Hot air is used to cook crisp food in air fryers, which uses a fraction of the oil used in deep fryers. Air fryers are often advertised as a means to cut calories and fat from traditional comfort foods, but they are also used to prepare a wide variety of dishes. Consequently, we have outlined a list of the best things to create in an air fryer.
What’s All the Fuss About Air Fryers?
At first glance, the latest culinary sensation of air frying may appear too good to be true. It’s a gadget that simulates deep frying with only a fraction of the oil. However, with this technology, “fried” dishes may no longer be limited to state fairs and fast food, especially with this healthier option.
How to Keep Your Air Fryer Clean
It’s vital to clean the air fryer after each use because a build-up of oil might cause it to smoke. A paper towel will suffice to clean the drawer and grate in certain cases. If they’re unclean, wash them by hand. Check your owner’s manual to discover if any of your model’s parts are dishwasher safe.
What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?
1. Delicious Patties and Burgers
Burgers and fast food cook and crisp up in a fraction of the time in an air fryer while preserving flavor and color. At medium to high heat, homemade burgers take 10 to 15 minutes. Season and cook these straight in the basket or rack (no oil required).
If you’re making a cheeseburger, put the burger on the bun, add the cheese and any other toppings, then place the entire burger in the now-off air fryer and warm it for a few minutes. It leads to the melting of the cheese and warming of the bread.
There’s no need to pre-heat an air fryer like you would an oven or grill because it heats up so quickly. Instead, you can turn it halfway through cooking to ensure consistent browning. Frozen store-bought burgers can be cooked, but reduce the heating to a medium degree and cook for around 15 minutes,’ she adds. ‘Make sure your burgers are fully cooked.
2. Reheating Leftovers
An air fryer can help you get the most out of your takeout and fast-food dinners. Use the air fryer to re-crisp or reheat takeaway leftovers, such as fried chicken or pizza, and enjoy your meal a second time.
Why air fry leftover pizza when you can heat it in the microwave? The pizza base will remain crisp after air frying. However, the base will soften after microwaving. Before air-frying leftover pizza, wrap it in aluminum foil to keep the topping from drying out. Then, straight onto the basket or rack in a single layer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on high.
3. Frozen Chicken Goujons
An air fryer is a multipurpose investment used to prepare frozen food on busy weeknights swiftly. Because of the convection function, the air fryer performs a fantastic job of crisping up food. In addition, this function allows hot air to circulate the food, ensuring it cooks evenly and quickly.
Frozen french fries, chicken goujons, fish fingers, and breaded or battered veggies can all be air-fried, and there’s no need to wait for your oven to pre-heat. Instead, place it directly in the basket or on the rack and cook for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the type of food.
Heat should be between medium and high. In the air fryer basket, arrange chicken goujons or tenders in a single layer; cook for 10 minutes at 400°F/205°C, then turn and cook for another two minutes, or until crisp.
4. Crispy Bacon
It’s best to make bacon in an air fryer because it’s leaner and healthier. Bacon can be crispy without being too oily when cooked in an air fryer. Also, fat flows out of the basket to keep it leaner, and it’s so much less messy and takes less care than other cooking methods.
To air-fry bacon, place the bacon in a single layer in the basket or rack and cook on high for 5 to 8 minutes. The bacon will be nicely crisped and browned. You can also cook bacon in a quarter of the time it takes on the stove, and it won’t be swimming in its fat while it cooks, resulting in a crispier and slightly healthier outcome.
5. Crispy Roast Potatoes
Is there anything better than a crispy cooked potato to please your taste buds? First, parboil the potatoes, then drain and dry them. Next, fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper, and place in an air fryer pan or tray with a teaspoon of duck fat (or vegetarian alternative).
Roast for 30 minutes at 390°F/200°C, turning/shaking halfway through to ensure even browning.
6. Chicken Wings
Fried chicken wings are tasty, but they produce quite a mess. Air fryer wings are quick and easy to make, and they taste just like deep-fried wings. You can make any wing. You may keep it simple with buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing, and crunchy vegetables. Wings are nicely complemented by the cooling tartness of buttercream and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.
7. Roasted Vegetable
You can roast vegetables like brussels sprouts, so they’re as crispy as those you order at restaurants. The ideal outer char comes from your trusty air fryer. You don’t have to deal with the greasiness of oil when you use an air fryer to crisp up the sprouts. They will be less oily than if they are fried in oil.
8. Making Sugar Cookies
You may create cookies rapidly because the air fryer does not need to be pre-heated. Cookies can thrive in an air fryer, and they’re also easy to make. You may have fresh, handcrafted cookies in 10 minutes because the air fryer does not require pre-heating.
Air fryers can also cook steak because they can function as small ovens. With a little experience, you can get a perfectly cooked steak in the air fryer, avoiding the smoke and flames of the grill. It also frees up the stovetop and avoids the mess that searing a steak usually causes.
10. Pork Chops
After only 9 minutes in the air fryer, these air fryer pork chops were delightfully tender, juicy, and flavorful. Serve with crispy air fryer potatoes. Then, keep it low-carb with air fryer Brussels sprouts or asparagus for a complete air fryer dinner in under 30 minutes. It’s the perfect quick air fryer dinner for a hectic weeknight!
11. Zucchini Zoodles
You can avoid soggy zoodles with the use of an air fryer. Zoodles can be utilized as a pasta substitute. Zoodles are an excellent air-fryer snack. Zucchini releases a lot of moisture during cooking. You can rapidly end up with a soggy mess in a skillet. All of that excess moisture flows out of the basket in the air fryer, leaving you with delicious zucchini noodles.
12. Juicy Chicken Breasts
If you’re using dry seasoning, rub it in thoroughly on the uncooked chicken cutlets. The air fryer produces far more juicy chicken breasts than the oven or cooktop. Also, the liquids don’t evaporate as quickly in an air fryer because of its small design.
13. Russet Potatoes
Russet and sweet potatoes are air-fried to perfection with onion and simple seasonings. It is a must-try air fryer breakfast meal if you’re searching for something quick and delicious.
14. Crab Cakes
Air Fryer crab cakes are quick and easy to make, and they air fry to perfection in about 15 minutes. For a simple and delightful appetizer, serve them with aioli, tartar sauce, or herb dip. This recipe can use standard crab cake components like panko crumbs and old bay seasoning.
You can also omit the dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce to let the crab flavor shine through. The nicest part about this dish is that it’s easy to make. Put the crab cakes in the air fryer basket, set the timer, and return to crispy crab cakes.
You won’t make a mess frying them on the stovetop because the recipe uses very little oil, you won’t have to turn them, and you won’t have to flip them.
15. Twice Baked Potatoes
Cream cheese air fryer twice-baked potatoes are a great side dish to serve with any meal. Baked potatoes with mashed potatoes, sour cream, and cheese are topped with bacon and chives for a hearty meal. Thanks to the air fryer, these potatoes can be cooked in just 10 minutes!
In addition, by using an air fryer to make twice-baked potatoes, you can heat them and serve them for supper in under 15 minutes. They are a delightful way to serve potatoes since they add even more flavor while also making them appear elegant.
16. Wonton Mozzarella Sticks
If you like mozzarella sticks, raise your hand! At only 100 calories per stick, Air Fryer Wonton Mozzarella Sticks are a healthy alternative to deep-fried ones. Mozzarella sticks are a hit with kids and adults, making them an ideal family snack. Of course, a cheesy appetizer is always a hit!
The biggest difference between typical mozzarella sticks and these air fryer ones is instead of cooking them in oil. Instead, you put them in the air fryer. The result is a little crunchy on the surface and hot and gooey on the inside. However, cooking the sticks in the air fryer is far healthier than frying them in oil, which is a huge plus!
17. Glazed Chicken
The glazed chicken cooks well in an air fryer. The glaze caramelizes on the chicken because of the air fryer’s intense heat and steady airflow. Too much glaze on your chicken will drip and spread about the air-fryer chamber.
18. French Fries
An air fryer enables you to indulge in the occasional “guilty pleasure” while consuming less fat. When prepared in an air fryer, homemade French fries are crispy and tasty, with fewer calories than deep-fat frying.
Slice them to the same size and arrange them in a single layer in your air fryer basket. If you need a large amount, you may end up with batches, tossing halfway through 12 to 15 minutes of cooking time in the air fryer.
By pulling the air fryer basket out to peek, you can check on the cooking process and see how they progress. But, do you want to go for something a little more healthy? Instead, make sweet potato fries with a little paprika, salt, and pepper before air frying for added flavor.
What to Avoid Cooking in an Air Fryer?
Broccoli can become dry and dusty in an air fryer. You would expect broccoli florets to excel in an air fryer after the experience with Brussels sprouts. Unfortunately, they become quite dry and gritty, and chewing on them is like chewing sandpaper.
2. Whole Chickens
Don’t use the air fryer to cook huge roasts or whole birds. Instead, bake a whole chicken. Apart from whether they’ll fit in the air fryer basket, larger roasts and whole birds won’t cook evenly. Long before the portion closest to the heat source is safe to eat, it will have burned and dried out.
3. Wet Battered Foods
When using an air fryer, avoid foods with wet batters, such as corndogs or tempura shrimp. For example, corndogs shouldn’t be put in the air fryer unless they’ve been pre-fried because the batter can get messy.
The wet batter spreads everywhere, and without a good oil bath, the batter will not set, resulting in the crispy, fried item you hoped for. Instead, the batter will leak off the food during frying, burn and adhere to the bottom of your air fryer.
4. Grilled Cheese
Cheese should not be used in an air fryer because it can make a massive mess. Your air fryer may be splattered with melted grilled cheese. Because an air fryer isn’t a fryer, there’s no quick outside crust like you’d get from deep-frying mozzarella cheese. Instead, your fryer will turn into a cheesy mess.
5. Medium-rare Burgers
You should probably fire up the grill if you want a medium-rare burger. Air frying a burger to the right medium-rare without much compromise is unlikely. Achieving medium-rare doneness in the air fryer doesn’t take long, and the burger’s exterior won’t have enough time to brown. However, a well-done burger may be made in an air fryer.
6. Fresh Greens
Fresh greens should not be cooked in an air fryer because they will splatter. They could also be difficult to cook. You should avoid using an air fryer to cook fresh greens like spinach or kale. These greens will practically flutter all over the place and cook unevenly. If you’re craving kale chips, stick to a standard oven.
7. Over Seasoned Proteins and Vegetables
Stay away from overly seasoned proteins and veggies. For example, your dry rub might not do well in an air fryer. Another common blunder is overseasoning meats and vegetables before frying them in an air fryer. Seasonings can be blown off or fall through the air fryer basket when you have food with a dry surface and seasonings.
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