How to Use an Air Fryer

How to Use an Air Fryer – A FULL GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

Food preparation with little or no oil has become a common healthy trend around the globe. Air fryers can cook a variety of foods and let you prepare the healthiest alternatives to fried food. They can develop a similar texture and color to the fried food with very little or no oil.

Knowing how to use the air fryers is crucial to unleash its full potential. Without knowing the purpose, working mechanism, and how to work an air fryer you cannot create a balance between the nutritional value and taste of air-fried food. If you own an air fryer or are planning to buy a new one, we have composed this air fryer guide. We will walk you through everything you need to know about the air fryers.

How To Use An Air Fryer? A First-Timer’s Guide

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a countertop convection oven used to intimate the deep frying without dipping the food into the oil. The air fryer doesn’t actually fry but mimics the deep frying and gives a crispy texture and golden brown color to foods. The air fryer uses hot air to fry foods, but it’s quite different from baking. The upper section of the air fryers has fans and a heating mechanism to produce hot air.

Unlike deep frying in which fats are a source of heat, air fryers use hot air as a vehicle of heat. Food is placed in the lower section of the oven and the hot air circulates around the food at a fast pace and develops a crispy texture and golden color. The hot air can cook food in very little oil or even without oil. Air fryers are small yet powerful ovens that can cook a variety of foods and are pretty easy to use.

What Can You Cook In An Air Fryer?

The best thing about an air fryer is that you can cook anything in an air fryer. You can cook frozen chicken, homemade french fries, veggies, baked goods, burgers, appetizers, chicken, and many more. If you wonder what to cook in an air fryer, here is a list of things to cook in an air fryer.

Burgers and Patties

Both frozen and homemade burgers or patties can be crisped and cooked in an air fryer. You can cook frozen burgers and patties on low to medium heat. For cooking burgers, no preheating is required. Homemade patties and burgers are cooked within a limited time and maximum heat level. You can place burgers either on a rack or basket.

French Fries

You can cook delicious, low-fat, low calories french fries in the air fryer. Well-cut fries take around 10-15 minutes to develop a golden brown color and crisp. For best results, it is advised to place a single layer of fries in the basket. However, if you want to prepare a large quantity you can also stack different layers in the basket.

Frozen Chicken/Fish Appetizers

Frozen chicken and fish filets are cooked well in the air fryer. Frozen chicken Gunjons take around 12-15 minutes to develop perfect crisp and taste. The recommended temperature for frozen appetizers is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Succulent Chicken

Succulent chicken is another best recipe you can try in the air fryers. Well-seasoned small chicken pieces can be cooked at varying heat levels. The air fryer lets you cook juicy yet crispy chicken pieces within a limited time.

Crispy Roast Potatoes

You can cook low-fat crispy roast potatoes in an air fryer. The air fryer gives incredible crisps to parboiled potatoes within 10-12 minutes. For the best result, it is advised to cook the potatoes in a small quantity of duck fat at low to medium heat.

What You Cannot Cook In An Air Fryer?

Wet batters are not cooked well in the air fryers. Also, large chicken pieces and bone-in meat are not cooked well in the air fryers. The air fryers use hot air to cook the food within a limited time. Therefore large chicken pieces are cooked unevenly within a limited time and do not develop perfect results.

How Do You Use An Air Fryer?

If you’re going to use the air fryer for the first time, here are all the air fryer basics and directions for the air fryer.

Setting Up

  • Remove all the packaging stuff and stickers from the air fryer.
  • Place the air fryer on a heat-resistant surface. Do not place it close to the objects that can be damaged with excessive heat.
  • See the air fryer manual to understand the functionality of important control buttons.
  • Open the air fryer drawer and take out the basket and cooking grates from the air fryer.
  • Remove all the plastic packing and stickers.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean the cooking baskets and put them back after drying.

How To Turn On An Air Fryer?

  • Once you have removed all the packaging material from the air fryer, you can perform a test run on the air fryer.
  • Plugin the air fryer into a nearby electric socket.
  • If you are using an advanced model of the air fryer, you will see a preheat function on the control panel. However outdated models have analog controls and you will have to select a specific temperature.
  • When you turn on the air fryer make sure the cooking basket is empty.
  • To perform a test run push the preheat control.
  • An indicator light or beep will let you know when the preheating is done.
  • Open the air fryer drawer and take the basket out with a basket release control. Manually check its temperature and put it back.
  • You can again perform this test by setting a desired temperature and timer on the air fryer.
  • If the air fryer is working properly you will hear a beep sound or see a light indicator on the completion of the cooking timer.
  • If the air fryer heats up precisely and on time, you are all set.

How To Air Fry?

Once you are done with the setup, follow these steps to cook in an air fryer.

  • Before you place any food in the air fryer, it is critical to preheat the air fryer. You cannot evenly cook food if you don’t preheat your air fryer.
  • Advanced multi-function air fryers have a dedicated preheat feature and indicator. Just press the preheat button and wait for the indicator.
  • For simple and older models, you need to preheat the oven manually and a lot of guesswork is required. Raise the temperature to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit and wait for four to five minutes.
  • In the second step take the basket out with the basket release button. Place the food evenly in the basket.
  • For perfect cooking results, it is advised to place the food in even layers. If you want to prepare a large quantity of food, it is best to start early and cook the food in separate batches.
  • Avoid overloading in a single batch. If you overload the basket, the food remains uncooked since hot or cannot reach all food items.
  • Put the basket back into the air fryer. Make sure it is fixed in place.
  • Set the timer and desired temperature on the timer. Control panel type and configuration vary from model to model, and it is advised to refer to instructions for air fryers in the user manual.
  • Close the air fryer drawer and push the “start” button.
  • Constantly monitor your food to avoid burning and overcooking. You can also adjust the temperature and timer during the process.
  • Depending upon the type of food you are cooking, you may need to mix the ingredients. Turn the foods upside down to make sure the food is cooked evenly.
  • Once the food is cooked, take the basket out of the air fryer. Remember, large quality of hot steam is produced inside the air fryer and you need to be very careful while taking the basket out.
  • Put the basket on the flat surface and take out the food into the dishes.
  • When the basket is cooled down, clean it uses dishwashing soap and scrubber.

Air Fryer Tips-Dos and Don’ts

Do not use excessive oil

While cooking with an air fryer you should not use oil in large quantities. Excessive oil produces a lot of smoke and builds up making the air fryer tough to clean. Foods like chicken, cheeseburgers, frozen foods contain small quantities of fat and there is no need to add oil to them. However, for vegetables like potatoes, you may use a light coating of oil to enhance the crispy texture and flavor of the food.

Shake The Food Basket

In hot air frying, it is critical to shake the food basket periodically. You need to mix the ingredients and turn the food upside down to ensure that the food is cooked properly. If you are cooking larger items like full chicken pieces, or bread you need to flip the pieces to ensure that all their parts are exposed to heat evenly.

Clean The Air Fryer Regularly

You can enhance the air fryer’s service life by cleaning it properly and regularly. The smoke and grease build-up can cause serious blockage and clogging issues which badly affect the performance. Only wash the basket and grates in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher safe.

Do Not Clean The Air Fryer When It Is Hot

Air fryers produce a lot of oil and grease build-up along with steam. Cleaning a hot air fryer cloud can be dangerous and messy. Also, it reduces the lifespan of the food baskets and cooking grates. Do not use a towel or cloth to sweep hot oil and grease from the leftover gate. Instead, use a spoon or spatula to remove the oil and grease build-up. Use a damp cloth and mild soap to clean the air fryer grates and baskets.

Do Not Trust Timers

Do not trust timers, especially if you are using an old-school air fryer model. Air fryer indicators and timers are not perfect every time. You need to keep a strict eye on the food to avoid burning or overcooking the food. Keep on reading and adjusting the temperature and timer to get the perfect cooking results. To be honest, you need to do a lot of guesswork while using an air fryer.

Avoid Touching Hot Exterior And Interior Parts

The air fryer cooks the food at extremely high temperatures and you can have serious skin burns if you accidentally touch a hot part. Always grab the drawer and basket with a handle. Do not place hot parts on the countertop or near any other object. The air fryer’s exterior can also give you a burn since some of their parts like the back and bottom get really hot during air fry cooking.

Place The Air Fryer From Stove

Do not place the air fryer near the gas and electric supply. Air fryers release a lot of heat and hot air when used for a long time and pose a serious risk if placed near an electric or gas outlet.

Be Careful With Controls

If you are using an advanced air fryer, you need to be careful with controls. For instance, if you press the basket release button accidentally, it may fall and cause serious accidents.

Do Not Overcrowd The Air Fryer

An overcrowded drawer can cause many problems. Firstly, food is not cooked perfectly if you overstuff the food basket. All food items are not exposed to even heat and remain uncooked. Secondly, the air fryer makes a lot of noise and produces the grease leftover in bulk. It reduces the ovens’ service life and makes it hard to clean.

Follow The Air Fryer Instructions

If you wonder how to cook with an air fryer, refer to the air fryer instructions provided in the manuals. You may get a general guideline on the internet, but for specific instructions, you need to see the user manual provided by the manufacturer.

Do Not Put Wet Batters In The Drawer

Remember you cannot cook wet batters and coatings in the air fryer. The wet batter splatters everywhere when hot air circulates at a fast pace. Also, if you are using a bread crumb coating add a light coating of the oil to help them weigh down and stick on the food.

Keep The Hot Air Vent Open

The hot air outlet is located at the back of the air fryer. The hot fryer will stop working if the vent is blocked. Regularly check the vent and if you find any blockage remove it immediately.

Do Not Let You Air Fryer Plugged In When Not In Use

To prevent accidental actions, it is advised to unplug your air fryer immediately after use.

Perform The AirFrying In Vebntailted Space

Open the windows and turn on the vent hoods in the room to dissipate the hot air and steam. Place the air fryer away from the wall and its hot air outlet should be facing towards a window.

FAQs

Why shouldn’t you use an air fryer?

When you cook meat on the air fryer it can turn certain components into acrylamides, polycystic acrylic hydrocarbons, and heterocyclic amines. These components are potentially carcinogenic if consumed in large quantities. This is the only reason you shouldn’t use an air fryer. However, you can mitigate this risk by making a certain timer and heat adjustment.

What should I cook in an air fryer?

You should cook soft boneless meat like lamb chops and chicken in the air fryers. Also, you should cook burgers and frozen chicken filets in the air fryer.

Do you use oil in an air fryer?

Yes, you can use oil in the air fryer. You can cook using healthy oil, and duck fat in small quantities to mimic deep frying and enhance the texture and flavor of different foods.

What can you make in an air fryer?

You can make freshly baked items, frozen foods, veggies, and roasted beans in the air fryer. Also, you can cook delicious patties, burgers, roasted potatoes, and succulent chicken in the air fryer.

Can you put raw meat in Airfryer?

Yes, you can put raw meat in the air fryer. Airfryer works at a high temperature and cooks almost all types of food. For perfect results, it is advised to cut the meat into small pieces and place them evenly in the food basket.

Can you put frozen food in an air fryer?

Yes, you can put frozen foods in an air fryer. Air fryers work best with frozen foods. It takes less time to cook frozen foods than a regular oven. Also, there is no need to defrost the frozen food before putting it in the air fryer.

Wrapping It Up

We are hopeful that this guide will help you understand how to use an air fryer. Cooking with an air fryer is a bit tricky since it involves a lot of guesswork. However, by following all the air fryer instructions you can cook delicious and perfect food within a limited time. It is advised to clean the air fryer to prevent the air outlet blockage and grease build-up in the drawer.

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