Air fryers are a great way to help reduce the amount of oil you’re using in your diet and help make some of your favorite foods better for you. When you are new to using an air fryer you may find yourself disappointed that the food doesn’t have the same crisp.
These simple tips will help you get the perfect satisfying crisp from your air fryer every single time.
Don’t Skip The Oil
Even though air fryers are praised for being oil-free options, many people are surprised to find out that you actually need to use oil when using them. In order to get a crispy final product, you should use a light coat of oil on the food before cooking.
My favorite way to do this is to use an oil spray bottle that can be refilled. You can use a spray bottle filled with oil instead of chemical sprays from the grocery store for a healthier option that can also help to save money on food. This type of oil spray bottle can be found in the kitchen section in some stores but is easier to find online.
Preheat your air fryer
Every time you use your air fryer, make sure it is preheated. Even though this step isn’t fun when everyone is hungry, it’s much quicker than preheating a deep fryer and is truly essential for the perfect crisp.
Preheating your device prior to adding food allows it to reach full temperature faster, increasing cooking efficiency. In order to achieve crispy air-fried food, you need a fast cook, just as you would in a deep fryer.
While skipping the preheating step will not cause large amounts of oil to soak into your food like with a deep fryer, it will leave your food soggy rather than crisp, preheating your air fryer helps to achieve the perfect crisp by cooking the outer layers of the food right away.
Leave space between food
In order for an air fryer to function properly, it needs to allow air to circulate fully around the food. To get the best crisp in your air fryer, allow space between items so air can flow freely. Having a free flow of air inside your air fryer allows you to cook nearly anything evenly and crisply as the air flows over.
A great way to see how this works is to make something like bacon in the air fryer where it does not always have airflow to all sides. You will have areas that need more time to crisp up that are noticeable when you stir your food.
If you are cooking a large amount of food in your air fryer you can use air fryer accessories like an air fryer rack to help increase how much space you have for use in your air fryer without having your food touching and preventing air from flowing around your food.
Flip or stir items while cooking
Even perfectly spaced even layers can lead to some less crispy spots on your food. Because some parts of your air fryer are facing the fan, while others are pressed against the basket, some areas are exposed to more heat than others.
This issue is easy to fix. Stir or flip your food at least once when cooking in an air fryer to ensure that the hot air can evenly hit your food during cooking, and your food will come out crispy. A pair of silicone-tipped tongs make a great tool for this task.
Add more oil
Air-frying reduces the amount of oil you need, but it doesn’t eliminate it, and when your food has been cooking for a while, a lot of that oil has broken down or soaked in. You can encourage that crispy texture by using a bit more oil on all sides of your air-fried foods when stirring them so they get an even cook.
Avoid using too much oil
To achieve the perfect crisp, you want to use oil a few times during the cooking process, but each time should only be a thin and even coat. Too much oil late in the cooking process can leave your food soggy.
This is why I love spray oil so much when using my air fryer. It allows me to get the perfect thin and even layer without even having to touch the food. So much easier than using a brush.
Be mindful of adjusted times
For the air fryer, most recipes are simply adjusted from the oven or fryer. The first time you use a recipe, you may find that the times aren’t exact for your device and it’s easy to overcook or undercook your food.
Always double-check that your food is fully cooked before removing it from the air fryer. Placing it back in after removing can lead to a soggy exterior. When doing a new recipe for the first time start checking your food a few minutes early to be sure your times are adjusted properly.
Never use a wet coating recipe in the air fryer
Wet coatings like batters are best left to your deep fryer. This is because they tend to slop off when sitting before they cook and the airflow of the air fryer can easily blow them off of your food.
For the best results stick to a dry-based coating when frying homemade foods in the air fryer. This is where the three-step method is a great option for coating fried foods. This method involves dipping your food in flour then an egg mixture followed buy your dry breading.
While it may take some adjusting to air fryer food that doesn’t have the exact taste and texture of deep-fried food it can be a great way to make healthier choices for you and your family.