How to use an air fryer: 10 expert tips for beginners

You’re undoubtedly eager to start cooking, whether you got an air fryer on sale around Boxing Day or unwrapped one on Christmas morning.

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your new gadget, though, it’s good reading up on a few things before you start tossing everything in.

This is all the information you need to air fry like a pro, then.

Using an air fryer: Initial steps

Are you prepared to use your air fryer for the first time? The essential stages for preparing your first meal are as follows.

. Configure it

After taking off all of the packaging, set your air fryer down on a spotlessly clean, level surface—ideally your kitchen bench. Make sure there is plenty of room around the edges. The instructions that came with your appliance should be able to tell you how much room your air fryer needs in order to perform safely. To protect your kitchen table surface and prevent heat damage, you might want to set your air fryer on a silicone trivet, heat-resistant board, or mat. Quartz, marble, and wooden counters are particularly susceptible to heat damage.

Get your food ready.

Naturally, this will change based on the specifics of what you want to cook. When frying fresh food, such as handmade chips or chicken wings, blot it dry and then lightly coat it with oil. Generally speaking, one kilogram of fresh food requires up to one tablespoon of oil. To cook a kilogram of chicken wings, for instance, pat the wings dry and then throw them in a tablespoon of oil along with your preferred seasonings before putting them in the fryer. You can toss frozen premade items straight into the air fryer and avoid using any oil at all while cooking with them.

Select your configuration.

To determine which setting to use, consult your handbook as each model has different possibilities.


You will need to take out the cooking drawer and shake it at least once while it’s cooking, unless your model has a rotating basket or is self-stirring (see more about this below).

5. Have fun

After cooking is complete, just take out the dish and serve. Keep in mind to give your appliance a thorough cleaning after each use; doing so will improve performance and perhaps lengthen its lifespan.

Professional advice for the best outcomes

1. Include an additional shake

The majority of air fryer models will tell you to shake the cooking basket once or twice while it’s cooking. However, our resident air fryer expert Fiona Mair says you should always add an additional shake.

“Definitely shake it more than advised if you want crispy, evenly browned results,” she advises.

2-Set out foil to make crumbed foods.

Fiona suggests using a specially made air fryer liner or a layer of foil before frying anything sticky or crumbed if your air fryer has a wire rack instead of a solid base. This makes cleaning easier and guarantees that the coating won’t rub off during the shaking procedure.

Just watch out that the foil doesn’t cover the basket’s base all the way because you want air to escape underneath the basket as well. Additionally, avoid covering the food with foil when it’s close to the fan and element.

3-Ignore the preheating (meat excluded).

You can put your food inside an air fryer without having to wait for it to heat up, which is one of its key benefits.

For products like chips and crumbed dishes, Fiona says you may skip the preheating step. However, she suggests that you let your air fryer heat up for approximately five minutes before adding uncrumbed meat slices to the cooking tray for better results.

4-Fill the drawer with water to cook fatty meals.

“When you’re cooking high-fat foods like chicken wings or bacon, grease can drip down into the tray causing mess and smells,” Fiona explains.

Before cooking, she advises placing a tiny amount of water to the drawer’s base (if the design permits) to prevent the fat from smoking. Or to avoid the mess, use a liner made especially for air fryers.

5-Steer clear of the dishwasher

Although the majority of air fryer manufacturers state that their baskets and other components can be cleaned in a dishwasher, Fiona advises hand washing instead.

“Putting them in the dishwasher will end up damaging the non-stick surface quite quickly, and hand washing is quick and easy anyway,” she explains.

6-Reheat leftovers with it.

Use your air fryer instead of a microwave to rapidly reheat small servings without sacrificing flavor or texture. Fiona suggests using an air fryer for pizza slices, as one CHOICE Community member uses it to reheat roast vegetables.

“A microwave will leave your leftover pizza soggy and unappetising – an air fryer will give you crispy, fresh-tasting leftovers in just a few minutes,” she claims.

7-Wipe it out

Even though cleaning up after a meal can be a hassle, it’s worthwhile to spend an extra minute cleaning your air fryer’s interior each time you use it.

“If you don’t clean it regularly unpleasant odours and extra smoking can occur when you cook,” Fiona warns. “Just wait till it cools down, then quickly wipe it down with a moist cloth.

Leave a Comment