Air fryers are revolutionising the kitchen and the meals we make. They offer healthier alternatives to a lot of our traditional cooking techniques as well as helping to cook some more creative meals. In this article we highlight some of our favourite cooking hacks to make the most of your air fryer.
Preheating for crispy perfection
A brilliant yet simple piece of advice for cooking with your air fryer is to preheat. Preheating ensures that your air fryer is at the desired temperature ready for cooking. This helps to effortlessly achieve even and crispy results without needing to cook for longer times and risk burning. We recommend checking any recipes over for times and temperature guidance, and getting your air fryer pre-heated ready for cooking.
The parchment paper trick
You can use parchment paper in your air fryer to help with cooking results and the clean-up. The parchment paper stops the food from sticking to the air fryer basket as it may stick to the paper, or not stick at all due to the material. Whilst this is great for reducing mess, it also helps with cooking as it means your food is less likely to clump together and stick. This means that when you’re serving up the food you can still have an aesthetically pleasing dish.
Spritzing with oil
You can add oil to your air fryer to get crispier results with added flavouring. Rather than pour the oil on, why not try an oil spritzer? These are available from a variety of retailers. They allow for a lighter application of oil so you can either add a slight touch of flavouring without worrying about covering the food too heavily. A little oil will also aid to get things extra crispy!
Layering for efficiency
To get amazing results, you need to become an expert at layering. You should start with a base layer of food that requires a longer cooking time. For example, chicken. Then, you add the lighter ingredients on top, such as vegetables. Depending on the cooking times, you can simply add the lighter ingredients part-way through the cooking process so that the whole meal finishes cooking at the same time.
The flip and shake technique
Up your air fryer game by using the flip and shake technique. It isn’t as energetic as it sounds, but simply means shaking the basket during the cooking process. This promotes air circulation as the food moves about, allowing all the items in the basket to cook evenly. We recommend shaking the basket every 10-15 minutes but if unsure refer to the recipe you are following for your appliance.
Baking in the air fryer
Most air fryers can also be used for baking. This means you are able to whip up bread, muffins, and even cakes in your appliance. To do this, adjust the temperature and reduce the cooking time. The baking timings will differ to traditional ovens as air fryers are compact. We recommend checking out some air fryer cake recipes online to try some of your favourite cake recipes.
You may be used to heating up leftovers in the microwave. Did you know reheating in an air fryer can help to crisp your food to keep a freshly cooked taste? We recommend reheating in short intervals with your air fryer to monitor any sogginess from residual moisture. Depending on the food you are cooking, you may wish to put some covering on top of the food in the fryer, such as some parchment paper, to keep the right level of moist.
Dehydrating with your air fryer
Depending on your model of appliance, you may find your air fryer has a dehydrating function. This function allows you to dry foods such as fruits. You can these this feature to dry some sliced fruits to create healthy snacks. It is a great way to preserve food and make alternative dishes.
Air fryer cleaning hacks
It’s not all about cooking methods, but you can get great results by keeping your appliance well-maintained. We recommend removing stuck-on food and debris by gently scrubbing with a soft cloth and non-abrasive cleaners. Use a silicone cover in your air fryer during the cooking process, or parchment paper as mentioned above, to prevent food from sticking. This makes the cleaning process much easier. You can read more about cleaning your air fryer here.
Transforming frozen foods
Rather than sticking your frozen foods in the oven, you can enhance their flavouring with an air fryer. When you would normally put them in the oven, put them in the air fryer and add any desired flavouring or oil to crisp to perfection. The heat and air circulation in the air fryer can give the frozen food a perfect finish.
With these tips, you should be able to enhance your air frying cooking game with no stress. Remember to follow the guidance for the recipe you are following and the instructions for your specific model.
Check out our air fryer blog on 10 easy recipes to get you started here.