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Everything you need to know about how to use an air fryer is right here! One of my new favorite kitchen gadgets is the air fryer. Let’s jump into how to use it. 

how to use an air fryer

The air fryer has become my new best friend. I love how I can throw almost any vegetable in there and get a beautiful, caramelized, crispy end product. It’s also great for cooking proteins and reheating leftovers. But I will fill you in on some of my favorite things to make in this kitchen gadget below. 

First let’s start with some frequently asked questions you probably have. 

What is an air fryer and how does it work?

An air fryer is basically a mini convection oven. It uses hot air to cook your food. The hot air is circulated around the surface area of the food and creates a dry heat cooking technique that yields a crispy, crunchy exterior. 

It is great for reheating leftovers, cooking frozen french fries, roasting chicken, dehydrating vegetables and most of all can mimic a deep frying technique without all the fat. Air fried foods are crispy on the outside and moist and delicious on the inside.

Think deep fried fried chicken or chicken wings but with a quarter of the fat! It’s a great way to cook a little healthier. 

how to use an air fryer

What air fryer to get?

There are so many air fryer options out there and some great affordable options as well. I will fill you in on the air fryer that I have and the pros and cons along with what to look for when you are choosing one for your family. 

First and foremost get a machine that is big enough for your family. The worst is having a machine that you have to cook 3 separate batches of food to feed your family. By the time you are done with all the batches your food will be cold! Number one, look for an air fryer with a large enough basket. 

I have a Food Ninja and it’s worked well for our family. I recommend this one if you have a family of 4 or less. The Food Ninja is really easy to use and there are multiple settings to do almost everything you need to do. The con is it is pretty small. 

ninja air fryer

For families larger than 4 I recommend the Nuwave Brio 14 Quart Large Capacity Air Fryer as a great option. It’s a little more expensive, but has multiple racks so you can cook multiple food items at once. 

nuwave air fryer

Instant Vortex Plus is another good option for larger families. 

instant Air Fryer


What can you cook in an air fryer?

You can cook almost anything. From frozen french fries to churros to hard boiled eggs there are so many possibilities when it comes to the air fryer. Here are some of my favorite recipes, but feel free to experiment. There are so many great recipes out there!

Air Fryer Egg Rolls

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Honey and Sriracha

Air Fryer Frozen French Fries

Basic Settings:

Remember that different machines may have different settings, but there are the most common you will find. 

Air Fry:

Creates a crispy crust and mimics a frying texture. Great for cooking proteins, vegetables, fish and frozen foods.

  • Usual temperature to cook at: 390 F
  • Set time
  • Use crisper plate


Creates succulent interior and a crisp caramelized exterior. Great for whole chicken, potatoes, vegetables.

  • Usual temperature to cook at: 375 F
  • Set time


Great for reheating leftovers or even cooking things like chicken nuggets or fries.

  • Usual temperature to cook at: 350 F
  • Set time
  • Use crisper plate


Great for dehydrating fruits, vegetables or for making jerky.

  • Usual temperature to cook at: 150 F
  • Set time
  • Use crisper plate
  • Multi layer rack

How To Use An Air Fryer:

Follow these simple steps to cook perfect food in your machine. 

Step 1:

Preheat the machine for 2-3 minutes. This will help cook the food immediately when you place the food into the basket or on the crisper plate. 

Step 2:

Place the food in the basket or on top of the crisper plate or racks. 

Step 3:

Spray the food with cooking spray or lightly toss in oil. 

Step 4:

Set the mode, temperature and time. 

Step 5:

Half way through the cooking process shake the basket or rotate the food. 

Step 6:

Finish the cooking process. 

Air Fryer Tips:

  1. Preheat the machine for a few minutes before you put in your food.
  2. Dry off any excess liquid.
  3. Spray your food with cooking spray to get a nice, crispy crust.
  4. Use the crisper basket and/or rack to crisp the whole surface area of the food.
  5. Don’t overcrowd the basket.
  6. Shake the basket half way through the cooking time. 
  7. Do not coat food in sugary sauces before cooking. 
  8. Save the sauce for the last part of cooking so as not to dry it or burn.

Air Fryer Cooking Times:

Check out this cooking guide for vegetables. 

air fryer cooking char vegetables

Cooking guide for proteins.

air fryer cooking time proteins

How to Clean Your Air Fryer:

There are many different makes and models of air fryers so make sure you read your manufacturers directions on how to clean your specific machine. Although there are many different varieties most machines are cleaned the same.

Remove the basket and crisper or racks. Wash by hand or in the dishwasher.

Whatever you decide to cook in the air fryer I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. If you have any questions feel free to comment below and if you want to see a specific recipes on the blog send me a message too!

Happy cooking!


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