Fry food without the fat! Want to know how to use an air fryer? Which air fryer to buy and how about some good starter recipes?
THIS is the place to start for everything you want to know about the air fryer craze!
This is the time of year when everyone is trying their best to eat a little lighter, to eat at home more and try to live a healthier lifestyle.
I want those things, too. However, I hate the idea of giving up fried food. I know it should be easy, but they taste SO good.
No worries, friends. With an air fryer, you can have your fried chicken and not feel guilty. This is a very cool appliance that you will want to try out.
How to use an Air Fryer
This has been the year of innovative cooking! We are all so busy and always looking for new ideas to make healthier meals for our families. In addition, we have less and less time, so we need to work smarter, not harder.
Last year, I jumped onto the Instant Pot bandwagon. It has opened up a whole new world in meal prep for me! Want to know more about the Instant Pot? Check out Everything You Need To Know About INSTANT POTS article and some great Instant Pot Recipes too!
Today I’m going to answer some of the most asked questions, share some great buys and give you lots of recipe ideas, too!
If you love your fried food, love the convenience of frozen food (but not the taste) and want to move towards a healthier lifestyle – Well, get ready for fried goodness that only takes a fraction of the amount of oil and is SO much better for you!
What is an Air Fryer? How does an Air Fryer Work?
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that everyone is raving about! According to Wikipedia...
“An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks by circulating hot air around the food. A mechanical fan circulates the hot air around the food at high speed, cooking the food and producing a crispy layer via the Maillard effect.”
Counter-top air fryers are a healthy alternative to the traditional way of frying food in a pot of oil. Using circulated hot air, this appliance can do so many things in the kitchen.
Air Fryer vs Convection Oven
Air Fryers and Convection Ovens are both great options for those looking to prepare delicious, healthy meals in a fraction of the time with minimal effort. However, there are some distinct differences between the two cooking appliances. Air Fryers use a combination of hot air and little or no oil to cook food quickly and efficiently. This is especially useful for frying foods such as chicken, fish or vegetables without the added fat of deep-frying. Convection Ovens, on the other hand, use a fan to circulate hot air and can be used to bake, broil, and roast. Air Fryers are great for those looking to quickly cook meals with minimal effort, while Convection Ovens can offer more versatility in the types of food you can prepare. Both are excellent options for making delicious meals!
What can you cook in an air fryer?
You can cook all sorts of things in an air fryer. Using less than a tablespoon of oil or a couple of sprays of canola cooking spray, you can fry beef, chicken, fish, frozen food and vegetables.
Cooking frozen food in the air fryer is very efficient and they are super crispy and taste delicious. Some models of the air fryers have the ability to bake, fry, grill, and roast.
I think the most popular thing I’ve seen is frozen french fries. Just pop in your favorite potato delights in the baskets and you will have crispy fries in a fraction of the time and in a much healthier style.
I’ve even seen people grill a steak in one.
How to Air Fry: Pros and Cons
Many people love the air fryer because of its convenience.
It makes cleaning up a breeze. The air fryer is quiet. It is powerful but doesn’t make a lot of fuss. It also saves tons of cooking time.
For example, frozen foods cooked in an oven can take 20 or more minutes to cook and an air fryer can cook them in half of the time or less.
Also, your kitchen will not get hot when you use this appliance. So different than cooking with an oven.
But, the biggest draw is that you can fry in a healthier way with up to 75% less fat! Fry without the fat!! YAY!
Using an Air Fryer: What not to cook
Any food with a wet batter should not be cooked in an air fryer. Also large or whole chickens (they won’t fit and will not cook evenly).
How to preheat Air Fryer
Yes, it is important to preheat the air fryer before cooking, in order to achieve optimal results
How to clean an Air Fryer
Is it hard to clean an air fryer? Nope! Just like any appliance, there are a few tips that will help you keep them clean and in good condition.
First, use the accessories created for the air fryer. Using the baskets and pans will help minimize drips and reduce cleaning time dramatically.
You can also use non-stick spray to coat the basket when you are preheating the basket before you cook.
Be sure to clean your air fryer weekly or regularly, depending on how often you use it.
- Take out the tray and pans and rinse out the leftover oils and food.
- Soak them in warm soapy water for an hour.
- Scrub them with a gentle cleansing brush. Rinse and dry with a kitchen towel.
What is the best Air Fryer in the market?
(the following contain affiliate links)
So I have tried a few different air fryers and the one that I like the best is the Cosori. It has a large basket, 5.8 quarts, tons of pre-set (you can even fit a whole chicken in there!)
We use this air fryer every day. My kids love how it crisps up their food (and they can easily use it too!) We literally make just about everything in here – from dinners, to side dishes to quick snacks. I also love how easy the clean up is!
Check out the Cosori Air Fryer here.
Speaking of accessories…
What Air Fryer Accessories do I need?
Air fryers are great, but they become downright awesome when you use the accessories with them.
Here are a few great air fryer accessories for you to check out.
Can you cook cakes in an Airfryer?
With these accessories, you can bake your favorite cake in the Cake Barrel, cook a delicious pizza in the Pizza Pan, maximize your cooking surface with the Metal Holder and make skewers with the Multi-Purpose Rack!
And on top of that, protect your household surfaces with the Silicone Mat!
Who knew that you could do so much more than fry in an air fryer????
Cook Time Instructions for Air Fryer
Rule of thumb is to reduce the suggested temperature by 25 degrees to 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) and cut the time by about 20%.
Cooking times are going to differ per device, but this handy air fryer cooking chart from Air Fryers Online, will help you get started. From there, it is a little trial and error.
Always flip the food over half-way through and spot check your food for doneness.
Oven to Air Fryer Conversion for Cooking Time
When it comes to air fryers, the most important thing to remember is that you should always reduce the cooking time. This is because air fryers are more powerful and efficient than ovens, so things cook faster. Generally speaking, reducing the oven time by half is a good starting point. But this can still vary depending on your air fryer and what you’re cooking, so it’s a good idea to start off with a shorter cooking time and then adjust as needed. See our handy free Air Fryer cook time cheat sheet.
How to use an Air Fryer: What to cook?
Air Fryer Fried Chicken – Crispy and delicious!
Air Fryer French Fries – the perfect first air fryer recipe for beginners!
Air Fryer Hamburgers by Noshtastic
Air Fryer Fried Oreos by Recipe Diaries
Air Fryer Donuts by Julie’s Eats and Treats
Air Fryer Blooming Onion from The Sugar-Free Diva
Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes by Recipe This
Air Fryer Bacon from Make Your Meals
Air Fryer Potato Wedges by Plated Cravings
Pork Egg Rolls with Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce from Our Table For Seven
How to Bake a Chocolate Cake in an Air Fryer by Spaceships and Laser Beams
Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce by Recipes from a Pantry
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets by Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Tucano’s Fried Bananas by Oh! Sweet Basil
Air Fryer Breakfast Pockets by Ginger Casa
What do you say? Are you ready to enjoy fried food again without all of the guilt.
Grab an air fryer today and you will be well on your way to cooking in an entirely new fashion that tastes delicious!
Air Fryer Instructions and Tips:
- Try pulling the basket out and shake it to mix the food up real quick and put it back in. This will help move them around a bit for more even cooking.
- Preheat the fryer for about 2-3 minutes before using
- If breading your food, be sure to coat the food before breading (i.e. flour first, then egg and then the breadcrumbs)
- Invest in a cooking oil sprayer! I adore my Misto (affiliate link)- it sprays just the right amount of oil on foods, without saturating them! It gives you the convenience and health benefits of an aerosol sprayer in a more economical and environmental form. It is a MUST HAVE!
- Don’t overload the basket – it will prevent the food from cooking evenly and fully.
- If you are really trying to get your food super crispy. Spray with oil partway through the cooking process.
- Clean your cooking drawer well after each use.
FAQs on using an Air Fryer
Can you put foil in an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer
Is Air-Fried Food healthy?
Compared to frying your food, air fried food is a healthier alternative.
Do you use oil when cooking with an Air Fryer?
You do not need to use oil in your air fryer, however, with most, you can use oil should you choose to. Adding oil to your food before placing in the air fryer can provide extra crispiness to your food.
You should not put the oil inside the air fryer. Rather, use an oil spray or brush to coat your food.
Please refer to your owners manual prior to use.
Can you put parchment paper in an air fryer?
Yes, parchment paper is safe to use in an air fryer. Parchment paper helps prevent foods from sticking and can help keep your air fryer clean. You will want to make sure that the parchment paper does not touch any heating elements and keep in mind that you may need to adjust your cooking time depending on the food and type of parchment paper you are using. For best results, it is recommended to use pre-cut parchment paper liners made specifically for air fryers.
Be Sure to Pin this for Later…
Originally post January 9, 2018
I had a friend buy a cheap air fryer years ago and he said he hated it – so much so he took it back for a refund. Another friend has recently bought a more expensive model and she says she loves it and is air frying everything!
Definitely going to buy one now after reading this.