The air fryer has been on the market for about 10 years. Many brands are available for purchase. But the best air fryer yet is the new Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL—it will transform how you feed your family; more in this ninja air fryer max xl reviews .
With an air fryer on my counter, I no longer have to dig out my deep fryer when I want some sweet potato fries. I don’t have to turn on my oven and heat up the house when I want a perfectly roasted chicken or baked cherry pie.
And I don’t have to spend lots of time cleaning because my stovetop is covered with grease that has even spilled onto the floor! In this ninja air fryer max xl review, you will see that the air fryer is unique because it can fry, roast, bake, steam, stir-fry, cook, reheat, and even dehydrate foods with no hands-on work, all in one completely, and neatly, contained package.
All you have to do is prepare the food, put it into the basket, turn the appliance on, and, occasionally, shake the basket for optimum crisping. The air fryer does the rest.
OUR TOP PICK
- 5.5 QT
- Fry with up to 75% less oil
- Cooks at 450 Degrees
- Ceramic coated non stick basket
- Broil rack included
- Multiple functions (Max crisp, air fry, air roast, air broil, bake, reheat, dehydrate)
- Cooks faster
- Dishwasher safe accessories
- 1550 watts
- 7 manual programs included
- Advanced control panel
Many people are challenged by cooking at home, believing it is time-consuming, difficult, and messy. Home cooks can easily get into a rut by making the same recipes over and over.
How many times have you stood at the refrigerator trying to decide how to cook those chicken breasts again? Or wondered how to make a meal in under an hour so you can sit down for a bit to recharge for the next day?
That’s why takeout restaurant meals and meal kits are so popular: they are easy and convenient and take little effort. But food from restaurants is typically very high in sodium and fat and is expensive; and, with meal kits, there’s no opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.
Cooking your own food at home in an air fryer means you can control the ingredients and the nutrients they provide. You can add variety to your meals and have some fun unleashing your inner chef. Plus, you’ll save money and time. Individual ingredients always cost less than prepared meals. The time savings can be significant: With these simple and flavorful recipes, you’ll spend 10 to 15 minutes prepping ingredients and the air fryer does the rest—while you relax.
The new Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL takes air frying to the next level with a highest temperature setting of 450°F (Max Crisp). This temperature is best when cooking frozen foods: Frozen French fries, chicken patties, and breaded shrimp are so crisp and delicious when cooked on this Max Crisp setting.
And, unlike deep-frying, where you have to use cups of oil, when you use an air fryer you only need a spritz of oil to make super-crisp foods.
Seven programmable functions in Ninja Air Fryer Max XL means you don’t have to guess about temperature and timing for foods such as chicken, fries, beef, and pork. Just press a button and the food will be juicy, crisp, and perfectly done, every time.
The larger-capacity basket that comes with the new Ninja Air Fryer Max XL lets you cook more food at the same time. That means if you are feeding more than two or three people, you won’t have to cook in batches as you do with other air fryers. In the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL, your food will be crispier, will cook in less time, and will be delicious, every time.
And the best part? Cleanup is so simple. After the air fryer cools, just wipe down the inside and outside with a cloth. The air fryer basket and all accessories can go right into the dishwasher. Your counter stays clean, you will have used fewer utensils, and you can relax and enjoy time with your family instead of being tied to your kitchen.
When you have a Ninja Air Fryer Max XL on your counter, you’ll make recipes that are interesting, delicious, and good for you. And cooking, baking, frying, and roasting are easier than ever before.
OUR TOP PICK
The first air fryers were developed in 2010. Early models were simple, incorporating the heating element, fan, and basket with a few programmable functions and not a lot of versatility. As the market exploded, many companies introduced air fryers.
Most were simple, with 3- or 4-quart baskets and just one or two cooking techniques or programmable functions.
The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL makes the leap from basic kitchen appliance to a superstar all-purpose kitchen champ. With this appliance on your kitchen counter, you can cook a steak for one or a roast chicken for four in just minutes with wonderful results.
The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is Ninja’s hottest and fastest air fryer, which gives you more choices when roasting and air frying. The larger-capacity basket lets you easily feed six people in just one cooking session.
WHY THE NINJA AIR FRYER MAX XL?
The Ninja Air Fryer is the gold standard for air fryers on the market. And the new Ninja Air Fryer Max XL has enhanced controls, increased capacity, and higher temperatures to ensure you get perfect results every time.
Max Crisp Technology
The Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL has been developed to cook frozen foods, such as chicken nuggets and French fries, quickly and perfectly on the Max Crisp setting. When you push the “Max Crisp” button, the unit will heat to 450°F.
You cannot adjust the temperature setting on this function—to crisp to perfection requires this temperature. Always use the crisper plate when cooking with Max Crisp setting so the food is raised a bit off the bottom of the basket and air flows easily around the food for the crispest results.
The 7-in-1 programs on the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL include Max Crisp, Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate. You can adjust the cooking temperature for all these functions except Max Crisp, which heats only to 450°F.
These seven functions let you use the Max XL version as a substitute for a deep fryer, an oven, a broiler, a grill, and a dehydrator. All you do is press a button and the air fryer does the rest.
Up to 75 percent less fat than deep-frying
It’s true: The air fryer makes delectable fried foods with 75 percent less fat than deep-frying, yet keeps the same texture.
When deep-frying, the hot oil quickly removes moisture from the surface of the food, creating a crisp exterior, while the heat cooks the inside. But deep-fried food absorbs oil as it cooks, which explains why a baked potato has far fewer calories than its deep-fried French fry cousin made from that same potato.
Hot circulating air in an air fryer also removes moisture from the surface of the food just like deep-frying, but with very little oil, and produces a crisp crust and tender interior.
The tiny amount of oil you use when air frying adds an insignificant number of calories to the dish. French fries from a whole potato made in an air fryer provide about 168 calories per serving, closer to that of a baked potato (which has 161 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture).
Faster cooking of frozen foods
Many frozen foods cook beautifully in the air fryer, usually faster than deep-frying, sautéing, or baking. You can add frozen veggies to the air fryer and they will be hot and tender in 10 to 15 minutes, versus 30 minutes in the oven.
And frozen veggies roasted in the air fryer do not compare to microwaved vegetables, which can emerge soggy and limp, with cold spots because of uneven cooking.
When roasting and deep-frying, hotter temperatures cook food more quickly and with less nutrient loss. Roasted chicken is burnished, browned, and juicy when cooked in the air fryer at 400°F. Roasted vegetables can be cooked at 400°F, too:
They will be crisp outside and tender inside, with wonderful and flavorful caramelization. Frozen foods—from French fries to fritters and chicken nuggets to mozzarella sticks—will be the best you’ve ever tasted when cooked at 450°F on Max Crisp.
Easy to clean
The Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL is simple to clean. Unplug the appliance and wait for it to cool down, then remove the basket and any pans or racks and put them in the dishwasher or clean them in the sink using a nonabrasive sponge and some soap and water.
The basket and racks are nonstick and so are easy to clean; any burned-on food will rinse off after a quick soak. Wipe down the inside and outside of the air fryer with a cloth and you’re done!
How the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL Works
The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is like a convection oven on steroids. The powerful heater and fan cook foods quickly and perfectly. The hot air circulates around the food, creating a crisp exterior while the interior cooks via conduction, that is, direct transfer of heat.
The cooking basket has slits on the bottom that let the heated air circulate all around the food, mimicking the deep-frying process. That means your chicken wings will be crisp all the way around and cooked evenly without using much oil at all. Most air fryer recipes use just a bit of oil for flavor, browning, and to keep bread crumbs intact.
Food browns in the air fryer because of what is known as the Maillard reaction. Carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins on the surface of food react with each other under high heat and dry conditions to produce the delicious fried-food taste and the desirable crispy crunchy brown crust.
The air fryer basket sits on a drip tray that collects any juices or fat released by the food during cooking. That means chicken breasts and roasted veggies will be crisp, even on the bottom, because the food isn’t sitting in oil or juices as it cooks.
The programmable functions and temperature and time controls let you cook with just the touch of a button, eliminating guesswork.
NINJA® AIR FRYER MAX XL FEATURES
Your Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is an efficient machine with just a few moving parts. It is well engineered and designed to produce the best food with little effort on your part. You’ll be more comfortable using the machine if you know the parts and understand how each works.
1.Heating element: The powerful heating element is a radiant heat source. It is placed above the food so you can broil as well as bake, air fry, and roast.
2.Fan: The fan on this unit is very powerful. It circulates air around the food so it cooks quickly and evenly and browns quickly, too.
3.Fryer basket: The ceramic-coated, nonstick, and PTFE- and PFOA-free basket holds the food as it cooks. The basket in the Max XL holds 5½ quarts, so you can cook more food and feed more people without having to cook in batches.
4.Crisper plate: This fits snugly inside the air fryer basket. It is also ceramic-coated, nonstick, and PTFE- and PFOA-free. The crisper plate is used when you want to raise food off the basket, which lets more air circulate around the food. It can be used with all functions except Air Roast.
5.Electronic functions: The Max XL has seven programmable functions. They are easy to use with just the push of a button. The functions include Max Crisp, Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Dehydrate, and Reheat.
6.Timer: The easily programmed timer is simple and accurate.
7.Broil rack: This rack holds foods closer to the heating element to give meals or sides a crispy, bubbly finish. This works great for cheese-topped dishes, steak, and salmon, especially.
Yes, You Can Air-Fry That
When most people think of air fryers, they think of crisp and crunchy French fries and savory, saucy chicken wings. Those foods do turn out beautifully in the air fryer, but this appliance is capable of so much more.
You can roast a big chunk of beef, bake a casserole or a quiche, and cook up a homemade pizza. Did you know you can make a frittata and an omelet in the air fryer? How about muffins, brownies, cookies, or cupcakes? You can roast a whole chicken, broil a steak, heat frozen food to crispy perfection, create a stir-fry or a creamy risotto, make homemade chips from all kinds of produce, and hardboil eggs in this wonderful appliance just by using the different cooking functions and temperatures.
The multiple functions of the Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL let you use the air fryer in place of the oven, microwave, and stovetop. You can bake, roast, fry, sauté, stir-fry, dehydrate, reheat, and steam just about any food. Instead of sautéing veggies in a pan on the stovetop, use the air fryer basket. There’s no need to thaw frozen vegetables in the microwave oven; the air fryer will thaw and heat those ingredients perfectly.
KNOW YOUR FUNCTIONS
These seven functions are unique to the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL unit. All you need to do is press the corresponding buttons and the unit will cook different foods perfectly. You just need to set the time.
The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL has a new setting: Max Crisp! This setting cooks food at 450°F. You cannot change the temperature when you use this function. It is designed to make frozen foods super crisp, nicely browned, and perfectly reheated and tender on the inside. You no longer need to guess which temperature to use when cooking freezer staples such as French fries, chicken nuggets, and breaded shrimp, among other frozen foods.
This is the classic setting for air fryers that mimics deep-frying. It makes perfect French fries, chicken wings, and other typically deep-fried foods. The hot air circulates rapidly around the food, cooking it perfectly, creating a crisp, browned exterior. This function is different from a convection oven, as the fan speed is more powerful and the heat is contained in a smaller area. Don’t be afraid to open the basket and check the food as it cooks. Because the air fryer heats so fast, the temperature quickly rebounds.
Broiling cooks foods with intense heat from one source only. Think of a broiler as an upside-down grill. Some foods, such as pork chops or ribs, can be cooked entirely with the Air Broil function. This function is used to finish a recipe and create a very crisp and nicely browned top. Broiling is also a great way to cook steaks or add a crisp crust to salmon fillets. If your food is done and you want it to have more of a browned crust, put the basket back into the air fryer and press broil. Within just a minute or two you’ll have a perfectly crisp, browned crust on top of the food.
Dehydrating foods is a great way to preserve them and a wonderful way to make healthy snacks. This function uses low heat and the fan to remove moisture from food. With the Dehydrate function, you can make crisp and tender chips from apples and pears, mangos, pineapple, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach, bananas, and beets. If you buy these types of snack foods from the store, they cost much more, and many contain chemicals and preservatives as well as extra sugar, salt, and fat. Dehydrating foods requires a long cooking time that can last several hours. But, because of the quiet fan setting on Dehydrate, you can dehydrate foods overnight while you sleep so they will be ready in the morning.
For best results with this function, dry foods before you dehydrate them. Slice or chop the food evenly so all pieces cook at the same rate. Trim off fat from meats before dehydrating. And put the food into the basket in an even, single layer; don’t overlap food or it will dehydrate unevenly.
Roasting is a dry-heat cooking method that uses very high heat to sear the exterior of large cuts of beef and pork. It creates flavor through the Maillard reaction (see here) and also through caramelization, which is the oxidation of sugar molecules. Your air fryer cuts roasting times in half. Air fryer–roasted food is tender and juicy on the inside, with a wonderfully caramelized crisp and browned crust outside. And you don’t need to do anything while the food cooks. The crisper plate is not used when cooking with this function.
Here’s another advantage to using the air fryer to roast: You won’t heat up your kitchen! You can prepare a beautiful beef roast on the hottest summer day and your kitchen will stay cool.
The air fryer is the perfect oven to bake everything from cookies to cheesecake to muffins, pies, crumbles, and fruit bars. With the Bake function, the air fryer becomes an efficient convection oven. Your baked goods are cooked in less time because the hot air circulates all around the food and creates a crisp, brown crust and tender interior. For example, the Marble Cheesecake cooks in about 20 minutes, whereas a cheesecake baked in the oven takes close to an hour. Cookies, cakes, muffins, and breads will have a nice crust and a fluffy texture.
Reheating foods is a snap with the Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL. If you’ve been dissatisfied with foods reheated in the microwave or toaster oven, you won’t be disappointed with reheated foods in the air fryer. Put the cold food into the basket, press Reheat, and, in just a few minutes, your crisp air-fried foods will be just as mouthwatering and tasty as they were when you first made them—without being tough. You can reheat everything from pizza, fried chicken, and fish and chips to chicken patties, meatballs, soups, stews, and steak.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The answers to these frequently asked questions will help you use your Ninja Air Fryer and Ninja Air Fryer Max XL to their fullest capability. You can also refer to the Troubleshooting Guide included with your air fryer.
Can I stop the air fryer and shake or move food around during the cooking process?
Yes, you can! In fact, rearranging the food is encouraged whenever you use air fryers. Shaking the basket or rearranging the food using tongs lets you make sure that all the food cooks and browns evenly. The unit and timer will pause automatically when the basket is removed, and restart automatically when the basket is reinserted in the unit. Handle the air fryer basket carefully because it will be very hot; put it down on a heatproof surface such as a turned-off stovetop or a trivet.
Should I preheat the unit before I add food?
Yes. It only takes 3 minutes for the Ninja® Air Fryer and the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL to heat to cooking temperature. The basket must be in the unit and securely seated or the unit will not turn on. The basket will get quite hot during preheating, so the food starts cooking as soon as it is added. Handle the basket with care and never put it on a nonheatproof surface.
Can I convert conventional recipes to use in the air fryer?
Definitely. That’s when cooking is fun! Just remember you should always reduce the cooking temperature by 25°F and reduce the cooking time by about 30 percent from conventional recipes, because the hot air circulating around the food speeds up the cooking process. Always check your food a few minutes before the timer goes off, as it’s easy to add more time to get the best results, but you can’t fix overcooked or burned foods. However, don’t use recipes where the food is coated with a liquid batter because the batter will drip off the foods and make a mess before it sets.
How much oil should I add to the foods for best results?
Follow the recipes included in your air fryer instruction booklet. They may call for tossing the food in about 1 tablespoon of oil before cooking. If you are cooking a recipe written for conventional cooking, use 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil and either toss the food with the oil or spritz it on using an oil mister. Make sure the food is evenly coated before cooking and never use so much oil that it drips off the food.
Why is my air fryer emitting smoke?
Smoke may come out of the air vents on the back of the unit during the cooking process. The color of the smoke will let you know what’s going on inside. White smoke is completely normal and may actually be steam. If you see a lot of white smoke, the oil pan should be emptied and cleaned. Black smoke, however, indicates there is a problem. If you see black smoke, turn the air fryer off, unplug it, let the unit cool, remove the food, and take the air fryer to a service center.
Why isn’t my food browning?
There are several reasons your food did not brown. For instance, it may have been too wet; always pat foods dry before adding them to the basket. The food may have been cooked on a temperature setting that was too low; in this case, put the basket back into the unit and turn the temperature up by 25°F, then cook the food for 2 to 3 minutes longer until it is nicely browned. Or the basket may have been overcrowded with too much food, which will require batch cooking. In this situation, remove half of the food and air fry until browned. Take the food out and add the remaining food, cooking it until browned. Then, return all the food to the basket and cook for another minute so everything is hot.
How do I pause the cooking time?
The unit will automatically stop the cooking time as soon as you remove the basket from the unit. You can change the cooking time by pressing the Up and Down buttons on the unit’s control panel. If you press Start/Stop during cooking, the timer will reset to HH:MM.
MODIFY RECIPES FOR THE ORIGINAL NINJA® AIR FRYER
Ninja Air Fryer Functions
BAKE: If you have a Ninja Air Fryer (AF100), you can modify the recipes that call for the Bake setting, which is only available in the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL (AF160). When a recipe calls for Bake, set the Ninja Air Fryer to Roast. However, note that the recipes may require a bit less cook time, as the convection fan operates at a lower speed on the Bake setting versus the Roast setting. For best results, check progress throughout cooking.
AIR BROIL: If you have a Ninja Air Fryer (AF100), you can modify the recipes that call for the Air Broil setting, which is only available in the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL (AF160). When a recipe calls for Air Broil, set the Ninja Air Fryer to Air Fry on the highest temperature setting instead. However, note that the Air Fry temperature will not get as hot as the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL Air Broil setting which goes up to 450˚F.
MAX CRISP: The Max Crisp setting is only available on the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL (AF160) and is not used as a setting in most recipes. The Max Crisp setting is used to crisp frozen foods to perfection. For a chart on how best to cook frozen foods in the Ninja Air Fryer, see here.
Let’s get started with the Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL. Before using your air fryer for the first time, read the instruction manual and wipe down the inside and outside of the main unit before you start cooking. Wash the basket and crisper plate in soapy hot water, rinse, and dry. Put the air fryer on a stable surface near a wall outlet, making sure you leave about 5 inches of space between the wall and the back of the appliance for ventilation. Never use an extension cord with this appliance.
Read a recipe or two all the way through. Plug in your air fryer and get ready to enjoy fabulous foods. You can use your air fryer from morning to night to make everything from breakfast tarts to empanadas, steamed salmon, beef stir-fry, roasted potatoes, and fruit crumbles.
Collect the ingredients you’ll need for each recipe and prep them. For most recipes, you’ll need to peel and chop a few ingredients, collect some seasonings, and start cooking. Prep time is minimal when you use your air fryer because you are cooking with whole foods.
GETTING YOUR KITCHEN READY
One of the wonderful things about the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is that you don’t need a full kitchen to cook delicious meals. You do, however, need a refrigerator and some pantry staples to get the most out of this appliance. Most Air fryer recipes do not call for any unusual or hard-to-obtain ingredients. You’ll be able to shop at ordinary grocery or big box stores to make all the recipes. There are just a few tools and accessories you may want to buy to make using your air fryer as easy as possible.
For best results, you’ll need a few tools to start cooking with your air fryer. One is a nice pair of spring-loaded silicone-tipped tongs to rearrange the food during cooking and to remove the food when it’s done. A good, reliable food thermometer will let you know when foods are cooked to a safe temperature. And an oil mister to coat foods with just a bit of oil before cooking is indispensable. (There are dedicated oil misters on the market, but you can also use a food-safe spray bottle.)
STEP-BY-STEP AIR FRYING
Although it is very easy to use the air fryer, there are some steps to follow for best results.
1.First, read the recipe entirely and make sure you understand the instructions and the steps. Collect all the ingredients needed and any measuring spoons or cups.
2.If a recipe calls for spraying the cooking basket with a bit of oil, do so before preheating the air fryer.
3.If cooking a food high in fat, add some water to the drip pan to reduce smoke.
4.Plug in the air fryer, slide in the basket, and preheat it according to the instructions. Preheating takes about 3 minutes. The temperature for each recipe will vary depending on the type of food you’re cooking. If you’re following a conventional recipe, reduce the temperature by 25°F, or choose one of the programmable cooking times.
5.Peel, chop, cube, mix, bread, and combine ingredients as directed in the recipe. Most foods are tossed or sprayed with a little oil to keep bread crumbs attached, or to add flavor or color. If you are breading food, press the bread crumbs on so they adhere and stay on the food during air frying.
6.Place the food in the air fryer basket. Be careful—the basket is hot! Don’t set the air fryer basket directly on the counter; put it on a trivet or hot pad. Don’t crowd the food, or it may not brown evenly. Be sure to shake the basket for the best crisping.
7.If you do layer food, turn the food with silicone-tipped tongs halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning. When cooking foods such as fries, shake the basket often for even browning and cooking.
8.Let the air fryer work. This is a good time to do the minimal cleanup from preparing the ingredients.
9.If making a recipe for the first time, check for doneness a few minutes before the cook time specified in the recipe ends. You can always cook foods longer, but it’s impossible to rescue overcooked food.
10.Check to see that the food is done. Most recipes suggest doneness tests, such as a browned crust or cakes that spring back when lightly touched in the center. Meats, poultry, seafood, and egg dishes should be checked with a food thermometer to make sure they are cooked to a safe temperature.
- Beef (not ground) should be cooked to 145°F.
- Chicken (including ground chicken and ground turkey) should be cooked to 165°F.
- Egg dishes should be cooked to 160°F.
- Fish should be cooked to 145°F.
- Ground meats, such as beef, pork, veal, and lamb, should be cooked to 160°F.
- Whole cuts of pork are safe when cooked to 145°F, with a 3-minute resting time, but ribs should be cooked to 190°F to melt the collagen so they are tender.
11.Use silicone-tipped tongs to remove the finished food from the air fryer basket. Never tip the basket over a plate or bowl to remove the food; oil or hot liquid in the drip pan under the basket could spill out, ruining the food or burning your hands.
- Put the basket back into the air fryer, turn it off, unplug it, and let the appliance cool while you eat. When your meal is complete, simply clean the basket and wipe down the air fryer!
7 TIPS FOR THE PERFECT CRISP
The Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL is simple to use. You’ll have success no matter what you cook in it, especially if you use the preprogrammed functions. But, for best results every time, follow these tips for the perfect crisp finish and tender texture.
1. Preheat the air fryer for about 3 minutes before you add the food.
That way, cooking starts immediately and the food will have the best crisp and brown crust. You’ll hear the sizzle as you (carefully) add the food to the basket. Use this preheat time to prepare the ingredients.
2. Spray the fryer basket and any pans with oil before you add the food.
Use an oil mister for even coating. Choose an oil with a high smoke point (the temperature when the oil breaks down and starts to smoke). Those oils include extra-virgin olive oil at 405°F, peanut at 440°F, sesame and corn at 450°F, sunflower at 480°F, safflower at 510°F, and avocado at 520°F. Avoid regular olive oil because of its lower smoke point, and don’t use salted butter, because foods will stick. Avoid commercial non-stick baking sprays because they can react with the ceramic coating and make the basket more vulnerable to chipping. Anywhere in cookbooks that it says “cooking oil spray,” it refers to oil in an oil mister, not to any commercial product.
3. Don’t cook foods coated with a liquid or runny batter.
When you put battered foods into oil, the batter firms on contact. But, in an air fryer, it takes about 1 minute for the batter to dehydrate and become firm, so it can drip off the food and make a mess. Use foods coated with bread crumbs or cheese or a combination. You can also make an excellent crust by dipping the food into flour, then beaten egg, then into flour again, or bread crumbs. Press the crumbs onto the food and it’s ready to cook.
4. Coat most food with a little bit of oil before it cooks.
That oil will sizzle in the air fryer’s heat, mimicking deep-frying without all the fat. The fat also ensures the food browns evenly. It also helps bread crumbs stick to the food, so they won’t drop off or go flying around in the moving air.
5. Give the food space in the air fryer.
If you crowd food in the basket, it won’t brown and crisp evenly. You can get around this rule if you shake the basket several times during cooking. But, for best results, leave about ¼ inch of space around each piece of food.
6. Move the food around!
Remove the air fryer basket and shake small items, such as chicken wings or veggie fries, a couple of times during the cooking process. This helps ensure that every piece has a brown, crisp coating and that the food cooks evenly. Flip steaks or chicken breasts halfway through the cooking time so they brown well on both sides. Don’t worry about the temperature dropping while the basket is out of the air fryer; it reheats immediately.
7. Clean your air fryer after every use.
Drippings in the basket must be removed or the next batch of food may taste and smell like the batch cooked before it. A dirty air fryer may also start to smoke, which will ruin the taste of the food and may damage the appliance or your kitchen. And any oil or grease left in the air cooker can become rancid, which will ruin your next batch of food. Remember that cleanup is easy and only takes a few minutes.