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Equipment

I Just Got an Air Fryer. Now What?

Don’t be afraid; it won’t bite. Here’s how to get the most out of your new kitchen gadget.
By Published Jan. 12, 2022

Hollywood icon James Garner once said, “You can never have too many friends.” I apply that same logic to kitchen gadgets, which have a lot in common with friends: They’re there when you need them, ready to spice up your life or add a little sweetness to your day.

If you’ve just made a new friend in the form of an air fryer, you’re in good company. This social butterfly is very popular right now, and while the delicious possibilities for this gadget are endless, here are a few great places to start.

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Some of Our Favorite Air-Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Recipes

Here are a few of the best recipes to break in that shiny new toy, as recommended by ATK’s resident air-fryer expert, Sam Block.

  1. Chicken nuggets: “I'd have to start with ATK’s chicken nuggets: You brine the chicken, and we've come up with a hack where we whisk the flour and egg together, so it's just a two-batter process as opposed to three,” Sam said. “What makes it even better is that they freeze really well—I always have them on hand for my 3-year-old nephew (but mostly for me).”
  2. Well-done cheeseburgers: “In this ATK cheeseburger recipe, we purposely cook to medium-well or well-done—the panade keeps them supermoist and juicy and delish,” Sam said. The best thing about this dish is that you don’t have to deal with the splattering oil or needing to hover over the grill; your new kitchen gadget does all the work for you.
  3. Baked potatoes: Who doesn’t love a baked potato? In your brand-new air fryer, these spuds will be ultracrispy, a whole lot easier, and significantly quicker, as you won’t need to preheat your oven.

Tips for Using Your Air Fryer

  1. Prevent food from sticking to your air fryer. Best practice for using your air fryer is to always grease the fryer basket before use, even if the food you’re frying doesn’t need added oil; this will just help food lift easily off the basket. All you need to do is dab or spray some oil on the bottom grates and you’ll be good to go. Another option is to use a foil sling. Learn how in this article about preventing food from sticking to your air fryer.
  2. Don’t overcrowd the frying basket. Just like in your average skillet, you don’t want your food to be crowded when you’re trying to make it crisp up—not enough space will simply make it soggy and won’t leave it with that ever-so-tantalizing golden-brown hue. Try cooking your food in batches if needed.
  3. Shake the basket while cooking. To ensure perfectly even cooking when air-frying smaller bits of food such as fries or wings, open up the basket and give it a little shake. When you open the fryer element, the cooking process will pause, but as soon as you click it back in it will start up again, so don’t worry about needing to fiddle with any settings after a quick shake.

Got More Questions About Your Air Fryer?

Want to know more about how your air fryer works? Maybe you're interested in shopping around for an upgrade or gifting the gadget yourself? The ATK Reviews team did a deep dive into all things air fryer to find out what makes the best model and how to make the most of its unique features. You can find the story here.