With a little know-how you can whip up baked and fried foods in the air fryer. Get started with these tips and our easy recipes.
Top air fryer tips
Skip the preheating
You can preheat an air fryer, like you would an oven, so that the food starts to cook straight away. Unlike an oven however, it doesn’t take long for an air fryer to heat up – usually less than 5 minutes. It’s fine if you choose not to preheat, just remember if you’re batch cooking, the second batch will cook more quickly than the first.
Do the shake
For even cooking, give the basket a shake at regular intervals so the food cooks evenly on all sides, or turn each piece at least once during cooking. If you’re cooking something that can’t be turned over, such as pizza, be aware that the top will be crispier than the base.
Don’t overfill it
The golden rule of air frying is to not overcrowd it. If the food is closely packed or overlapping, it will cook unevenly and end up soggy. For food to cook efficiently it should be in a single layer with enough room for the air to circulate.
Use a timer
Whether you use a built-in timer or a separate device, make sure you keep an eye on the time. Food can easily over brown and dry out, so check it regularly to avoid overcooking.
Check your tools
Most oven-safe pans and racks can be used in an air fryer if they fit the space. Silicone is ideal as it’s heat-safe to high temperatures. Also use non-metal utensils to avoid scratching the non-stick surface.
Add (a little) oil
Foods without a high fat content, such as vegetables, need an even coating of oil to crisp up in the air fryer. Use an oil spray or toss them in a bowl with a little oil before cooking. Foods with a higher fat content, such as bacon, don’t need any extra oil to help them cook.
Watch the fan
To stop toppings, such as mixed herbs and cheese, being blown around by the fan during cooking, make sure the toppings stick to the food. Mix any spices with a little oil before rubbing over meats.
The air fryer is perfect for reheating drier foods like pizza and vegetables – they’ll come out deliciously crisp. To avoid drying them out, air fry at 150°C until heated through. Foods with a lot of liquid are best reheated on the stove or in the microwave.
Clean it often
If excess oil builds up in the base of the air fryer, it can overheat and start to smoke, so sprinkle a little water over the base before cooking. This helps stop any drips from burning during cooking and helps with clean-up, too. Even if your air fryer has dishwasher-safe parts, it’s best to wash them by hand to avoid damaging the non-stick coating, then let them air-dry before using again.
What to cook in the air fryer:
These foods are perfect for cooking in the air fryer:
● Sausage rolls and party pies
● Chicken nuggets
● Oven chips
● Pork crackling and bacon
● Jacket potatoes
● Mini pizzas
● Brussels sprouts
● Doughnuts and churros
Ready to start cooking with your air fryer? Try the recipes below.