Again, found this while trying to make more efficient, effective use of my air fryer….
Air Fryer Tips
You’re Not Using Oil
The beauty of an air fryer is that you don’t need to use nearly as much oil as you would if you were shallow frying in a skillet or deep frying. That said, you still need to use some oil because ultimately your food still needs some sort of fat to cook in. Whether you like to toss the ingredients in a few tablespoons of oil before placing in the air fryer or if you prefer to give everything a good coating of nonstick spray, make sure that there is some sort of fat in there. This will not only help your food become crispy and golden brown, but a touch of oil will make the dish tastier too.
You’re Not Preheating
While you’re prepping your meal for cooking, it’s a good idea to go ahead and preheat the air fryer. Try to make this a habit as soon as you start into the process of pulling dinner together. This way, when you add your food to the air fryer, the basket will be slightly hot already and you won’t need to wait for the machine to come to temperature. It’s the same principle as preheating your sheet pan in the oven before roasting.
You’re Overcrowding the Basket
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to using an air fryer (or roasting food, in general) is overcrowding. When food cooks, it releases moisture; so, when the food items that you’re air frying are on top of each other in the basket, the pile-up will cause steam. So instead of becoming golden brown and crispy, your food items will steam to completion. Regardless of what you’re cooking, try to keep all of the ingredients in a single layer in the basket, without touching each other, so that the hot, dry air in the fryer can hit all sides of the items as it circulates.
You’re Not Rotating the Food
Even if the items in your basket are in a single layer and they’re not touching, if you don’t go in there at least once during cooking, the items may not cook evenly. Get in the habit of pausing the machine half way through air frying, and use tongs to rotate the food in the basket so that everything cooks uniformly.
You’re Not Cleaning It Properly or Frequently Enough
It’s easy to cook up some crispy potato wedges and then just slide the basket back into the machine without giving it a good scrub. Instead, make it a point to always thoroughly wash down the parts of your basket in warm, soapy water so that any oil residue is washed away. Some air fryer parts are dishwasher safe, but double check your user manual before loading anything into your dishwasher. Every now and again, you should also use a warm, soapy rag to wipe down the body of the air fryer and any food bits that may be stuck to it.
You’re Not Getting Creative With What You’re Cooking
Of course, some of the more common uses for an air fryer include French fries, chicken wings, and roasted veggies. These are all delicious options, but hardly an exhaustive list of what your air fryer can accomplish. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous when it comes to what you’re cooking in your air fryer. Satisfy your sweet tooth and use it to bake cookies, doughnuts and brownies. Got leftovers? Warm up day-old pizza or any leftover takeout food to revive it to last night’s glory — no sogginess in sight. Make a traditional grilled cheese or other warm, toasty sandwiches. Need to toast a handful of nuts for a recipe? Throw ’em in the air fryer. At the end of the day, an air fryer is basically a countertop convection oven, so don’t limit this humble device to chicken and potatoes.