23 Tips for Using an Air Fryer [Beginners]

Home » Air Fryer Info » 23 Tips for Using an Air Fryer [Beginners]

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: October 25, 2023

Just bought an air fryer? 

Great! Now, you want to get the most out of it but need to figure out where to start.

Prepare to be amazed by this versatile kitchen appliance that can crisp up your favourite foods without excessive oil, as you need in an electric oven or deep-fat fryer.

To help you make the most of your air fryer, we've compiled these 23 tips to ensure your air frying journey is successful. Let's dive in!

23 Tips for Using An Air Fryer: Your Guide To Air Frying Success

1. Read The Instruction Manual

Yes, boring, I know, but read the instruction manual with your air fryer for a few minutes. Thank me later. It will provide essential information about functions, settings, and safety precautions specific to your model.

2. Pre-Heat Your Air Fryer

Like traditional ovens, pre-heating your air fryer can help ensure even cooking and optimal results. Most air fryers have a pre-heat function, so use it! Preheat first, and add food afterwards.

3. Use Parchment Paper Or Silicone Liners

To prevent sticking and make cleaning up a breeze, line the bottom of your air fryer basket with parchment paper or use silicone liners designed for air fryers.

4. Don't Overcrowd The Basket

Packing in as much food as possible is tempting, but overcrowding can result in uneven cooking. Leave space between items for air to circulate and ensure everything gets crispy and golden.

5. Shake Or Flip Midway

To ensure even cooking, shake the basket or flip the food halfway through the cooking process. This helps expose all sides to the hot air for consistent browning.

6. Experiment With Different Cooking Times 

Air fryers can cook food faster than traditional methods, so keep an eye on cooking times and adjust as needed. Start with the recommended times and make adjustments based on your preferences.

7. Pat Dry Moist Foods

Ensure moisture-free surfaces on foods like meat and tofu before placing them in the air fryer. This helps achieve a delightful, crispy exterior.

8. Spritz With Oil

While air fryers use less oil than deep frying, an oil sprayer to add a light spritz of cooking oil can enhance the crispiness of certain foods like potatoes or breaded items.

9. Season Liberally

Be bold and get creative with your seasonings! Season your food liberally before air frying to maximize flavour using herbs, spices, marinades and rubs.

4 spoons, each with a different spice

Marinate your proteins or vegetables before air frying for an extra burst of flavour. This will infuse your ingredients with deliciousness from the inside out.

10. Elevate Food With A Rack

If you want to achieve even crispness, elevate your food using a wire rack inside the air fryer basket. This allows hot air to circulate underneath, resulting in perfectly cooked items.

11. Remember To Pre-Heat Frozen Foods

Unlike traditional deep frying, pre-heating frozen foods before air frying can help improve the texture and ensure they cook evenly.

12. Experiment With Homemade Versions Of Frozen Favorites

Instead of relying solely on store-bought frozen foods, try making your own versions. You'll love the fresher taste, from crispy chicken tenders to homemade french fries.

13. Opt For Lean Cuts Of Meat: 

Air frying works wonders with lean cuts of meat since they have minimal fat to drip and splatter. Enjoy juicy and tender chicken breasts, pork chops, or fish fillets with a lovely crispy exterior.

lean cuts of meat

14. Use A Meat Thermometer

When cooking meat, it's crucial to ensure it reaches the proper internal temperature for food safety. Invest in a meat thermometer to take the guesswork out of cooking.

15. Embrace Air-Fried Veggies

Air fryers are not just for frying. Give your veggies a delightful makeover by tossing them in a little oil and seasoning, then air-frying them for a healthy and crispy side dish.

16. Experiment With Air-Fried Desserts

You can also make delicious desserts in an air fryer. From apple chips to churros and doughnuts, satisfy your sweet tooth with healthier air-fried treats.

17. Accessories

Explore a range of accessories designed for air fryers, such as baking pans and skewer racks. Expand your culinary horizons and diversify your air frying adventures.

muffin tins, one empty, one filled with delicious cup-cakes

18. Clean After Each Use

Cleaning your air fryer after each use is necessary to maintain the performance and longevity of your air fryer. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the basket, tray, and other removable parts.

Avoid abrasive cleaners and harsh scrub brushes that could damage the non-stick coating.

Check your instruction manual for Dishwasher safety.

19. Keep An Eye On Delicate Foods

Foods like herbs and thinly sliced vegetables can cook quickly in an air fryer. Monitor them closely to prevent burning or overcooking.

20. Reheat Leftovers

Revive yesterday's leftovers by reheating them in the air fryer. Enjoy the same crispiness and freshness as if they were freshly cooked.

21. Cooling Time

Let your air fryer cool down before cleaning or storing it. This ensures safety and prolongs the lifespan of your appliance.

22. Have Fun And Experiment

Embrace the joy of air frying! Feel free to experiment with new recipes and techniques. Let your imagination run wild and savour the delicious results.

tray with chis, broccoli and meat with a cheese sauce

Don't limit yourself to traditional fried foods. Experiment with different recipes and try air-frying vegetables, tofu, and desserts like cookies or brownies.

23. Get A Cookbook Or Join Online Communities

Expand your air frying repertoire by getting a dedicated air fryer cookbook or joining online communities. Share tips and recipes, and learn from other air frying enthusiasts.

Air Fryer Tips For Beginners: Summing Up

With these tips for using an air fryer, you're on your way to unlocking the full potential of this fantastic kitchen appliance. Enjoy healthier, tastier meals without sacrificing flavour or crunch. Happy air frying!

If you have questions about air fryers, we have answered a whole stack of them here.

Disclaimer: Please refer to your specific air fryer model's instruction manual for any unique guidelines or safety precautions.

You Might Also Be Interested In …

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
Latest posts by Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel (see all)