Mistakes People Make With Their Air Fryer

Air fryers promise low-fat cooking with extra-crispy results, but if you don’t use your air fryer properly, your dish may be less than dazzling. Here are just a few things that you may be doing wrong, or may be neglecting to do at all. Hopefully, a few adjustments will have you looking like an air fryer master in no time. 


YOUR AIR FRYER IS NOT GETTING ANY AIR — They might be small, but air fryers need their space. Make sure your air fryer has at least 5 inches of space on all sides. 


YOU USE TOO MUCH OIL — Most air fryers call for only a teaspoon or two of oil. If you dump in too much, you’ll get bad results. 


FOODS ARE TOO TIGHT — A common mistake people make is forgetting that things fly around in the air fryer. Something lightweight like spinach can end up getting into the heating coil, and when it burns, it will set off the smoke alarm. 


FAILING TO PREHEAT THE AIR FRYER — An air fryer is like an oven: it needs to be hot. Turn the fryer on when you begin getting ingredients together, and that way it will be plenty hot when you’re ready to use it. 


COOKING IN THE AIR FRYER WITHOUT CLEANING IT — A dirty air fryer can be dangerous for your stomach and your nose. Use hot water with a bit of dishwashing liquid and let the basket soak as long as it needs so you don’t have to scrub off baked-on food. 


FOODS ARE TOO WET — Deep fryers can expel moisture from foods like batters, but an air fryer can’t. Don’t put in limp, wet veggies and expect a miracle. Instead, the air fryer should be used to quickly crisp up already breaded or crunchy foods. 


PUTTING TOO MUCH FOOD IN THE BASKET — An air fryer needs air around it, and the food does too. Cook in small batches to ensure that each piece has the best texture and flavor possible. 


FAILING TO USE OIL — You can’t have too much oil, but you can have too little. Using a little on your food, using a non-stick spray, will make your food infinitely more scrip and browned. 


THE FOOD IS TOO SMALL — Food that’s too small can slip through the slots and fall onto the heating element. Keep everything larger than one quarter inch, about the size of a regular French fry. When in doubt, drop the food in the basket and give it a shake over a sink or trash can. If anything slips out, don’t put it in your air fryer. 


FATTY FOODS DRIP — If you’re cooking high-fat options like burgers, sausages or bacon, make sure you put water in the bottom of the cavity under the frying basket. That way, when the fat drips onto the hot surface, it’ll hit the water, not hot metal.