Preparing to Air Fry
- If a food can be cooked in a microwave, in convection, or even in a toaster, then chances are it could be cooked with an air fryer. The smaller the ingredient is, the less time it will take to air fry. Find the ideal spot for your air fryer. The air fryer should be kept on a level, heat-resistant countertop, with at least five inches of space behind the air fryer, as this is where the exhaust vent is.
- Preheat the air fryer before you add your food. It’s simple enough to preheat an air fryer. All you have to do is turn it to the temperature you need and set a timer for a few minutes. The air fryer will be preheated and ready to cook your food when the timer goes off.
- You want to purchase a kitchen spray bottle. It’s easier to spray food than it is to brush or drizzle it. It also means you reduce how much oil you use. Oil sprays can come in cans, but these cans often contain aerosol agents that damage the non-stick surface of an air fryer basket. If you’re looking to spray foods directly as they are in the basket, then you need to invest in a bottle. It’ll be worth it!
- If you’re breading food then you must ensure you use the proper breading technique. Many air fryer recipes call on you to do some breading, and it’s important you never skip any steps in the process. 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. Because there is a powerful fan in the working mechanism of an air fryer, it can cause the breading to come off of the food. Pressing the crumbs down firmly like this ensures that the breading stays put.
- Be careful not to add too much oil to the heating chamber, and never overfill it. This is because using too much oil damages the air fryer.
- Use aluminium foil slings. It can be a little tricky to get accessory pieces into and out of your air fryer. You can make it easier on yourself by folding aluminium foil into strips roughly 2 inches by 24 inches. Put your cake pan or baking dish in the middle of the foil and use the ends of the foil to lift the accessory into the basket. Tuck or fold the ends of the aluminium foil into the basket and the put the basket in the fryer where it belongs. When the food is done and you need to remove the pan, just unfold the ends of the aluminium and use them to lift the pan back out of the air fryer. It’s simple really!
- Use the right accessories. You might decide to invest in some accessories for your air fryer when you get more comfortable with it. The thing is, you might actually have some already. Oven-safe cake pans and baking dishes should be safe to use with your air fryer, so long as they don’t touch the heating element. Of course, any accessory such as a cake pan needs to be able to fit inside the basket of your air fryer.
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While Air Frying
- If you’re cooking fatty foods then it’s a good idea to add water to the air fryer. Putting some water in the drawer underneath the basket stops grease from getting hot and smoking. This should be done when you cook fatty foods such as bacon, sausage, and particularly fatty burgers.
- You can hold food down by using toothpicks. Light foods can be picked up and blown around by the fans in the air fryer. Use toothpicks to prevent this by securing foods, such as the top slice of bread on your sandwich.
- Shake the basket every so often. Shaking the basket a few times while cooking redistributes the ingredients, making it easier for them to brown and crisp evenly.
- Avoid putting too much food into the basket and overcrowding it. You will no doubt be tempted to cook as much as possible, but over-doing it stops foods from browning and crisping properly. It also increases cooking time. Less is more when it comes to air frying.
- Don’t forget to consistently open the air fryer to check how done the food is. This is one of the great benefits of using an air fryer. You are able to open the drawer as much as you feel you need to and check how far along the cooking process is. This shouldn’t affect how long it takes the air fryer to cook the food. It either continues heating and timing as the basket is pulled out, or will just start again where it left off when the basket is returned to the fryer.
- Spray the food with oil part way through the cooking process. This is important if you want the food to be crispy and brown. Spraying food part way through the cooking process also browns the food more evenly.
- In order to prevent overcooking and optimise the cooking process, it’s a good idea to shake smaller ingredients halfway through the preparation time, much the same as you would when cooking with a grill or a skillet. Food should be turned over so that it can be cooked and brown evenly.
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After you Air fry
- Don’t pour the juices from the drawer away too quickly. The drawer found below the air fryer basket is there to collect a lot of juices from food as it cooks, and it also catches marinades poured over the food. If it’s not too greasy, then it can actually be used as a sauce for the food. You can also use a small saucepan to de-grease and reduce the liquid before using it to give it a stronger flavor.
- Remove the air fryer basket from the drawer before you turn out your food. This is one of the most important steps. If you make the mistake of not removing the basket, you aren’t likely to repeat it. If you do make this mistake, then what you end up with is a plate covered in fat and grease, as well as all the food you just air fried.
- When you are finished with your air fryer you need to clean the basket and the drawer. The air fryer draw is simple enough to clean, so there’s no excuse for not doing it. When you leave it without washing it, you are increasing the risk that your food will be contaminated. It also leaves a bad smell in your kitchen that only gets worse with time.
- Let the air fryer take care of drying itself. When you clean the basket and drawer of the air fryer, you can put them back in the fryer and turn it on for a few minutes. It dries everything out much faster and more efficiently than if you used a drying towel.
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Using the Air Fryer to Re-Heat Foods
There aren’t any hard or fast rules when it comes to the temperature and time that must be used to re-heat leftovers because of how much leftovers can vary. A general rule is to pre-heat the air fryer to 350 degrees and re-heating food to 165 degrees. It is vital that foods such as chicken, beef, and pork be reheated to the safe level of 165 degrees.
- You should read all the instructions before the first use of any air fryer.
- Remember not to place your appliance against your wall or against any another appliance.
- You should leave around 5 inches a space free on the back of the air fryer and its side.
- Try not to use your appliance for any other reason or purpose other than the ones described in your manual.
- Try not to use any kind of accessible surfaces that will become hot during your use.
- Remember not to place any object on the top of your appliance.
- Most importantly, do not place your appliance near any combustible things or materials.