Top 20 Air Fryer Mistakes
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If you’re obsessed with your air fryer, make sure you are not making these top 20 air fryer mistakes. 

Air fryers have become extremely popular. They are a fantastic cooking machine that uses the power of hot circulating air to make food cook quickly. With an air fryer, your food will always be crispy on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside.

  1. Buying the wrong size air fryer. Before you purchase your first air fryer, make sure it will be large enough to cook all of your food at once. Two quarts is ideal for 1-2 people. Three quarts for 2-4 people and five quarts or above for larger groups. If you plan on baking in your air fryer, it is best to buy a toaster oven with an air fryer function since you can easily make cookies, pancakes, and other baked goods with the extra space.
  2. Buying a low-quality air fryer. Not all air fryers are created the same. Focus on purchasing an air fryer from a well-known brand. Always read the reviews on sites like Amazon to find out how the air fryers perform for other customers. Here are my three recommendations. I have owned over 40 air fryers since I started air frying, and I have narrowed my advice down to these three: (affiliate links) Instant Pot Vortex Plus, GoWise, and Omni by Instant Pot.
  3. Trying to cook liquid batter foods in an air fryer. Air fryers work best with batters that are thick and hold together. Liquid batters like tempura do not work well with an air fryer. If in doubt, you can always rely on the classic three-step breading procedure (flour, egg dip, bread crumbs coating) for the air fryer.
  4. Adding too much or too little oil. You only really need 1-2 teaspoons of oil for most recipes or 1-2 tablespoons for breaded items. Using too much oil can cause the oil to drip and hit the bottom tray, which can cause smoke. Some recipes require no added oil, like steaks that have a fat cap. If your food already contains a lot of fat, like bacon, add a piece of bread to the bottom of the tray to help prevent it from smoking while cooking.
  5. Overfilling the basket. The air fryer works by circulating hot air around your food. If you put too much food in the basket, your food will not cook evenly. Only add one layer of food to cook, so it cooks evenly and gets crispy. This is why it’s essential to purchase an air fryer large enough to meet your needs. If your basket is too small, cook in batches. 
  6. Not removing the basket first when finished cooking. When your food is done, make sure to release the basket from the bottom that collects the fat before dumping the food into your serving dish. This is to avoid accidental dumping of the oil all over the food.
  7. Not preheating. You do not need to preheat for most recipes. In fact, if you preheat for cookies or pancakes, you will end up with a huge mess. I only preheat generally for meat.
  8. Not cleaning your air fryer. Air fryers hold onto the smells from the food you previously cooked. Cleaning your air fryer between uses prevents your french fries from tasting like last night’s air fryer salmon. To help make cleaning easy, spray the basket with olive oil spray before adding the food or line the bottom tray with aluminum foil. Thoroughly wash the cooled basket and bottom with hot soapy water.
  9. Not using your air fryer’s full potential. An air fryer can cook anything that your oven or grill can cook. You can even bake with your air fryer! Just imagine making hot dogs, quiche, pie, cinnamon buns, steak, roasted vegetables, and so much more in your air fryer.
  10. Not shaking your basket while cooking. You need to always shake your basket in the middle of cooking items like french fries, chicken wings, etc. If you would typically remove food from the oven to turn it over so it gets evenly cooked, then you need to do that with food in your air fryer too.
  11. Not checking on your food. Air fryers can cook food faster than an oven. Since you can’t see inside of most air fryers, it’s essential to check on your food as it cooks. 
  12. Forgetting about fire safety. Air fryers get hot! It’s essential to make sure that wherever you place your air fryer, it isn’t touching anything that could melt or burn. When opening up your air fryer, make sure to use tongs and potholders to protect yourself from burning. There need to be 5-inches of space around your air fryer when cooking so that it can operate effectively. I strongly suggest that you put your air fryer on something so that it does not end up burning or melting your countertop. This has happened to too many readers, too many.
  13. Seasoning your foods. Air fryers work by moving air fast around your food. Which means anything light like seasoning or leafy like kale is going to blow all over the place. Make sure you always add a bit of oil to the seasoning to stick to the food. 
  14. Cooking fresh vegetables. Vegetables cook great in the air fryer. Just remember, if you want them to crips up, they need to have a thin layer of olive oil on them and season them well. Shake often, and you will have a great roasted vegetable dish on your table in minutes.
  15. Most Air fryer ovens and baskets work About the same. Air fryer ovens and air fryer baskets cook the same, plus or minus 1 or 2 minutes. The recipes you can use on both. This is a prevalent misconception caused by the marketing companies to think one brand is better than another. They are all air fryers. They all cook about the same.
  16. Not reheating your food with an air fryer. All fast foods such as fries and pizza taste amazing when reheated in an air fryer. You’ll never reheat your food in the microwave again.
  17. Not cooking frozen food. There is no need to defrost your food when using an air fryer. You can cook frozen foods like steak, hamburger patties, lasagna, casseroles, etc. I have a friend who brags about how perfectly the air fryer cooks her frozen steak,
  18. Not reading the user manual. Don’t ignore the user manual. The manual contains a lot of helpful tips on how to use your new air fryer effectively.
  19. Not baking with it. Don’t let this machine just become an expensive french fry maker! You can bake anything in it that you would normally bake in an oven. I watched a YouTube video where the host exclaimed this made better bread than his range. You can bake cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, pie, cheesecake, etc., in your air fryer.
  20. Not having enough patience with your air fryer. You need to spend time getting to know your air fryer. Notice if it cooks faster or slower than recipes you find on Pinterest and Youtube. Even when you follow someone else’s recipe, you may notice your fryer has already burned the roasted cauliflower, so be mindful that your air fryer may cook 3 minutes faster.

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Top 20 Air Fryer Mistakes