When we purchased our air fryer it was with the intention of choosing a healthier option than deep frying foods. After losing my father to a heart attack I decided it was more important to make healthy changes in our lives.
What I didn’t know was that the air fryer would become my favorite summer cooking tool allowing me to feed our family without overheating our house or simply to give me an extra cooking space when putting together big family meals.
One way I do this is to bake in my air fryer. Baking in your air fryer is easier than you think what these simple tips.
Choose the right size bakeware
There are sets of air fryer cookware designed specifically for use in air fryers, so you can bake in one without any hassle. This will help you to contain the foods you are preparing in pans that work the same way as traditional ones, but are smaller to fit inside.
Small enough so that air can flow smoothly between the pans, these pans are capable of leaving room on the edges between them. Airflow is vital in your air fryer
Adjust the temperature of your air fryer
The majority of air fryers automatically start at 400 degrees. Although this is often the ideal setting for your favorite fried food, it is not the perfect setting for baked goods, which are usually baked at 350 degrees.
Turn down the temperature of your air fryer when you turn it on. As a general rule, you can use the same temperatures as your favorite baking recipes. When baking at high temperature, lower the temperature by 25 degrees to prevent the edges of the baked goods from burning and to ensure a more uniform bake.
Adjust your baking times for faster cooking
Because your air fryer circulates air, you will notice that your items bake quicker than they would in a conventional oven. Depending on how small your batches are, your baking times will also change.
Air fryer baking is ideal for a person or couple who will only require a small quantity of an item, rather than an entire batch. Since these smaller batches are baked in a shorter amount of time, items like cookies can be baked in 5 minutes versus 10 to 15 minutes in your regular oven.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to reduce your baking time by 20% when using your air fryer.
Clean your air fryer before baking
It doesn’t make sense to start baking perfect banana bread only to find that someone fried buffalo wings in your air fryer last night and leave your sweet cake with a less than desirable flavor. You should always clean your air fryer before baking.
If your air fryer has a bad smell, you can blow vinegar through it for 5 minutes to get rid of those odors from the inner workings of the fan. Before baking, you should allow the vinegar’s smell to dissipate.
Be mindful of the texture of your batter when baking in your air fryer
Choose recipes that call for a dough or thick batter when baking. Thin batter will blow around the air fryer if the food is too wet or too light, leaving you with a sticky mess.
A baked good like a cake or muffin takes on a caramelized top and retains its soft, moist texture, whereas watery thin batter requires a little more help to achieve the same results.
Make changes for watery batters in your air fryer.
Although that’s not to say that a watery batter such as a sponge cake can’t be cooked to perfection in an air fryer, because they can. Baking watery batters require a taller pan that cuts down on airflow over the top of the batter.
You can also make a cover for your pan until the top of the batter is cooked enough to hold it down. When that happens, you can uncover it in order to get a smooth crusty top.
Aluminum foil is the easiest way to cover your baking pans in the air fryer, but you can also use the bottom of a springform pan, mini pizza pan, or cookie sheet designed for your air fryer as a lid.
Don’t leave out the oil in your recipe
Do not omit the oil from your recipes when adapting them for the air fryer. It is common for people to assume that they do not need to use oil when they are air frying, but when baking, you still need to use oil in your recipes and grease your pans properly.
By leaving the oil out or skipping the oiling of the pan, you are likely to end up with dry, burnt, and hard as a rock air fryer food. Although you can substitute things like apple sauce for oil in your recipes, you cannot skip greasing pans.
You can remove the basket for more room in your air fryer
There are many air fryers with removable baskets that are attached to the base of the air fryer and can be cleaned. By removing the basket altogether, you can bake without having to worry about your pan hitting the basket sides. A wire rack should be placed at the bottom of your baking pan, allowing air to circulate around the bottom for even baking.