Mistakes You Are Probably Making With Your Air Fryer

By molly atherton 1 year ago

1. You're Not Adjusting Conventional Cooking Times

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Content Originally Sourced: Femanin.comWhilst you can use your air fryer for old recipes in your repertoire, remember that cooking temperatures for your new device will be different from when you cook food in the oven.  As a rule of thumb, reducing the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit should ensure great results.

2. You're Not Using A Thermometer With Your Air Fryer

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Even though air fryers appear to be pretty fool proof in turning out tasty, well cooked food, you should be double checking, proteins in particular, to make sure that everything has reached the correct temperature. Get yourself a thermometer and be in the habit of using it regularly.

3. You Don't Use Enough Oil With Your Air Fryer

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You would be excused for thinking an air fryer requires no oil because of its name, but you do actually require oil when you cook with it.  You really only need a couple of teaspoons for the majority of items and 1-2 tablespoons for breaded items so they can get nice and crispy!

4. You Try Cooking Raw Vegetables In The Air Fryer

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If you bought your air fryer because you wanted to eat healthier, then you might be surprised to hear that you would be better off using frozen vegetables.  Raw vegetables can scorch in the air fryer, leaving the insides raw.  Because frozen veg contain moisture, they can cook fully before browning.

5. You're Using PAM In Your Air Fryer

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There are some items you always have in your kitchen store cupboard and PAM is one of those things.  The non-stick cooking spray can be a lifesaver in lots of cases but not so for your air fryer.  The fryer already has a non stick coating and some aerosol sprays can damage it, due to the additives in it.

6. You Overfill  The Air Fryer Pan

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If you place too much food in the air fryer basket or pan, you'll end up with a mess.  There will be food that is half undercooked, half burned and not very tasty!  Cook your food in batches, as you would if you were frying things in a hot pan.  Bear in mind that you shouldn't fill more than half way.

7. You Haven't Checked The Temperature Of Your Air Fryer

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You are likely to assume that the temperature settings on all your kitchen appliances are correct but that may not always be the case.  The actual temperature that an air fryer runs at might not be what you think you're setting it at.  Different models can be hotter or cooler and that can mean the difference between crispy fries and those that don't quite cut it.

8. You're Not Baking With Your Air Fryer

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You can't argue that air fryers are great tools in the kitchen and are very versatile.  Studies have shown that crispy chicken and fries are the favorites to be cooked in the air fryer.  Think outside the box, try baking a cake in your air fryer.  The results are amazing and you don't use as much energy as baking in the oven.

9. You Only Use Your Air Fryer For Fried Foods

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Many people think air fryers are for fried foods or leftovers but once you've purchased yours, do something different.  Make crispy, breaded foods from scratch and customize your recipes.  You may not need as much seasoning as when you're cooking in a frying pan.

10. You Use Too Much Oil In Your Air Fryer

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With traditional frying, you want your food submerged at least partially in oil.  This is a different story with an air fryer.  Be sure to read the instructions fully and you'll see that you only need a little oil (1 -2 teaspoons).  More than that can lead to soggy, burned food. It is also a fire hazard.

11. You're Ignoring The Smoke Point Of The Oil Used In Your Air Fryer

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Air fryers get super hot inside and this can have a major impact on what oil you should or shouldn't be using with it. You'll probably be setting it somewhere between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  You must always use oils with a smoke point that is high enough but not going to burn.

12. You Don't Give Your Air Fryer Enough Room To Vent

Image source: InsiderYou may have the perfect place on your countertop, all set up for your air fryer ready but unless it allows the fryer to have at least five inches of space all around it, when in use, it is not safe.  It needs adequate ventilation so the machine runs smoothly and the food cooks evenly.  You don't want a fire hazard on your hands.

13. You're Not Patting Proteins Dry Before Air Frying

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One way to avoid soggy food is to make sure the surface of your food is dry before you  fry it.  A dry surface browns quicker than a wet one because moisture will otherwise steam the food.  You should pat meats and some vegetables with kitchen paper before cooking them.

14. You Don't Rotate Proteins During Cooking In Your Air Fryer

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Another common error with air fryers is not rotating your proteins. Flipping your protein halfway through cooking will give an even cooked final dish.  For proteins with uneven thickness, such as pork tenderloins or fish fillets, fold the thinner underneath to create a more uniform size and to ensure even cooking.

15. You Don't Move Vegetables Around In Your Air Fryer

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You'll want to periodically move your vegetables around when you're cooking them in an air fryer.  Vegetables will brown evenly if you toss them during cooking and do not overfill the tray or pan.  A handy tip is to use a bowl to add seasoning to your dish part way through.

16. You Put Things In Your Air Fryer That You Shouldn't

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There are some things you should never put in an air fryer such as lightweight items that could get blown around, herbs and seasonings that could burn and cheese and wet batter.  The same goes for things that are too large to go in there as well, such as whole chickens.  Popcorn is a definite no no.

17. You Cook Greasy Food In Your Air Fryer Without Using This Trick

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Because of the fat content of bacon and sausages, these foods are likely to release grease and oil as they cook and this can interfere with the air fryer heating element, creating  smoke. If this happens, add a small amount of water to the tray before cooking and this should combat the effects of greasy foods in an air fryer.

18. You Cover The Entire Tray In Parchment Paper Or Tin Foil

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This is more a safety concern than anything else but it is one of the biggest air fryer mistakes you could make.  There is no issue with using tin foil or parchment paper in your air fryer but DO NOT cover the entire tray with it as it could be a potential fire hazard.

19. You're Not Drying Potatoes Before Putting Them In The Air Fryer

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Fries are one of the best and easiest things to cook in an air fryer but when you are in a hurry, you are probably guilty of chopping those potatoes, throwing them in the air fryer and forgetting about them for the next 15-20 minutes.  If you pat the potatoes dry first, your fries will be extra crispy.

20. You're Not Experimenting With Your Air Fryer

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There are better things to do with air fryers than cooking fries and heating up ready meals.  Fish and meat in particular loves to be air fried and that goes for expensive steak as well as affordable chicken wings. Standard air fried fries are no better or worse than oven fries so it would be foolhardy to only use your air fryer for that.

21. You Put Your Air Fryer Basket And Hot Fryer On The Countertop

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You might not feel the steam coming from the air fryer basket but it gets very hot indeed, like a tiny oven inside a small appliance.  Ensure your air fryer is lifted from the counter by little feet or that you have something underneath it to avoid ruining your counter. This goes for the basket as well.

22. You Don't Clean Your Air Fryer Often Enough

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A number of problems can arise if you are not cleaning your air fryer often enough. Crumbs and food particles that are left in the basket can burn the next time you use the fryer and leftover oil residue can smoke, posing a fire hazard.  On top of that, your kitchen will smell bad!

23. You Aren't Seasoning Correctly

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Fried foods and vegetables are nothing without seasoning but you need to be careful. The air fryer works through convection, pushing hot air around your food to cook it. This means that any seasoning can end up getting caught up by the rush of air, leaving you with unseasoned food and a dirty air fryer!

24. You Don't Preheat Your Air Fryer

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You should preheat your air fryer for at least 10 minutes before you start cooking. Use the time to chop vegetables and breadcrumb chicken. Preheating the air fryer will ensure that the ingredients in the basket start cooking immediately, crisping up on the outside instead of steaming into a soggy mess

25. You Set Your Air Fryer And Leave It

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The air fryer is a lot simpler than deep frying food on the stove but there are some things you need to remember.   You cannot just put your food in, walk away and expect to have a perfectly cooked meal as the timer pings.  Check in for any signs of trouble. Black smoke usually means that there is food burning inside, while white smoke means excess oil or grease is too hot and could catch fire.

26. You Try Using Traditional Frying Batters In Your Air Fryer

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If you want to keep using batter for your favorite churro recipe or you want to batter a piece of fish, then stick to cooking in a pan.  Batter mixture and air fryers are at odds with each other as the mixture will sink through the basket and could burn the drawer below.

27. You Don't Put Leftovers In Your Air Fryer

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The air fryer is a champion when it comes to reheating your favorite leftovers so don't throw them out.  Pizza will stay crispy on the bottom while melting the cheese on top.  Fries will re-crisp right up and most left over solid foods  will taste as good as the day before.

28. You're Not Using Accessories In Your Air Fryer

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There are accessories that go inside the air fryer and it will make your fryer more useful if you take advantage of them.  Look out for cake pans, silicone moulds, racks, ramekins and other cooking devices that can fit neatly inside your air fryer basket. These will help you make a much wider variety of foods.

29. You're Not Drying Your Air Fryer Completely

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Getting the basket and drawer of an air fryer sparkling clean can be a pain, as can getting them dry.  That would be the case if you are using a tea towel.  Try this tip - after a thorough scrub, replace the basket and drawer and then turn on your air fryer for a few minutes.  That extra moisture will vanish!

30. You Bought A Cheap Air Fryer

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While there are some cheap air fryers out there that get the job done when it comes to something like a single serving of fries, spending a little more money can make a huge difference when it comes to things like capacity, the versatility of cooking more than one thing at a time and smart controls.  Read up on various models to see which best fits your lifestyle.