Are you ready to take your air frying game to the next level? Is it time to go from a regular air frying master … to an air frying god?
We’re here for you! Here are 18 air fryer tips that will take your air frying game to remarkable new heights. Let’s get frying with these air fryer tips!
- BE SURE NOT TO OVERLOAD THE AIR FRYER. Think of the pieces you put in the air fryer as a group of airplanes attempting to land at an airport – they all need their own air space. Don’t overload the air fryer! Putting too many pieces of food in there all at once runs the risk of making the whole thing fall apart. If it’s too overloaded, all the food within the air fryer might not get the same level of cooking. Go for smaller batches cooked more evenly rather than larger quantities that may cook unevenly.
- DON’T USE SPRAY CANS. When it comes time to grease the air fryer for the food, be sure to avoid that cooking spray you have over a kitchen counter or in the pantry. That might be good for the regular cooking pans on the stove-top, but the makeup of the aerosols can actually cause a bit of damage to the interior of the air fryer. Therefore, avoid those for the future of your air fryer.
- DO USE SOMETHING TO GREASE THE FRYER. Avoid the cooking spray, but do use some substance to grease the interior of the air fryer. Don’t go too crazy with it, but be sure to coat the top and bottom of the fryer with a bit of butter or oil in order to make sure the food does not stick. Just a little bit of this lubricant will make sure you have the best meal possible with the least amount of calories.
- MAKE USE OF THE PREHEAT FEATURE! Operate your air fryer the same way you would your oven. Preheating your air fryer delivers an even more consistent level of cooking throughout. Set the preheat feature to the recommended settings, or just let it run for a few minutes before you toss your treats in there. Do that on a regular basis, and you’ll end up getting better meals!
- FIND THE PERFECT SPOT FOR YOUR AIR FRYER. Strategically locating your air fryer is very important for both safety and success in the kitchen. Put your air fryer in a central spot with plenty of room around all sides, and make sure there’s no paper or other materials in the way of the fryer. There’s going to be some hot exhaust coming out of the back of the fryer, and you don’t want that exhaust staining the walls or heating up debris.
- BE SURE TO ADD WATER WHEN COOKING. This is especially important when air frying fatty foods – like some types of burgers and chicken or bacon. With those foods, the grease can start to drip off and add quite a bit of smoke. The counter to this? Just a few drops of water. Put a little bit of water into the basket drawer underneath the fryer, and you’ll see a lot less smoke in the cooking process.
- USE OIL DURING THE COOKING PROCESS. Open the fryer when the food gets about halfway done and put another coat of oil (try using a kitchen spray bottle – not one of the pre-made aerosol cans, as mentioned above) on the food that you’re cooking. That will give your food a better overall cook. Be sure to experiment with the timing of this. It’s an art, not a science!
- DON’T USE WET BATTERS WITH THE AIR FRYER. “Wet batters” sounds like an unfortunate aftereffect of a baseball rain delay. In this case, though, it’s something that you shouldn’t use in an air fryer. One of the more common examples? A beer batter on fish or chicken. That would taste great if you have one of the traditional oil-frying apparatuses. However, in an air fryer, the strong airflow will blow that batter all over the place. You’ll end up with a real mess and a busted recipe. Avoid wet batters at all costs in the air fryer.
- GIVE IT A SHAKE EVERY SO OFTEN. Once your food is cooking, be sure to give the air fryer a gentle shake once or twice. Don’t treat it like a cocktail at a bar! Just give it a gentle shake, just enough to reset the food a little. That will help everything to cook more evenly. The number of shakes you’ll need will depend on the makeup of the food. Fries or onion rings may need a little more than big pieces of food.
- USE ALUMINUM FOIL OR BAKING PAPER IF YOU HAVE TO. You can use both in the air fryer if you really have to. However, be sure to strategically place the aluminum foil or baking sheet, so it does not disrupt the airflow throughout the machine.
- EXPERIMENT WITH THE VEGETABLES! If you’ve ever been to a state fair somewhere, you know just how many different types of vegetables can be deep-fried. It’s true for the air fryer, too – and it’s considerably healthier when using the air fryer! Air-frying potatoes are very popular for fries, but don’t let it stop there. Try air-frying zucchini, onions, eggplant, squash, Brussels sprouts, or any other vegetable you can think of.
- TRY AIR-FRYING KIDDIE FAVORITES. Kids – of course – love chicken nuggets and chicken fingers. However, traditional nuggets and fingers are unhealthy and loaded down with oils and other lousy stuff for kids (or adults, too). Cut out a lot of that unhealthiness with the air fryer! You only need a little bit of oil (if any at all) to make chicken nuggets and fingers in the air fryer – and kids won’t even notice a difference after a while.
- AIR-FRY DONUTS FOR A SWEET TREAT. Speaking of great treats for kids, you can use canned dough (try the stuff you use to make biscuits or those cinnamon rolls) in order to make donuts in an air fryer. They’ll be considerably healthier than the chain store-bought version. You can even experiment with different types of frostings, icings, and toppings to make your own style.
- TAKE THE SEA TO THE AIR FRYER. Traditionally fried seafood is delicious – if unhealthy – treat. With an air fryer, however, you can bring the bounties of the sea to your table in a much healthier fashion. Try air frying scallops, cod, shrimp, or clams for the same tasty crunch without all the grease and oil. Replace all of those kiddie fish sticks with some of these air-fried seafood specialties.
- SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT. Along with donuts, there are plenty of other fantastic sweet options you can create in an air fryer. Any dessert that features a fried option gets healthier with an air fryer. How about a delicious churro in the air fryer? Top those with cinnamon sugar and chocolate for a Mexican-style dessert. Or, for an old-school throwback dessert, try making pop tarts covered with icing and sprinkles in the air fryer. They’re much healthier than a store-bought option.
- GO AHEAD AND OPEN THE FRYER TO CHECK THE FOOD! Don’t think of the air fryer like your oven, where a lot of that crucial heat you’ll need will sneak out every time you open the door. The continual flow of hot air through the fryer makes it easy to peek in and check the status of the food. You can see if it will need a few more minutes when it needs a spritz of oil, or if it’s just about done. It’s one of the best parts of having an air fryer.
- BE SURE TO REMOVE THE BASKET BEFORE YOU TAKE OUT THE FOOD. This is a critical step in the process. If you turn the basket upside down while still in the drawer, all of that excess grease will go right back onto your food – and you’ll end up with all the greasy stuff you don’t want right back into the food. One caveat to this process, however. If the drippings aren’t too oily or fatty, think of them like the juices you would collect from a turkey pan. On certain occasions, you can take those juices and turn them right back into a marinade or flavor enhancer for the food.
- WASH THE AIR FRYER ON A REGULAR BASIS! One of the easiest ways you can secure the excellent value of your air fryer? Make sure it’s cleaned on a regular basis! Once you use the air fryer, don’t let the dirty fryer sit out on the counter for a while. Crumbs can get into the machine, start to smoke, and affect the taste of future recipes. Don’t let it get to that point. Once done with the air fryer, break down the components, and give it a soak and a wash. Also, make sure to check the instructions on your specific model for washing instructions. Many air fryers, for example, cannot go in a dishwasher.
And that rounds out our top 18 tips and tricks! If this post has convinced you enough to try your hand in air frying, be sure to check out our reviews of the best air fryers you can buy today.