What Foods Can I Cook In An Air Fryer

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What Types Of Air Fryers Are There

I cooked every MEAT in an AIR FRYER | Guga Foods

There are two basic styles of air fryers, which can be distinguished by their capacity, how much physical space they take up and how difficult they are to clean.

First, theres the smaller pod-shaped air fryer, which is the one most people are familiar with. A pod-shaped air fryer starts at around a 2-quart capacity and typically maxes out at around 7 quarts. It takes up less space on your countertop and is easier to clean than its convection oven counterpart. This is a good choice if youre making food for a smaller group.

Then theres the larger convection oven air fryer, which looks like a toaster oven with a door that usually opens down but has air-frying capabilities. A convection oven air fryer usually holds more than its pod-shaped counterpart, with many models boasting room for 10 quarts of food or more. However, they typically take up more space on your countertop and theyre more difficult to clean.

I use my every single day, but I rarely use it to air fry, Urvashi Pitre, author of Every Day Easy Air Fryer, said. It makes such a huge mess.

Works Well: Egg Rolls

Whether youre making savory egg rolls for an appetizer or sweet ones for dessert, it can be difficult to nail the balance between a crispy shell and a well-cooked filling. With an air fryer, you dont have to worry. Youll end up with a firm, fried texture on the outside without ruining the soft interior.

Works Well: Homemade Chips

Our Test Kitchen has had lots of success making homemade potato chips in their air fryers. You dont have to just stick to russet potatoes, either: try sweet potato chips, kale chips, beet chipseven pickle chips. Ready for a healthy crunch? You can make air-fryer tortilla chips with way less oil than deep-fried tortilla chips!

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What Can You Cook In An Air Fryer: A First Timers Guide

  • What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer: A First Timers Guide

Are you an amateur cook who is ready to take your cooking game to a whole new level? Then it is time to get your hand on an air fryer. Air fryers have become a must-have addition to every kitchen, but whats the big deal about them?

Well, not only do they cook a deliciously crispy dish within a few minutes, but there is also a wide variety of meals that you can cook in your air fryer. Air-fried meals are not exclusive to pre-frozen foods.

There are plenty of air fryer recipes for making tasty meals from scratch. Here is some inspiration if you wonder what you can cook in an air fryer and what foods you should avoid air frying.

Dont Overfill Your Basket

Best air fryers 2020: Make healthier fried food

You might be tempted to put all your frozen food in the basket at once to speed up the process. But the heat needs to be able to get to all of your food otherwise it will not be cooked properly.

Overstuffing the air fryer basket will cause a blockage in the air circulation. You can layer foods in the air fryer that are coated with bread crumbs such as mozzarella sticks or egg rolls and shake your basket periodically to ensure an even cook. However, if your food is open-faced or uncoated then the better way would be to simply place your food in a single layer down at the bottom of the basket.

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Works Well: Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, say hello to your new best friend. The air fryer is an easy way to get those yummy little seeds baked to crispy perfection. While traditional methods would take you around an hour to complete, youll save plenty of time by using an air fryer.

No air fryer? No problem. We have a guide to roasting pumpkin seeds the traditional way, too.

Air Fryer Orange Chicken

Air Fryer chicken cubes are covered in a sweet orange citrus sauce. Its like eating sunshine!


  • Place chicken breasts in a resealable plastic freezer bag.
  • Whisk egg whites and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl.
  • In a separate shallow bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, and orange zest.
  • Dip chicken pieces in egg white, dredge in flour mixture, then dip again in egg white. Transfer to a plate.
  • Heat oil in the air fryer to 375°F. Add chicken to the air fryer basket and cook for 12 minutes. Turn chicken over halfway through cooking time. Cook until done, about 15 minutes longer.
  • Remove from air fryer and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
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    You Can Cook A Flavorful Steak In An Air Fryer

    Yankel Polak, head chef at ButcherBox, told Insider that it’s possible to cook a delicious steak in an air fryer.

    “Rub the steak with a little olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper before cooking,” he said. “The olive oil helps it get a really good sear and the salt and pepper give a simple, yet satisfying flavor.”

    To make sure your steak cooks evenly, Yankel added, flip it over halfway through the cooking time. This ensures both sides of the meat have contact with the hot surface of the basket.

    Not All Frozen Foods Are Treated Equal

    The Most Foolproof Ways To Cook With An Air Fryer Tasty

    Among frozen foods, there are many options that cook perfectly in the air fryer. For example, anything pre-cooked, breaded, wrapped, or bite-sized is a great choice. These include snacks and foods like dumplings, fish sticks, fries, and mini meatballs. That said, frozen vegetables can be a bit more tricky since theyre prone to either drying out or becoming soggy.

    Before you decide whether or not to put a frozen vegetable in the air fryer, its helpful to think of its inherent properties. For example, broccoli has tiny, delicate buds so you might guess that when its heated, it turns brittle and dry. On the other hand, a vegetable like zucchini or holds a lot of water so it can easily result in a water-logged messits often best to save frozen vegetables like these for soups, stews, or smoothies.

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    Do You Need To Defrost Before Air Frying

    If you want to cook a steak with an air fryer, you have to either thaw it in the refrigerator or keep it at room temperature for a few hours and then use the air fryer to thaw properly. Besides, you should use air fryer-proof dishes to defrost and cook frozen food that is cooked with butter and oil.

    Air Fryer Chicken Breast

    This delicious chicken breast recipe is perfect for both simple air fryer meals and feeding guests.

    The seasoning is what makes this chicken breast so crispy and perfect. You can also use this recipe to cook chicken thighs or other crispy chicken pieces.

    The recipe calls for some very basic ingredients that you already have in your pantry.

    With salt, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper, youve got a meal that is good enough for company.

    Just add a couple of healthy side dishes and youre all set.


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    More Than Fried Foods: How To Roast And Bake In The Air Fryer

    No, you dont need to eat mozzarella sticks and onion rings every night for the air fryer to earn its keep on your countertops. Even though the air fryer is lauded for its ability to create the crispy, crunchy texture of deep-fried food with little to no oil, the perks dont end there. Yes, you can make traditionally deep-fried favorites like chicken wings and French fries, but you can also make rib-eye steak, herb-roasted chicken and even cinnamon rolls for dessert. Ready to push some limits? Heres what you need to know.

    Roasting in the air fryer

    For the same reasons that air frying is great for fried foods, its also great for roasting. A little background on : Like an oven, air fryers generate heat. Unlike an oven, that heat is circulated rapidly around the cooking space with the help of a fan. This air movement, combined with a cooking basket that allows hot air to reach the food from all angles, results in food with a crispy-crunchy exteriormuch like deep-frying, but without the need for gallons of oil.

    This same technology is perfect for roasting foods. Roasting foods in the air fryer is much quicker than roasting them in the oven since its compact size allows the air fryer to get to temperature much more quickly and use that heat more efficiently.

    Heres how simple it is to roast a whole chicken in an air fryer:
  • Brush a 3-5 pound roasting chicken with vegetable oil. Sprinkle and rub with a rotisserie seasoning blend.
  • Set air fryer on 375°F.
  • Baking in the air fryer

    Buying A Larger Air Fryer

    Best Frozen Foods for the Air Fryer

    If you find yourself continuously struggling for space in your air fryer then it might be time to upgrade to a larger one.

    Air fryers are available in sizes from 3-quart up to 16-quart. From personal experience Ive found that

    • A 3-quart is suitable for side dishes, solos, and couples
    • A 5-quart is suitable for small families or couples looking to batch cook
    • A 6.5-quart is suitable for the majority of whole chickens, consider upgrading to this if youre a small family looking to cook a chicken.
    • A 10-quart is suitable for larger families , people looking to cook two items at once and those looking to bake large items such as casseroles in the air fryer.
    • A 16-quart is suitable for larger families who are looking to consistently cook multiple items in the air fryer at once or looking to batch cook and make multiple meals to be reheated and consumed at a later date.

    The good news is the price increase from a small 3-quart air fryer to a 10-quart air fryer isnt quite as much as you might first imagine.

    I found that the majority of 3-quart air fryers retail for between $60 and $100 and the majority of 10-quart air fryers retail for between $110 and $150 depending on the brand, the model, and the number of settings and extra accessories.

    Therefore if youre considering buying an air fryer it may be worth investing in a slightly larger one if you think you might need the capacity given the relatively small additional cost.

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    Recipes To Get You Instant Potting And Air Frying

    When experimenting with Indian flavors and converting recipes from the stove to an air fryer or Instant Pot, Nakul says Indian food is about adjusting, knowing the basics, and how things react with each other.

    He has a few simple troubleshooting tips to keep in mind when making Indian food at home, If a curry or stew has too much water or the flavors arent intense enough, keep it on a medium simmer with no lid to reduce the liquid. If you need to lighten the flavor of something, add in cream, butter, or yogurt. Lemon or sugar will help neutralize the burn of spice on your palate, which are used in a lot of Indian dishes as well.

    With these tips and the Badmaash teams recipes to get you started cooking more in your air fryer or Instant Pot , weve gathered a handful of other dishes below to continue expanding your spread.

    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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    How Can I Cook More Food In The Air Fryer

    Your best bet is to get a double layer rack for your air fryer. The rack allows you to keep your food on two platforms instead of one, giving you double the amount of space without ever having to worry about the steaks or burgers touching and blocking the air from cooking them thoroughly.

    Instead, you will be able to cook two batches at the same time and have them both equally cooked. The double-layered rack will open up for more possibilities. Cooking two ingredients at the same time will not be a problem with the rack.

    This can be useful in numerous ways. Having used these racks for quite some time now, Ive found that one of the things that I enjoy the most is the fact that Ive been able to serve the meat and the side at the same time.

    Without the rack, I had to cook one ingredient first then proceed with the next. This always led to me to use the oven instead, but I really wanted to get the most out of the air fryer.

    Essentially, it fixes the most frequent issue an air fryer owner has to face when cooking with the air fryer.

    Adjust Temperature And Cooking Time


    An air fryer has a maximum temperature of 400 degrees. If the instructions of your food package mention a temperature that can be reached by your air fryer, reduce this heat by 10-25 degrees and initially cut the cooking time by half. Check your food to see if it has cooked by this time, if not then cook it further for as long as it needs to be cooked.

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    How To Use An Air Fryer Rack

    With the air fryer rack you donât have to stir or shake your food halfway through because thereâs more room for the circulating hot air to pass through, making sure that every piece of food in the air fryer is getting cooked properly.

  • Place the food on the racks
  • Make sure the pieces are small enough. Big pieces of food can hold the racks up and make them unstable.
  • Place the racks in the air fryer
  • Cook
  • Remove them one by one
  • Wash
  • The advantages of using an air fryer rack

    • You can load up double the amount of food
    • Itâs perfect if you are cooking two kinds of foods at the same time. Normally, you would have to cook the chicken first and then the fries. During the 20 minutes the fries take to cook, the chicken has dropped in temperature. With a rack, you will always be able to eat the food while itâs hot.
    • Itâs very easy to wash after use

    The disadvantages of using a rack

    • You will have to cut your food into slightly smaller pieces because the space in between the skewers/racks is usually pretty tight.

    It is important that you use racks and other accessories that are made specifically for the model you are using. Manufacturers may claim that some accessories are universal and therefore work with any model but I would try to buy an accessory thats made specifically for the air fryer model Im using.

    On The Other Hand Broccoli Can Dry Out In An Air Fryer

    Pixley said that while Brussels sprouts are air-fryer-friendly, broccoli is not.

    “After our experience with Brussels sprouts, we had high hopes that broccoli florets would get super crispy and delicious. Unfortunately, they just got very dry and dusty and the experience was like chewing on sandpaper,” Pixley told Insider, recalling her kitchen experiences with the vegetables.

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    What Size Do You Need

    Heres the rub: Y ou cannot fit a lot of food in basket-type air fryers. You and your air fryer will have a much better relationship if you accept this.

    An air fryer with a 1.75- to 3-quart capacity is best suited for preparing meals for one or two people. Dont expect leftovers, either.

    Even a large air fryer often needs to run food in batches. If a recipe serves more than two people, youll likely need to cook it in more than one batch.

    Consumer Reports found that the actual capacity of some air fryers was a tad smaller than what manufacturers claimed. This can seem like a drag, but remember, air fryers cook food fast.

    When And How To Use Grease

    6 Surprising Foods You Should Not Cook In An Air Fryer

    Just as you would lightly coat your sheet pan, skillet, or grill with oil or fat, it helps to do the same in an air fryer. That said, only a light coat is necessary and if youre making food that already has some fat, you might not need it at all. Another important consideration is the kind of product you use to grease your air fryer. Many air fryers are made with a non-stick coating, so using a spray that has propellants or other additives can erode the coating over time. Instead, use a brush to coat both your basket and food in an oil or fat of your choice.

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    What Shouldnt I Use An Air Fryer To Do

    Although the air fryer is a great tool to speed up time spent in the kitchen, the food you make in it isnt going to taste the same as something youve deep-fried. If youre expecting an air fried egg roll to have the same consistency as a deep-fried egg roll, youre going to be disappointed, White said. Free yourself of those confines.

    Linda Larsen, author of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, also noted that not every food can be cooked in the air fryer, pointing specifically to frozen stuffed chicken breasts. Foods like this, after being put in the air fryer, will look fully cooked and golden brown on the outside even if theyre still raw and potentially dangerous to eat. Both Larsen and Weinstein explicitly warned against cooking anything with a runny batter in the air fryer, too, since it can make a mess and require more painstaking clean-up.

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