Air Fryers are incredibly easy to use, hence their surging popularity. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind to help your meals turn out great! That’s not to say that not following these tips would ruin an otherwise great meal, but it never hurts to take advice when available!
- Mix fine ingredients in with the oil. One of the features inherent to all air fryers is just that – they move air! And air has the tendency to blow things around, particularly very fine ingredients like salt, pepper, and spices. One trick is to simply mix these ingredients with the oil before adding it to the air fryer. This coats them and prevents them from blowing into the filters of the machine.
- Use a high quality oil. When cooking with an air fryer it doesn’t hurt to use the best quality oil available to you. Because of the low quantity of oil required when air frying, don’t be afraid to live a little and use some of that $30/bottle olive oil or a nice coconut oil. You would never be able to do this with deep-frying because of the volume required. When thinking quality, think “health” too and choose a healthy alternative to other oils high in saturated fats.
- Add the slowest-cooking ingredients first. Don’t be afraid to open the air fryer at various points during cooking and add additional ingredients. This is especially important when cooking recipes that contain ingredients with vastly different cooking times. If you add all ingredients at the start, often times parts of the recipe will be overcooked or burnt. Add slow cooking vegetables like potatoes at the start, and faster cooking items like mushrooms and onions when at about the half way point in cooking.
- Don’t wash your air fryer in the dishwasher. While many air fryer manufacturers advertise that their appliances can be disassembled and washed in the dishwasher, my advice is — DON’T!! Dishwashers are incredibly harsh on plastics and non-stick surfaces. You’ll increase the longevity of your air fryer ten-fold if you spend the extra few minutes and hand wash your machine.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment! Air fryers are incredibly forgiving machines when it comes to experimentation. It’s virtually impossible to make so disastrous an error as to render the meal inedible. See a recipe that you want to try but don’t like one of the ingredients? Change it out! Have an idea for something new but you’ve never tried it before? Throw it all in the air fryer and you’ll know in 20 minutes how it worked! Unlike baking or making soup from scratch, it’s very difficult to totally mess up an air-fried meal. Have fun!