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Cooking Tips

For Better Air-Fried Vegetables, Use the "Lincoln Log" Technique

A childhood activity becomes relevant in cooking.

Air-fried foods will cook quickly and evenly—as long as you use the cooking space wisely. A batch of Air-Fryer Zucchini Fries cooks in 10 minutes, but if you just dump them in the air fryer, turn it on, and walk away, you’ll be left with unevenly cooked, half-crispy-half-soggy vegetables. 

The solution? Maximize the air circulation and increase basket real estate in your air fryer by stacking them like Lincoln Logs.  

Notes From the Test Kitchen

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We like drawer-style air fryers that have a basket because they’re less messy and allow for easy access to the food while it cooks. But no matter what type of air fryer you use, food cooks best when air can circulate around it. So if you’re air frying items that can be stacked, such as pork kebabs or swordfish skewers, this space-saving arrangement will improve your results.

The key is to maintain enough space between pieces. Think Lincoln Logs. Criss-cross applesauce. Making log cabins with popsicle sticks. Apply these old favorites to this easy multi-layered cooking method:

  1. Arrange half the skewers or vegetable pieces in the basket, spaced evenly apart. 
  2. Arrange the remaining skewers or vegetables on top, perpendicular to the first layer, log cabin–style.

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