Frequently Asked Questions
Because the air fryer will be blowing hot air around the cooking cavity, you want to ensure any food that is light in weight or that is at risk of being blown around the cavity should be avoided. Also avoid any wet batters because the air flow will blow the batter off the food and all around the cavity. Unless you want a huge mess to clean up, I would avoid any wet batters.
As a general rule, you can use both on the bottom of the air fryer if the basket sits on top. Using aluminium foil or baking paper in the basket technically can be done as long as it’s weighed down by the food however it’s not recommended because an air fryer works by providing a constant air flow around the cooking cavity and if you have it blocked by something like aluminium foil, or baking paper, the foods will be cooked less even, or even cook slower.
Yes, shake relatively often is my motto. May foods will stick to the basket if you don’t shake it while cooking. Also, if you overlap foods, you need to shake the contents of the basket often to ensure the food is evenly cooked.
There’s no hard and fast rule here however, i’ve owned several air fryers, and space is often the huge let down. I would recommend buying the largest one you can find. The simple reason is this. If you have a family, or are cooking for two or more people, you will struggle with a small air fryer. If you cook any food that is relatively large such as a schnitzel, you will struggle with a small air fryer. Think of cooking in an air fryer like you would cooking a stir fry. You can do it in small batches, but you’d all be eating at different times. When you look at air fryers, try and picture the food cooking in it to ensure it will fit. In many cases you may just need to resort to doing multiple batches if you have a large family. Don’t let that deter you though, while the units can be reasonably small, they can often have overlapped food and would cook fine with regular shaking of the basket.
Let’s see, this is a tough one because most things taste great when cooked in an air fryer. The most common foods to start with are French Fries, and also Chicken Drunksticks. The best advice I can give you is to experiment, and check the food often.
The only real disadvantage to cooking in an air fryer is the fact most of the air fryers on the market have small cooking cavities. This is definately a disadvantage. I own the Philips XL which is the largest cavity you can get for the Philips Air Fryer and sometimes it’s a struggle to fit the food in it. The small cooking cavity means the food cooks quicker, and uses less electricity. If they make the cooking cavity too large though, it will be like.. well cooking in an oven.
- For starters, it’s a healthier form of cooking. Who doesn’t like fried chicken, french fries, and many other junk food staples? Any food that generally requires cooking in a pool of oil would generally taste better in an air fryer as well. In general, an air fryer requires no oil to cook a food. It uses the oil that’s already in the food. In some cases though, you might need to add a teaspoon of oil, but even if that’s the case, the excess would drip off the food and generally offer a huge health benefit over cooking in a bucket of oil.
- It’s less expensive to run. Cooking in an air fryer is very quick. Due to the small cavity that needs to heat up, and the strong air flow, the food cooks very quick.
- Food cooked in an air fryer is generally really tasty simply because the food is crispy on the outside, and juicy and tender on the inside. It’s also not dripping with oil.
A more appropriate question would be what foods can’t you cook in an air fryer? Any food that can be cooked in a conventional, convection oven, or grill can technically be cooked in an air fryer. I’ve even heard of people baking cakes in an air fryer. It comes down to how adventurous you are. I haven’t tried it myself. In general though, if it’s a pre-processed, frozen food, it excels in an air fryer,
Since you generally only spend a matter of seconds checking, or shaking the food, it is not necessary to pause the air fryer.
Every Air Fryer is slightly different however going on the premise that heat rises, if your air fryer opens by sliding a basket out from the side or front, then there should be no reason why you can’t open the basket for short periods of time. If your air fryer opens from the top by lifting a lid off then it’s probably not recommended due to all the heat escaping. In these types of air fryers though, there’s probably a see through lid. In short, if you have a Philips Air Fryer, then yes, it’s perfectly safe to open the basket for checking or shaking the basket, any other air fryer should be okay as long as it slides open from the side or front. If in doubt though, consult your manufacturers user manual.
Every Air Fryer manufacturer will have their own recommendatons for their particular air fryer, however the Philips Air Fryers recommend pre-heating the air fryer first. I find that cooking times are more accurate if you preheat first. The food also cooks faster because the temperature is already at the specified temperature. If a cooking time specifies 10 minutes, and you don’t preheat the air fryer first, you may find the food is undercooked. My recommendation would be to preheat the air fryer regardless of whether the manufacturer recommends it. It certainly won’t do any harm.
Not all Air Fryers are created equal. Air Fryers work by circulating hot air around the food. The internal shape of the Air Fryer and how the air flows, as well as how hot the air is all contribute to how long it takes to cook a food. This is why you should check often and only use temperatures as a guide until you know how your particular Air Fryer cooks. Many of the cooking times on this site were tested using a Philips XL Air Fryer.
This is a difficult one to answer since every Air Fryer model is different. The consensus seems to be to soak the basket, and removable bucket in warm soapy water for around 10 minutes before trying to clean it. Don’t use any scouring pads that scratch because the Air Fryer bucket is usually non stick and a scouring pad will in some cases peal off the non stick coating. From personal experience, you can also place the parts into a dishwasher but I would still soak it in soapy water for 10 minutes first so you can remove as much grease and grime as possible before placing it in the dishwasher.
Personal experience from using the Philips Airfryer XL though is that over time no matter how much you clean the parts, they will eventually be impossible to clean. The grease tends to really set and become a nightmare to keep clean. Having said that, other people may get different mileage as I tend to not clean it all the time.