How to Use an Air Fryer

Last update December 26, 2018

With an air fryer, you can fry your favorite foods to crispy perfection with little or no oil at all. So, keep on reading and discover more about how to use an air fryer and what to cook in it.

How to Use an Air Fryer

How to use an air fryer

Like any human, you probably love french fries, fried bacon, chicken wings, fish sticks, doughnuts, and pizza. But what about belly fat and dangerously high cholesterol? Don’t worry, friends. With an air fryer, you can indulge yourself and not feel guilty. There’s no denying - an air fryer is an awesome kitchen appliance that can cook your favorite foods to crispy, salty, golden brown perfection in a matter of minutes with half the calories and fat you may expect in McDonald’s. This is a very cool appliance that works like a miracle, frying foods with little or no oil without comprising on the taste.

In fact, it can even make “fried” goodness more delicious, allowing you to add your own herbs and spices to shake things up. Here's how an air fryer works.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

How does an air fryer work?

What’s so special about air fryers that make them so unique? Actually, nothing! Air fryers are simple convection ovens in a bucket. Just like regular ovens, they are equipped with a heating element and boast a convection feature - the fan inside circulates the hot air to maintain the consistent high temperature throughout the cooking area. The fan moves air fairly quickly and thanks to the faster-than-a-normal-oven heat transfer, air fryers deliver rapid results and give foods a crispy exterior with a golden brown crust. They can fry, bake and roast things, keeping meals healthy yet bringing them the ultimate crisp and tempting texture. So, how is this possible without oil or very little oil?

The 360-400 degree F heat is produced by the main heating element, and an exhaust fan maintains the air flow to let that high heat to constantly pass through the food. Thus the food is heated uniformly within a very short time span (10-15 minutes) without any extra fat. However, a spoonful of oil might be still required for finger-licking french fries or for baking a cake (for greasing purposes only). What is notable, an air fryer supports all the oils available on the market including olive oil, mustard oil, white oil, soyabean oil, and canola oil.

But foods like burgers, chicken salami, frozen shrimp and some other frozen foods need no oil at all, which makes an air fryer a much healthier alternative to a deep fryer. Does the taste of food really remain the same without oil? Yes! The same brown exterior and tender texture inside!

Air Fryer Benefits

Air fyer benefits

So, let’s round things up and list the main benefits of using an air fryer are.

  • Naturally, a high intake of deep-fried foods may lead to obesity. And since air-fried foods are much lower in fat, switching to an air fryer is an easy way to cut down calories and, thus, promote weight loss. So, if you want to trim your waistline, cooking in an air-fryer is a good place to start.
  • Deep-fried foods are not only high in fat and calories but also in dangerous compounds like acrylamide. According to the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), this is a “probable carcinogen” that might trigger the development of cancer. Some studies have found that cooking food in an air-fryer might reduce acrylamide by 90% in comparison to a traditional deep-fryer.
  • Air fryers are not only healthy but also quick. Since they use high temperatures, they ensure quick and even results. You can bake a chicken breast, for example, much faster than in your oven. Plus, a clean-up is easier - no grease residue to worry about.
  • An air fryer can bring benefits for families with picky vegetable eaters. The appliance can crisp up veggies and make them tastier and more appealing for your kids.
  • Unlike deep fryers, air fryers won’t fill your kitchen with the smell of fried foods.

What to Cook in an Air Fryer

What to cook in an air fryer

In general, any food you typically fry in a pan, oven, or in a deep fryer turns out well in an air fryer. The possibilities are endless — you can cook your favorite foods you often deep-fry, sautee, bake, or even grill. So no matter whether you crave for french fries, fried pork chops, roasted salmon, onion rings, potato wedges, or fried chicken, an air frying machine will come in handy. This is an amazingly versatile kitchen tool.

Popular Recipes for Air Fryer

Tasty recipes for an air fryer

To help you make the most of an air fryer, we would like to give you some popular recipes you can cook in it.

Crispy French Fries

Crispy french fries

Ingredients:

2 or 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (6 oz),

1 teaspoon of oil (olive oil would be perfect),

1/8 teaspoon of salt,

1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder,

Cracked black pepper, paprika or any other spices for your taste.

Instructions:

Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F and then slice the potatoes about 1/2-inch thick. A mandolin might be helpful at this stage.

The key to getting super crispy results is to soak the potatoes in water for 10 minutes in order to remove their starch content. So, place the slices in a bowl with luke-warm water and leave them for 10 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and spray them with oil.

Season the slices with salt, pepper, and other spices you like. You may use garlic powder, chili, or paprika. Toss to coat.

Arrange the seasoned potatoes in the basket of your air fryer. In a single layer, preferably. Try to separate the slices, if possible. If the potatoes overlap, we recommend you to flip the fries half-way the cooking cycle for more even results.

Cook the fries at 380 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then, use a spatula to remove them and serve fries immediately with a dipping sauce.

Tips:

If you want to make the French fries completely oil-free, just toss the soaked slices in the seasonings and cook as directed. Though, the fries might have a slightly drier texture.

Remember that this basic recipe is very adaptable, and you can improve it by using any other type of potato, oil, or seasonings you like.

The Easiest Air Fried Shrimp

Air fried shrimp

Ingredients:

1 pound of shrimp,

2 teaspoons of black peppercorns,

1 teaspoon of salt,

3 tablespoons of flour (rice preferably),

2 tablespoons of any oil,

1 teaspoon of sugar.

Instructions:

Heat a saucepan and roast the black peppercorns until you can smell their aroma (1-2 minutes approximately). Allow them to cool down.

Place shrimp in a bowl and add the “peppered” oil, flour, other spices to your taste (optionally), and mix everything well to make sure you coat the shrimp completely.

Load the shrimp into the air fryer, trying to keep them as flat at the bottom of the basket as possible. Spray with some oil.

Preheat the air fryer to 325 degrees F and cook for 10 minutes, tossing shrimp halfway through.

Roasted Salmon With Fennel Salad

Salmon with fennel salad

If you'd like to cook something more exquisite in your air fryer, we offer you an extra delicious recipe of roasted meaty salmon fillet with fennel salad. This recipe is for four servings, but you can always cut it in half to make a romantic dinner for two.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (fresh),

1 teaspoon of finely chopped thyme (fresh),

1 teaspoon of salt,

4 (approx 6-oz.) skinless salmon fillets,

2 tablespoons of oil,

4 cups of sliced fennel,

2/3 cup of Greek yogurt,

1 garlic clove,

2 tablespoons of orange juice,

1 teaspoon of lemon juice,

2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh dill

Instructions:

Preheat your conventional oven to 200 degrees F.

Mix parsley, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and then sprinkle the salmon fillets with this herb mixture. Brush with oil.

Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F and place two salmon fillets inside. Leave them for 10 minutes and then move to the oven to keep them warm. Repeat the procedure with two remaining fillets.

While the fillets are being air-fried, stir the fennel, Greek yogurt, garlic, orange juice, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Serve the salmon fillets over the salad.

Tip:

You can use a rice cooker to keep fillets warm. A rice cooker is another useful kitchen appliance that can help you not only cook healthy food but also reheat it afterwards.

How to Choose a Good Air Fryer

How to choose an air fryer

There is no consensus when it comes to choosing the best air fryer. However, we recommend you to invest in a high-quality one that is stoutly-built and doesn't contain any harmful additions. One of the better deals you can find right now is the COSORI CP158-AF air fryer. This cooker not only looks ultra-sophisticated it also delivers perfectly guaranteeing you fantastic results. Let's take a look at its key features and tech specs.

Power

Power

With 1700 Watts of power, it’s a real workhorse on the market of kitchen appliances. Thanks to this high power, the COSORI air fryer offers a wide temperature range of 170 - 400 degrees F. And as a result of having such a good performance, this fryer can cook almost any recipe you want in the shortest time possible.

Capacity

Capacity

The large capacity of 5.8 quarts is another thing that makes it suitable just for any recipe. This generous capacity allows you to cook from 3 to 5 servings in one go, which makes it a good option for big families. And the foods are as easy to take out as they are easy to put in. This became possible thanks to the nonstick surface of the large basket. As the icing on the cake, the basket is easy to remove and clean as well as bring to the countertop where you’re preparing food.

Settings

Settings

The area where the COSORI air fryer particularly shines is the plethora of settings it offers. The control panel includes 11 original presets for French Fries, Chicken, Steak, Bacon, Seafood, Shrimp, Frozen Foods, Vegetables, Root Vegetables, Desserts, and Bread. And the best part is that it manages all the calculations for you, meaning you can just tap and go! However, if you wish to make some corrections, you can adjust the temperature and time by yourself any time you want. Other highlights include a helpful Shake reminder, Keep Warm function, and a preheating option. These are the extras rarely found in air fryers. So, we would highly recommend this cutting-edge air frying machine to those who value technology and are serious about frying different healthy foods. This air frying machine ups the ante: it not only air fries food to perfection, but it also beats the time-consuming preheating of ovens and notifies you when to shake the ingredients for even frying results.

Bonus: it comes with the free Cosori Recipe Book with 100 different recipes.