We started this blog because we love using our air fryers for everything. In fact, I actually refer to it as a "magic box" because when I try recipes that are challenging in the oven, such as an Oreo Cheesecake, and they turn out so perfectly, it is nothing short of magical.
We love helping others get to know their air fryers, and become comfortable using them on a daily basis. But for some reason, once the box is opened, it might sit for a few months before a new user gets the courage to try using it for the first time.
Which is why we reviewed our Facebook community group, and pulled together the top 10 most asked questions by new Air Fryer users. Hopefully, this will encourage you to be bold and get frying!
You can also dig deeper by reading this article on the benefits of using an air fryer.
Question 1: Which air fryer should I buy?
There are SO many air fryers on the market today, and it can be overwhelming. Some of the features are intimidating, and can stop a new user in their tracks. So let's break it down to what WE know, based on our experiences of air fryers.
First you need to look at how many people you will feeding. I have a 2 quart Dash Compact Air Fryer, and it is small, but gets the job done. If you are cooking for one, maybe two people, this one could do the trick.
I also have Cosori 5.8 quart, and the Instant Vortex 6 quart air fryer. Both of those will be perfect for two-four people. If you have a larger family, I would suggest something larger, like Ninja Foodi- 2 Basket air fryer, otherwise, you will be cooking in batches.
Brands, colors, and features, are all a personal choice, so you can compare and see what specifics features are important to you, to decide the brand. For a more detailed comparison, see our Best Air Fryers post.
Question 2: Can I use oil in the air fryer
The short answer is yes. There are some oils that are definitely better than others. Suggestions are:
- Avocado Oil
- Ghee (clarified butter)
- Extra Light Olive Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
To learn more, go to our previous post, Best Oils for Air Fryer, explaining in more detail.
If you are looking for an easy way to use oil in your basket, there are oil sprayers that will make the job easier.
Question 3: Can you bake in the air fryer?
Yes! This is my favorite question when I'm helping a friend decide what air fryer to buy, and I love to brag about what it can do!
You can not only bake in the air fryer, but you can save time, because it cooks faster, and saves energy, since you won't be pre-heating your oven, and therefore your kitchen.
Question 4: Why does my air fryer smell like plastic?
We see this question a lot, so don't panic and feel like you are doing something wrong, or your air fryer isn't working properly. New air fryers have a protective coating and once it heats up for the first time, it gives off a plastic burning smell. Once you've used it a couple of times, it will go away.
Some manufacturers will suggest you run it empty the first time you use it, so follow the manufacturers guide.
Question 5: Can I put a glass bowl in the air fryer?
Yes. You can use any ovenproof dish in your air fryer. If it is safe to put in your oven, it will be safe for your air fryer. In fact, there are a lot of fun accessories for the air fryer, such as this air fryer accessory set, but if your pan will fit in the air fryer, or your air fryer basket, you don't really need anything else.
Question 6: Do air fryers use a lot of energy?
One of the best reasons to use an air fryer, is that they don't use very much electricity at all. They also don't heat up, like an oven, so they don't make the room warm.
This is one of the reasons I first began using my air fryer, since I live it a state with very hot summers. I love to bake, but when it's 115 degrees outside, who wants to heat the kitchen with a hot oven? Grab your air fryer and you will feel the difference!
Question 7: I'm scared to try using it for the first time. What is an easy thing I can make in my air fryer?
If you are a little unsure of what to cook in your air fryer the first time you use it, I would suggest an easy, fail proof recipe. Try something simple like potatoes or eggs in a basket! Either of these recipes will get you started, so you can get comfortable using your air fryer.
Question 8: Are air fryers better to cook food in?
Using an air fryer lets you make some of your favorite "fried" foods, without using all of the oil and fats used when deep frying, which means less grease and less calories. Not to mention you are not cooking with very hot oils that can be hazardous in the kitchen.
Question 9: Can I put aluminum foil in the air fryer?
Yes. You can cook with foil, and parchment paper as well. I poke holes in my parchment paper so the air can still flow while food is cooking. Just to be safe, make sure you check the book that came with the fryer as there are so many different manufacturers these days.
I also found Air Fryer Parchment Paper Sheets, and they make cooking and cleaning the basket SO much easier.
However, never preheat the air fryer with JUST foil or parchment paper because that will cause it to get sucked up into the fan. Always preheat the air fryer with an empty basket and prepare it with foil or parchment paper just before adding food to cook.
Question 10: I followed a recipe, but when I made it, it was undercooked or overcooked. What did I do wrong?
Don't worry! You didn't do anything wrong! Every air fryer is different. As I mentioned earlier, I have THREE air fryers so far! I know how each one of them works now, and they will all cook slightly different.
My best advice for making a recipe the first time, is to pause cooking halfway, and check on your food. If a recipe says to cook for 10 minutes, the first time you make it in your air fryer, try cooking it for 8, check it, and then return to cooking as needed.
Once you get comfortable with your air fryer, you will know how you need to adjust as you move forward.
I hope these questions have helped you, especially if you are just joining the amazing world of air frying. Please feel free to join our Facebook Group and our Facebook Page on the links below. Recipes are shared, and any air fryer questions can be asked, in our amazing air frying community.
Happy Air Frying!