Air Fryer Cook

How to use an air fryer: All you need to know

If you’re like me and want to eat healthier without sacrificing taste, then this blog post is for you! I’ve been using an air fryer for a few months now and it has helped me tremendously. There are many great health benefits of switching from frying food to cooking with an air fryer. It’s also easy to use and doesn’t take up too much space in the kitchen. For those of you just getting started, take a look at this brief on how-to guide to learn the basics for air frying.

What is an air fryer and how does it work?

An air fryer can be a useful tool in the kitchen for preparing crispy, evenly cooked food quickly without oil. The appliance is used by circulating hot air around food placed inside. It can also be referred to as a “hot air oven” or “circulated convection oven.” An electric fan located at the back of the machine helps circulate cold air around the food.

Typically, cooking takes between 10-30 minutes for easy recipes. This is less time than it takes to prepare many types of deep-fried food, including French fries and chicken nuggets and the taste is comparable.

how to use air fryer

What is included in the box and how to set it up?

The first thing you have to do is set up the air fryer. Everything you need, to get started, comes with it inside a box. The package will usually contain the air fryer and the air fryer basket and an instruction manual that will help you become familiar with your new kitchen appliance. Some models will even include accessories and recipes to get you started.

Remove the packaging around and inside the air fryer. Put the components together (as per the manual) and insert the plug into a power source. Then I would do a test run on it (without food) by selecting one of the pre-set functions. Try to select a function between 15 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204.44 degrees Celsius) alternatively, you can manually input the settings. Once the beeper goes off, your air fryer is ready to be used.

How to use an air fryer basket?

While the air fryer capacity determines the volume of food you can cook, the shape of the basket will maximize the food types you want to cook. Air fryer baskets generally come in two shapes, the oval egg shape, and a square shape.

The oval egg-shaped ones are good to cook flat and pieces of food types like steaks, chicken breasts, fish fillets, and chopped-up vegetables. However, with the larger capacity air fryer, you may be able to fit a whole small chicken in the basket. Although, there generally is not enough space to squeeze in and vegetables on the sides as the chicken usually takes up the whole basket.

The square basket is better for cooking food that takes up more space like whole chickens, much bigger steaks, or full-length vegetables (like asparagus and broccolini). There is should be enough room for some vegetables or other food types on the sides to be cooked at the same time.

Is pre-heating necessary for the air fryer?

In many cooking appliances, pre-heating makes sure that it reaches the desired temperature and cooks your food faster and more efficiently. As the air fryer heats up rapidly, it’s not essential to pre-heat the air fryer before cooking. Especially for light meals where the cooking time itself is under 15 minutes. However, when you want to cook bulky or thick items it is recommended that you preheat for about 5 minutes before cooking your meal.

In many air fryers, there is a pre-heat program built in so you simply need to press the button. Otherwise, you can manually set the desired temperature for 5 minutes without the food.

Tips for using an air fryer

There are so many things to cook in the air fryer ranging from light snacks to full dinner meals. The best way to get familiar with how to use the air fryer properly is to cook different foods and try various recipes. Your starting point would be to get a few air fryer recipes and try them out. Make a note of what the outcome was and whether you are satisfied with the result. You can then manually adjust the temperature or time the next time you make the same recipe.

I have listed a few helpful tips to keep in mind while trying out your recipes.

Overfilling/overcrowding: Do not overfill or overcrowd the basket with food as this will result in overcooked or undercooked food. It is best to fill it with no more than half of the basket when it comes to french fries. When it comes to meats, fish, and vegetables, it’s best to make sure they are placed in a single layer inside the basket.

Crispier layer: There are a few ways to add a little extra crisp to your food. Firstly, pat the food dry so that excess moisture will be removed which will result in a crispier outer layer. Using a vegetable oil spray to coat the food lightly can give it that extra crunch. The crumbed coating on food not only gives the extra crispiness but also extra crunch. Lastly, try coating the food with a little bit of honey which will give it a crispier texture as the honey crystallizes when cooked.

Even cooking: To help you achieve even cooking, cut all your food up into similar-sized pieces (where possible). You can also give the basket a toss halfway (for loose food like fries) through the cooking process so that they’ll be cooked evenly on both sides. Avoid shaking the basket as it just shifts the food around and does not flip it. Using tongs to flip bulky food halfway would also crisp the outer layer on both sides.

Some multifunctional air fryers like the ones with a rotisserie function have a rotating basket. That means you can just sit back and relax while your food is being evenly cooked!

how to use air fryer for fries

Parchment paper or foil: Although the basket is non-stick, there are some foods or sticky ingredients (like cheese) that can stick to the basket. In cooking these types of meals, it would be wise to use parchment paper or foil for easy removal. Parchment paper is essentially baking paper especially shaped to fit the air fryer basket with some holes in them.

Be cautious when hot: When the air fryer is done cooking, the basket is hot so always use tongs to lift the food out to avoid burns. Some oil from the food will collect in the lower basket. Therefore do not flip the basket over to empty the food as it may cause burns and mess from the hot oil.

Be mindful of where you are putting the hot basket to avoid damage on your surfaces. It would be best to put it onto a hot mat.


Cleaning: Make sure you thoroughly clean the basket after each use. Food debris or grease left behind may cause smoking during the next cooking session.

Cleaning the air fryer is fairly straightforward. Just hand wash the detachable parts or put them in the dishwasher (most of these parts are dishwasher friendly-refer to your manual). Normal dishwashing liquid can be used as the cleaning agent unless otherwise specified by your instruction manual.

Air circulation: Always set the air fryer out in an open space and never against a wall or anywhere else where there may be interference with the airflow. Only place it on a flat, stable surface away from water, walls, cabinets, and other appliances to allow for adequate air circulation.


I hope this article has given you some insight on how to use your air fryer and other little bits of info. The only way to learn the ropes is to take the leap into action and start experimenting with your recipes! Just like cooking, you will be a pro in no time.

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