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All About Air Fryers (FAQs, Tips, Recipes, and More!)

January 24, 2022
7 min. read

Veggie Pizza Sandwiches

It’s the trendy kitchen device that claims to be quick, easy, and even helpful in eating healthier. It’s a brand new way to whip up fried and breaded food or frozen snacks. It’s the device that, most likely, either you or your parents or your cousin or your friend purchased during quarantine.

What are we talking about this week on the blog? Air Fryers!

As part of Ultimate Game Plan: Home Field Advantage, we’ll be giving away one air fryer and one multi-pot to our fans! Air fried food is a great accompaniment to your game day spread. So, if you’re interested in purchasing (or winning!) an air fryer or you want to know how to best use the one you have, keep reading for all our best tips and recipes!

Quick Overview – How to Use Your Air Fryer

1.      Clean and Unwrap

If you’re using your air fryer for the first time, make sure that you remove all the plastic, packaging, and stickers that come on the device. Then, rinse and wash with warm, soapy water. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for any manufacturer-recommended tips for first time use.

2.      Preheat if necessary

Your owner’s manual or a particular recipe may recommend preheating your air fryer. However, preheating an air fryer should only take a few minutes rather than a half hour, like an oven. Be sure that you have the temperature and time set, then let the device run until it is warm.

3.      Add food to basket

Once your device is warm, take out the removable basket and add your desired food. It is important that you do not fill your air fryer too full (about one layer is plenty) to ensure even cooking.

4.      Set time and temperature

Once your food is in the basket, you can replace it into the device. Then, select the desired time and temperature according to your recipe and press start. Sometimes, pre-packaged food may not come with air fryer instructions. In that case, we recommend checking your manual for recommended cook times. You can also try following the instructions for the deep frying or oven method, checking periodically and adding or subtracting time as necessary.

AIR FRYER HOT TIP: Like with all cooking methods, when cooking meat or dairy products in the air fryer, it is important to make sure your food is cooked thoroughly. We recommend using a meat thermometer to be sure.

5.      Check halfway

For most air fryer recipes, it is helpful to pause cooking and check the food halfway through. Many times, you’ll need to toss your food to make sure it is browning/cooking evenly.

6.      Remove and enjoy

Once the timer is finished, take out the basket. If the food is cooked through, use tongs or a spatula to remove the food and place on a plate. Do not tip over basket as some removable parts may fall out. Allow to cool before taking a bite, as your food will likely be very hot.

7.      Final clean

Before storing the device and after it has cooled, use warm, soapy water to thoroughly wipe down the basket. Some baskets may be dishwasher safe, but always consult your owner’s manual before placing in the dishwasher. Then, dry with a towel, close, and put away.

 

Questions and Answers

How does an air fryer work?

Like their name suggests, air fryers circulate super-heated air to cook food from the outside, similar to a convection oven. Strong fans help to keep the air moving while the double-wall structure that contains your food prevents loss of heat, which means that the heat can penetrate through the food quickly and efficiently. By this method, food becomes crispy and golden brown, similar to what you’d expect if it were deep-fried (the Maillard Effect).

So, is an air fryer healthier than a deep fryer?

Yes! Essentially, the heat that your food would receive from hot oil in a deep fryer is replaced with the heat of circulating air. This means that less oil is absorbed into your food, making it better for you.

AIR FRYER HOT TIP: Even though using an air fryer means you’re not coating your food in oil, it can be very helpful to use a quick coating of cooking spray on the bottom surface before cooking to prevent sticking!

What are the benefits of using an air fryer over other devices?

As we’ve mentioned, this device is much healthier than traditional deep-frying. Plus, it’s fast and efficient, making your food crispy in less time than traditional baking. This device is ideal for French fries, chicken, fish, steak, burgers, frozen snack foods, potato chips; and, it even works with some pastries and baked goods! (Keep reading for our suggested recipes!)

Air Fryer Cheeseburger

Are there any drawbacks to using an air fryer?

Depending on the type of air fryer you have and what you’re cooking, you may find that the air fryer’s capacity is a bit small. If that’s the case, we recommend cooking in batches.

Also, if you’re looking for something that will make food taste exactly like a deep fryer without the added oil, you may be slightly disappointed. Because it is a different cooking method, the taste will not be exactly the same, but it does come close with many foods.

Finally, the air fryer may not be the ideal cooking appliance for fresh veggies, greens, or foods that easily dry out, as these foods may cook unevenly.

Do I need to preheat my air fryer?

Maybe. The answer to this question generally varies among different air fryer users and devices, so we recommend taking a quick look at your owner’s manual to see if preheating is recommended on your air fryer.

Can I cook pre-packaged food in my air fryer?

Absolutely. For example, frozen French fries, frozen chicken nuggets, frozen mozzarella sticks, frozen fried pickles, and more, all taste great when cooked in the air fryer!

Can I cook battered food in my air fryer?

No. It is not recommended to cook battered food (like onion rings, mozzarella sticks, etc.) in the air fryer as it may cause clogging or other messes in the device. However, you can buy these items pre-cooked and frozen, then simply reheat them in your air fryer.

So, can I air fry breaded food?

Grilled Cheese in Air Fryer

Yes! Breaded food can be cooked in the air fryer as long as the batter isn’t overly wet or egg-y. Check out our air fried pickles recipe below!

AIR FRYER HOT TIP: Most recipes you cook in the air fryer should be turned or shuffled mid-way through the cooking process in order to ensure proper heating. This is especially true if the food is piled up inside the device.

What else can I do with my air fryer?

After you’ve mastered the basic recipes in your device, you can move on to more inventive creations, such as cinnamon rolls, steak, pizza, sandwiches, or even French toast! You can also try using your air fryer as a dehydrator, if it has the right features!

 

Air Fryer Recipes

Once you feel comfortable with all the features and settings of your air fryer, we recommend trying your hand at the below recipes, for game day or just a weeknight dinner!

Featured Recipe: Air Fryer Hot Dog with Fried Pickles

Air Fried Pickles on Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are a classic game day food, and, as it turns out, cooking them in the air fryer is a great alternative for grilling when it’s cold outside. The convection-style cooking gives them a nice, crispy outside. Try topping with your favorite condiments, plus our homemade fried pickles!

Check out a video demonstration of this recipe on our YouTube page here!

 

Featured Recipe: Air Fryer Veggie Pizza Sandwiches

Veggie Pizza Sandwiches

Did you know you can make sandwiches in the air fryer, too? These veggie pizza sandwiches are melty and flavor-packed with olives, bell peppers, and onion. Plus, they’re brushed with savory garlic butter, which puts this game day dish over the top.

 

More Touchdown Recipes

 

 

Ultimate Game Plan Sweepstakes

Inspired to start cooking in an air fryer of your own? We’re celebrating the pro football championship with a game day sweepstakes! You can enter to win an air fryer or multi-pot from now until February 13th at www.MartinsUltimateGamePlan.com!

 

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