Love crispy foods, but wanting to stay away from the deep fryer? Luckily, there’s an excellent, healthier alternative that’s becoming a favorite in a lot of kitchens. We’re talking about the air fryer!
An air fryer is a countertop appliance that’s similar to a convection oven. It uses hot air to cook foods, instead of having to submerge them in oil, as you do with the deep-frying method. The beauty is you can still get a layer of crispiness without all the extra fat.
If you’re interested in using an air fryer and want the best results – there are some helpful tips you’re gonna wanna hear about. Cathy from Fabulessly Frugal created a video containing “12 air fryer mistakes” so you can be more confident when cooking with one!
You’re overcrowding your air fryer basket.
Although it might be tempting to fill your basket to the brim with food, it’s not a good idea. Overcrowding can keep you from achieving the desired, evenly-cooked results you’re looking for. A solution is to cook in batches.
Cathy advises that you “fill your basket no more than halfway full.” (She did, however, find that frozen chicken wings were an exception!) Overall, cook in batches or consider purchasing a bigger air fryer.
You’re not doing the oil right.
While you’re not cooking with as much oil as with deep-frying, the majority of foods still call for some oil in order to get that crispiness. A common air fryer mistake is using too much oil, or too little.
In the video, Cathy says:
“As a general rule of thumb, you only need one to two teaspoons of oil for breaded foods like fries if you want a crispy finish. Just a light coating will do, and you can always add more oil at the end of the cooking cycle if you want more crispiness on your food.”
Oil is also great for helping spices stick to foods, like on chicken breasts. On the other hand, fatty foods like bacon or chicken wings don’t need it at all.
You can find out more air fryer oil tips in the video at the end of the article!
You’re not stopping to shake or rotate the food.
Sure, air fryers save you from having to stand over a hot stove. But you still want to step in halfway through cooking and flip, shake, or rotate the food. This will help you get a “perfectly cooked meal.” (If your air fryer doesn’t have a reminder – Cathy suggests setting a timer.)
You’re avoiding cleaning your air fryer.
It might not sound like fun to clean your air fryer in between uses, but it’s really not a difficult task! They can easily be cleaned with hot soapy water, and some baskets are even safe to put in the dishwasher.
Extra food and crumbs are left behind when you skip cleaning your air fryer, which will burn up during the next use. This can lead to smoke, affect the taste of your food, and make the air fryer tougher to clean. So, just make it part of the kitchen clean-up ritual.
You’re putting “wet foods” in your air fryer.
If you want your veggies and proteins to get that crispy finish, be sure to pat them dry first. This will help you avoid steaming them instead.
Want to learn even more common mistakes people make with air fryers? Be sure to check out the helpful video below from Fabulously Frugal!
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