Tips & How-to

Why you should never cook these six things in an air fryer

Read this before cooking anything.
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Air fryers are all the rage right now. And what’s not to love? Your food is cooked quickly and evenly with less oil. It’s also cheaper to run than an oven. But there are some things you should never cook in an air fryer, no matter what. 

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What should you not cook in an air fryer?

Here are six things you should avoid cooking in your air fryer.

don't put cheese in an air fryer
(Credit: Getty)

1. Cheese

Melted gooey cheese might make the perfect comfort food, but it shouldn’t be cooked in an air fryer. The cheese melts quite quickly, so if you place it under really high heat in your air fryer, you’ll probably end up with burnt cheese. 

2. Sauces and liquids

Air fryers are made for frying solid food, not liquid sauces. The pressure from the air can cause the liquids to spray around in your basket, leading to all sorts of damage to your appliance. If you want to cook with sauce, use your oven or stovetop.

While some people suggest adding water to the basket and turning it on for a few minutes to clean it, it’s not recommended. Here are some other ways to clean your air fryer.  

don't cook broccoili in an air fryer
(Credit: Getty)

3. Battered foods

Similar to the above point, trying to cook wet batter in an air fryer won’t work and will, in fact, make a mess. If you are craving battered food, cook it in the frying pan. 

4. Fresh greens

Yes, you can cook veggies in your air fryer as long as they are heavy enough to stay in the basket once the machine has turned on. So that leaves out things like lettuce, spinach and kale.

You might be able to make kale chips if enough oil is used, but it’s probably best to avoid the air fryer. Other vegetables like broccoli and beans can also dry out if cooked in an air fryer. If you want to cook broccolini, this is the best way to do it.

don't air fry a roast chicken
(Credit: Getty)

5. Roast chicken

If your air fryer is big enough to cook a roast chicken, that doesn’t mean you should. The top of your roast will likely burn while leaving other parts undercooked. And nobody wants to eat unevenly cooked chicken. 

6. Popcorn

Although air frying popcorn sounds like a healthy snack, it’s unlikely your appliance can do the job. Not to mention, it’s possible the kernels will fly around and become lodged in your air fryer, causing big problems later on. 

what not to put in an air fryer
(Credit: Getty)

Tips for air frying

  • Ensure your air fryer is placed on a flat surface with nothing covering the exhaust vent. 
  • Preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before frying your food, and set the time for 2 or 3 minutes. Once it goes off, you can start the cooking process. 
  • Space your food items evenly.
  • Put down the spray oil. Although some recipes might tell you to spray oil on the base of the basket, avoid using spray oil. The problem with oil in a can is the oil isn’t the only ingredient there, and over time it will ruin your air fryer basket’s non-stick coating. Using a brush, you can brush regular oil over the basket before cooking. Alternatively, a spray oil bottle like this can be a game-changer in the kitchen. 

Best air fryer

Finding the best air fryer to invest in can be tricky. With so much on the market right now, you want to ensure you’re putting your hard-earned money into something worthwhile.

Shop air fryers

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