How To Use An Air Fryer

 Knowing how to operate your air fryer is imperative to avoid the wrong usage, leading to the appliance getting spoilt. Extensive research has been carried out to help give you clarity on knowing how to use an air fryer.

How to use an air fryer:

  • Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
  • Step 2: Prepare the Air Fryer
  • Step 3: Preheat the Air Fryer
  • Step 4: Put the ingredients in the Air Fryer
  • Step 5: Avoid overcrowding
  • Step 6: Add little oil
  • Step 7: Cook according to the recipe
  • Step 8: Shake or turn often
  • Step 9: Check if cooked properly
  • Step 10: Clean the Air Fryer
How To Use An Air Fryer 1
(CC BY-ND 2.0) by TheBetterDay

First-time use

After purchasing your air fryer, the first thing you need to do is to open the box and remove all detachable apparatuses. These may include an air fryer removable basket, a grate, or a holed tray at the bottom of the basket. Ensure to wash and dry the items properly. Generally, the air fryer is pretty easy and straightforward to use, as long as you follow the instructions on how to use it.

The rest of this article will give you a detailed explanation on how best to use an air fryer- the dos and don’ts. I encourage you to continue reading.

Ten General Steps on How to Use an Air Fryer

Step 1: Prepare the ingredients

Get ready for the food you intend to cook. This could involve washing, peeling, and cutting the food items into sizeable bits that would fit into the air fryer. For frozen food, take it out of the freezer.

Step 2: Prepare the Air Fryer

Get your air fryer prepared. Depending on the food, if you will need external accessories, you need to get them ready as well.  Before plugging and turning on the air fryer, be sure to check that it is clean and dry.

Step 3: Preheat the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer. Although the general notion is that air fryers do not need to be preheated, it is still an excellent idea to allow it to heat up for about 5 minutes. To preheat, set the air fryer to the highest heat level.

Step 4: Put the ingredients in the Air Fryer

Stack the food ingredients into the air fryer basket once the fryer is hot. Remember to use the proper accessories if need be.

Step 5: Avoid overcrowding

Avoid overcrowding in the air fryer cooking basket. This is because the food needs enough space to enable it to get exposed to hot air. Overcrowding the basket will only lead to undercooked and uneven cooked food.

Step 6: Add little oil

Add little oil into the air basket to ensure that the food will not stick together; neither will they stick to the basket while cooking.

Step 7: Cook according to the recipe

Different meals require different cooking times. This is why you should choose the correct setting that is appropriate for your meal. Many air fryers usually come with a guide that gives a breakdown of the durations and temperatures associated with each meal.

Step 8: Shake or turn often

Constantly shake or turn to aid, even cooking.

Step 9: Check if cooked properly

Before serving, always check that the food is done correctly. Even when the timer goes off, be sure to check that the food is cooked correctly before you take it out of the basket.

Step 10: Clean the Air Fryer

Clean your air fryer meticulously.

Air Fryers can be used for many different meal types

The air fryers can be comfortable and versatile when it comes to preparing lots of meals. Whether it is French fries, or fried chicken, bread, or vegetables, with the help of an air fryer, you can make all that with less fat and more speed.

– Grilling

The best part about barbecuing with your air fryer is that you don’t need to flip your fixings over for even cooking regularly. You should shake the container partially through the occasions cooking process. The hot-air streams around within the air fryer, warming up all sides of your food.

Most air fryers sometimes have a grilled layer or a grill pan with a handle included in them. This makes it simple for you to add and eliminate food from the fryer. The exterior of the grill can rapidly absorb any surplus fat, thereby producing a flawlessly grilled meal.

– Baking

Baking in a fryer is something you would almost or never hear every day. However, the reality is the air fryer is designed in a way that it can meet your baking needs. Baking with an air fryer typically takes between 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

Be sure to reduce the suggested temperature by 25 degrees F/ 5 degrees C. Baking time should be reduced by 20%. Keep a close eye and continuously check to see if it is done. Always preheat before using it. Try not to overcrowd the basket. Ensure the air fryer is cleaned after every use. Use oil or butter only where necessary

– Roasting

Roasting in an air fryer will roast your meal 20% times faster than using an oven.No preheating is required. The temperature should be set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Timings are dependent on the type of nut being roasted; (Almonds- 6 minutes, Hazelnut-6 minutes, Cashew nuts-8 minutes, and Peanuts-10 minutes). Ensure nuts are tossed halfway through cooking for even browning

– Frying

When frying with an air fryer, your meals tend to turn out crispy and tasty. Plus, consuming fried foods prepared by an air fryer is less fattening than when you use a deep fryer.

Merits of Using an Air Fryer

  • Healthier: It is a healthier way to cook, mainly because you can use very little oil to get crunchy and crispy textured foods, which helps to cut back on fatty oils.
  • Little cleanup: There is little cleanup required and not so much splashing of oil while cooking.
  • Crisp result: Due to its small cooking area and closeness of the heating area to the food, it tends to turn out crispy.
  • Quick: The air fryer baskets are smaller, which helps in cooking the food faster.
  • Good for weight loss: It helps to promote weight loss and healthy eating. You only use a little bit of oil
  • Less stress: It is perfect for people who have a tight and stressful work schedule and barely have time to cook and eat healthy food.

Demerits Of Using An Air Fryer

  • Not for large servings: Cooking big servings of food cannot be done except one cooks in multiple batches, which would take up a lot of time and be stressful.
  • Not cheap: Air fryers are not particularly cheap.
  • Some difficult to clean: Depending on the design and model, some can be a big headache to clean.
  • Burning: There is a high risk of food getting burnt.
  • Dry: Since little or no oil is required, the tendency for the food to turn out very dry cannot be denied. That is why one has to take extra care and be cautious when cooking crisp food
  • Loud: Note that the buzzing fan of air fryers are loud

Major Tips To Remember On The Usage Of An Air Fryer

  • Little oil: Use little or no oil. The air fryer has been designed so that you require little or no oil while cooking your food. So be sure to be on the lookout on the amount of oil you are adding when cooking.
  • Overcrowding: Make sure the air fryer is not overcrowded with food as this will prevent even cooking of your food.  A very major rule or guide to using an air fryer is ‘Do not overcrowd the air fryer food basket.’
  • Vent: Allow your air fryer to vent and cool down after every use properly, to avoid overheating and eventual breakdown of the appliance. 
  • Clean often: Clean it properly and as often as possible.
  • Avoid wet batter: Avoid putting any food with a wet batter in the air fryer because the batter can cause a huge mess.
  • Use accessories: Try to make use of external accessories related to the food you are cooking.  Although the air fryer comes with a food basket (which is pretty much all you need to make your favorite meals), however individual meals to be cooked in the air fryer still require the use of some external accessories. E.g., aluminum foil or parchment paper to keep the bottom of the fryer clean, grill mat, oil sprayers to prevent food from getting stuck, amongst others. 
  • Grate: Ensure the grate is always in the basket. This allows hot air to move around the food.
  • Shake: Shake the basket from time to time during cooking to help the food cook evenly. Like an oven, food being prepared in an air fryer should be regularly rotated and stirred to ensure an even browning of the food.
  • Watch: Keep an eye and stay close by the machine during use, even if you have set the timer.

Preheating or Not

Generally, the air fryer does not need to be preheated, especially compared to the oven; however, depending on the type of meal being prepared, you might have to preheat it for just a few minutes. Some models of air fryers do have an indicator to let you know when the appliance is preheated.

How to Achieve Even Browning with an Air Fryer

There are three basic methods to ensure food is cooked correctly and evenly browned, and it also depends on the design of the air fryer.

– Method 1: Pull-out drawer

Air fryer models that have a pull-out drawer and basket typically needs to be shaken manually every five minutes or thereabout to achieve an even cooking. Most models do not come with a timer, so the person cooking needs to be at alert.

– Method 2: Stirrer

Self-stirring air fryers come with a paddle that steadily stirs the food around the bowl all through the cooking process. This helps to remove the stress of having to remove the drawer/basket and shake the food manually.

– Method 3: Rotating basket multi-cooker

These models have a rotating basket embedded in them with rotates the food automatically. They have features that allow for functions like roasting, baking, and grilling.

Reasons for Using an Air Fryer

Numerous individuals constantly battle with their intake of fried meals. While many of them wish they could eliminate the calories they get from it; they likewise love the taste and crunch that accompanies it. That is the place the air fryer comes in.

  • Low-fat cooking: The air fryer stands apart from its rivals’ machines since it offers low-fat nourishments, for example, French fries and onion rings.
  • Fast: The air fryer can be utilized from various perspectives to help make your tight schedule, day by day life more sensible and easier.
  • Multiusage: The air fryer can bake, grill, or roast foods.
  • Without oil: It can cook without oil, set up different dishes immediately, and its parts can be effectively taken out for cleaning.
  • Many different recipes: The air fryer’s assortment of cooking alternatives helps individuals prepare any meal at whatever time of the day.

For what is an Air Fryer Best Used?

 An air fryer will be well used for:

  1. Small number of eaters: Small households and people who live alone and who enjoy frozen pre-cooked food
  2. No oven: People who live in a caravan or campervan of home without any oven.
  3. Crispy food lovers: People/cooks who enjoy using crispy foods to experiment

Cleaning Your Air Fryer

You must clean your air fryer immediately after every use. Some air fryer models are easier to clean than others. Cleaning your air fryer after every use is needed to avoid any buildup of grease in the drawer and on the heating element and prevent the smell of odors or rise of smoke while the food cooks.

  1. Do not wait: Avoid any delay in cleaning your air fryer. After cooking, unplug the air fryer, allow cooling, and then emptying the oil from the pull out drawer.
  2. Warm soapy water: Use warm, soapy water to clean the food basket and drawer. Also, make use of a soft sponge or cloth. If the food basket and drawer have food stuck on them, soak them in hot water and dish detergent. This will help to loosen the food. After this is done, you can proceed to wash them.
  3. Wooden skewer: To poke out foods that are stuck in the basket holes, ensure to use a wooden skewer or toothpick; after which you dry the air fryer basket and drawer
  4. Damp cloth: When attempting to clean the inside of your air fryer, use a damp cloth dipped in warm water. Ensure that the air fryer basket and drawers are removed. Look around the heating element for grease and food fragments and wipe clean. Then reassemble your air fryer.
  5. Exterior: Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe the exterior clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

– Is it possible to cook two meals at the same time?

Oh Yes! Some model of the air fryer has what is called a food separator which assists in preparing multiple meals at once without worrying about the flavors mixing.

– How to prevent food from sticking to the air fryer

The air fryer basket should be sprayed lightly with vegetable oil spray.

– How about putting paper in my air fryer?

Putting paper towels in your air fryer is not a good idea and is not recommended.

– How much oil do I need when coking with the air fryer?

You can use little or no oil to prepare your foods

– Adding water while air frying

Water can be added to the air fryer, especially when preparing fatty foods. The water should be added to the drawer underneath the basket, as this helps to stop grease from getting too hot.

– Is it possible to use my air fryer without the basket?

It is possible to do that if you have to; be careful not to block the airflow around your air fryer (also under the ingredients that you cook).

Final Remarks

There are several steps to using the air fryer, and there are several tips to always keep in mind. Operating the air fryer is arguably still very simple to use.  Air fryers are a modern kitchen appliance that requires little or no oil in cooking. It can be seen to offer a healthier way to eat, a time saver, and can allow one to enjoy their favorite food without feeling guilty or worried about adding unnecessary weight. It is rapidly growing, and soon, it just might become essential equipment in any home.

 Ensure the air fryer basket is not overcrowded when in use. This aids an evenly cooked food. Depending on the kind of food being prepared with the air fryer, the methods differ. Always adjust the cooking temperature to suit each meal; foods with oil should be put in the air fryer carefully and check for doneness early. Do not out in wet foods. Regularly and properly clean your air fryer after every use. Invest in and make use of external accessories depending on the type of food you are cooking. Remember to let your air fryer cool down after use and ensure enough space for it on the countertop while cooking.

Lastly, the air fryer, like every other appliance, as simple as it is, requires patience and proper understanding of how to work with it. Go through the operating manual that comes with the air fryer.  If you want to get optimum results, you should take your time to master the workings of this ‘miracle’ appliance.

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