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What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

So, you have your air fryer, or you’re about to get one, and you have no idea what you want to make in it. It’s an exciting new appliance, and we know it can feel overwhelming when you first have things set up, but trust me when I say you’ll be an air frying master in no time.

Your favorite fried foods are about to become healthier, more delicious, and easier than ever to make. Oh, but what’s this? Your air fryer doesn’t just have to be for chicken wings and fries? Nope, you can roast potatoes and bake fresh cookies in there too – it’s incredible. What can you cook in an air fryer? Everything. Well, almost everything.

Are you ready for the most exciting cooking journey of your life? Well, I might be exaggerating a little, but it’s going to be in your top three. Scroll down and let me take you through the glory of the air fryer.

What is an Air Fryer Anyway?

Essentially, an air fryer is a countertop convection oven. The main difference is that it fries instead of bakes and an air fryer possesses a lot more power for all those tasty fried treats. The best part is that it replicates the results you get from a regular deep fryer, and while the taste and texture are a little different it really is for the better.

All you need to make this work is a little oil, and sometimes there is no oil at all, and you get the same deliciousness that you would with a standard fryer. But you don’t get the grease or the heart-clogging fat, that’s the big plus side here.

Using the air fryer is simple as well. You have the fan and the heating mechanism at the top while the basket that you place the food in sits at the bottom. You switch it on, the hot air fries the food, and you get the lovely crispness that you know and love.

Want to learn more about what an air fryer is and how it works? Well, you should definitely check out our detailed guide on the topic here to have all your questions answered.

What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

The part you’ve all been waiting for, what you can actually cook in an air fryer. Here are the top five categories and some of the delicious items you can throw in for fantastic results.

#1 Frozen finger foods

Those frozen fried foods are a great comfort after a long day when you just want to curl up and indulge. Some of the best choices are things like:

  • Chicken nuggets
  • Mozzarella sticks
  • Frozen french fries
  • Frozen hash browns
  • Frozen chicken wings

#2 Homemade finger foods

Some of these ideas are truly delightful, and they’re also ones I have tried myself with great success. Give these a go, you won’t regret it:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pickles (seriously, do it)
  • Papas rellenas
  • Mozzarella sticks, fresh gooey cheese PLEASE
  • Chicken anything, especially wings though with fresh marinade

#3 Meat and fish

Fresh meat and fish come out incredibly juicy and tender, you really won’t regret your choices when you stick these in the air fryer. There are SO many suggestions, but there are some of my personal favorites:

  • Nashville hot chicken
  • Keto meatballs (seriously good)
  • Crumbed sole

#4 Vegetables

Air fryers are truly fantastic for roasting vegetables, and it’s going to change your life just as it did mine. Think of it this way you can roast ANYTHING (almost) including:

  • Potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Parsnips
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower

#5 Baked goods

Dessert for one, anyone? Well, an air fryer is perfect for a single-serving dessert to top off the night in just the way you needed. It might seem weird and greasy, but in actuality, it is a fantastic option and one that will really settle that sweet tooth. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cookies (gooey and delicious)
  • Peppermint lava cakes
  • Nutella doughnuts
  • Little cakes

Anyone else getting hungry after reading all this? Just me? I might need a snack break… Either way, this is just a taste of the things you can use your air fryer to cook. There are so many incredible dishes, and loads of them are healthy options as well.

Is it Healthy to Eat Air Fryer Food?

Yup, eating food from an air fryer is pretty healthy – especially when you compare it to your standard deep fryer. You still get the crispy coating and the juicy insides but without the grease and oil you would normally expect. That’s because when you do need oil., it’s just a little spray over the batter.

Obviously, the standard rule of everything in moderation comes into play here. You don’t want to eat air fried food every day and you need to keep up your exercise. But in comparison to deep-fried food, you will find a reduced risk of chronic disease, heart issues, and weight problems.

How Do You Use an Air Fryer?

Using an air fryer is really simple, and really you don’t even need a full step-by-step guide to understand it. Just take a quick glance below and you’ll see just how easy this process is.

First, place all your food in the basket. Most air fryers allow for between 2 and 10 quarts but there are some that offer more. When that’s done, you can either add a couple of teaspoons of oil or none at all – it just depends on what you’re making.

When that is sorted, you can set the timer ready to go. Most of the time it will only need to be between 5 and 25 minutes and an air fryer doesn’t really need preheating either. The temperature will be between 350-400F, depending on what you’re cooking.

Pay attention to the recipe as some will need you to turn the food halfway through the process. When the timer goes off, you can enjoy your food and then worry about cleaning up once you are finished and the air fryer has cooled down.

Ultimate Air Fryer Cooking Tips

Well, when you are cooking with an air fryer you might as well enjoy some of the classics with my ultimate tips and tricks to keep you on top of your frying game.

Always make sure your fryer is on a level surface to ensure that cooking is even and you get great results. You should also take the time to invest in accessories to make cooking easier, just make sure they are compatible with your air fryer first.

A foil sling will make cleaning much easier after you have used your air fryer, and you can also use the juices from the collection tray to make a sauce or gravy. This won’t work every time, but there are dishes where the marinade really works well to sauce up your dish and bring an extra blast of flavor to the table.

When you are breading your food, never use flour-based batter or wet batter as it just won’t cook as well. Follow the proper breading techniques and ensure it binds properly to prevent crumbs from flying everywhere and getting lodged in the fryer.

If you are cooking something like bacon or sausages, these are very fatty foods that can cause smoking and the air fryer to overheat. To avoid this, add a little water to the fryer drawer before you start cooking and you will have crispy results without the coughing and smoke (nice).

Some of the best cooking tips are the simple ones, like not overcrowding the basket so that your food is able to cook properly without sticking to each other and overhanging. You also need to remember to flip most foods halfway through if you want that even coating and maximum crispiness.

Want to ensure you have the best flavor? Take the basket out halfway through cooking and give it a shake to ensure the seasoning and marinades are spread evenly. If it is looking a little dry and not as crispy as you would like, give it a quick spray with oil just to moisten it up.

To Conclude

Hopefully, you are now fully prepared to take on your air fryer and create some truly incredible dishes. Finger foods, dinner, desserts, all of it is available at the click of a button and with minimal effort. All of this, and there is minimal impact on your health because it uses little to no oil. What could be better?

But what if you haven’t got an air fryer yet? Well, the good news is that you can check out our incredible guide to the best air fryers to help you make the correct choice. In fact, why not slide over there and take a look at what we have lined up?

Got your own recipes that you’d like us to try? Well, we’d love to hear about them all, so make sure you tell us about them in the comment section below. Maybe we will even include them in this guide.

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