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How to Preheat Air Fryer? The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide


Air fryer food has become a popular method to cook quick meals or snacks. The food cooked in this way is not only healthy due to its less oil usage, but it also remains crispy on the outside while preserving its delicious taste. However, you may wonder, “Do I need to preheat my air fryer?” If so, how to preheat air fryer, and how long for air fryer to preheat? Generally, the user manual will tell you the truth. Well, we shall also show you how to preheat the air fryer, and what you need to do is keep reading to discover these essential steps and enhance your air frying experience.

Do You Have to Preheat Air Fryer?

Yes. In most cases, you should preheat the air fryer. When the food is exposed to high heat in the air fryer, it will get more brown and crispy. It is quite different from those starting with a cold air fryer, which doesn't produce the same quality of results.

Furthermore, preheating ensures that every part of your dish is evenly and properly cooked, reducing the risk of undercooked areas or overcooked spots. This is particularly important when reheating leftovers, where the air fryer delivers fresher and crispier food compared to using a microwave.

How to Preheat an Air Fryer?

Preheating your air fryer is an important step to ensure optimal cooking results. If you're wondering “How do I preheat my air fryer”, here's how to do it effectively:

1. Refer to the user manual that came with your air fryer for any specific preheating instructions. Some air fryers may have a preheat button, which simplifies this process. Simply power up the air fryer, adjust the temperature, and then press the preheat button. If there is no such button, please proceed to the next step.

2. Turn on the air fryer and adjust the air fryer to your cooking temperature and time. For example, if you are about to cook pork chops, you can preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.

3. Once the air fryer is preheated, put your food in the air fryer basket and set the cooking time according to your recipe.

How Long to Preheat Air Fryer?

The air fryer preheat time can vary depending on the model and size of your air fryer, as well as the cooking temperature. For air fryers that come with a preheat button, the preheating time is set to around 5 minutes by default. Smaller units may reach the desired temperature faster, often within 2-3 minutes, while larger models might require approximately 5 minutes.

When Should You Preheat an Air Fryer?

In this part, we will help you decide when it is proper to preheat your air fryer to enhance flavor, texture, and overall cooking results.


  • Follow the Manual's Advice: If the manual for your specific air fryer model recommends preheating, it's best to adhere to those guidelines for optimal results.
  • Recipe's Instructions: When a reliable recipe suggests preheating the air fryer, it's wise to follow those directions to ensure you achieve the intended quality and taste of the dish.
  • For Extra Crispiness: Preheating is generally advisable for foods where you desire a crispier texture, such as fresh or frozen french fries and chicken wings.
  • Uncertain about Preheating: When you don't know whether to preheat, it's usually recommended to do so. Preheating your air fryer, a standard function of the appliance, won’t cause harm and often leads to a crispier final product.

When Not to Preheat Air Fryer?

While preheating air fryer is beneficial for many cooking scenarios, there are instances where it might not be necessary or even advisable. For example, foods that cook quickly or are prone to drying out, like small, delicate items or certain baked goods, may fare better without preheating. Additionally, recipes that require a slow cook or gradual rise in temperature, such as certain cakes or breads, may not need a preheated air fryer.


In conclusion, understanding how to preheat air fryer is a straightforward but vital step in ensuring optimal cooking results. By allowing the air fryer to reach the desired temperature before adding your food, you ensure even cooking, crispier textures, and reduced cooking times. Remember to check your specific model's instructions for preheating guidelines, as times and temperatures may vary. With this knowledge, you can now enjoy the full potential of your air fryer, making meals that are not only delicious but also efficiently and evenly cooked.

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