7 Mistakes You’re Probably Making With Your Air Fryer
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There’s no denying it—the air fryer is awesome. It gives you crispy, salty French fries in a matter of minutes with half the fat and calories you’d expect in a traditional restaurant order or McDonald’s run. And, there’s no comprising on the taste. In fact, you can even add in your own herbs and spices and use out-of-the-box ingredients to shake things up.
Yet—it’s all about how you use your air-fryer to really get that magical, “fried” goodness with a slimmed-down edge. If you’re making these super common mistakes with your air fryer, you won’t get the taste and texture you’re looking for.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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You Forget to Pre-Heat
Those dials are on there for a reason, so pay attention to them. “Take the time (about 3 minutes) to set the air fryer to the proper temperature before you get cooking,” says Dana Angelo White MS, RD, ATC author of the Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, “Preheating the air fryer is best for optimum cooking, the temperature and air flow will be at right levels and food can cook to crispy air fried perfection,” she explains.
As for temperature, it varies, but it’s typically between 325 and 400 degrees F. “If you just toss food in there it won't cook as evenly,” she explains, and “preheating heats up the basket so the cooking surface is nice and hot when you add the food,” she says.
You Don’t Cook Veggies
Don’t just stick to making friend chicken in there—you can make fried veggie dishes that are delicious and packed with nutrients.
“Air fryers are a lot like counter top convection ovens - only turbo versions. The machine uses the power of hot circulating air to make food cook quickly,” she explains. “You can make everything from stuffed peppers, to asparagus, to sweet potato hash in the air fryer in minutes,” she says.
It’s great for making veggie-based meals and sides with a crisp texture and fewer calories and fat.
You Only Cook Foods That Are Already Fried
Don’t throw a fried chicken wing in the air fryer to get only more fried. “Use your air fryer for from scratch recipes. Convenience foods like bagged frozen french fries, fish sticks, and chicken fingers are already fried,” she says. “Preparing them in the air fryer will make them extra crispy, but wont save you any fat or calories,” she says. (And you can still get that crispiness by just using the air fryer for frying, as is.)
You Overcrowd the Basket
Give your food some room to breathe! You may want to save time and energy by making a big batch at once, but you run the risk of wrecking your meal. “Resist the temptation to jam a bunch of food into the air fryer basket, this will lead to an unevenly cooked mess,” she says.
“For the most even frying, pause cooking and gently shake the air fryer basket, this will help evenly distribute the food and promote even cooking,” she says. Shaking it once or twice during cooking will do the trick.
Prepare food in smaller batches, instead, or consider a bigger air fryer, such as the Phillips XXL, she says, which is awesome for crowds and party prep. “Standard air fryers are great for two-person cooking (or for one with leftovers), and some recipes can serve four,” she says.
Yet, the XXL model can make portions for up to six people. “I love the XXL for apps, recipes like asparagus wrapped with crispy proscuitto, zucchini ‘fries’ and air fried pickles,” she says.
There are also middle of the road "XL" models that are good for serving 4 people at once. “The units are pretty tall because of the controls, [where] fan and elements are all housed above the cooking basket,” she says. Here, you want room below the basket, as well, for air to circulate.
You Don’t Bake
Ditch the oven and use the air fryer for slimmed down sweets. “Use your air fryer for healthy baked goods such as breakfast casseroles, doughnuts and desserts,” she says. She recommends Raspberry Yogurt Cake and Zeppole with Cannoli Dip, which are easy to whip up and taste great.
“Invest in a few pans that fit in side the basket, such as a 6-in round baking pan or bundt pan,” she says. The pans fit right inside the fryer basket. You can drop them right in—they’re 100% necessary for baking in an air fryer.
You Use Too Much or Too Little Oil
While some recipes don’t use any oil, most do—and it’s still significantly less than oils used in standard fried recipes. You only really need 1-2 teaspoons for most recipes or 1-2 tablespoons for breaded items.
“For breaded recipes (chicken fingers, fish sticks) I like to mix the breadcrumbs with a 1-2 Tbsp of oil and it works great! For other recipes you can just brush lightly with oil - it ends up being only 1-2 tsp per serving (or less) for most recipes,” she says.
Again though, it depends on the recipe—“some recipes need no oil at all, others you can get away with a light coating of oil spray—I use all kinds, depending what I am making," she says.
Just don’t go too crazy with the oil. “Using too much oil can cause oil to drip and hit the bottom tray - this can lead the excess oil to burn and smoke! No fun,” she says.
Washing It Infrequently or Incorrectly
“I hand wash the basket and bottom tray with every use! Just hot soap water, occasionally they need a bit of a soak and a light scrub. Newer air fryer models make this even easier because they have removable parts that can just pop in and out,” she says.
You often can’t put it in the dishwasher, so be sure to check, and don’t make that mistake. You can also take a few shortcuts to make clean up a breeze.
“To make clean up easier you can do a few things—for example, spray the basket with nonstick spray before adding the food or line the bottom tray (the bottom inner portion of the machine) with aluminum foil,” she says.
And, don’t let it sit there dirty for a days. “Not cleaning is a big mistake. Just about every recipe I've ever made leaves some debris or crumbs behind. If those food particles stay in the unit they will burn quickly the next time you fire up the machine,” she says. This can not only smoke and smell but also ruin whatever new dish you’re cooking up.
What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a convection oven in miniature – a compact cylindrical counter top convection oven, to be exact. The name however, can be a bit confusing as this air cooker does much more than fry up diet-busting treats. It roasts, grills, fries, and even BAKES!
Air fryers simulate the traditional frying of foods by circulating hot air around food rather than submerging the food in oil. As with frying, properly prepared foods are crispy, juicy, golden brown, and flavorful.
Air fryers work due to the Maillard reaction, a scientific principle which refers to what we usually call “browning.” A Maillard reaction occurs when the surface of a food item forms a crust due to dehydration, and the intense heat breaks down proteins, starches, and fibers. That is what gives fried, roasted, and baked foods their delicious, complex flavors.
Air fryers employ convection to rapidly and efficiently cook crisp foods. A heating element within the air fryer super-heats the air, producing natural convection currents. A fan within the appliance aids in air movement, circulating it even more rapidly.
Perforations or holes in the cooking basket allow the hot air to flow freely around the food. This air movement increases heat transfer from the air to the food. Thus, your dinner gets done faster.
7 Mistakes You're Making With Your Scrambled Eggs
Like spaghetti and PB&J, scrambled eggs are one of those incredibly simple dishes that everyone knows how to make. right? Nope. Turns out almost everyone is doing it wrong, and your deeply engrained amateur mistakes (hint: adding water or milk) are resulting in a seriously subpar scramble.
Don't believe us? Here, seven common scrambled egg mistakes that are turning your breakfast into a rubbery mess&mdashand how you can achieve fluffy perfection. (Take back control of your eating&mdashand lose weight in the process&mdashwith our 21-Day Challenge!)
Pouring in a splash of milk, cream, or even water while you beat your eggs helps make them fluffier, right? Sorry, nope. But what it will do is make your eggs tougher. Plus, any liquid you pour in will end up separating from the eggs once the mixture hits the heat, leaving you with a pool of yellowish liquid oozing out from your rubbery curds. Yum. (If scrambled eggs aren't your forte, try this simple poached egg recipe instead.)
RELATED: 20 Super-Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Whisking is what you really need to do in order to get fluffy eggs. And not just to mix the white and the yolk. The longer you whisk eggs, the more air you beat in. And the more air you beat in, the lighter your eggs' texture will be. So use an actual whisk (like this stainless steel and copper whisk) and beat vigorously for at least 30 seconds.
That pinch of salt you're adding as you beat your eggs? It actually draws out moisture, leaving you in the same waterlogged situation as if you added a splash of milk or other liquid. Skip the seasoning for now, and add the salt when your eggs are almost finished cooking.
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Yes, vegetables infuse your scramble with nutrients, but they're also loaded with water, which will seep out into your eggs while everything cooks together. A smarter, tastier method? Use cooked vegetables instead. Sauté them directly in the pan and drain the excess water before you add your eggs, or use some leftover steamed or roasted vegetables from last night's dinner. (Short on time? Try these 5-minute scramble recipes.)
There's no need to bust out the giant sauté pan if you're only making eggs for one or two people. For starters, it takes longer to heat up, and you'll need more fat to coat the bottom. Plus, the larger surface area will cause your eggs to spread out in a thinner layer, making them more likely to overcook or burn. Save yourself the trouble and reach for your small skillet instead. (And not the cast-iron skillet eggs are just one of THESE 5 foods you should never ever cook in a cast-iron pan.)
Cranking it up cooks your eggs faster so you can eat them and get out the door. But high heat messes with the protein structure of the eggs, so the curds end up tough and dry. Plus, a super hot temperature ups the odds that your eggs will overcook or even burn in the pan. Instead, try to go low and slow&mdashthink five to seven minutes instead of 45 seconds. You'll be rewarded with a soft, creamy texture that's worlds away from your usual scramble.
RELATED: 4 Foods That Burn Belly Fat
Just like a steak or a piece of fish, residual heat will cause your eggs to keep cooking even after you take them off the stove. Which means that if you take them off the heat when they seem finished, they'll likely be dry and overcooked by the time you sit down to eat. Slide them onto your plate when they look like they could still use another minute, and they'll be perfectly done once you bring them to the table.
I marinated the steak for the best flavor.
The steak that I air fried was a pound of T-bone steak. You can choose any cut of steak, I chose T-bone. I decided to marinate the steak to enhance the flavor more instead of adding only salt and pepper because to me it seemed generic to use only salt and pepper.
The main component with this marinade was the ancho chili powder. It has a rich aromatic floral-like flavor with a little heat.
In addition, I also used Aleppo pepper to give it a little more spice. I found that it had a nice earthy flavor with a kick. It is also salty and has a tangy powerful unique flavor.
Furthermore, I utilized garlic powder, onion powder, a little bit of brown sugar to add some sweetness to the heat, salt, and pepper.
To top it all off, I used oregano, coriander, and some thyme leaves to give the steak some wonderful fragrance. I spread it out evenly as well as massaged the steak to allow the spices to stick.
I allowed the steak to marinate for an hour in the refrigerator so the spices and the meat get to know each other. You can do it for more than an hour, it adds more flavor, but beware that it can get saltier.
The single most common mistake people (and by people, I mean me) make when they start air frying is letting their eyes be bigger than their basket. Overcrowding your baskets or shelves blocks the convection movement of the heated air that the machines are designed to create, and you will end up with food that is cooked unevenly, not crispy all the way around, or will take much longer to cook than the recipes call for.
How to fix it: Be sure to give anything you put in the air fryer on shelves some space. Fill baskets loosely to the recommended level. If using an accessory with a spinning basket, make sure all the items have room to move around as it turns.
Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid With Your Air Fryer – How to Use Air Fryer Properly
The top 10 costly mistakes to avoid with your air fryer – mistakes you’re
Following is 10 costly mistakes to avoid with your air fryer must avoid with your air fryer:
1. Buying a low-quality brand.
2. Not placing the air fryer in the right place.
3. Cooking without oil.
4. Overcrowding the air fryer.
5. Not pre-heating your air fryer.
6. Cooking loose batters.
7. Not using to its fullest.
8. Checking the food very frequently
9. Not washing frequently.
10. Not securing the fine ingredients.
Things that you must consider before using an air fryer – common mistakes
Following are 10 mistakes to avoid with your air fryer, and a list of things that you must consider before you start using an air fryer.
Read air fryer manual
The first thing that you must do with your air fryer is to read the manual that came along with the air fryer.
The manual contains some valuable information regarding safety and usage.
Therefore, reading the manual can help a lot in using an air fryer.
Also, there is a huge chance that the manual has a hotline number or social media.
Or other accounts listed that you can contact for help regarding any issue with your air fryer.
Although we will cover multiple mistakes that you must avoid but reading the manual can also help.
Use silicone gloves
The air fryer has a very high temperature that is used for cooking the food.
Many people make a common mistake, and that is they use their hands to remove baskets from the air fryer.
It is something very dangerous and can be a health hazard.
Therefore, one of the biggest things that you must consider while using an air fryer is to use silicone or heat-resistant gloves or mats.
These mats and gloves will save you from the high heat inside the air fryer.
And you will not burn yourself while cooking your favorite piece of the meal.
Use the accessories that came along with the air fryer
When you buy an air fryer, you will notice some accessories that came along.
These are the items that can easily fit into your air fryer, and as a result, you will enjoy maximum cooking space.
Usually, people avoid using those accessories because they think that placing those things can reduce the cooking space.
However, it is not the case.
A few items like cooking grill can help you dividing the air fryer portion into two halves so that you can cook in the best way possible.
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1. Purchasing Before Planning
I think we can all agree that you wouldn’t classify an air fryer as a “small” appliance.” Before you purchase your air fryer, make sure you have ample countertop space or storage for it.
When I first purchased my air fryer I kept it downstairs in our storage closet.
I didn’t use it as much as I would have if it were readily available every day right on my kitchen countertop.
Since then, I’ve moved it out of downstairs storage to the kitchen, but I needed to clear an ample amount of space in order to do that.
TIP: Now, remember, Air fryers do come in various sizes. If there are only two of you to feed, don’t purchase an XXL model. Buy according to your needs and prepare a space for your air fryer before you make your purchase.
2. Overcrowding the Basket
If you’re cooking for a family, it’s tempting to throw a ton of food into the basket to cook at once. Don’t! Give your food some room to breathe.
By throwing in too much food, you run the risk of ruining your meal altogether. If the food isn’t evenly distributed, you’ll end up with an unevenly cooked “disaster.”
Sometimes shaking the basket halfway through cooking can alleviate the uneven cooking problem, but if you find yourself continually frustrated over the amount of room you have in your air fryer basket, then upgrade the air fryer, itself.
TIP: An XL model, like the one I own, can comfortably fit enough food for a family of four, while an XXL model, like the one from Philips, can make portions for up to six people. Just make sure you have the counter space to accommodate a larger machine as advised earlier.
3. Not Using Oil
I know that you purchased an air fryer to eat healthier and escape the oil. I get it. Most air fryer recipes, though, turn out best when you use a little oil.
I ALWAYS spray the bottom of the basket with nonstick spray no matter what I’m cooking.
When it comes to the food, itself, you only really need 1-2 teaspoons for most recipes and slightly more for anything breaded.
For most recipes I just use nonstick cooking spray and it works just fine.
So, why the oil? Especially with breaded items, the oil helps crisp up the coating and produces perfectly cooked food inside. . .and out.
TIP: Some air fryer users have not had good luck with nonstick cooking spray (particularly the GoWISE brand owners) and claim that it causes peeling on the bottom of their air fryer basket.
I have not experienced this at all. If you are worried about using nonstick cooking spray, you could use coconut oil to grease your basket or invest in an oil spray bottle like this one.
4. Forgetting to Preheat Your Air Fryer
Now before I go any further with this one, there ARE some air fryers out there that claim no preheating is necessary.
With that being said, if you’re finding that your food is consistently undercooked when following air fryer recipes, it’s probably because you’re not preheating your air fryer.
Preheating your air fryer is easy. Set the temperature at 370º Fahrenheit for about 3 minutes. After the timer shuts off, you can put your food into the basket to cook.
TIP: If you forget to preheat in the future and you have already started the cooking process, just add about three extra minutes to the overall cook time and things should turn out okay.
5. Neglecting to Weigh Down Light Foods
Ever try to make a grilled cheese sandwich in your air fryer and end up with bread and slices of cheese flying all around the inside of your machine? If not, consider yourself lucky.
For those of us who have experienced “flying food,” we’ve also learned a thing or two about what to do about it.
In the example I used above, to help “hold” the sandwich down and together, you could use toothpicks or even a trivet.
TIP: The basket divider that came in the box with your air fryer could act as a great weight, also!
6. Cooking Fatty Foods Without Water
When cooking something particularly fatty like burgers or bacon, add some water to the drawer underneath the frying basket.
It will help prevent the drippings of grease from smoking.
TIP: Always remember to clean your air fryer after each use to keep the unit running at its optimal performance.
7. “Hoping” the Food is Done
It’s a good idea to have an instant read meat/food thermometer on hand when cooking with an air fryer. Heck, it’s good to have this when grilling and cooking in the oven, too.
As with any new appliance, it often takes some trial and error before you have cook times down for certain foods.
Using a meat thermometer just takes the guessing out of, “I wonder if it’s done.” You will never be disappointed with an under or overcooked meal.
TIP: This digital instant read thermometer gets rave reviews from thousands of customers on Amazon and would be a great tool for ensuring your food is cooked perfectly each and every time.
8. “Stifling” the Air Fryer
Your air fryer should always be kept on a level, heat-resistant countertop and in order for the exhaust vent to operate properly, allow five inches of space behind the air fryer at all times.
TIP: These counter mats act as a wonderful protective surface for your kitchen island or counter top. Growing up, I remember my mom always using these in our kitchen and they’re amazing!
9. Washing the Air Fryer too Infrequently
The majority of air fryers require hand washing. Boo, right? It’s really not that big of deal especially when you think about the time you saved preparing dinner.
However, some air fryer owners have been known to let their air fryers sit dirty for days which is a no-no.
After I finish air frying there is always some food stuck to the basket and a substantial amount of crumbs left in the drawer.
If debris is left in the drawer, be prepared for smoke and an unpleasant smell to fill your kitchen the next time you use the machine.
TIP: Bottom line, hand wash after every use. Food will come off much more easily if you take care of it right away.
10. Only Cooking Foods That Come Out of the Frozen Section of the Grocery Store
Essentially you’re frying “already fried” foods. Although the air fryer is great for crisping up frozen French fries and chicken nuggets, if this is all you’re heating in your air fryer, you’re missing out!
SO many things can be prepared in the air fryer from veggies and pork chops to omelets and full chickens!
Did you know you can also bake in your air fryer? You can! Invest in some baking pans that fit right inside the basket. Drop them right in and whip up this delicious cake!
TIP: To get accessory pieces in and out of the air fryer easily, put a long, sturdy strip of aluminum foil under the accessory. When ready to remove, grab the ends of the foil and lift the pan out of the air fryer.
7 things you should cook in an air fryer and 7 things you shouldn't
Though certain foods become crispy and juicy in an air fryer, others can get messy or dry.
The experts recommended using an air fryer when preparing frozen food, making cookies, and cooking bacon.
You'll want to avoid putting overseasoned food items, wet batters, and cheese in your air fryer since they can create a mess.
Air fryers can be convenient and versatile when it comes to preparing many dishes, but not all food should be tossed into this appliance.
Here are the best and worst foods to cook in an air fryer, according to chefs and other culinary experts:
Frozen food can become nice and crispy in an air fryer.
The air fryer is a great appliance to use for reheating or cooking food that has been frozen, according to Stephanie Pixley, the deputy food editor of America's Test Kitchen.
The air fryer does a great job of making food crispy because of the convection function, Pixley said. This feature allows hot air to surround the food, cooking it more evenly and quickly.
Brussels sprouts get nice and crispy in the air fryer, even without oil.
Brussels sprouts also do well in an air fryer, according to Pixley. The air fryer helps the sprouts get crispy, and you don't have to deal with the mess and greasiness of oil.
You can quickly make cookies in an air fryer because it doesn't have to preheat.
According to Pixley, cookies can thrive in an air fryer plus, they are quick to prepare.
"I like keeping cookie-dough balls on hand in my freezer so that I can have one (or a few) without having to make up an entire batch," Pixley told Insider. "And now, I'm always going to make them in my air fryer."
Since you don't have to preheat the air fryer, you can have fresh, homemade cookies in 10 minutes flat, she added.
With practice and patience, you can make a beautifully cooked steak in an air fryer.
Since air fryers can serve as miniature ovens, they can also be used to cook steak, Pixley told Insider.
With a little bit of practice you can get a beautifully cooked steak in the air fryer, allowing you to skip the smoke and flames from the grill, according to Yankel Polak, the head chef at ButcherBox.
Plus, it frees up the stovetop and doesn't leave the mess that searing a steak typically produces, Pixley added.
Air fryers can help you to avoid soggy zoodles.
It may sound odd, but zoodles are actually an ideal air-fryer food, according to Jess Dang, the founder of Cook Smarts.
"Zucchini releases a ton of moisture during cooking, so you can quickly wind up with a soggy mess in a pan," Dang told Insider. "In the air fryer, however, all that excess moisture just drips out of the basket, leaving you with perfectly al dente zucchini noodles."
Make your chicken breasts in the air fryer for juicy results.
"Due to the compact design of an air fryer, there's not as much room for the juices to evaporate like they sometimes do in other methods," Dang said.
Glazed chicken also cooks nicely in an air fryer, according to Pixley.
"With the high heat and constant airflow of the air fryer, the glaze caramelizes on the chicken, which just takes roast chicken to another level entirely," Pixley told Insider.
Just be careful not to put too much glaze on your chicken, as the excess may drip and spread around your air-fryer chamber.
Using the air fryer for bacon is the way to go, as it's leaner and cleaner.
Dang said her favorite way to cook bacon was actually by using the air fryer.
"Fat drips out of the basket to keep it a bit leaner, and it's so much less messy and requires less supervision than other cooking methods," Dang told Insider.
On the other hand, broccoli can dry out in an air fryer.
Pixley said that while Brussels sprouts are air-fryer-friendly, broccoli is not.
"After our experience with Brussels sprouts, we had high hopes that broccoli florets would get super crispy and delicious. Unfortunately, they just got very dry and dusty and the experience was like chewing on sandpaper," Pixley told Insider, recalling her kitchen experiences with the vegetables.
Avoid putting large roasts or whole chickens in the air fryer.
"Beyond the obvious question of whether they'll fit in the air-fryer basket, larger roasts and whole chickens just won't cook evenly in the air fryer," Pixley said.
The portion closest to the heat source, according to Pixley, will burn and dry out well before the portion farthest from the heat source is safe to eat.
Any food with a wet batter should not be placed in the air fryer.
You also want to avoid putting food that has a wet batter, like corndogs or tempura shrimp, in air fryers.
Wet batter goes everywhere, and without a proper oil bath the batter won't set, which means it won't be the crispy, fried item you hoped it would be, according to Polak.
"Not only will the batter drip off the food during cooking and probably burn and stick to the bottom of your air fryer &mdash it ends up chewy and not at all crispy," Pixley said.
Cheese can create a huge mess in an air fryer.
You also want to avoid putting cheese in an air fryer, according to Polak.
"An air fryer is not actually a fryer, so there isn't the instant outer crust you would get from actually deep-frying cheese for, say, something like a mozzarella stick," Polak told Insider. "Instead you'll get a cheesy mess in your fryer."
Medium-rare burgers are not likely to happen in an air fryer.
"Air frying a burger to perfect medium-rare just isn't going to happen without a lot of compromise," Pixley told Insider.
Reaching medium-rare doneness doesn't take long in the air fryer, and the exterior of the burger just won't have time to brown, according to Pixley.
You can, however, easily use an air fryer to create a well-done burger, she said.
Fresh greens don't belong in an air fryer because they will fly all over the place.
Fresh greens, like spinach or kale, are also something you want to avoid putting in an air fryer, according to Polak.
"These greens will literally fly all over the place and cook unevenly," Polak said. "Stick to the normal oven if you're looking for kale chips."
Overseasoned proteins and vegetables are also to be avoided.
Overseasoning your meats and veggies before placing them in the air fryer is another big mistake.
In general, when you have a food that has a dry surface with seasonings, these seasonings can get blown off by the airflow in an air fryer or will fall through the basket, Polak said.
Read the original article on Insider
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Now, 8 Air Fryer Accessories that are “Nice to Have”
You definitely don’t need silicone molds , but I really enjoy using them for things like egg bites, breakfast bombs, pancake bites, meatloaf, brownies and more. Alternately, you could use silicone cupcake liners and get the same result!
PROS: Silicone Molds & Cups can also be used in the instant pot and oven. Plus, it allows you to make new types of foods in your air fryer.
CONS: I have found that with these silicone pans that the center cup is slightly undercooked compared to the outer cups.
9. Mini Silicone Oven Mitts
You can use a hot pad or towel that you already own, but I do like these little silicone oven mitts , they are thin so it’s easier to pull pots/pans out of the air fryer. Mine came with my instant pot set, but you can also find these on amazon . And I can use this for more than just the air fryer.
PROS: You can use mini silicone oven mitts for more than just your air fryer and they wash and store nicely.
CONS: Some are not good quality and will melt. They aren’t good for holding something hot for very long either.
10. Air Fryer Rack & Skewers
Every air fryer accessory kit I see on Amazon includes this skewer rack . This is a fun way to make kabobs in your air fryer and the rack itself can add another layer to your air fryer. There is a 1-1.5 inch rise on the rack so you could air fry some fresh veggies while your kebabs cook. You could cook fries the same time you cook fish sticks on the top rack. Or cook a burger on the bottom and some fries on the top. Do you have this accessory? Let me know what you love using it for. Just be aware that if you pack the food in, you’ll limit the air flow AND the items on the top rack will brown faster, so you may have to rotate the food or stagger the cooking times. You could also use this rack to secure lightweight foods so they don’t blow around inside the air fryer.
PROS: An air fryer skewer rack adds a whole new level to cooking with your air fryer (literally!).
CONS: This is not useful anywhere else in my kitchen AND they don’t clean super easily.
Ramekins are cute little ceramic dishes that fit PERFECTLY in the air fryer. I’ve used them for baking eggs, making lava cakes , and cute little individual sized bread loaves. Plus they are great to have around the house for small portions of ice cream or dipping sauces.
PROS: There are lots of uses for ramekins in your kitchen
CONS: There is more of an effort to clean ramekins and it can be challenging to get out of the air fryer.
12. Pizza Pan
An air fryer pizza pan comes with most accessory kits and fits nicely into the air fryer. It can be used for making pizza, a pizookie (cookie pizza), fried eggs , pancakes, and just about anything you need to contain. You could even use it for roasting and caramelized nuts ! You could likely find a shallow cake pan or baking dish in your kitchen that could serve the same purpose.
PROS: A pizza pan contains the food well and is easy to clean
CONS: There are no other uses in the kitchen
13. Mandoline Slicer
Or as my family likes to call it, the Mandalorian slicer. This is great for prepping for that you want to make in the air fryer. You slice potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, anything you want to roast the mandoline slicer will do it efficiently and evenly.
PROS: A mandoline slicer is quick and efficient when you need to cut something, and there are multiple kitchen uses.
CONS: You don’t really need this, you could just use a knife and eyeball your slices.
14. Silicone Basting Brush
You may already have something like this in your kitchen. This is nice for brushing oil on food that you want to evenly coat, rather than using a spray bottle.
PROS: There are multiple kitchen uses for a basting brush , besides just for spreading oil on air fried foods.
CONS: None! But you could also use a paper towel to brush oil (or even your hands).
15. Parchment Paper
Air Fryer Parchment paper has little holes in it to allow for air flow, while protecting the bottom of your basket from messy food. Most kits include 50-100 liners. You can buy them on their own as well. OR you can buy normal parchment paper and punch holes in it. I don’t use it that often, but it’s nice for messy foods like grilled cheese sandwiches with shredded cheese. If you do use it, make sure you have enough food evenly distributed to hold the paper down so it doesn’t blow up into the heating element!
PROS: Air Fryer parchment paper makes clean up easier.
CONS: It’s an added expense that you probably don’t need.
What's Going Wrong With Your Roux
A roux only has two ingredients&mdashfat and flour&mdashbut can go awry in many ways. Making a good roux is one of the backbones of cajun and creole cooking, but it's also useful for all kinds of sauces, from gravy to bechamel. A roux basically takes the consistency of a liquid from thin and drippy to a classic sauce consistency that coats the back of a spoon. It's not the only way you can achieve that thicker saucey consistency. A cornstarch slurry, simple roasted flour, or an uncooked combination of flour and butter known in French cuisine as a beurre manie can be used the same way in certain cases. But for a gumbo, for example, you're going to want to make a roux. Once you've made it a couple times, you'll know what to look out for, but here are some things that can go wrong that you'll want to avoid.