I’ve Made Over 45 Recipes In The Air Fryer This Year Here Are 8 Of My Favorites
In 2021, I tried over 45 recipes using my air fryer and still make several of them regularly.
The steak and orange chicken both came out crispy and tender in the popular appliance.
The air fryer was great for making breakfast foods, like bacon, French toast, and frittatas.
This past year, I spent more time cooking with my air fryer than any other appliance, and I’ve loved it.
I love using my air fryer since cleanup is usually a breeze and once you start the cooking process, you can pretty much leave it alone until it’s finished. Plus food normally heats up faster because of the circulating air and temperature control.
Out of the 45 recipes I’ve experimented with this year, here are my favorites that you should also add to your list of air-fried go-tos:
I make these flavorful and crispy chicken thighs most often.
Earlier in the year, I made my meals for a week strictly in the air fryer and tried these chicken thighs that came out juicy and evenly cooked.
The recipe calls for kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and onion powder, but you could coat your thighs in whatever seasonings you’d like, or even marinate them for a few hours beforehand.
Prior to using my air fryer, I’d have to broil skin-on chicken thighs to get the same type of crispy, well-seasoned crust, but it would take much longer and the kitchen would always get smokey.
Why Im In Love With My New Air Fryer
Alright, Ill be honest with you, I never thought Id be sharing air fryer recipes on the site. I tend to give any new fad appliance the side eye , and I doubted that the air fryer would really be worth my money or my counter space.
Well, I have to happily confess that I was wrong. This air fryer has earned its spot on my counter top and in my heart.
The air fryer is incredibly versatile and makes short work of so many different foods! We use it for:
- Reheating leftovers- Pizza! French fries! Chicken tenders! The air fryer brings leftovers back to life.
- Cooking frozen foods- Mozzarella sticks , chicken nuggets, egg rollsthey all come out crisped and golden!
- These Air Fryer Hot Dogs
- Making Crispy Parmesan Air Fryer Pork Chops.
- Cooking the juiciest, most delicious Air Fryer Chicken Thighs!
How Often You Plan To Use Your Air Fryer
Many kitchen appliances we buy seem like a crucial purchase at the time but wind up in the basement only to be seen again a few times a year. If this seems like more of a novelty purchase for you, it may be best to get a more basic, affordable model. However, if air frying is now your way of life, it may benefit you to get a more top-of-the-line model with more cooking features. This will make it less likely that your air fryer will lose its luster over time.
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Preheat Your Air Fryer
Frozen food is naturally more prone to becoming mushy as it thaws because it will release water. Though the good news is, jumping this hurdle isnt difficult. Simply preheat your air fryer beforehand because the high heat will more quickly evaporate the water in your frozen food. Some air fryers dont have a preheat setting, but you can still pop your basket open and estimate its temperature or use an oven-safe thermometer for a more exact reading.
Air Fryer Buffalo Chickpeas
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp oil
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Most Versatile: Ninja Foodi Ol601 14
A pressure cooker and air fryer rolled into one, Ninja’s OL601 Foodi multi-cooker comes a whopping 14 programs that include pressure cooking, steaming, crisping, baking, air frying, baking, roasting, dehydrating, searing, sauteing, slow cooking, yogurt making, and sous-vide settings. Using Ninja’s SteamCrisp technology, the 1,760-watt cooker is capable of steaming and crisping your meat at the same time, so you’ll get your meal done 40 percent faster without sapping too much moisture from your food. It even comes with a double rack so you can cook a main course and two side dishes all at once, and its nonstick frying basket, cooking pot, and racks are all dishwasher safe. Although this model was just launched earlier in September, it has already racked up glowing reviews, with a shopper calling it “an entire kitchen in one.”
To buy: $330
How To Make Shrimp Scampi Without Wine
Typically shrimp scampi is made by adding a dry white wine to the sauce. The wine gives is a subdued sweet acidity that builds an incredible amount of flavor. If you dont want to use wine, you just need to replace it with chicken stock and lemon juice, which will give some of the flavor that the wine does.
Here is how you can make delicious shrimp scampi without adding wine.
Step 1: Start by marinating the shrimps. Add them to a large bowl. Add olive oil, garlic and salt. Toss and let them sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 2: In a frying pan, add oil and place it on medium heat. Once the oil heats up, add marinated shrimp and cook for two minutes or until they turn pink. Take the shrimp out of the pan, leaving the juices behind.
Step 3: Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook it for 30 seconds. Pour broth and add lemon juice.
Step 4: Cook the mixture for 5 minutes or until it is reduced to half. Add butter and stir until it melts and the sauce starts to thicken up.
Step 5: Add the cooked shrimp back to the pan and toss it in the sauce. Then add the chopped parsley. Its ready to serve right away. You dont want to let it sit in the pan at all, or the shrimp will continue to cook and will become dry and rubbery.
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Best Air Fryer Lid: Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid
It’s technically not an air fryer, but the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid deserves a spot on this list purely for its ingenuity. For those who already own an Instant Pot, it could be difficult to commit to another big appliance, but this lid solves that problem by turning your Instant Pot into an air fryer. It fits most Instant Pot models to fry, roast, bake, broil, reheat, and dehydrate, and it comes with a multi-level air fryer basket as well as a broiling tray. Thousands of reviewers snapped it up when it was quietly released in late 2019, and it now has thousands of corresponding five-star ratings.
To buy: $90
What You Plan On Cooking
It goes without saying that an air fryer with more features gives you more cooking options. However, if you arent that much of a whiz in the kitchen, a more no-frills air fryer may be best. Suppose your plan is to enjoy a more authentic frozen mozzarella stick than your oven can provide. In that case, theres no need to go in on an air fryer with tons of cooking options.
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Best Pressure Cooker With Air Fry Feature: Instant Pot Duo Crisp 8
If an air fryer isnt on your list of must-have kitchen devices, then its likely that an Instant Pot is. Since their introduction, Instant Pots have been all the rage. They can do the job of practically any appliance in your kitchen, air frying being one of them. This is a great machine, and for everything it can do, its also affordable. Like we mentioned in the intro, this pressure cooker doesnt get top billing in the air fryer category. Still, well give it a nod for having that ability. Keep an eye out for our best pressure cookers article, where youll more than likely see it again.
Air Fryer Chili Garlic Tofu
We’re usually hesitant to make tofu at home because we can never achieve that satisfying sear, but the air fryer changed that for good. The icing on the cake is the sauce made with chili sauce, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Get the recipe for air fryer chili garlic tofu here.
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Best Large Fryer: Instant Vortex Pro 10
The Instant Vortex Pro isn’t just big in size, but in features, too. With nine pre-programmed settings such as proofing, broiling, and dehydrating, there’s almost nothing you can’t cook with this massive fryer. Its huge rotating basket can fit a whole chicken, and the fryer even comes with a rotisserie kit, so you’ll have everything you need for big family dinners. Plus, the Instant Vortex Pro includes two baking trays that you can fit in the air fryer simultaneously, so it’s incredibly simple to fry up your main course and side dishes all at once. You can even create custom programs based on your go-to temperatures and preferred time settings and return to them for reheating dinner from the previous night. It currently has more than 7,500 five-star ratings, with a reviewer saying it’s “the best kitchen appliance” they have ever bought, adding, “we use it for so many different things and it saves me from having to heat up the whole kitchen with the regular oven.”
To buy: $160
Best Indoor Grill Air Fryer: Ninja Foodi Xl Pro Grill And Griddle
Air frying might be a quick and easy way to make dinner, but many choose grilling as their preferred method because it’s so good at preserving natural umami flavors of ingredients while adding classic smoky elements from an open flame. With Ninja’s Foodi XL Pro Grill and Griddle, you can combine the best of both worlds. It comes with three baskets, one each for griddling, grilling, and frying, making it perfect for cooking burgers, making pancakes, grilling steaks and vegetables, and so much more. The tool heats up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and promises to balance edge-to-edge cooking so you won’t be left with charred bits on one side of your steak and raw meat on the other. Its large 12-inch cooking surface fits as much as six burger patties or pancakes, and cleaning up is easy since all its accessories are dishwasher-safe.
To buy: $300 bestbuy.com
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I Was An Air Fryer Skeptic Until I Tried This Dual
Air fryers aren’t usually my thing. I’m not afraid of a little grease, and I’m a firm believer that the best part of any fried food is the crispy, yet miraculously juicy, texture. When I was in culinary school we were taught that fat equals flavor, and that’s a mantra I’ve always taken seriously. So when air fryers started taking over the internet a couple of years ago, I sort of just ignored them. However, I was recently introduced to the surprising versatility of these kitchen appliances when I had the opportunity to test out the CRUXGG ZONE 6-in-1 Air Fryer with TriZone Technology. As a skeptic at first, I was delighted to find that using the tool was easy and efficient, and more importantly, it produced flavorful food. Unlike other air fryers, this one has two individual cooking zones, which is like having two high-powered convection ovens right on my countertop. I used mine to cook a Friendsgiving dinner for four, and it’s earned a permanent space in my kitchen.
Courtesy of Target
To buy: CRUXGG Zone 6-in-1 Air Fryer, $170 at target.com
Courtesy of Laura Denby
Shrimp Scampi Without Wine
Shrimp scampi is a delight to eat. I often forget this fact and go a few months without making it, but when I do again Im always blown away by how good it is. I should be making it at least once a week!
The shrimp, especially if you use jumbo shrimp, pair so well with the garlicy sauce and with a spritz of lemon juice, its brightened just the right amount.
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One of thing ingredients holding people back from making shrimp scampi is often the wine. You probably think it has to have the wine or it wont be good, right? Thats definitely not the case. You can make delicious shrimp scampi without using wine, and it is still delicious.
Ready in less than 30 minutes, this recipe is as convenient to make as it is tasty. Serve it with pasta or bread for a complete meal or make it an appetizer, if you want.
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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs With Salt And Vinegar Potatoes
- 1 lb new potatoes, washed and cut in half
- ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 lb bone-in, skin on, chicken thighs
- 4 tbsp cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
For Crispy Delicious Results
The Spruce/Leah Maroney
An air fryer is simply a version of a convection oven, which is different from a conventional oven and offers a few advantages. Traditionally, a heating element is located on both the top and bottom of an oven, distributing heat to the food to cook. In a convection oven, an interior fan is installed which circulates the heat around the cooking food. This both speeds up cooking time and results in food thats more evenly browned.
So in spite of its name, an air fryer does not fry food, but it does impart a lovely crisp and is perfect for recipes that are baked, fried, or grilled. Due to its quick preheating time, convenient size, and user-friendly design, air fryers have evolved into a go-to appliance for cooking frozen foods. But for as straightforward as frozen foods are, they can turn soggy or decisively unappetizing if not prepared well. Heres how to make frozen foods delicious every time using your air fryer.
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Tips To Make The Best Shrimp Scampi
- Since the shrimp cook so quickly, youll want to have all of your ingredients at the ready before you start the process. Set everything out and be ready to pour it into the pan, so the shrimp dont over cook.
- You may be wondering why you use both olive oil and butter in this recipe. The olive oil infuses flavor into the shrimp as it marinates and it has a higher smoke point than butter, so it wont burn as youre cooking the shrimp. The butter is then added at the end to thicken the sauce. This is why you should use high-quality olive oil only for this recipe.
- Wild-caught shrimp is the always the way to go with shrimp. Skip the farmed stuff. Youll also find that this recipe is best when you use large shrimp or prawns not the smaller shrimp.
Best Toaster Oven Air Fryer: Instant Pot Plus 11
A beast of a machine with 11 smart programs , the Instant Pot Plus is the go-to appliance for making everything from morning bagels and apple crisps for snacking to proofing buns and air frying potatoes. It comes with an oven rack, a cooking pan, a rotisserie spit and forks, and an air fryer basket, and its large capacity fits 12-inch pizzas and whole chickens. The toaster oven air fryer achieves the same crispy texture as a deep fryer with 95% less oil than the latter usually requires. crowned it a “game-changer in the best way.” “It’s a little large, but it can accommodate two racks that can cook at the same time,” said the shopper. “I barely use my oven anymore.” The air fryer is out of stock at Amazon, but you can still find it at Williams Sonoma.
To buy: $200 williams-sonoma.com
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