How Air Fryers Work
Your air fryer is like an amazing convection oven. It’s small, yet mighty, and you can roast, broil, or bake in it. You cannot deep fry in it.
Need a refresher on convection cooking? No problem.
Heat rises, so in a regular oven the top rack is always the hottest spot, which leads to uneven doneness.
In a convection oven, however, fans blow hot air around so the temperature is equalized throughout the oven.
Air fryers arent exactly like convection ovens their airflow is designed to more closely replicate the heat distribution of deep-frying in hot fat. But for our purposes, the convection oven analogy is good enough.
The 25 Best Things To Cook In An Air Fryer
You don’t really need an air fryer, but if you’ve got one, this is what you should cook first.
Air fryers have suddenly found their place on a number of home kitchen counters. The appliance uses convection plus high circulation effectively a small oven with increased air flow to achieve, ideally, the crispy exterior of deep-fried food without the fat content. Really, air fryers are just tabletop convection ovens with a buzz-worthy name, but the countertop gadget works well for any dish that would usually be cooked in an oven or on the stovetop, without producing as much residual heat in your home . Here are 25 things to cook if you’ve got an air fryer.
It’s More Versatile Than You Think
The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
If you’ve hopped aboard the air fryer train, welcome to the party. We’re all loving air fryers these days because they can make crispy, crunchy, delicious food while using little oil. For those who love fried food but don’t want to heat a pan of oil, try these amazing air fryer options.
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What Are The Best Air Fryer Recipes
Directions Preheat your air fryer to 180 degrees C. Clean your salmonand pat dry. In a plate,sprinkle Cajun seasoningall over and ensure all sides are coated. For a salmon fillet about 3/4 of an inch thick,air fry for 7 minutes,skin side up on the grill pan. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon.
This Appliance Can Help You Make Crunchy Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Skip the store-bought chicken nuggets and whip up your own batch at home with an air fryer.
“The air fryer is terrific for keeping crunchy, coated chicken juicy and tender,” said Polak. “Just make sure to moisten your chicken with a swipe of olive oil or mustard to keep the breading adhered.”
It’s also important not to go overboard with breading adding too much can lead to the coating being blown off by the airflow of the air fryer.
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Air Fryers Use Circulating Hot Air And Oil To Cook And Crisp Food That You Place In A Basket Inside The Device
Do you crave fried foods but you’re wary of their effect on your waistline? You may want to consider adding the air fryer to your arsenal of kitchen tools. Its a relatively new and incredibly popular appliance that helps create healthier versions of the fried foods you love, from french fries to chicken wings.
The popularity is because its a new way to be healthier, says Robin Plotkin, a registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist based in Dallas. Especially for people following low-carb diets, this is a fun new way to achieve the goals theyre trying to achieve without feeling deprived.
What Cant Be Cooked In An Air Fryer
Not surprisingly, there are some foods that cant be cooked in an air fryer. Generally speaking, dishes that have a wet batter arent suitable for air frying the batter wont set properly, and itll be very difficult to clean the machine after, so youre better off sticking with a deep fryer.
Other foods that dont work so well include raw greens such as broccoli, and dishes that require water, like rice. If youre a big cheese fan, then air frying foods with cheese isnt going to be the best idea – youll end up with a whole load of mess rather than a tasty treat.
Sophie writes about all things appliance-related and is currently the Home Editor at TechRadar’s sister site, Top Ten Reviews. When she’s not testing coffee machines and appliances, Sophie is thinking of eating delicious food, and asking people what they’re having for dinner.
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Looking For Air Fryers
3. Hard-boiled eggs
Boiling an egg in a saucepan is pretty easy, but it will also work in an air fryer. Just put the eggs in the air fryer, set the temperature and timer and wait.
“An air fryer is good for hard-boiled eggs, but if you want a soft or runny yolk, you’re better off using the traditional stovetop method,” says Fiona. She also notes that eggs will actually take longer to cook in the air fryer than on the stovetop.
Hard-boiled egg tips
Fiona advises using room-temperature eggs and placing them in the air fryer while it’s preheating. “A sudden change in temperature may crack the shell, so don’t use eggs straight from the fridge,” she says.
Verdict: The stovetop method is quicker and better if you want a softer or runny yolk.
4. Toasted sandwiches
There was a time when a toasted sandwich maker was a kitchen staple, but your air fryer might do the job just as well. It should produce a nice crispy sandwich without squeezing out the fillings, the way toasted sandwich makers sometimes do.
Spread a layer of butter on the outside of the bread and flip your sandwich halfway through for an evenly browned, crunchy result.
Verdict: Fry away!
Air-fried mini pizzas will taste good, but lack a crispy base.
Verdict: Stick with the oven for that crispy finish.
Verdict: Not worth the risk.
Quick Air Fryer Recipes
- For a really cheap and quick dinner, try air fryer cube steak with some air fryer sweet potato cubes.
Now if you want a quick snack, were all about crispy crunchy air fryer taquitos!
My girls can make them on their own and they come out so much better than in the oven or microwave.
- Or keep things simple and make air fryer egg rolls with an array of dipping sauces on the side.
- Spring rolls are really a complete meal if you add chicken or pork inside.
- And air fryer cornish hens really rock, next to our favorite air fryer tri tip or ribeye in air fryer recipes.
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Air Fryer Crab Cakes With Chipotle Sauce
These deliciously crisp cakes are loaded with sweet crab. Not overmixing and allowing the mixture to rest before cooking helped the crab cakes hold their shape better, as did cooking them in an air fryer. Serve these hearty morsels with creamy chipotle sauce and you’ll have a decadent dinner in no time.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Crab Cakes with Chipotle Sauce
How To Choose An Air Fryer To Buy
There are many air fryers on the market, including ones from brands like Cuisinart, Philips, and NuWave. They range in price from about $50 to $350. Pelcher says they can be great for people living in small spaces with no oven or stove, such as college students living in dorms. One thing youll want to consider is the amount of counter space you have, because they come in different sizes. Also consider your lifestyle when choosing the right air fryer for you. A small one, for instance, may be difficult if you need to feed a family, Plotkin says. Most can cook about 1 to 3 pounds at a time, according to Cleveland Clinic.
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Best Frozen Foods To Cook In An Air Fryer
Last Updated: Jun 13, 2021 · Author: Akshita Pacholi · This post may contain affiliate links ·
Cooking frozen foods in the air fryer has become a massive hit with busy city-goers. Frozen food is generally termed as food items that are well preserved under certain temperatures. They can be used over a considerable stretch of time. Here are some reasons why you should use air fryers and the best frozen foods to cook inside it!
The product market covers an array of different food categories, such as soup, fruits & vegetables, ready meals, meat, varied poultry products, desserts, bakery items, and many more. Business consumers including hotels, caterers, brasseries, and fast food hawsers come under the major users of frozen food items that take in both non-veg and veg products. On the other hand, mini cottage tart, reeked haddock kedgeree, cheddar & broccoli roast, chicken quiches, etc. are some of the best frozen foods which are air fried in busy households across the world.
This post is going to shed some light on the health benefits of plumping for air fryers and compare the method with other cooking procedures.
To Preheat Or Not To Preheat
That is the question.
Unlike the big oven on your range, an air fryer does not need a whole half hour to get to temp. A few minutes of preheating should do it. Some air fryer models have a light that indicates when the unit is preheated.
Manufacturers recommend preheating, but if you like, you can skip preheating altogether. If youre starting food in a cold air fryer, your cook time might be three or four minutes longerno big whoop! Try it both ways, and see what gives you the best result. It might depend on the recipe.
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Any Food With A Wet Batter Should Not Be Placed In The Air Fryer
You also want to avoid putting food that has a wet batter, like corndogs or tempura shrimp, in air fryers.
Wet batter goes everywhere, and without a proper oil bath the batter won’t set, which means it won’t be the crispy, fried item you hoped it would be, according to Polak.
“Not only will the batter drip off the food during cooking and probably burn and stick to the bottom of your air fryer it ends up chewy and not at all crispy,” Pixley said.
Air Fryer Ideas In 2021
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries. Who doesnt love French fries?! I recently shared my Air Fryer French Fry Recipe and it was a HIT with my family. So I decided to try my hand at Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries. . I bought several sweet potatoes for a side dish I was planning on making last week, but I never used all of them.
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Air Fryer Butternut Squash Soup
The high heat of an air fryer quickly caramelizes vegetables, giving this creamy soup deep flavor. The addition of a few dried spices adds warmth and seasoning. Drizzle the finished soup with crème fraîche or plain yogurt and sprinkle with pepitas and chopped chives for a delicious vegetarian meal thats particularly weeknight-friendly.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Butternut Squash Soup
Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos
Chicken taquitos are one of the easiest and tastiest air fryer recipes.
This simple dish is something you can whip up on a busy weeknight or serve on the weekend when you want something thats filling but also light.
Taquitos are a great way to use up a leftover rotisserie chicken. How can you go wrong with Tex-Mex food thats cheesy and spicy?
This recipe uses cream cheese, Colby jack cheese, salsa, and black beans. You can always substitute cheddar cheese or a taco cheese blend.
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Best Air Fryer Recipes
You can just add some salt and pepper, or our homemade dry rub to this salmon in the air fryer and it comes out perfect every time.
And making a whole chicken in an air fryer has never been easier. Way better than rotisserie.
Then lets move on to something like air fryer chicken parmesan. It is simple and gets that crunch on the outside you love.
- Zucchini boats can be made with cheese or meat. Either way it is simple to make and really cheap too.
- Make air fryer hard boiled eggs and make egg salad for lunch.
Want a really quick meal that your kids will love to dress up just the way they want to? Try a frozen turkey burger in air fryer tonight.
- This semi homemade air fryer pizza is a favorite with a fast cook time.
- you can also make it as an air fryer hot pocket which is fun for the kids to eat
You can read our article about Ninja air fryer recipes if you have that specific machine. Many are listed here though.
Storing And Reheating Air Fryer Recipes
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What Can I Make With My Air Fryer
You can make the regular things like wings and frozen items. Well the question I throw back is, what cant you make in it? I really havent found anything, really. Even our tofu air fryer recipe rocks.
We used to make stuffed bell peppers in the oven but not anymore! After making air fryer stuffed peppers there is no other way.
It has given me the ability to cook a lot healthier, and homemade meals on a more regular basis. Now I might make a meal in a few batches like:
- And a air fryer Monte Cristo sandwich is to die for.
The real game changer for us was when we figured out how to make air fryer ground beef!! Then used it to make ground beef egg rolls. I mean, air fryer popcorn chicken was a win but this could be used for a multitude of recipes.
Throw it into a pot of spaghetti or make our favorite chili mac recipe. For a quick meal or fun appetizer, make air fryer oysters that taste like they were deep fried.
You can even cook frozen salmon in air fryer that comes out perfectly.
Fry Hard: 7 Foods Fried And Tested
You probably already know you can air-fry frozen foods such as chips, chicken nuggets and spring rolls. But there are plenty of other things you can cook that you may never have considered.
The question is: will you actually get decent results? Here are Fiona’s verdicts:
Pies cook perfectly well in a normal oven, but you can also try them in your air fryer.
Fiona says air-fried pies will work well, but because there is no bottom heating element, you may not get a crisp brown base. You’ll also only have space to cook one or two at a time, but it will be faster than waiting for your oven to warm up.
Air-frying a pie will be quicker than an oven.
“For a homemade pie, line a foil pie tray with the pastry and bake the base first,” says Fiona.
“Place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry case and add some dried beans or rice to weigh the pastry down so it won’t rise or bubble. Then add the filling and pastry top to guarantee a cooked base.”
Verdict: Give a fried pie a try.
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Donuts are usually made by deep-frying sweet dough in oil. Yes, it’s possible to do this at home, but it’s messy, time-consuming and quite unhealthy. You can bake donuts in your air fryer instead, using just a light coating of oil.
Verdict: Worth a try, but don’t expect crispy, shop-quality donuts.
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