “fry” part. Prior to putting your food in the basket or tray, lightly coat the food with oil. Now if you have fattier foods like bacon, you need not coat it in oil obviously.
- Single Layer – never overcrowd the tray or basket. If you do this only some stuff will crisp while others will be soggy or not browned.
- Cook in batches – this aligns with the single layer. Doing so ensures allows you to have browned and crisp foods each and every time.
- Shake it/Flip it! – During the cooking process you’ll want to either pull the basket out and shake it every few minutes to ensure even cooking. If you have a tray, pull it out, flip the foods and continue air frying
- Spray Half Way Through – If you want something really “fried” crispy, halfway through cooking, lightly mist it with oil. However ONLY do this when you’ve pulled the basket or tray COMPLETELY OUT of the air fryer. Never add the oil while the food/tray is in the unit. Adding the oil while it’s in the unit can cause a sticky buildup and gunk inside it.
Air Fryer Tidbits
- Smoke – When you’re cooking particularly greasy foods like bacon or beef, your air fryer can produce white smoke. Don’t be alarmed. To fix this, add about 2 Tbl of water to the bottom of the basket or a slice of bread to the bottom of the unit to soak up any grease. Not only does the bread solve the smoke problem but it tends to catch the grease and makes for easier cleanup!
- Reheating – You all know I only use my microwave for making popcorn or melting butter. The same applies to reheating food. Skip the microwave and use the air fryer. You’ll get a bajillion times better results!
- Cleaning – if you have an air fryer metal tray/basket, cleaning it can be a PITA. However, I bought these air fryer mats that drastically help cut down on the cleanup. Plus they can be cut to any size to fit the basket and they are reusable!
- Washing – hand wash the basket or tray with hot soapy water. If you have a metal tray, use a nylon bristol brush to help scrub out the little nooks and crannies.
Chef Recommended Air Fryers
Whether you buy a stand-alone air fryer or an all-in-one, these are the ones I recommend.
The Breville BOV900BSS Smart Oven Air Convection and Air Fry Countertop Oven is THE BEST one I’ve ever used. Not only from an oven/proofer/dehydrator/convection oven but also from air frying! The rack is big and cooks food up beautifully. Everything single thing I’ve made in this is perfect. It even holds a 12-well pan of muffins!
The Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer. I mean we all love the Instant Pot so it’s no surprise that we wouldn’t love this. This is perfect for a crowd or, as it says, making a pretty large chicken!
Stand Alone Air Fryer
There’s no denying the Ninja products. I’m a HUGE fan of their stuff and their air fryers are just as amazing.
Ninja 2-basket fryer – What I am obsessed with about this one is that it has 2 baskets and 2 independent cooking methods. So you literally could make your fries in one basket and chicken tenders in the other at 2 different temps but have them done at the same time!
Ninja 4 quart – This is one that most folks have or start out with. It’s a smaller 4-quart item that’s perfect for when you want some wings or fries.