New air fryer? Whether it was a surprise present or something you spent hours researching before buying there is a lot to learn. Here are the easy steps you need to get started and start making delicious air fryer food.
Step 1 : Read the Manual
I know, I know, the manual is boring. But there are a few important things you can learn from the manual. One of the most important things you need to know is how many watts of power your air fryer has.
Air fryer wattage ranges from 800W to 2100W, which is a huge difference in the amount of power they deliver and how long it takes to cook food. An air fryer with 1800W will cook more quickly than one with 800W, so you need to know what to expect from your air fryer.
Also the controls for setting time and temperature vary among models. Figure out how to control these important functions on your air fryer.
Step 2 : Learn the Parts
A basket type air fryer has three main parts – air fryer base, a drip try to hold the basket and a basket. The heating element and the fan are inside the air fryer base.
An oven type air fryer has more parts. There is an oven base, which will contain the fan and heating element.
Instead of a basket there are trays and the basket is usually more like a tray with raised edges. There might be extra stuff too, like a rotisserie and baking pans.
Step 3 : Find a Place for the Air Fryer
It is very, very important to place the air fryer on a heat proof surface. It gets very hot and blows hot air, usually out the back of the unit.
So place it on something that can stand high heat. There are stories online about people ruining their corian or laminate counter tops because of the hot air from the air fryer.
You can buy a heat resistant mat to put under your air fryer and protect your countertop surface. You can also get some ceramic tiles from the hardware store and use them.
You also need to allow for space in back of the air fryer so the hot air has somewhere to go. So don’t shove it against the wall, pull it out when it is in use.
Very Important Safety Tip – Don’t put your air fryer on top of a stove or cook top. Yes, it is heat proof. But sooner or later someone will accidentally turn it on. This could ruin the stove and air fryer and start a fire. Spend $15 on a heat resistant mat, don’t use a cook top!
Step 4 : Clean the Air Fryer
Once you know where the air fryer is going to go clean the basket and the drip pan with hot water and soap. Wipe off the outside of the air fryer before you put it in its carefully selected place.
Step 5 : Find Tongs
There are lots and lots accessories for air fryers. But the most important one is a set of kitchen tongs.
The basket and trays get very hot. So you will need tongs for flipping food and for serving food. So make sure you have a set ready.
Some other air fryer accessories that you will want to get soon are a spray bottle for oil and an instant read thermometer. But tongs are the most important.
Step 6 : Pick an Easy Recipe
There are many fun things to make in the air fryer, but I recommend starting with something basic. Something complicated like an air fryer blooming onion is not a great choice for your first recipe.
Here are some easy beginner recipes:
Basic Steps in Air Fryer Cooking
Most air fryer recipes follow a predictable pattern. Once you have made a few recipe you will become more confident. Here are the basic steps in most air fryer recipes.
- Prepare the ingredients
- Preheat the air fryer (sometimes)
- Set the time and temperature of the air fryer
- Put the food in the basket
- Halfway through the cooking time shake the basket or turn the food over
- A few minutes before it is supposed to be done pull out the basket and check the food. Adjust the cooking time if necessary.
- Serve the food.