Top 15 Tips for Your Air Fryer

Research has shown that air-frying fish may lower the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (which are the heart-healthy omega-3 fats) in the fish, and potentially increase the number of inflammatory
compounds. However, it’s important to note that the amount of time a food is exposed to heat, or cooked, will affect how much change the composition of a food will go through and the amount of inflammatory compounds that can form. For example, some studies show that roasting (and even microwaving) fish can change its fat composition and produce compounds which are inflammatory. In the same study, it was also found that adding herbs to fish may help reduce the fat oxidation that occurs when fish is air-fried. That being said, you should seriously consider cooking your fish with anti-inflammatory herbs.

Below are the top 15 tips for your air fryer.

1) Preheat
Just turn the air fryer on a few minutes prior to cooking in order to preheat it. It only takes a few minutes (contrary to an oven) and will help make your foods crisp better and the food cook more evenly.

2) Don’t Overcrowd the Basket
The air within the air fryer needs room to circulate all around the food. Otherwise, food will not cook evenly and may not brown or crisp like it should. Instead, try cooking in smaller batches. Try to keep everything on a single layer, otherwise the food will come out soggy and will stream instead of crisp.

3) Try Not to Use Too Much Oil
Adding too much oil to foods will cause the air fryer to smoke, because the oil will end up in the drawer. Instead, use a spray bottle when using oil. Just a couple squirts is all you need.

4) Shake or Turn Over Foods in the Basket Throughout Your Cooking (Ideally, Every Few Minutes)
This will ensure that everything cooks evenly. Shaking the basket works well for smaller pieces of food, while flipping food works better for larger pieces. (Unlike with an Instant Pot, you can open the food drawer at any time during the cooking process. The air fryer will pause the timer, but then resume again once the drawer is inserted back in.)

5) Use Water or Bread With Your Air Fryer
Placing a little water in the drawer before cooking can help minimize the amount of smoke escaping from the unit. Adding about 2 tablespoons of water works well when cooking fatty foods. This is because the grease that drips into the drawer overheats. As an alternative, when cooking with other foods that you do not want to get too soggy, stick bread in the drawer and this will absorb the grease that drips into it.

6) Do Not Turn the Drawer Upside Down to Drain the Oil When Finished Cooking
There are multiple reasons why you should not do this. For one, you could burn yourself with the scorching hot oil that comes out of the drawer. Another reason is the oil will end up soaking into your food, making that delicious crispness turn soggy. A third reason is that you could save this extra oil to make different gravies and sauces for other foods.

6) Reheat Leftovers in the Air Fryer
Have leftovers that will turn into mush if heated in the microwave? Use the air fryer instead. In doing so, the leftovers will come out crispy, just like the moment you ordered them.

7) Don’t Be Afraid to Use Some Oil
Using oil with certain foods will help them become more crispy when cooking. Oil contains fat which promotes browning and helps food become crispy. When cooking foods that already have some fat on them, such as some meat, you most likely will not need to add any oil. However, when cooking foods like vegetables, oil may be necessary. When using oil, it can also be helpful to spray halfway through the cooking duration.

8) Prevent Food From Sticking to the Basket
Spraying a little oil on the basket will help ensure the food does not stick to the basket.

9) Never Use Aerosol Sprays
They are known to cause chipping to the basket, which will damage the nonstick coating.

10) Mix Seasonings in A Separate Bowl With Oil
Tossing spices and other seasonings directly on your food before sticking it in the air fryer may not be such a great idea. This is due to the fact that air fryers have a powerful fan that may blow your seasonings right off the food. Therefore, if you mix these seasonings in a separate bowl with oil first and then pour that oil mixture over your food, the fan is less likely to blow the spices around.

11) Decrease Time and Temperature When Cooking Foods Meant for the Oven
Just about any frozen food that can be cooked in the oven can be adjusted for the air fryer. A good rule of thumb is to decrease the time by 20% and decrease the temperature by about 30 degrees. Also, you don’t have to thaw out foods. Just stick the frozen items directly into the air fryer.

12) Cut Foods Into Smaller Pieces
Helps even cooking.

13) Pat Foods Dry Before Sticking into the Air Fryer
Dry surfaces brown quicker than wet surfaces. Surfaces that have moisture will steam instead of brown.

14) Try to Keep Food Pieces the Same Size
This will also help ensure even cooking. Otherwise, smaller pieces will become burnt, while larger pieces may not be fully cooked.

15) Use the Air Fryer to Dry Itself
After washing the air fryer basket and drawer, all you have to do is insert them back into the air fryer. Turn it on for 2 to 3 minutes, and the pieces will dry faster than using towels.

Bonus Tips!

  • In order to retain moisture and juiciness, wrap your foods in foil when air frying. Foil won’t stick and is heat-resistant. It will also absorb grease to make cleaning easier. This is especially helpful when cooking liquid batters that drip from food. It also helps lock in moisture and aromas, and preserves the cooked foods.
  • Air fryers can reduce the amount of oil used by about 80%.
  • Air fryers can be useful when cooking starchy foods such as potatoes. Foods generally take a longer amount of time to be air fried than deep fried. This means the starch tends to break down less and may be more digestible. It could also have a slightly lower impact on blood sugar.

Leave a Reply