Table of Contents
Should Air fryer be Preheated?-Everything You Need to Know
Let me guess, you’ve probably gotten your hands on an air fryer and looking out on the internet to follow steps to your journey with your brand new air fryer.
Here’s the deal. The answer to your question hides in what you’re going to use your air fryer for & how much time do you have for it.
Let me break it down for you, if you’re thinking to treat yourself with some frozen fries or nuggets with some binging on Netflix or in other words, you have plenty of time with you to prepare then you better preheat it.
With my own experience trying it out, preheating it will not only make your fried food crispier but will also help it get cooked evenly from the inside.
Now here’s scenario number 2, you just woke up late for work and don’t have enough time to make yourself the regular scrambled egg you have for breakfast.
Now, this is where you need to save your time to do other things rather than caring about your eggs, you just put some sausages in the fryer set the time and forget about it till you’re ready.
Like I mentioned earlier the answer hides inside your situation, both the methods take equal time to cook, the only difference is that the result will come out well cooked and crispier in the end.
Gone through the answer to your question? Now here’s how you can do that:
How to preheat your air fryer?
If your air fryer does not come with an option to preheat then you can do that by following the same technique I follow.
- Set the temperature to exactly what your cooking temperature is going to be, not lower than that, not high than that.
- Use the dial or touch interface of your machine to set the timer to 3-5 minutes.
- Double-check the temperature of the fryer using your oven thermometer to ensure the desired temperature has been reached.
Now that you’ve learned whether you should preheat your air fryer or not & if required, the secret method to do that has already been told.
6 common mistakes to avoid
Not setting the temperature right
Another amateur mistake people do is that they put the same temperature they use for their ovens.
Many experts advise reducing the temperature to 20 degrees when using an air fryer for the same food you would use your oven for, also it is important to know that the air fryer also cooks faster than your oven all thanks to its fast blowing fan that circulates hot air all over the food.
To counter that you also need to reduce the time down to 20% as well. In short, cut 20% time and 20 degrees from the measurements you use your oven with.
Use oil to slightly coat
Another mistake some people make is that they do not use oils to slightly coat already processed and fried food to make it more “healthy”.
In the end, you’ll be left with your food burnt to complete dryness and stuck to the bottom of the basket.
Not turning sides frequently
The only thing you really need to take care of while using your air fryer is to flip sides every 10-15 minutes or halfway through the cooking process to ensure your food doesn’t overcook from one side and stays uncooked from the other.
This method not only helps meat getting cooked all the way inside but also helps with forming a crispy & crunchy layer evenly on the outside.
Whether you’re cooking steak, parmesan chicken, or salmon, you need to make sure the meat is evenly sliced, meaning that you’ll have to try to flatten out the chicken you’re planning to have for dinner.
Leaving aluminum foil or baking sheet
If you don’t regularly clean your basket then you aren’t alone in this, others also lay down baking sheets or wrap foil around the bottom to avoid the hassle to clean it all over again after use.
Now don’t just leave that foil sitting in your air fryer as you preheat since the chances of it getting caught into the fan or heat source are likely to happen and you’ll be left with nothing but mess to deal with.
Over-filling the basket
Among many do’s & don’ts, there is one to not overcrowding your basket with tons of food no matter how much hurry you are in.
What that’ll do is that it’ll prevent the hot air to reach all sides of your food and leave you with a partially uncooked meal for your dinner.
The only visible solution for that is to use an oven or get yourself a bigger air fryer with high capacity in its basket.
Using it uncleaned
Never use your air fryer uncleaned, unless you’re fine having your kitchen filled with smoke and weird taste & smell taking over your food.
If you’re having problems with cleaning your air fryer, here’s a guide to help you properly clean out any stuck food on the basket using the good old baking soda & vinegar technique.
It may result in a reaction causing bubbles and fizziness but in the end, when it cools out, even the tiniest piece of grease stuck will be wiped off the surface.
Be creative – try recipes from scratch
Don’t just stick to frozen packed & fried foods, an air fryer can do wonders by giving cooking solutions that you wouldn’t even think of.
You can even bake cupcakes from it, in fact, using an air fryer for baking can turn out to be a better alternative for ovens as the fast-flowing air around it makes your dough more evenly cooked from all sides without you having to constantly check up on it.
Just remember the tip given earlier, 20% less cooking time & 20 degrees lower than what measurements you would use in an oven steak using only an air fryer.