Here is a Beginners Air Fryer guide. Read on to know which air fryer to buy, how to use an air fryer, air frying tips, how to clean the air fryer, and must-have accessories.
If you know me you know I am a huge fan of using my kitchen gadgets and appliances to make quick and healthy meals in a fraction of the time. The Air Fryer is now one of my favorite countertop appliances! It is a versatile appliance that helps me cook delicious sides, appetizers, easy meals, and whip up fun desserts in no time.
I love this kitchen gadget that makes healthy eating easy and fun. It requires a fraction of oil to cook while there is no mess of deep-frying. And the best part? The food is crispy, light, and flavorful.
Best Air Fryer to Buy
Are you trying to decide which Air Fryer to purchase? I own a Mealthy Crisp Lid that sits on top of the Instant Pot, Philips Air Fryer, and Cosori Air Fryer. After using all 3 Cosori Air Fryer is my favorite!
Here are a few reasons why I love and recommend Cosori Air Fryer:
- Large Capacity: The 5.8-quart square basket allows more cooking area and is perfect for my family of 4
- Easy to clean: Especially compared to the toaster oven style air fryers
- High Temperature: Can reach up to 400 degrees F which is perfect especially to make foods crispy at the end of the cooking cycle.
- Preset functions: Love the 11 handy preset buttons and the preheat option. The shake reminder option on the presets is great
- Light Weight: Simple to use and light enough to move around if needed
Air Frying Vs Deep Frying
Before you start cooking with the air fryer, you must understand that air frying will not replace deep frying. Certain dishes are best deep-fried. For example - Indian Puri, or foods that use thin batter, and also light foods like papadum that will fly around with the air in the fryer. Once you know this you will not be disappointed with the foods cooked in an air fryer. Compared to oven baking, air frying takes much less time and the food is light and crispy.
How does an Air Fryer Work
Air Fryers have a heating element and a fan inside on the top. They work by circulating the hot air in a perforated basket which helps cook the food. They are similar to the convection heat with the addition of a perforated basket that helps the hot air circulate from all the sides, top and bottom.
Here are my 10 best tips when using an air fryer:
- Take a few moments to read the user manual to make sure you understand how to operate your Air Fryer and for cook times on most foods.
- Make sure to keep the air fryer out on the counter top on a heat resistant surface and try to use it frequently. This is the best way to get used to air frying and not have another kitchen appliance sitting around unsed.
- Know that every air fryer works differently so you may have to adjust the temperature and times based on the model you own.
- Preheat or Not to Preheat - I always preheat before adding food to the basket. Preheating takes just 5 minutes and can be done while you are prepping the food. If you forget to preheat, simply add more cook time in the end.
- Add foods in a single layer. For some of the smaller foods like french fries, you can have a criss-crossing of 2 to 3 layers, allowing the hot air to circulate around the food. Never fill the basket all the way like they show french fries filled basket in some of the photos.
- You may need to increase or decrease the air frying time depending on your air fryer. Check your food frequently to prevent it from burning. This is especially important during the last few minutes of cooking. Air fryers come in different sizes, so your food might not fit the same way that recipes online show.
- Do not use aerosol spray cans to apply the non-stick spray to the basket. Aerosol spray cans usually contain harsh ingredients that are known for causing chipping in air fryer baskets. Instead lightly brush with oil or use a re-fillable oil spray bottle.
- Shake the basket during cooking times for smaller things like chicken wings, fries, and small veggies. Do this every few minutes or halfway through cooking.
- Do not place anything on top of your air fryer. This disrupts the airflow and will cause poor air frying results.
- If you air fry high-fat foods, pour out the fat droppings from under the inner basket. This will prevent excess smoke while it cooks next time.
Tips Specific to Cosori Air Fryer
- Be careful not to press the basket release button while you are carrying the baskets. This will cause the inner basket to pull out and the outer basket will drop, which might damage it.
- Keep the air fryer on a flat surface this will help reduce the noise when cooking.
- Remember to tighten the screws inside the basket, they tend to loosen after a few uses.
Cleaning Air Fryer is easy as long as you clean the air fryer basket after every use. This will prevent stick build-up of oil. I also recommend cleaning the air fryer basket by hand instead of using the dishwasher. Here are few easy steps:
- Allow the basket to cool down to room temperature.
- Next, add a few drops of dish soap to the air fryer basket and fill it with warm water.
- Allow it to soak for 20 minutes that will loosen any stuck foods
- Lightly wipe down any stuck foods with a non-abrasive sponge or scrub pad.
- Rinse throughly and dry completely befre returning the basket back to the air fryer.
- Once a month also clean the insides of the air fryer by simply wiping down with a damp soapy cloth and then wiping with a clean dry cloth.
- Wipe the outside of the airfryer with a damp cloth and then dry it completely.
Air Fryer Recipes
Ready to try cooking in the air fryer? Start with a few simple recipes, like buffalo chicken wings, fries, or broccoli. Once you have mastered one of the easier recipes try my Air Fryer donuts you will love the healthy take on the traditional deep-fried donuts. For more recipes check out these delicious 15+ air fryer recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is air-fried food healthy?
Air-fried food can be considered healthier than deep-fried foods as it uses a fraction of the oil. So if you just consider the amount of oil and calories then yes Air Fried food is healthier. For me personally, I am using the air fryer to cook a lot of veggies such as broccoli, string beans, sweet potatoes, etc which are all healthy. I do have some indulgent foods like the air-fried donuts which are not healthy but low calories than the deep-fried versions.
Can I use frozen food in my Air Fryer?
Yes, you can use frozen food in your Air Fryer. You will simply need to increase your cook time by about five minutes. If you are cooking frozen meat in the Air Fryer you will want to keep a close eye on the internal temperature to ensure the meat is done.
Should I always spray my Air Fryer basket?
The air fryer basket is nonstick, so you do not need to spray the basket. If the food you are cooking has oil it will help or some foods like chicken can have fats that are enough for air frying. If the recipe calls for spraying oil in the basket or on the food, use your favorite type of cooking oil and spray using a reusable sprayer bottle instead of the aerosol oil spray cans.
Air Fryer Accessories
Here are some of my favorite air fryer accessories:
Cosori Support is amazing so feel free to reach out to them with any technical or warranty-related issues.
Can you comment on the emeril lagase power 360 air fryer?
Hi Sarah, I do not have that air fryer but the reviews look great! Toaster oven-style air fryers can be harder to clean.
Leena B says
Between Any Oven style air fryer and usual air fryer - why would you say oven style is harder to clean ? (another comment here)
Also is stainless steel air fryer better ?
Which air fryer has a broader base to use ?
Can you please help me with your suggestion.
Oven style is difficult to clean based on many reviews I read when researching for a new air fryer. This is the same as when you have a toaster oven and you cook a lot in it, it gets harder to clean. Unfortunately with basket style air fryer, there is no stainless steel option.