The Biggest Air Fryer Mistakes To Avoid, According To A Recipe Developer

Air fryer in modern kitchen
Air fryer in modern kitchen - Casezy/Getty Images

Although they're now commonplace in many home kitchens, it wasn't that long ago that home cooks were still wondering what is an air fryer. Invented in 2005, air fryers don't actually fry food, they work by quickly circulating hot air in the chamber, similar to a convection oven. You can use them to make all sorts of meals, including cooking some foods you might not think to put in an air fryer, such as eggs or chocolate cake!

While air fryers can certainly be handy and versatile cooking devices, there are some major air fryer mistakes you'll want to avoid. Recipe developer, food blogger, and creator of The Prince Eats, Hammed spoke with Daily Meal to provide a few insights into what these pitfalls are and why they're such a big deal. He explained, "The most common mistake I hear people make when using an air fryer is overestimating [the] cook time." If you get the cook time wrong, you can wind up with burnt, inedible meals.

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Don't Deviate From The Recipe

Person programming an air fryer
Person programming an air fryer - Hazal Ak/Getty Images

Hammed also shared with Daily Meal that "If [you're] using an air fryer for the first time, you need to [remember to] adhere to specific temperatures and cook times described on store-bought frozen food packaging." While it may be tempting to go rogue and try to adjust the temperature on your own, this can have disastrous results. Air fryer instructions on food packaging have been tested to get the temperature and cook time just right.

As Hammed noted, "Air fryers are efficient cooking appliances, so cooking at the wrong temperature for too long or short of a cook time will ruin your recipe." In other words, if you don't stick to these directions, you can wind up with food that's undercooked or cold in the middle. Or, you may overdo things and run into the opposite problem — food that's burnt.

Similarly, some air fryers have suggested settings and temperatures for different foods. Since each device is a little different, following manufacturer guidelines and configurations can help ensure you get properly cooked meals.

Be Conservative With Your Settings

Person cooking in an air fryer
Person cooking in an air fryer - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

If you're cooking from scratch, Hammed has some tips for that, too. He recommends "being conservative with setting the cooking temperature and time until you determine what works best for your recipe." Air fryers cook faster than conventional ovens do, which means you'll want to significantly reduce the cook time on your recipes. Try cutting down the cook time by about 20% and check on the meal as you go to make sure that you're not overdoing things. Remember, you can always pop the meal back in for longer, but once it's burnt, you won't be able to undo the damage.

You'll also need to adjust the temperature from a conventional oven recipe: You can reduce this by 25 degrees Fahrenheit from what the recipe notes. Once again, remember to go slow and check the meal as you cook it to avoid burning. With Hammed's tips, you should have no problem making perfect air fryer meals, regardless of whether you use pre-made items from the supermarket or cook something up from scratch.

Read the original article on Daily Meal