7 Super Effective Tips of Using an Air Fryer

7 Super Effective Tips of Using an Air Fryer

Are you an air fryer owner who's not very impressed with your user experience so far? These 7 super-effective tips should have you singing its praises in no time.

Do you already love your air fryer and you're only looking for ways to get better use out of it? If so, then get set to love it a whole lot more. These are the best of the best tips for using an air fryer from my own personal insights as an avid air fryer user.

Best Air frying Tips: #1 -
Use This Very Specific Cooking Method for Foods Normally Fried

Many have believed the tale that you can get deep-fryer-like results without a drop of cooking fat. I'm sorry to be the myth-buster here, but it's not going to happen.

Don’t feel defeated, around 80% fewer calories is still a great achievement don't you think? But yes, the reality is you’re going to have to stomach a few fat calories to get great results. In my books, a moderate number of calories is better than none if it means the taste profile is this much better.

This method has evolved over the time I've owned my air fryer. It gives excellent deep-fryer-like results with only a fraction of the fat calories.
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    Use an oil spritzer with your favorite healthy oil to lightly coat the food you want to air fry. Canned oil or a basting brush will work okay too. It’s best to spray the food in a separate bowl or container to avoid an overly oily result.
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    Toss smaller food (fries/nuggets) with your fingers to get a nice even coat. Light coverage is important, or you’ll be at risk of a soggy outcome.
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    Transfer the food to the air fryer and spread as evenly as possible in the cooking basket. Be sure not to overcrowd. Set to recommended temperature based on food type.
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    Every 2 – 3 minutes give the air fryer a brisk shake to shift the food for more even cooking and to avoid sticking.
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    At the halfway mark, open the lid and very lightly respray the food focusing on dry spots. Give the air fryer a quick shake if cooking smaller food. Turn over larger food pieces individually and spray any remaining dry spots lightly.
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    Close the lid and continue repeating step 4 until the recommended cook time is up. I usually open the lid to check the food 3 - 4 minutes before the recommended cook time ends. This avoids overcooking (use a thermometer to check meats at this point).

This method is one of my best air frying tips to share with frustrated air fryer users. Great tasting fried food without the frying really is achievable.

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Best Air frying Tips: #2- 
Use this Great Bread Crumb Coating Technique.

Foods coated in breadcrumbs are a natural fit for the Air fryer (think chicken Katsu and Panko Chicken Thighs). Brilliant results are achievable, but the right technique is crucial.

The rapid hot air circulation in an air fryer calls for a different approach than a regular oven. There are many methods out there, but for me, only one crumbing style is king in an air fryer. 

Here’s the best way for putting a coat of breadcrumbs on just about anything:

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    Spray a light layer of oil (as light as possible) on the food. An oil spritzer is best for this job.
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    Whisk some eggs for a good few minutes so that they are nice and fluffy. Adding a tiny amount of water to the eggs can help make the end product fluffier.
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    Take your breadcrumb mixture and place in a separate container. Spray the crumbs VERY LIGHTLY with oil. This is a critical step. DO NOT OVER-SPRAY; the results won’t be good.
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    Place the three separate containers (flour, egg, crumbs) in a row. Take the oil coated food and dip it into the flour; the food should be well covered.
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    Next, dip the flour-covered food into the egg mixture. Be as delicate as possible to keep as much flour on the food as you can.
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    Dip the item into the breadcrumb mix and cover it well on all sides. Firmly push the crumbs into the food surface all over and then place it in the air fryer.

Note: For those with an allergy to eggs. The process works without the egg coating, but the outcome isn't quite as crispy. You may need to have slightly more oil in your crumbs so they adhere well.

There you go! This method ensures the breadcrumbs won’t get blown off the food by the circulating air. When followed correctly, you’ll get crispy, well-covered golden-brown food.

This sits near the top of my list of air fryer tips and won’t disappoint those who love crumbed food.

Best Air frying Tips: #3 –
Use the Juices from your Draw to Make a Great Finishing Gravy / Stock.

I discovered this excellent air fryer tip after I had just cooked Tandoori Chicken. The dish had a generous marinade on it, and when pouring out the liquid/grease drawer, I spilled a bit on my hand. I licked the sauce off while cleaning up and to my surprise, it had a beautifully rich and intense flavor.

The flavorful chicken drippings mixed with the reduced marinade were a delicious combination. Thanks to this revelation, the following is one of my best air fryer tips:

When cooking marinated meats, take the liquids left in the bottom drawer and use them to make a gravy or sauce.

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    For richer stock-like results, reduce the juices down over medium heat.
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    For a thicker finishing sauce add a bit of cornstarch in water while mixing the sauce over medium / high heat. You can add this to the gravy or sauce you’ve already made, or if you don’t need much, it's a great little sauce on its own.

This is one of the air fryer tips I’ve discovered that I don’t think many others have yet. It’s a super simple way to add an incredible flavor punch to your food; you can thank me for all the compliments later.

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Best Air frying Tips: #4 –
Convert your Favorite Recipes Using These Two Rules

The air fryer does a great job of cooking traditionally deep-fried food. It’s been the key selling point for this appliance to date. Once you’re all fried out though, you start to ask the question “what else can I cook in an air fryer?

An air fryer actually does a terrific job of cooking most other oven-cooked meals. It does work much like a convection oven after all.

I've come up with the following two rules after much trial and error cooking many of my own recipes in the air fryer. Use all your favorite oven recipes and convert them to air fryer recipes as follows:

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    Reduce the temperature by 20 - 25% of the oven temperature used in your recipe.
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    Reduce the cook time by 40 - 45% of the oven temperature used in your recipe.

Remember, this is a general rule, and some foods may not quite fit the bill. Here’s a couple of tweaks I make:

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    Go slightly lower on 1. above for foods that are high in water content or prone to getting overly crispy.
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    Check the food at least five mins before the time it should be ready if you’ve never converted a recipe before.

This is one of my favorite air fryer tips to share and gets everyone so much more use out of their appliance.

Best Air frying Tips: #5 – 
Stagger Cooking from Longest to Shortest Cook Time

The air fryer's compact size and ultra-fast cooking speed are great features. For busy singles/couples or those on a different diet from their family, it’s a sensible choice for cooking.

Most air fryer users cook the various parts of their meal separately.  For smaller meals, there's no reason you can't cook all parts of your meal together. The lid on an air fryer can be opened several times without issue. All you need to do is stagger the cooking from longest to shortest cook time.

Here’s an example of a typical well-rounded meal.

FoodCooking IndividuallyCombined Cooking
Baked Potato30 minsPut in at 0 mins
Breaded Tenderloins12 minsPut in at 18 mins
Roasted Corn Cobs10 minsPut in at 20 mins
Total Cook Time52 mins30 mins

Saving 22 minutes on cooking an everyday meal is an awesome result. That's a 42% time saving on cooking them individually! Tell me that’s not one of the best air fryer tips you’ve heard!

Are you a picky eater that just doesn't like your food mixing while it cooks? You can still combine-cook by investing in some small silicone cooking containers. They’re inexpensive and do a brilliant job of segmenting your food without taking up space.

Unfortunately, there's no avoiding cooking in batches if you’re feeding a large group. But as far as air fryer tips go, this is one of the best for busy bodies.

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Best Air frying Tips: #6 -
Tin Foil Wrap Foods to Prevent Drying Out & Over-Crisping

In an air fryer, you can cook a variety of food types, but a few of these can be tricky. Doughy baked items or food with a high water content can be difficult to keep moist, but I've found a good solution.

It's completely safe to wrap food in tin foil in an air fryer (unlike a microwave or conventional oven). Tin foil wrapping does excellent work of keeping the moisture inside your food.

Here’s the best way to tin foil wrap food in an air fryer:
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    Ensure wrapped items are a ¾ inch away from the edge of the air fryer. This is important for proper airflow circulation and prevents uneven cooking.
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    Poke several small holes in the top of the foil before cooking. This allows a decent level of moisture to escape and eliminates any steaming effect (super important for cakes).
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    Remove the foil for the last few minutes of cooking to get a little browning/crisping if you desire.
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    Shellfish and other seafood cook amazingly in foil in the air fryer. I add a bit of cooking wine and different sauces depending on the seafood to intensify the flavors.
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    Cakes, muffins, brownies, corn on the cob, squash, cucumber, clams, and prawns are all foods I prefer to foil wrap.

Best Air frying Tips: #7 –
Reheat Food in your Air fryer and get a Second Life out of Otherwise Soggy Take-out

Before we got an air fryer, even my husband wouldn't reheat soggy left-over fries and pizza. My husband's an eating-machine, so that's saying something. Food wastage in my household was not ideal, and I really wanted to fix that.

I’ve found that the air fryer is a reheating superstar. It has great outcomes with food that would usually turn out soggy or take forever in a microwave or oven. Food waste is no longer such a big problem for us. 

Here’s how to get excellent reheating results:

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    With fries, spray them very lightly with oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the basket; you can't put as much in a basket as you could if cooking them from scratch. Results vary substantially depending on this one simple factor.
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    With pizza, spray or brush a very light amount of oil on the bottom side.

The reheat time and temperature will vary depending on the food. I've found the air fryer to be quite forgiving when it comes to reheating temperatures.

As a general rule, I reheat at 95 – 100 degrees (F) hotter than the recommended cooking temperature for a given item.

Final Wrap

There you have it my air frying friends! An impressive array of tips and tricks to get the best out of your air fryer. These tips have genuinely made all the difference to my cooking experience with this appliance.

I'm confident if you use these, you'll get better tasting food and more frequent use out of your air fryer.

Now air fry away!

About The Author

23 thoughts on “7 Super Effective Tips of Using an Air Fryer”

  1. I purchased my air fryer from a friend but do not have the instruction manual originally supplied. Your tips have given me insight to some things I had questioned in my mind. I’m interested in power and time settings for different dishes. High Quality food is expensive and I certainly don’t want to spoil it by overlooking. The tip about using an oil spritzer is great. I tried chicken with planks coating but my result was not good. The coating did not stick and was a mess. I had almost given up on it in till I read your tip. Now if I only had time and temp I could retry. Thank you for your information.

  2. I have had my air fryer for several months and the only things I have cooked is chicken (sometimes good) and french fries. One of the girls said she didn’t have a owner’s manuel, we’ll this information that you have shared is not in any manuel. Thanks for your trial and error. Your tips have given me the confidence to use my air fryer more.

    1. Had the most perfect, beautiful baked potatoes last night. I poked 5 holes in both sides of potatoes. Smeared them (4) with a paste of 1 tsp olive oil, and 1/2 tsp black pepper, Larry’s, and paprika. Baked them at 400° for 40 min. When they were done I ran a knife over the top making a slit. Placed my fingers on each side and pinched. The potato meat pushed up in a beautiful cloud. Perfect!

  3. Hi
    I have just purchased a Phillips Digital XL. Is there a book that states singles/ combined recipes I just have the small book that came with mine but there are no singles stated. I know this is a rather elementary question but there are a number of books out there and I don’t need nor want 10 air fryer books.
    Thanks, your comments are great and will be helpful.

  4. I just ordered my air fryer. Looking forward to using it. It sounds like your tips work well, we’ll see. I love fried chicken , but not the grease. I am trying to eat healthier. I’m hoping I will chose the air fryer more then any thing. I love vegies, didn’t know you could do them in the air fryer.

  5. I didn’t quite understand the tip for reheating. “As a general rule, I reheat at 95 – 100 degrees (F) hotter than the recommended cooking temperature for a given item.” does that mean you set the temperature for 95-100? or do you mean you put the temperature 95-100 degrees hotter than a normal temperature – say 350?

  6. Please put me on your email list to receive air fryer recipes. Also, I’ve got a pressure cooker/slow cooker and would like those kind of recipes also.
    In addition, can I ask that the recipes you send me (I realize they aren’t specific to me) don’t have bacon in them? I am allergic to pork & shrimp, as well as bell peppers. I really hate getting all these recipes with bacon! If most of your recipes have bacon in them, you can take me off your list, that goes for shrimp as well.

    I know that I’m being a bit “picky,” but that’s my world, welcome to it!

    Thanks so much.


  7. Lindambeardsley

    Thanks for the tips. I just bought six air fryers. One for each family. I want them to enjoy fried foods without the oils. I am using mine daily.

  8. Is an Air Fryer Oven different then the Air Fryer you’re talking about on here? I just tried a cinnamon toast recipe for an Air Fryer, and it did not turn out well.

  9. I dont like the smell of the Air Fryer or the taste of the food when it comes out. Is there anything that can help me with this.

  10. I have trouble with some things smoking. I tried adding water in the bottom it helped for some things..but I’m really disappointed in the smoking.. It sets off my smoke alarm.

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