14 Air Fryer Tips to Lift Your Cooking Game!

So you’ve bought yourself an air fryer, congratulations, consider your LIFE CHANGED. Here are 14 useful tips to put your best foot forward and become an air fryer queen!

But firstly, there are a few things every air fryer user needs to know. So whether you’re new to the game, or a seasoned pro – just make sure you’re getting the BEST, most DELICIOUS result by knowing these tips.

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1. Preheat – Yes or No?

Not all air fryers are created equal, so it’s best to check your manual. There’s no harm in preheating for a couple of minutes, but depending on your air fryer model, it might not be necessary because air fryers heat up so quickly.

2. You still need SOME oil

A common misconception is that no oil is needed for an air fryer. Alas, you do or you’ll have shrivellzed dry food. Just give your food a quick spritz and avoid a soaking. Crumbed foods and foods you want a crunch with (hello, chips!), give them an extra spritz halfway through cooking for delicious results. Yum!

3. Shake it, baby

Give hot chips, chicken wings, chicken nuggets and the like a shake every 5-10 minutes or so when cooking to avoid them sticking together. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long for the air fryer to get back to temperature.

4. High fat = smoke

Anyone who has ever cooked a pork belly in their air fryer might have experienced a LOT of smoke. Excessive oil and grease which pools in the drawer can cause a smoking air fryer. Either pause cooking and tip the oil out from under the oil trap in the drawer or try popping a piece of bread under the basket to soak oil up and continue cooking.

NOTE: If you’re not cooking something greasy or fatty and the air fryer starts smoking. STOP COOKING, it could be an appliance fault.

5. Watch the time

The air fryer is a much more compact, concentrated oven so it WILL take less time to cook something than what it does in a traditional oven. So DO knock the cooking time back a bit and keep an eye on it to prevent any charred mishaps.

air fryer fried ice-cream ball
Err on the side of caution with cook times. These things cook FAST. Source: Supplied

6. Clean it!

A clean air fryer is a much more efficient, healthier air fryer. No one wants last week’s old bacon fat or nugget crumbs blowing around their food as it cooks, so CLEAN IT. #justdoit

7. Using baking paper and foil

It’s tempting to line the air fryer basket with baking paper or foil, because it’ll mean less mess, right? Not so much. The way an air fryer cooks is by circulating the hot air around the basket, so baking paper and foil block the airflow, making your food cook less evenly, or even cook slower.

8. Lightweights, be warned

If you’ve ever tried to make kale chips in the air fryer, you’ll know those light, smaller leaves can sometimes fly around with the force of the fan. Be careful and remove once cooked to prevent burning on the heating element.

9. Crowd control

Don’t be tempted to overcrowd your air fryer basket! Overcrowding the basket will prevent your food from crisping up and browning, you’ll have a half-cooked soggy mess instead. If you need more room, you need a bigger air fryer!

10. Avoid aerosol spray oil

I get it, aerosol spray oils are SO very handy and mess-free, but they will damage the coating on your air fryer basket over time. Stick to using a refillable oil mister or spray bottle and your basket will last much longer.

air fryer tips
Decor bottle available at supermarkets! Source: Supplied

11. The air fryer is your go-to for reheating

The air fryer is AWESOME for reheating. It may take a little longer than a microwave but it’s well worth the effort. Reheat at a warm 170°C until heated through – No soggy pizza ever again, and done in a few minutes!

12. Put your air fryer on a timber chopping board

It’s important to remember that even this neat appliance is completely portable, it IS a mini oven and it does pose a HOT risk to benchtops – particularly those made from stone, which can crack under the extreme heat. Put the air fryer on a chopping board to help disperse heat.

13. Pull your air fryer away from splashbacks

Again, much like the benchtop, you need to protect your splashback from being damaged by the blast of hot air escaping out the back vents of your air fryer. Just pull it forward so there’s room for air to circulate and you’re good to go!

14. Experiment a little

Look beyond the bag of chips. You might be REALLY surprised by just how much you can cook in your air fryer. You can cook STEAK in 10 minutes and it’s amaaazzzzing, a whole chicken or pork belly (if it will fit) is SUPER easy. Plus,  you can even bake mini desserts or ice cream balls in there too. Once you start, you won’t look back!

Philips Airfryer XXL action

There you have it, 14 brilliantly useful air fryer tips to get you on your cooking way! Happy frying!

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Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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