Unleashing the Air Fryer Magic: 50 Must-Try Hacks for the Hottest Cooking Appliance of the Hour!

by Owen Chase

This article was originally published on INVESTMENTGURU

An air fryer is a cooking appliance that simulates deep frying without the need of submerging the food in oil. It uses an air fan that rotates at a high speed and makes food turn brown and crispy. According to WebMD, cooking with an air fryer is much healthier and can cut calories up to 80%. But air fryers are more than just healthy: they can also be an overall game-changing cooking appliance, especially if you learn about the air-fryer hacks we have for you today. 

Don’t Stack Meat in the Air Fryer

Leaving some room in the air fryer while cooking is important, and the same goes for not stacking meat inside the basket. There should be room between the different pieces of meat to ensure that it cooks evenly.

When red meat or seafood is stacked in multiple layers, there's no airflow inside the basket. Consequentially, the bits of food that aren't exposed to the air won't get crispy or even cook at all. If possible, arrange food in a single layer every time.

French Fries at the Right Temperature

For such a common dish, french fries are pretty easy to ruin. When they're undercooked they will taste stale or cold and when they're overcooked they will taste soggy or burnt. To make the perfect french fries with an air fryer, all we have to do is set the fryer at the right temperature.

So, what's the perfect temperature for cooking french fries? Most sources seem to agree that temperatures around 375 degrees get the best results, so there you go!

Spice Up Your Snack Game with Air Fryer Jalapeños!

Who doesn't love a good kick of flavor? Making jalapeños in your air fryer is like a spicy adventure waiting to happen. Slice jalapeños in half and give them a friendly brush with some oil to get that nice tan going. Heat up the air fryer to a toasty 200°C (392°F), toss those green gems in, and let them dance in there for about five to seven minutes.

Don't forget to flip them halfway for that all-around crunchiness. The air fryer's hot air magic turns these jalapeños into a crispy, fiery delight. Whether it's a crunchy snack or a zesty topping, your taste buds are in for a spicy treat!

Snacks, Snacks & More Snacks!

Nothing changes your snack game quite like buying an air fryer, whether there's a movie on TV or some hungry guests in the living room. Air fryers are perfect for instant snacks because you can fry almost everything as quick as five minutes.

It's good to have some breadcrumbs in store to add that crispy layer. Besides that, the imagination is the limit: everything goes from fried fruits to fried prawns. It's like having a snack bar right at home.

Leftovers? Forget About the Microwave

There are some leftovers in the fridge, so we put them in the microwave. When we take them out, they're all soggy and don't taste nearly as good as they did the night before. Luckily, this is not an issue for anyone with an air fryer.

We just need to grab the leftovers, turn the air fryer to 350 to 400 degrees, and wait three to four minutes. Our leftovers will taste delicious in less than the time it takes to make a cup of coffee!

Avoid a Messy Basket With Aluminum Foil

One can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs: before cooking a delicious dish inside the air fryer, we need to be prepared to deal with the mess that comes with it. The accumulated juices and grease can get problematic after a few runs, so it's advisable to cover the air fryer basket or food container with aluminum foil before each meal.

The foil will preserve the juices and oil, which can be conveniently stored or thrown away once the food is ready for consumption.

Air Fryer Cleaning Without the Flub

Keeping your air fryer spick and span is easier than you think! Just let the basket and pan have a little spa time in some warm, soapy water to soften up the gunk. Then, get cozy with a soft sponge or brush to whisk away any leftovers—kindly, of course.

Leave the tough love at the door; harsh scrubbers and mean cleaners are a no-go for that precious non-stick surface. Give them a good rinse and pat dry, and they’re ready to reunite with the air fryer, all set for the next cooking adventure. Dishwasher-friendly? Check the manual to keep things chill.

Boiling for Some Eggs

Boiling eggs is the trickiest way of cooking eggs because it can be a tedious process. But not if one can count on the unmatched versatility of an air fryer! Despite its name, the cooking appliance is probably the best new way of making boiled eggs.

It's almost too simple: just place the eggs in the basket and cook at a relatively low temperature (around 250 degrees should do the trick). In about 15 minutes, the air fryer will work its magic and deliver perfectly-cooked boiled eggs.

Evenly-Cooked Food

One of the few issues with air fryers is that some models don't always cook the food evenly. Some of the french fries in the middle, for instance, can be less cooked than the others. Fortunately, there's a simple hack to solve this problem.

During cooking, just shake the air fryer basket once or twice to ensure that the food inside is turned around. This easy method is all one needs to ensure evenly-cooked air-fried food. It's particularly important for snacks.

Non-Stick Spray Is a Big No-No

It's so easy to cook food with an air fryer that one may feel like everything is allowed. But, like all cooking appliances, air fryers require some special care. For one, you should never use a non-stick aerosol spray in an air fryer because some of its additives can cause damage to the equipment.

The alternative? Fill an empty aerosol bottle with olive oil or other food oil and enjoy all the perks of your air fryer without any of the risks.

Use Silicone Cups!

It can be a problem when portions of food touch each other inside the air fryer. Portions must be separated to cook evenly because an air fryer's system is based on airflow. The best way to keep every bit of food in its right place? Silicone cups!

Silicone cups are perfect for making smaller versions of all types of dishes, from boiled eggs and quiches to chicken wings and sweet desserts. There are many different-sized models in the market, so just choose the silicone cups that best fit your needs.

Stack Your Airfryer Without Overcrowding It

Discover a game-changing air fryer technique that will elevate your cooking to new heights. The height of the air fryer holder presents an opportunity to stack different foods for a truly innovative culinary experience.

However, a word of caution: direct stacking of items like hashbrowns can lead to undesired sticking. To overcome this challenge, consider utilizing a metal stand typically used for steaming purposes. By skillfully arranging your ingredients, you open the door to a whole new world of creative possibilities.

Get Some Nuts!

Is there anything an air fryer can't do? Like pretty much all foods one can think of, nuts also get delicious if cooked in an air fryer. It's the perfect way for making a healthy snack in under five minutes to share with family and friends.

Roasted cashews are one of the best air-fryer recipes involving nuts, but imagination is the limit. Whatever your favorite nut is, there's a good chance it will only taste better once put inside an air fryer.

Regular Clean-Ups for Durability

Most sources recommend that we should clean up our air fryer after every use. If such isn't possible, ensure that yours gets thoroughly cleaned regularly. This is one of the best methods for ensuring your air fryer will last you a lifetime.

If dirty, the air fryer can start releasing smoke that is not only smelly but affects the taste of the food. Watch out for food stuck in the basket or grate, and use a skewer or toothpick to clean those hard-to-reach places.

Make Fast Food at Home

An air fryer is perfect for cooking fast food at home, but that's not all. It can also be used to reheat fast-food leftovers that actually taste good. If you've ever tried to put a half-eaten Big Mac in the microwave, you've probably realized that it doesn't taste as good as you wanted it to.

With an air fryer, reheated fast-food leftovers will taste almost as good as if you bought them five minutes ago. A big plus for avoiding food waste!

Turn Tortillas into Tasty Bowls with Your Air Fryer!

Ever tried whipping up flour tortilla bowls in the air fryer? It’s pretty much the coolest kitchen trick. Just grab any oven-safe bowl, flip it upside down, gently lay a tortilla over it, and slide it into the air fryer. Dial the temperature to 180°C (350°F), and in about five to eight minutes, you’ll witness the transformation.

The tortilla turns into a crispy, golden bowl, perfect for loading up with your favorite treats. From a refreshing salad to a spicy nacho mix or a sweet ice cream delight, these bowls are guaranteed to make your dishes stand out. Plus, they're a surefire way to impress your guests with minimal effort.

Change Your Garlic Game

Prepare to elevate your garlic game with a mind-blowing technique: roasted garlic in the air fryer. Brace yourself for a flavor explosion as the garlic turns irresistibly soft, spreadable, and downright delicious. Bid farewell to any lingering harshness and embrace the mellow, savory essence that will take your culinary creations to new heights.

It's as simple as can be: preheat your air fryer to 190ºC (375ºF), coat a garlic bulb with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and wrap it snugly in foil. Let the air fryer work its magic for 15-20 minutes, and voila!

The Ultimate Hack for Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs!

Discover the ultimate time-saving hack for cooking hard-boiled eggs: the air fryer method! Prepare to be amazed as your air fryer transforms ordinary eggs into perfectly cooked delights. Simply line up those delicate oval wonders in the air fryer basket and let the magic begin.

With a gentle temperature of 250°F (121°C) and a mere 15 minutes of cooking time, your eggs will emerge with a flawless texture and a shell begging to be cracked. Plunge them into a refreshing ice water bath, and voila!

Sparkling Clean in a Snap with Dishwashing Tablets

Cleaning your air fryer is a breeze with this dishwashing tablets hack. Start by removing any food debris or excess grease from the air fryer basket and tray. Next, fill your sink or a large basin with warm water and drop in a dishwashing tablet. Submerge the basket and tray in the water and let them soak for about 15 minutes.

The powerful cleaning agents in the tablet will work their magic, loosening grime and grease. After soaking, give the basket and tray a thorough rinse and wipe them clean. Enjoy a sparkling clean air fryer without the hassle!

Kiss Goodbye to Greasy Bacon

Bacon slices taste delicious regardless of where you cook them. But frying bacon on a pan can get messy: the smell is pungent and the excessive oil increases the risk of high blood pressure. Luckily, air fryers can deliver perfectly-cooked bacon without all of the unnecessary greases.

Set the air fryer to 375 degrees, place the bacon slices inside, and wait for up to five minutes to get some instant smoky bacon. It will save you a lot of time during breakfast.

No More Stale Pastries

Pastries like croissants and bread are a breakfast must-have, but they can get stale in less than 48 hours. Luckily, we don't have to throw our old pastries in the thrash when there's an air fryer around.

The trick is to add a few spoons of water to the air fryer drip pan while cooking croissants, bread, and any other pastries. A few minutes should be enough to get pastries that will taste like they just got out of the oven.

Go Vegan With Crispy Tofu

Whether you're trying to live the Vegan lifestyle or have some friends who do, there's a chance you've tried (and failed) to make some delicious tofu dishes. With its mushy texture and relatively neutral flavor, tofu is one of the hardest ingredients to cook, unless...

Unless you have an air fryer nearby! That's right: air fryers are perfect for cooking tofu because they can deliver flavorful, crispy tofu bites in under 15 minutes. Just don't forget to add spices, especially garlic and soy sauce!

Fight Fire With Water

We've all been there: we forget about the poultry in the oven for 10 minutes and realize it burned and it's utterly ruined. The same can happen with an air fryer too, but there's a water-related hack that can save even the most distracted of cooks.

Before putting a delicious poultry dish inside the air fryer, add a cup of water to the bottom. The water will work as a grease and fat filter and reduce the risk of burning.

The Perfect Glazed Ham

There's no better way of impressing guests than to treat them with a mouth-watering glazed ham. Just make the glaze out of ingredients such as brown sugar, Dijon mustard, vinegar, fruit juice, and honey and put it inside the air fryer.

Set the air fryer to around 300 degrees and wait for a mere 10 minutes. As soon as the guests arrive, you'll have a perfectly-cooked glazed ham to welcome them home. They will never know how easy it was to make it!

Corn on the Cob, 365 Days a Year!

Is there anything cozier than eating some sweet corn on the cob cooked on the fire? We guess not! But if you want to continue to eat corn on the cob during the wintertime, all you need is to buy an air fryer.

Delicious air-fried corn on the cob is super easy to make. Just add seasoning and crank the air fryer up to 400 degrees. Flip the corn after five minutes of cooking and wait for an extra five before taking it out.

Cleaning an Airfryer Is Not All About Force

According to the experts, Fleming and Yonash, gentleness is the way to go when it comes to cleaning your air fryer. Bid farewell to those abrasive scrub pads that can damage the precious coating on the fry basket in the fryer. Instead, embrace the magic of a non-abrasive sponge.

Yonash, the cleaning guru, swears by the non-scratch Scotch Brite for tackling even the toughest messes. Keep your fryer in tip-top shape and its lifespan extended by choosing the right sponge.

Make the Perfect French Toast

The recipe developer Jules Domanski shared a few air fryer-related tips with Wales Online and spilled the beans on how we can make the perfect air-fried french toast.

He recommends getting rid of any excess liquid before putting the toast inside the air fryer and cooking each side for around three minutes. He also stated that adding a liner of some sort of foil to the basket is a great way of catching residual liquids which can later be used for added taste.

Save Money on Olive Oil

Olive oil is extensively used in Mediterranean dishes and is extremely popular in countries such as Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Outside of southern Europe, though, olive oil makes for one of the most expensive food oils around.

Luckily, an air fryer is perfect for saving money on olive oil because it hardly needs it! It's a good idea to add some oil to air-fried meals, but all you need is just a light coating. With an air fryer, a bottle of olive oil lasts twice as much!

Get a Meat Thermometer for a Perfect Meal

Food thermometers cost anywhere between a mere couple of dollars and $20 (for a more high-quality option), but they can make a big difference in the kitchen. Just looking at the meat to see if it's well-cooked or not is an old and trusted method, but one that's already run past its expiration date.

A meat thermometer is the most exact tool for letting you know when your red and white meat is cooked and should be a part of any cooking arsenal.

No Parchment Paper? A Slice Of Bread Will Do

We mentioned leveling up your air frying game by lining the basket with special nonstick parchment paper. These magic papers, equipped with perforations for even cooking, save you from sticky situations and make cleanup a breeze. Just lift, crumble, and toss! But wait, there's more.

Follow this method and combat fatty food messes by placing a slice of bread between the basket and crisper plate. The bread works its absorbent magic, leaving you with less greasy cleanup after a delicious meal.

Cook Chicken Like a Pro

There are close to 26 billion chickens in the world and about as many different ways of cooking them. One of our favorites, though, involves an air fryer and some cornstarch (also known as corn flour) and takes less than 10 minutes.

Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and place some slices of chicken breast covered in cornstarch inside. Then, wait for up to nine minutes for the chicken to get crispy. Finally, take the perfectly-cooked chicken out and add some spices.

Keep It Clean, Keep It Crispy

Wave goodbye to scrubbing and hello to simplicity with air fryer paper liners! Slip one into the basket, and you're all set for a mess-free cooking spree. These nifty little sheets are tough enough to take the heat and smart enough to catch any food bits or oil that try to escape.

Whether it's golden fries or juicy chicken wings on the menu, everything cooks up perfectly with no stick and no mess. Plus, they’re like secret armor for your air fryer basket, keeping it looking fresh. So, go ahead, make that snack—and forget about the scrubbing part. Cooking genius? Absolutely!

Fifteen-Minute Dehydration

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables are pretty delicious and can be used in snacks, desserts, and porridge. We can dehydrate food by exposing it to the sun, but some air fryer models feature a built-in dehydration option that works even better.

To dehydrate fruits and vegetables in an air fryer without a built-in dehydration option, just set the temperature to around 150 degrees and wait for 15 minutes. The air fryer's airflow will remove the water from the food, effectively dehydrating it.

Watch Out for Parchment Paper

Preheating the air fryer with parchment paper inside is not advised because the paper can start smoking and even catch on fire! This doesn't mean that you can't use parchment paper with an air fryer: you just need to do so with care.

The Conscious Plant Kitchen recommends always placing food on top of the paper (this way it won't "fly" away) and punching small holes in the paper to reduce the risk of smoke and fire. For a less tricky alternative, just go with good-old aluminum foil.

Go Past the Smoking Point

Smoke point is the name given to the temperature at which oil stops shimmering and starts smoking. Smoking oil is precisely what people don't want to see in their kitchen, so what kind of oil should one use when greasing the bottom of the air fryer basket?

Oil with a high smoke point and that can endure extreme temperatures before smoking that's the answer! There are many great options, but we recommend alternative cooking oils such as soybean and safflower.

Parboil the Roots

Root vegetables are hard to cook sometimes, even when relying on the power of an air fryer. So, the best way of cooking a whole potato (for example) is to parboil it before putting it inside the air fryer basket.

Parboiling is the technique of partially boiling food. When dealing with root vegetables, try to boil them in a pan for around five minutes before placing them inside the air fryer. It's more time-consuming, but it will get you delicious results.

It Makes Desserts Too!

Don't let the word "fryer" fool you: air fryers are complete cooking appliances that can make delicious desserts as effectively as they make crunchy meat. We've looked up some of the most impressive air-fryer desserts on the web and there's no shortage of mouth-watering options.

Our best recommendations? Air-fryer brownies, air-fryer peppermint lava cakes, air-fryer raspberry crumble coffee cake, and mini Nutella doughnut holes. The hardest part will be to stop eating sweets, so make sure you have some friends around to share them with.

Mayo & Cheese

The air fryer can be a perfect alternative to the microwave, but it's also a fine replacement for the toaster. Air fryers are extremely versatile and they can deliver the perfect mayo and cheese sandwich in under five minutes.

Just grab some bread, place some cheese in the middle, and add some mayo. Place the sandwich inside the air fryer, cook it at around 360 degrees, and take it out after three to five minutes. It's cleaner than using the toaster too!

No More ”Flying Around”

Air fryers cook food using airflow, which means there's a lot of action inside the machine once it's turned on. Smaller and lighter portions of food often start "flying around" inside the basket, which is both messy and annoying. So, what can we do?

The best method for keeping the food "on the ground" is to place a wire rack on top of them. If your wire rack doesn't fit your air fryer, the portions can be secured with the help of some toothpicks.

The Things We Shouldn’t Cook

Air fryers are so amazing that we end up feeling like pretty much all food should be cooked in there. But there are a few exceptions; according to Reader's Digest, some foods may cook poorly or unevenly in an air fryer.

The most notable big no-nos include stuff like battered food, fresh vegetables like spinach and broccoli, cheese, and (believe it or not) popcorn. It seems that, while air fryers are perfect substitutes for microwaves and ovens, it's still better to keep as many cooking appliances as possible around.

Achieve a Sparkling Clean with a Simple Soapy Solution

This time-saving air fryer hack will leave your appliance pristine and gleaming. With just a few pumps of dish soap and hot water, fill the basket of your air fryer. Then, switch it on for a quick three-minute cycle.

As if by magic, when the basket is retrieved , all the stubborn food bits and grease will have vanished, revealing a sparkling clean air fryer. Say goodbye to tedious scrubbing and hello to effortless brilliance, making your air fryer maintenance a breeze.

Don’t Be Air-Fryer-Centric

What does it mean to be air-fryer-centric? Well, it's the idea that, once you get an air fryer, you stop using your pans, oven, and microwave for good. That's surely tempting but, as stated in a Best Foods & More article, using a second method of cooking in combination with an air fryer can help you get great results.

They recommend, for instance, pan-frying a bit of oil when making chicken or boiling pasta before adding it to the air fryer's basket.

Whip Up Perfectly Poached Eggs in Your Air Fryer

Guess what? You can totally make poached eggs in an air fryer using ramekins! Just give each ramekin a quick spray with some oil, pop an egg into each one, and then set them in the air fryer basket. Make sure they've got a bit of elbow room, though.

Crank the air fryer down to a cozy 180°C (350°F) and let them cook for about eight to ten minutes. The air fryer does this cool thing where it wraps the eggs in a warm hug of air, cooking them so they come out with just the right amount of runny yolk goodness. It's like a little breakfast miracle.

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles!

Homemade cookies are one of the most beloved sweets around. But if there's one thing that can ruin a perfect batch of cookies that's too much heat. Because air fryers are powerful and cookie dough burns quite easily, covering the cookies in aluminum foil before cooking is advised.

The foil will protect the cookies from burning and your taste buds will say "thank you!" The same principle applies to most dough-based desserts, including brownies, chocolate cakes, and cinnamon rolls.

Snub Water for Some Dawn Powerwash

Dawn Powerwash and other similar cleaning products are perfect for cleaning an air fryer after using it. They're the safer (and more effective) alternative to using water, and the trick is to let it sit there for about 10 minutes before scrubbing the air fryer with a dry cloth.

A powerful cleaning spray is an air fryer's best friend, but a magic eraser is another perfect cleaning product for getting a spotless post-cooking cleanup. Who said rinsing an air fryer had to be hard?

Air-fried Portobello Mushrooms

Say goodbye to soggy mushrooms and hello to crispy perfection. With the air fryer's circulating heat, you can achieve a heavenly crunch and a juicy, steak-like texture. Simply whisk together olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and generously brush it onto both sides of the mushrooms.

Set your air fryer to 375°F to 385°F, and cook for five minutes. Flip them over and cook for three minutes until they're tantalizingly crispy. Add a slice of cheddar and serve them on warm and crispy burger buns for an extra touch.

Oil Seasoning Powder

Airflow is what makes an air fryer work, which means that you shouldn't put seasoning powder inside the machine. Doing so could get messy, just like when sand drifts away during a windy day at the beach.

Does that mean we have to give up on seasoning powder? Not exactly. Just mix the seasoning with some oil before putting the food inside the air fryer to ensure it sticks and won't "fly" away. Alternatively, you can apply the seasoning once the food's cooked.

How to Clean the Air Fryer Base

The air fryer base features an electrical unit, meaning it's not safe to put it in the sink or the dishwasher. So, how do we get rid of the stains on the base? The trick is to use as little water as possible and go for a warm, slightly-wet cloth.

The best part is that, because most air-fryer bases have a nonsticking coating, cleaning them is very easy. Oh, and please don't forget to unplug the air dryer before the clean-up!

Leave Some Room in the Basket

Being overly ambitious with an air fryer can cause some issues. If we put too much food inside the basket, there's a good chance some of it will be undercooked. For top air-fryer performance, the trick is to leave some room in the basket (half an inch should do the trick).

The motto "use as much food as it fits inside" shouldn't apply to air fryers. Quality is more important than quantity, and you can always put the second batch of food inside the basket once you're done with the first one.

Use the Air Fryer Instead of the Microwave

The evolution of technology can make some objects obsolete. And while the good-old microwave is still a kitchen essential, an air fryer can do most microwave functions better. It's particularly well-suited for cooking quick frozen meals such as mini pizzas and chain-store lasagna.

The big plus is that the food gets crispier and doesn't get mushy. It adds some flavor too, which doesn't happen when we use the microwave. So, the next time you need to cook something, think "air fryer" instead of "microwave."

Defrost the Vegetables

Buying an air fryer is game-changing for all cookers, but especially useful for those who are into vegetables. An air fryer can thoroughly cook a bunch of frozen vegetables in a matter of minutes, but it helps to defrost them before putting them in the basket.

Defrosting the vegetables before air-frying them helps to preserve their flavor and, most importantly, avoid excessive water. If there's ice around the vegetables while they're inside the air fryer, they may not cook as efficiently.

Amazing Casseroles

A casserole is defined as "a kind of stew that is slowly cooked in an oven," but the future of the casserole may not even involve the oven. With an air fryer, cooking delicious casseroles couldn't be any easier.

The best part? Unlike most ovens, air fryers can work with any kind of material, meaning no casserole will be left behind. You can put containers made out of silicone, glass, ceramic, and even metal inside the air fryer without worry.

Better Veggies for Kids

According to Science Focus, kids likely have an aversion to the bitter taste of foods like vegetables because of our evolutionary tendency to avoid toxic plants. That can be a big problem because vegetables are essential for a healthy diet: they're low in fat, rich in potassium, and a good source of vitamins.

What can you do if your kids aren't big veggie fans? Air-frying them can be the answer! Air-fried vegetables have a unique taste and a crispier texture.

Trust Experience, Not the Manual

Every air fryer model is different, and the temperatures and settings listed in the manual or the cooking appliance's presets aren't always the best. While it's okay to use them as a guideline, getting the most out of an air fryer is all about... Experience!

It happens with any other form of cooking, so why should air fryers be an exception? Trust your gut and learn from past mistakes and successes. In no time, you will be a master at cooking with an air fryer!

Treat Your Air Fryer Like an Oven

As if being faster than a traditional fryer wasn't enough, air fryers can replace ovens in the same way they have replaced deep-frying. The trick to getting some tasty, tender meat out of an air fryer is to preheat it before using it, just like one would with an oven.

According to Rib N'Reef, slowly-cooked meat is more tender because when collagen melts at a slow pace it gives way to a delicious gelatin liquid that makes the meat taste better.

If That Fails With Crusty Messes, Bristle Brush To The Rescue!

Worry not when the going gets tough and crusty messes refuse to budge! Yonash, the master of cleanliness, has a secret weapon up their sleeve: the bristle brush. This mighty tool comes to the rescue, effortlessly tackling those stubborn spots that defy your trusty sponge.

Its bristles work wonders on the crisper plate, leaving it squeaky clean. Opt for a brush with a handle for extra leverage, ensuring no nook or cranny is left unattended. Say goodbye to stubborn grime and hello to a sparkling air fryer!

Add Oil Mid-Cooking

While cooking food with little to no oil is one of the best things about owning an air fryer, that doesn't mean oil should be completely left out of the picture. Adding little amounts of oil to the basket is recommended, and so is adding oil mid-cooking for preventing the food (and especially meat) from getting dry.

For this purpose, avoid aerosol food oils and go for more natural (and healthier) alternatives such as olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, and avocado oil.

Add the Cheese Later

Outlets such as Reader's Digest don't recommend cooking cheese in an air fryer, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on cheesy recipes. The trick for cooking cheese inside an air fryer is to wait until the rest of the meal is cooked and sprinkle some cheese on top of it.

Then, set the air fryer's settings to a low temperature and wait for no longer than two minutes. The cheese will melt instantly without burning or flying off the basket.

Selecting Your Air Fryer

When selecting your perfect air fryer, it's essential to consider a few key factors. First and foremost, determine the capacity that suits your needs. Whether you're cooking for yourself or a large family, there's an air fryer size to match. Look for user-friendly controls and presets that make cooking a breeze.

Additionally, pay attention to the wattage for efficient cooking and the overall build quality for durability. Lastly, remember to read customer reviews and compare prices to find the best value for your budget.

Preheat for Three Minutes Before Every Use

There's no excuse for not preheating the air fryer before every use. Unlike old ovens, which can take a while before getting warm, air fryers are ready to go in a mere three minutes once you turn them on—it's a much less tedious process.

The advantage of preheating is that the food starts cooking right away once it's placed inside the air fryer. This helps to remove moisture from the food and it's essential for getting that much-wanted crispy, brown layer.

Smoky Air Fryer? Try This!

Air fryers are better than traditional pans because they're more effective and way cleaner. But one of the most annoying aspects of air fryers is that they can release a lot of smoke (depending on the model and function). If that's a problem you can relate to, here's what you should do...

Just add two to three tablespoons of water to the basket to prevent the grease and oil from reaching super-high temperatures. When there's smoke, it's most likely coming from meat grease or food oils, so there you go!

Buy Replacement Parts

Air fryers cost anything between a few tenths of dollars and $100 and more. But regardless of your air fryer model, buying replacement parts when something's not working is a great way of saving money while keeping a functional air fryer in the kitchen.

When one of the air fryer parts breaks, just contact the manufacturer and replace the broken part, not the entire machine. This way, even budget air fryer models will last a lot longer. It's also great for avoiding plastic waste.

Add Less Butter for Better Roasted Veggies

Unlike oil, butter burns fast when exposed to high temperatures because of its milk solid components. This universal truth of cooking applies not only to traditional pans but also to air fryers.

To make perfect roasted vegetables on an air fryer, it is important to minimize the amount of butter used. When veggies have too much butter, they will burn faster. A little butter should be enough to give the veggies that much-wanted buttery flavor without the risk of burning.

Does the Air Fryer Need a Cleanup? Don't Wait Until It's Cold!

A lot has been written about what's the best way of cleaning an air fryer. However, few outlets mention that the best time for cleaning the air fryer's basket is when it's still warm.

We instinctively wait for our cooking appliances to get cold before cleaning. But getting in on the action as soon as possible (i.e., when the air fryer is warm but cold enough to be touched) can help get rid of grease. It's easier to remove grease when it's still exposed to the heat.

Make Air-Fryer Juice

During cooking, food releases juices that are often disregarded and thrown into the trash. That's a kitchen crime because these juices have a lot of flavors and can be used for enhancing the taste of other foods.

Instead of throwing the juices left in the air fryer basket away, place them inside a container and store them in the fridge or freezer. Later, these juices can be added to meat and sauces. It's ideal not only for avoiding food waste but also for making tastier meals.