How To Use an Air Fryer: A First-Timer’s Information


Congratulations! You have to be the proprietor of a brand new air fryer, or the soon-to-be proprietor of an air fryer. All people’s speaking about this stuff, and now you get to see what the massive deal is for your self.

How do they work? Is it actually frying? What sorts of meals are you able to make in your new air fryer? Right here’s all the things you have to find out about a primary basket-type air fryer.


First off, a disappointment: Air fryers will not be deep fryers.

Air fryers are filled with sizzling air, and that’s what’s nice about them. They’re principally small, highly effective ovens, and ovens use air as a car for warmth, whereas deep frying makes use of fats because the car for warmth.

As a result of air fryers are ovens and never fryers, meals that come out of your air fryer won’t be 100% an identical to the onion rings at Cone-n-Shake or the calamari rings at your favourite bar and grill.

The upshot is that air fryers are a lot much less messy and oil-intensive than deep-frying. Even higher, these lil’ ovens can do rather more than crank out fake fried meals. Air fryers deliver fantastically browned greens, crackly-skinned hen wings, and even mild and ethereal muffins, all inside your attain.

The pieces of an air fryer


The most typical sort of air fryer in the marketplace—the basket-type air fryer—appears to be like like a cool espresso maker with a detachable basket in its stomach. This air fryer has one perform solely: air frying. This information covers basket-type air fryers.

You may also discover boxy multi-function air fryers in the marketplace, just like the Beville Good-Oven, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven, and the June Oven. These appear to be toaster ovens on steroids, and air frying is simply one of many issues they do (amongst gradual cooking, dehydrating, and toasting). Additionally they maintain extra meals than basket-type air fryers.

You probably have a multi-function countertop oven with an air fryer setting, this information nonetheless has some suggestions that will likely be helpful for you, so don’t hand over but!


Your air fryer is like an incredible convection oven. It’s small, but mighty, and you may roast, broil, or bake in it. You can’t deep fry in it.

Want a refresher on convection cooking? No drawback.

Warmth rises, so in an everyday oven the highest rack is all the time the most well liked spot, which ends up in uneven doneness. (It’s additionally why numerous cookie recipes let you know to rotate baking sheets from prime to backside and again to entrance halfway by baking.)

In a convection oven, nevertheless, followers blow sizzling air round so the temperature is equalized all through the oven.

Air fryers aren’t precisely like convection ovens; their airflow is designed to extra intently replicate the warmth distribution of deep-frying in sizzling fats. However for our functions, the convection oven analogy is nice sufficient.

Pouring food into an air fryer


After you open the field, take aside all detachable parts. This may in all probability embody a detachable basket and a grate or perforated tray within the backside of that basket. Wash and dry them.

Put the air fryer on a heat-resistant floor, not less than eight inches away from the wall. Change the grate and basket.

NOTE: Some producers advocate operating the air fryer empty for 10 minutes earlier than you truly cook dinner with it, to let it off-gas. There is perhaps a barely chemical scent (one handbook referred to it as a “new equipment scent”), so have the vents on or home windows open. It needs to be only a one-time factor.

Now you’re able to cook dinner meals! How about fries? Actually, isn’t that the massive promote on this stuff? Potatoes are low-cost, and now we have an incredible recipe for you.


  • At all times have the grate within the basket. This permits sizzling air to flow into across the meals, and in addition retains the meals from sitting in extra oil.
  • Air fryers are loud. When it’s operating, you’ll hear whirring followers.
  • It’s hands-on. Even browning requires you to take away the basket and shuffle the meals round each jiffy.
  • It’s fantastic to drag out the basket for a peek. You are able to do this at any level into the cooking course of. No must shut off the machine, because it shuts itself off when the basket is out.
  • Accordingly, be certain that the drawer is pushed all the best way in, or it received’t flip again on. You’ll know, as a result of the air fryer will likely be instantly quiet.
  • Meals cooks quick, sooner than you’re used to! It’s among the best attributes of the air fryer. Your air fryer’s handbook possible has a useful desk of cooking occasions and temperatures for widespread meals. The much less meals within the basket, the shorter the cook dinner time will likely be; the extra meals, the longer it is going to be.
  • You might want a barely decrease temperature. A variety of air fryer recipes name for decrease temperature settings than their typical counterparts. This might sound fishy, however simply go along with it. As soon as once more, air fryers get sizzling very quick and transfer that sizzling air round, so a barely decrease temperature will assist maintain meals from getting too darkish or crispy on the surface, whereas nonetheless being correctly cooked on the within.

Frozen food cooks quickly in an air fryer


Right here’s the rub: You can’t match numerous meals in basket-type air fryers. You and your air fryer could have a significantly better relationship when you settle for this.

An air fryer with a 1.75- to Three-quart capability is greatest fitted to getting ready meals for one or two individuals. Don’t anticipate leftovers, both.

Even a big air fryer (about 4 to 5 quarts) typically must run meals in batches. If a recipe serves greater than two individuals, you’ll possible must cook dinner it in multiple batch.

Client Studies discovered that the precise capability of some air fryers was a tad smaller than what producers claimed. This could seem to be a drag, however bear in mind, air fryers cook dinner meals quick.


That’s the query.

In contrast to the massive oven in your vary, an air fryer doesn’t want an entire half hour to get to temp. A couple of minutes of preheating ought to do it. Some air fryer fashions have a lightweight that signifies when the unit is preheated.

Producers advocate preheating, however when you like, you may skip preheating altogether. For those who’re beginning meals in a chilly air fryer, your cook dinner time is perhaps three or 4 minutes longer—no large whoop! Strive it each methods, and see what provides you the perfect consequence. It would depend upon the recipe.

Air fryer basket for tips for using an air fryer


Doing any of the next issues received’t soften your face off, however attempt to keep away from them.

  1. Don’t be too beneficiant with oil.

Use a lightweight hand with that oil! Extra oil results in the drawer beneath the grate, but when there’s an excessive amount of buildup, it’d smoke. Typically talking, if there’s already fats on the meals (skin-on hen, for instance, or frozen fried meals), you won’t want to grease the meals in any respect. Greens, nevertheless, profit from a lightweight coating of oil, as a result of it helps make them good and brown.

  1. Don’t grease the drawer with cooking spray.

Looks like that might be a good suggestion, proper? However the baskets have nonstick coating, and cooking spray can injury the end over time. (Actually, it says so within the handbook! What, didn’t you learn it?)

In lieu of cooking spray, toss your meals in oil as a substitute—you’re in all probability doing that already, in lots of circumstances—or rub it down with an oil-saturated paper towel. I discovered pre-fried frozen meals didn’t want the assistance of additional grease.

  1. Don’t use oil with a low smoke level.

Olive oil isn’t nice for air frying, as a result of it has a low smoke level. Not solely will it smoke at excessive temperatures, however it could actually additionally develop a bizarre aftertaste. Vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and different excessive smoke level oils are the best way to go.

  1. Don’t crowd the drawer.

For all of the house they hog on a countertop, air fryers don’t have an enormous capability. For the perfect outcomes, don’t load the drawer up with meals (the picture utilized in advertising air fryers is sort of deceptive). It’s so tempting so as to add one other handful of potato sticks or shaved beets, however you’ll be taught from expertise that meals comes out crisper and cooks up sooner when you work in small batches.

  1. Don’t neglect to shake the basket.

Shaking the basket periodically by cooking ensures meals is evenly uncovered to warmth, which provides you higher browning. A variety of recipes name so that you can shake the basket each 5 minutes. For bigger objects, like breaded fish fillets, flip them as a substitute. If a recipe requires shaking or flipping and also you skip it, it’s not detrimental, however it’ll maintain you from reaching that profitable, oh-so-similar-to-fried-food consequence.

  1. Don’t simply dump the recent contents of the drawer right into a bowl.

Use tongs or a spoon to get cooked meals out. Extra oil collects beneath the detachable grate in your basket, so when you yank out the basket and tip it onto a platter, the oil will come spilling out together with the grate. This could burn you, make a large number, and result in greasy meals.

  1. Don’t belief the timer 100%.

A variety of basket-style air fryers have a dial you set like an old school kitchen timer, or like that child’s recreation Perfection. When the time’s up it goes PING! and the machine stops.

On one of many fashions I used, 5 minutes flew by suspiciously quick. So I set my cellphone’s timer after I set the air fryer’s timer, and guess what—the equipment was off by a couple of minutes. This isn’t an enormous deal; with air fryers, you simply maintain re-setting the timer till the meals is completed to your liking. However do notice that not all timers run precisely.

Some fashions work greatest when, for shorter cooking occasions, you wind the timer as much as 10 or 20 minutes after which wind it again to the specified cooking time.

  1. Don’t put the recent drawer on the countertop.

Consider the drawer as a sizzling pan. Whenever you pull it from the unit, the underside particularly will likely be sizzling. Seize the drawer by the deal with, not the opposite elements, and have a trivet or potholder able to set it on if warmth will injury your countertop.

  1. Don’t get all touchy-feely with the air fryer.

Don’t assume the outside of the air fryer is uniformly cool. Nope—elements of it (the again, possible) get sizzling. One mannequin I used obtained somewhat wonky after I tried to get the drawer out and in, and I had the perfect luck stabilizing the machine with one hand and pushing/pulling the drawer with the opposite. The air fryer didn’t get red-hot to the contact, however nonetheless—don’t get all grabby with it.

  1. Don’t take heed to podcasts whereas operating an air fryer.

Air fryers are loud. Pause that podcast, since you will be unable to observe alongside in any respect. And neglect about jamming to your favourite tunes. Try this whenever you prep, I suppose.

philips air fryer


It’s essential to wash your air fryer after each use, since a build-up of oil could make the unit smoke. In some situations, you may merely wipe off the drawer and grate with a paper towel. In the event that they’re gunky, hand wash. Most fashions have elements which can be dishwasher protected, so test together with your handbook.


Air fryers use dry warmth, so consider meals that cook dinner with dry warmth (roasting, baking, and frying) versus ones that cook dinner with moist warmth (boiling, braising, and steaming). Crispy shallots, frozen puff pastry “donuts,” dehydrated tomato slices, puzzlingly low-carb bagels, reheated leftover pizza…don’t be afraid to experiment.

That mentioned, we’ve observed some meals actually excel in an air fryer. Drum roll, please:

  1. Pre-fried frozen meals: Classics like hen tenders, fish sticks, tater tots, and pizza rolls are made for the air fryer. On the whole, portion-sized frozen meals or ones in bite-size items warmth up and get appealingly crisp in an air fryer very quickly. They might re-name this factor the Faculty Child/Single Dude Dinner Machine.
  2. From-scratch recipes that mimic pre-fried frozen meals: Assume air-fried hen, air fryer mozzarella sticks, air-fried crab muffins, et cetera.

Now it’s time to suppose exterior the deep fryer! I additionally actually love utilizing the air fryer for:

  • Greens you’d roast or grill: cubed winter or summer time squash, root greens, broccoli or cauliflower florets, Brussels sprouts. These are improbable within the air fryer!
  • Potatoes: Any time you’d put a potato (or cut-up potatoes) in an everyday oven, your air fryer will simply outperform the oven.
  • Rooster wings: Crispy pores and skin, and sooner than roasting them within the oven. Be aware that this isn’t superb for events, although, as a result of air fryers are too small to carry party-scale quantities of wings (until it’s a celebration of people that eat just one sizzling wing every!).
  • Sizzling canines: For those who like franks with snappy casing and plump interiors, cook dinner them in your air fryer. You’ll by no means look again. I don’t must be consuming extra sizzling canines, however they had been our air fryer sleeper hit.
  • Reheated meals: Bear in mind, this factor is sort of a attractive turbo toaster oven. It’s terrific for reheating meals, and received’t make once-crispy issues mushy like a microwave will.


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