Today we’ll answer the very popular question, what can you cook in an Air Fryer?
If you’re looking into buying an Air Fryer, and you’re anything like me, you want to know 2 things. Do Air Fryers really work (here’s an article you might enjoy), and what can you cook in an Air Fryer?
What Can You Cook In An Air Fryer?
Air Fryers are actually extremely diverse little appliances. You can not only fry with them, but bake, broil, and grill too! Air Fryers also offer the added benefit of frying with up to 80% less oil than a deep fryer, so what’s not to love, right?
I cooked in a diner for years, and I can cook most of the things I loved to cook on either the grill, the flat top, or even the deep fryer, right in the Air Fryer…with great results too! Let’s look at 10 delicious foods that you can cook quickly and easily with your Air Fryer.
1. Fresh Cut French Fries
French Fries are probably the thing that people cook most in their Air Fryers. But it’s not just a matter of cutting up a potato and throwing it in the basket. If you’re cooking a bag of frozen fries, they will likely be pre-fried, so there is no need to add oil. They will turn out beautifully with just a little added salt and pepper.
If you are cooking fresh potatoes, you might want to try this recipe out to get some great fries out of your Air Fryer. A batch of french fries takes around 20-25 minutes to cook in an Air Fryer.
- After cutting your potatoes, soak them in water to leech out some of the starch, then dry them in a towel.
- Pre-heat the Air Fryer at max heat (this is important)
- Place a tablespoon of fresh Olive Oil, garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper in a mixing bowl. Add fresh cut french fries and spin them into the oil until all fries are evenly covered.
- Begin cooking. It is recommended that you give your fries a thorough shake about every 7 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- After cooking fries for approximately 15 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden brown, add some grated parmesan cheese and shake the basket.
- After 20-25 minutes, your fries should be looking golden brown and smelling delicious.
2. Fried Hot Wings
Next to French Fries, most people want to know how well Chicken Wings turn out in the Air Fryer. Fortunately, they turn out amazing. You can buy special breadings, like spicy, cajun, or Hooters Style to cook wings specifically to your taste.
Instead of telling how to cook a batch of chicken wings, I’m going to let my friend Booger actually show you how it’s done. If you’re on the fence about whether or not Air Fryers can really make good food, this video will give you a little proof. She uses a De’Longhi MultiFry (check out a review of that awesome Air Fryer here), and you can find the Batter Pro shaker here.
3.Turkey Melt Sandwich
Turkey melts are a great quick hot lunch sandwich that you can quickly prepare and cook in your Air Fryer. The combination of toasted bread and melted cheese over hot turkey and crispy bacon is hard to resist. Best of all, it only takes about 10 minutes in the Air Fryer!
- Pre-heat the Air Fryer to around 275 to 300f (setting 2.5-3 on most Air Fryers)
- Start by spreading mayonnaise or chipotle sauce over two slices of Texas Toast.
- Layer one side of toast with turkey lunch meat, cooked bacon slices, and provolone or swiss cheese. (add tomato if you like)
- Cover the sandwich with the other slice of toast and place it directly into the Air Fryer. (careful not to touch the inside of the basket)
- After cooking for 5 minutes, you might want to flip the sandwich to make sure both sides cook evenly
- The sandwich should be done in 10-12 minutes
4. Fried Shrimp
If you are a shrimp lover, you’ll be happy to know that you can easily cook fried shrimp in your Air Fryer. All you need is some fresh shrimp, and dry batter mix of your choice, a little bit of cooking oil spray, eggs, and some sauce to dip your shrimps! Let’s look at how to quickly prepare your shrimp for Air Frying. Cooking time is about 10 Minutes.
- Start out with your fresh shrimp in a mixing bowl.
- Whip up two eggs and add just a little milk or sriracha sauce (if you like a little spice) to thin out your egg mixture a bit.
- Add egg mixture to the shrimp and make sure all shrimp are evenly covered.
- Cover all shrimp with your batter mix. (This is sooo much easier to do with a Batter Pro or other batter shaker)
- Chill battered shrimp in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Spray the Air Fryer basket with cooking oil and pre-heat from 350-375f (setting 3-4 on most air fryers)
- Carefully place shrimp in the fryer Basket. You might not be able to put a lot in at once, but they cook fast, so no worries.
- Spray the top of the shrimp with a little cooking oil.
- After 3-4 Minutes, shake the shrimp to ensure even coverage.
- Shrimp should be golden brown in about 8-10 minutes
5. Cheeseburger Deluxe
Is there anything better than a cheeseburger fresh off the grill? That’s hard to beat, but the Air Fryer actually does a great job of grilling burgers. Because the hot air circulates completely around your burger, they cook quickly and evenly. It’s like having a little firebreathing dragon cook your burger!
Unlike pan frying where your burger is cooked in it’s own grease, the Air Fryer allows the grease to drain from the cooking basket…leaving you with a healthier but still delicious hamburger!
- burgers should be cooked at 375-400F (number 4 setting).
- Cooking time for a cheeseburger is around 10-15 minutes depending on how well you like it cooked.
- Build your burger with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion, and bacon. Don’t be afraid to try a few different varieties of cheese. Cheese can actually change the entire flavor of your burger.
- There are some really delicious gourmet burger buns out there. Try a sweet onion bun if you’re an onion lover like myself.
6. Sweet Potato Chips
Most of us already know that sweet potatoes are much healthier than the standard variety potato. Sweet potato chips are a fast and easy snack to whip up in your Air Fryer. With only a few ingredients and 15-20 minutes, you can treat yourself to a healthy snack.
- Pre-heat your Air Fryer to 375-400F
- Slice sweet potatoes thinly
- Toss potatoes in a large mixing bowl with a teaspoon of coconut oil, fresh cracked pepper, fine sea salt, and rosemary until chips are evenly coated
- Cook chips 5-7 minutes and shake the basket to cook evenly
- After 15 minutes, check to see if chips are darkening on the edges and cooked to your liking
7. Jalapeno Poppers
Jalapeno Poppers are a favorite for almost any occasion. Most of the heat from the pepper is cooked out, so they’re aren’t as spicy as you might think! Give these Jalapeno Poppers a try at your next shin dig and I’ll bet that they get eaten up in no time! Cooking time is about 15 minutes.
- Cut 10-12 large Jalapeno peppers lengthwise in halves, and scoop out the seeds
- In a large mixing bowl, soften a 4 0z block of cream cheese
- Add 4 oz of smoked pepper jack cheese, sharp cheddar, or any other cheese that you prefer
- Try adding a bit of freshly cut Cilantro to give your mixture a little color and kick!
- Pre-heat Air Fryer to 375-400f
- Mix the above ingredients until they are combined to a paste
- Fill the Jalapeno halves with the cream cheese mixture and top with bacon bits
- Cook Poppers until browning of the edges of the filling occurs, and peppers are softened (apprx 15 minutes)
8. Cheese Filled Onion Rings
Do you love Onion Rings? Do you love mozzarella sticks? If there was an emphatic “yes” to those questions, you’ll absolutely love these! Air Fryers don’t do an awesome job with wet batters, but you can use dry battered coatings with great results.
These cheese filled onion rings can be a little tricky to put together, so I’m going to let the Air Fryer Queen show you exactly how it’s done! (you might want to start out with a thinly sliced deli cheese for filling the onion rings) Cooking time 15-20 minutes.
9. Homemade Pizza Pockets
These pizza pockets make a great lunch for the whole family, and they actually freeze pretty well for up to a month. The Air Fryer will do a great job of thoroughly cooking the inside while leaving the outside crispy and delish!
If you’re not crazy about making your own dough, you can often find pre-made frozen dough at the supermarket, or you can try the boxed pizza dough mix. This recipe makes 6 pockets. Cooking time for Pizza Pockets is 15-20 minutes.
Making the dough: 2 1⁄2 cups flour, 2 1⁄4 teaspoons yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- In a large mixing bowl, mix 1 1/4 cups of flour, salt and yeast
- mix in water warmed to 105 F
- Beat on low speed for half of a minute, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly
- Beat on high speed for 3 minutes
- Stir in remaining flour with a large wooden spoon
- Remove the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough for around 8 minutes
- Put the dough back in an oiled mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let set for 10 minutes
- Divide into 6 parts.
Filling the Pizza Pockets: Pizza Sauce, Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Pepperoni, Sausage, Ham (or anything else you would like)
- Preheat Air Fryer to the highest setting
- Roll out pizza dough portions and spoon in desired amount of pizza sauce
- Add desired amounts of pizza toppings
- Fold dough in half and seal pockets with fork tines. Make sure you get a good seal so the fillings don’t leak while cooking
- Brush on some melted garlic butter or beaten egg
- Cook pizza Pockets about 10 minutes and check them. You will probably want to flip them for even cooking, but this may not be necessary
- After 15-20 minutes, your pizza pockets should be golden brown and finished
10. Caramel Apple Turnover
Well, how about some dessert? There will be very few objections when you roll out these golden brown beauties topped with hot caramel sauce. Because we’re focusing on fast and easy here, we’re just going to use a pre-made crescent roll. Here’s a great recipe if you want to try your hand at making your own pastry dough.
For the filling:
- 3 apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Making the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the apples with the flour and the cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Toss to combine. Add in the lemon juice, brown sugar, and about 1/2 the salted caramel (1/2 cup). Mix thoroughly.
Making the Turnovers:
- Roll out dough and cut into 5″ sections.
- Brush a little egg wash (just an egg mixed with water) around the edges of the dough sections.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling onto each section
- Fold dough over and seal with fork tines. (make sure you get a real nice seal!
- Place turnovers in freezer for 15 minutes
- Pre-heat Air Fryer to it’s highest
- Remove turnovers from the freezer and brush on egg wash. Cut 3 small slits in each turnover
- Cook Turnovers for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown
- Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and drizzled hot caramel topping
Don’t be Afraid to Explore
I hope this article helped you realize how many different kind of foods you can cook with an Air Fryer. I know that none of these recipes will be featured on the cooking channel anytime soon, but I wanted to demonstrate the sheer variety of food you can cook with an Air Fryer.
Since my Air Fryer arrived at the door, I have definitely expanded my cooking repertoire, and I know you’ll feel the same way once you start out with yours.
Of course, I’ll be around if you ever have a question or want to swap a recipe or two. If you don’t have an Air Fryer yet…well, I’d love to help you out with that little problem. Check out the Top 5 Air Fryers and find one that is everything you ever wanted. I’d be happy to give you a personal recommendation as well!
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