Recently invested in an air fryer? Your world is about to be rocked! Cooking with the air fryer is a fun way to enjoy delicious, restaurant quality food from the comfort of your own home! These 5 air fryer tips for the new user are perfect to help ease into this new style of cooking alongside 10 delicious and nutritious recipes. Enjoy!
Air Fryer 101: why you made a good investment.
If you’ve landed on this post, you likely already own an air fryer. Or, you are highly considering buying one!
Either way, I’m not kidding when I said your world is about to be rocked!
DYK air fried cooking is one of the hottest trends of 2020.
And, for good reason!
Cooking with the air fryer can:
- Help create a healthier lifestyle in your kitchen
- Increase produce consumption
- Lower trans fat intakes
- Save on your dining out budget
- Decrease your energy bills
- Prevent your entire house from heating up (i.e. you don’t have to use the oven!)
While these are just a few of the benefits to air fryer cooking, every new user can be assured they made a great investment when they bought their air fryer!
The downside to air fried cooking.
Alright, not everything is 100% peachy keen all of the time. Hence, I’m going to address the downfalls of air fried cooking too.
Now, let me preface, the downsides are really only if you didn’t purchase the right type of fryer for your needs.
For instance, if you’re typically cooking for 10 people are you purchased a 3 quart fryer, well then yes, you will be making multiple batches until you get the volume you need to feed your crew.
However, if you purchased a 10 quart fryer, then you should be set and have to spend very minimal time batch cooking recipes.
Another thing you do need to factor in is that you need to give the recipe a lot of TLC while it’s in the air fryer.
Meaning it’s not like the Instant Pot, there is no “set it and leave it” option.
The upside: many recipes are born in under 20 minutes! So, you can easily set a timer to start on a salad or another kitchen task before you need to shake the basket.
Confused on what I mean when I say “shake the basket”? Don’t worry, I’ll get into this tip now!
Rest assured if you follow these tips, you won’t be disappointed in the end results of your air fryer creations!
#1: Read the instruction manual for your air fryer.
I know I know, boring! But seriously, air fryer manufacturers put those in there for a reason. Since essentially the hot air is helping to cook the food and give it that perfect texture, you’ll want to know why they have certain preset functions!
For instance, if your fryer has the “bake” logo on it, this could already have a built in temperature zone for your particular air fryer model that will have those cookies coming out golden brown on the outside and gooey on the inside! YUM!
#2: Don’t overcrowd the basket!
I get it, time is tight! But, if you’re craving that crispy, crunchy kale chip, don’t layer the kale on top of each other.
You need to allow space for the air to circulate around the food and provide that “fried” texture to it, especially when you shake the basket. This just means you will need to literally shake the basket every few minutes to allow for that even cooking.
#3: Season your food.
Sure, crunch is a big win in the texture department, but if you’re throwing tortillas into the air fryer and hoping to get the same taste as those Tostito’s you purchase, you’re going to be disappointed.
A little lime, garlic, salt and oil goes a long way in the flavor department. You don’t need to submerge the food in oil like a deep fryer, but a light mist of extra virgin olive oil will help bring the flavor into your foods!
Plus, adding a healthy fat to your veggies actually helps your body absorb the nutrition from those vegetables further.
#4: Don’t douse the fryer basket or trays in cooking spray.
Yes, please do not do this. Actually, I recommend not using any commercial cooking sprays in your air fryer because this can actually deteriorate the lining.
Instead, invest in a kitchen safe spray bottle or spritzer, fill it with olive or avocado oil, and use a light mist to spray the basket to prevent foods from sticking.
#5: Do not let the food carry over cook inside!
Unlike your traditional oven where you can let certain recipes “carry-over-cook” using the already heated oven to finish cooking the food, the air fryer is such a small, compact unit you will want to select the appropriate cooking time for each recipe and remove the food immediately when it is done.
Well, let’s just say I learned the hard way and those burgers turned into hockey pucks!
For more helpful tips on how to use your air fryer, be sure to tune into the Nutrition Diva podcast here! We covered all the major things to consider when cooking with your air fryer.
10 Healthy recipes to try in the air fryer
Trust me, you want to avoid searching Pinterest because let’s be real, not all the recipes on there are going to work like you want.
These 10 recipes are taken from my dietitian blogging colleagues who rest assured you can rely on!
Need more help with your air fryer? I got you.
Still need a little hand holding? I get it! And that’s why I’m so happy to share with you my latest book, The Air Fryer Cookbook For Dummies!
This labor of love is for all my new users looking for a guide that’s filled with helpful tips, over 100 recipes, meal plans, and more.
You can preorder/order the book now from Amazon here.