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How to Use an Air Fryer

The air fryer is one of the greatest inventions in the modern kitchen. I won’t detail its advantages here; if you read about how to use it, you’ll likely understand what a fantastic device it is. But if this kitchen tool is new to you, let’s explore how it works. In other words, what should you know about using an air fryer?

Of course, the usage of every air fryer depends slightly on the type, so it’s worth reading the manual. Here, I’ve gathered general information. However, the good news is that even if you haven’t used such a device before, and it might seem unfamiliar at first, you will quickly come to love and learn how to use it.

What Exactly Is an Air Fryer?

The most important thing to know, which also helps in understanding how to use an air fryer, is that it is essentially an oven. Its design is very similar to a traditional deep fryer, but the heating medium is hot, circulated air.

Practically, there is a basket, the size of which varies depending on the air fryer model, into which we can place the food to be cooked. After setting the temperature and time, the fryer prepares the food.

The basket usually consists of two non-stick parts: the inner part is perforated, and the outer part is completely closed. Thus, when using the air fryer, you can even pour water into the basket, creating some steam or a less dry environment.

Key Points for Using an Air Fryer

Like any kitchen appliance, you can best understand an air fryer through use. But to understand how to use it, we need to go through the following steps:

  • Preheating
  • Setting temperature and time
  • Tips
  • Recipes
  • Maintenance and care

Preheating the Air Fryer

Almost every recipe in the air fryer will turn out delicious only if you preheat the device. In other words, do not place the food in a cold basket but in one that is already preheated.

Most models have a preheating program; simply turn it on, and the fryer will preheat itself. If there is no such program or you are unsure, operate the fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 C) for 5 minutes.

Setting Temperature and Time

When baking in an air fryer, the two most important factors are the baking temperature and baking time. Simply put, this is the secret to every recipe, and if you set the temperature and time correctly, the food will be delicious.

Recipes usually provide both values, which you just need to follow. In many cases, you can also find the baking time and temperature on the packaging of pre-prepared products.

Most air fryers have a “program” where you can freely set the temperature and time. Additionally, most models have other programs, but these are essentially preset temperatures and times for preparing specific types of food.

Air Fryer Celsius Temperature and Baking Time

As with a normal oven, it’s also true for air fryers that every model is a bit different. Furthermore, the ideal baking temperature and especially the baking time can greatly depend on the amount of food placed in the basket. For example, if you are using it for just one person, the food will usually be ready faster than if you are cooking for an entire family.

So, it is worth getting to know and exploring your own air fryer. If you prepare the same food multiple times, it will become second nature over time.

Tips for Using an Air Fryer

There are a few tips worth knowing in general when using an air fryer.

  1. Get to know your specific model, including its programs. This is the most unique aspect, but it’s worth spending some time on it. Firstly, read the user manual of your air fryer, and secondly, try out the different programs with various foods.
  2. It’s worth shaking or turning most foods halfway through. This is especially true for foods where you want a crispy crust. For bulk foods (e.g., fries), shake the basket halfway through – many models and programs will remind you of this – while for chunkier foods (e.g., schnitzel), turn them over.
  3. It’s worth pouring a little water between the two baskets of the air fryer if you don’t want to sear your ingredient. Air frying can dry out the food a lot. Examples include steak, pumpkin, or even pastries.
Roasting pumpkin slices in air fryer 2


One of the best methods to fully utilize the air fryer is to start making specific recipes with it. These always help you get to know the device, give a sense of accomplishment, and later, you can even experiment with your own recipes based on these.

I have three suggestions for finding air fryer recipes:

  • Most air fryers come with a recipe book. This is especially useful because these recipes often include the different programs of the specific machine. However, be cautious, as there is no guarantee that such recipes are always reliable.
  • Here on this website, you can find a bunch of reliable and tested air fryer recipes; click on the link.
  • Use the internet and search engines like Google. If you want to make anything, simply type the recipe name into the search engine followed by “air fryer.” You can find more and more good recipes this way.

My first suggestion is to make a batch of fries in your air fryer. This is not a big challenge, but it definitely provides a huge sense of accomplishment and can even make you fall in love with the air fryer by itself.

French fries in air fryer basket

My second suggestion is to try my air frier pork schnitzel recipe. I’ll show you a trick that ensures you won’t be disappointed using this machine.

Making pork schnitzel in air fryer 3

Maintenance and Care

Fortunately, your air fryer doesn’t require much maintenance; you mainly need to pay attention to cleaning and washing it.

The basket is removable and usually consists of two parts, which can also be disassembled. Since their coating is non-stick, they are very easy to clean. Simply wash it with a damp, soapy cloth or sponge. The basket itself can even be placed in the dishwasher.

It’s important to wash the basket after every use. This way, you’ll always be able to cook in it cleanly, and food residues won’t burn onto it.

Be careful not to scrub or scour it, as this will ruin the coating. If the dirt is very stubborn, soak it for a few minutes, and then it will be easy to wash off.

It’s also worth occasionally wiping the device itself very lightly with a damp cloth on the outside to keep it looking nice.

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