If you have one and know how to use an air fryer for healthy recipes, then you understand the obsession.
But if you don’t have an air fryer by now — you’re seriously missing out (especially on all the surprising air fryer recipes)!
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1. Don’t buy a low-quality, cheap air fryer.
Don’t give in to your frugal impulses and buy a low-quality air fryer. It’s easy to want to save extra cash, but it may cost you more in the end.
Instead, wait for an air fryer deal on a high-end model. We’ll let you know about the hottest discounts on reliable brands like Phillips, Black+Decker, NuWave and Bella. Once you download the free KCL app, set deal alerts for air fryers. The next amazing deal will be sent right to your phone.
2. Purchase the correct size air fryer for your family.
Air fryers come in three sizes:
- Small: 2.2-3.7 quarts
- Large: 5-6 quarts
- Extra Large: 8-16 quarts
Here’s a basic rule of thumb: if it’s for two adults, buy a small one. If it’s for a family, buy a large (or extra-large) air fryer.
3. Allow the air fryer five inches of space all around for the best air flow.
Now that the purchasing tips are out of the way, you might be wondering how to use an air fryer properly.
First tip: air fryers need adequate space for airflow to ensure they don’t overheat and can operate efficiently.
Before trying out your first air fryer recipe, make sure you don’t place any objects on top of your air fryer. This should be a no-brainer, but here’s a reminder on how to use an air fryer the safe way: set your fryer on top of a heat resistant pad or mat to avoid melting or worse, fires.
4. Do you have to preheat an air fryer?
Yep, you should! Like an oven, air fryers should be preheated before you throw cold or room-temp food in the basket. Preheat your air fryer for about 10 minutes or according to the air fryer recipe.
5. Do air fryers use oil?
Most people think that you don’t need to use oil in an air fryer, but that can lead to soggy, dry, or chewy food.
While you don’t need to put oil in an air fryer like you would a deep fryer, you do need a light layer of oil before cooking food. A drizzle or spritz of oil on air fryer fries or other raw foods will prevent ingredients from over-cooking. Oil will also help any seasonings stay on.
Air fryers move hot air around to cook foods, so spices or anything super light will be blown around the basket. It may not seem like a big deal, but it can clog your filter, which can eventually lead to a broken air fryer.
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6. Air fryer vegetables don’t need to be raw — cook frozen veggies instead.
Take this tip with a grain of salt. When I cook air fryer vegetables, I’ve always had much better results with frozen veggies than raw. They turn out more crisp and less soggy. Try it out!
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7. Don’t put too much food in the air fryer basket.
When you overcrowd the air fryer, it won’t cook thoroughly, and it increases cooking time.
8. Is your air fryer smoking? Time to clean it.
An air fryer smoking means there’s too much fat that has collected in the bottom of the pan. To avoid this, clean out any excess oil or fat from the air fryer pan before using.
This leads us to the question, “Can you put foil in an air fryer to catch extra grease and fat for easy cleanup?” Sure, as long as your air fryer manual says it’s safe to put foil in your air fryer. Most fryers work best only when air can easily circulate around food, especially through the holes in your air fryer basket. Blocking airflow with foil — either in the basket or the tray below it — could decrease effectiveness and be dangerous. That’s why you should always refer to your owner’s manual.
9. If you’re breading food, do it the right way.
Coat the food with flour first, then egg, and then add the breadcrumbs. Be diligent about pressing the breadcrumbs onto the food with your hands so they don’t fly around the pan.
10. Don’t assume cleaning your air fryer every few weeks is effective.
Always clean your air fryer after every use. First off, you don’t want the taste of fish sticks that you cooked last night on the cinnamon rolls you’re cooking for breakfast this morning. Ew.
Second, your air fryer will smoke a lot more if you don’t clean it after every use.
11. Don’t wash your air fryer in the dishwasher.
Most manufacturers say you can wash the parts in the dishwasher, but I’ve found that washing the machine by hand will increase the lifespan of your air fryer.
Have more tips and tricks on how to use an air fryer or how to clean it? Please leave them in the comments below!