Use these top tips and recipes to make the most of your air fryer.

By Carl Hanson
Updated October 01, 2020

If you love fried foods but aren't thrilled about the mess and the fatty calories, you'll love the air fryer. Air fried recipes use only about one-quarter as much oil as regular fried food. It's your ticket to healthier fried foods that still taste crispy-crunchy delicious  — and leaves you with a lot less mess at clean-up time. Plus, this versatile machine does more than "fry" —  use your air fryer to make meat loaf, roast veggies, bake potatoes, and more.

Before you get started, check out quick tips for air frying, including these seven common air fryer mistakes to avoid. Then you can move on to trying recipes with confidence.

Credit: France C

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer doesn't actually fry your food in oil. Instead, it works by circulated super-heated air around food so it crisps up the outside and cooks the inside.

Cook in batches

For best results, you'll want to give your food enough space for air to circulate, and that can mean cooking a few pieces of food at a time instead of piling them all in there at once.

Shake and flip

Halfway through cooking, shake the basket a bit so food cooks and crisps evenly, and flip the food over so it gets evenly browned. For delicate foods with delicate coatings, gently re-position the food midway through cooking without shaking the basket.

Keep it clean

Of course, you'll want to know how to clean your air fryer. To keep from scratching and damaging the air fryer's non-stick surface, use a sponge or plastic scrubber (never a metal scrubber) to clean your cooled air fryer after every use. Leaving crumbs and other residue at the bottom of your air fryer can cause it to smoke the next time you use it.

Use your presets

If your air fryer has preset times and temperatures for different kinds of foods, go ahead and use them. They'll take the guesswork out of using your air fryer, and you'll probably use it more often.

Check out our collection of Air Fryer Recipes.