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Air Fryer 101: How to Use Air Fryer for Beginners?


Want to make air-fried food with your newly bought air fryer? An air fryer is a healthy alternative to the traditional deep-frying method. You can easily cook healthy, crispy, and delicious snacks without dipping them in oil.

In this article, we will show you how to use air fryer to ensure the optimal final result. Besides, you need to keep in mind the tips for safe usage. At last, we will walk you through how to clean the air fryer for worry-free usage next time. Get ready to enjoy your favorite foods in a healthier, yet still delicious, way!

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

The combination of a heating element and a fan in the air fryer circulates hot air around food in the air fryer basket. With the perforated basket, it promotes air circulation, leading to a longer cooking time, quicker browning, and more crispy food. The air fryer requires very little oil but replicates the effect of deep-frying and makes the food exterior crispy and the interior soft and juicy.

How to Use the Air Fryer?

The air fryer is simple to use for cooking food quickly with a crispy texture. If you are new to air fryers and wondering “how do I use my air fryer?” you can check out this guideline.

Set up Air Fryer

It is important to set up the air fryer before baking. Here are the simple steps:

1. Remove all packaging and clean each component and accessory.

2. Position your air fryer on a stable, even, and dry surface.

Make sure there's enough space around the air fryer for safe operation. Check the user manual for specific setup guidelines.

Preheat the Air Fryer

Some air fryers may need preheating. This helps cook food more evenly and shortens the overall cooking time. Smaller-sized air fryers usually take less preheating time than larger ones. However, some air fryers do not need preheating. So, it is important to check the user manual carefully before cooking.

Prepare Food

Clean the food and season it with ingredients. Spray a little oil in the air fryer basket to avoid the food sticking together. Place the seasoned foods into the air fryer basket and leave some space between each other to cook them evenly.

Select Settings

Some air fryers are equipped with extra features beyond the basic air fry function, like baking, roasting, and broiling. Other air fryers may come with pre-programmed settings for various foods like chicken, French fries, pizza, shrimp, or egg tarts. You can select and press the corresponding food icon for convenient and precise cooking.


Set the Cooking Time

The cooking time may differ according to different recipes. You can adjust the air fryer to the appropriate temperature and time accordingly. When adapting recipes for an air fryer, generally reduce the temperature by 25 degrees F from the recommended deep-frying temperature, maintaining the original cooking time. Similarly, when converting from oven baking, lower the air fryer temperature by 25 degrees F from the suggested oven temperature and also reduce the cooking duration by 20%.

Here are some examples of the recommended temperatures and time for cooking food in the air fryer.



Air-fried Time

Chicken Wings


10-12 minutes

Chicken Breast


22-23 minutes

Bone-in Pork Chops


8-10 minutes



5-7 minutes



7-14 minutes



8 minutes


Frozen Food



Corn Dogs


8 minutes

Mozzarella Sticks


5-7 minutes

Tater Tots


12-15 minutes







8-10 minutes



10-12 minutes



12 minutes

Brussels Sprouts


15-18 minutes

Flip Food Halfway

You need to shake the air fryer basket or flip the food halfway at least once during cooking. It ensures that every piece of food gets evenly crisped and browned. For certain dishes, you might need to flip or shake them every 5 minutes, so stay close to your air fryer during the process.

Remove the Food

After the food is ready, take it carefully from the air fryer with utensils like tongs, a spatula, or a spoon. If you're removing food directly from the hot air fryer basket, it's recommended to wear oven mitts for safety.

Clean Air Fryer

It is recommended to clean the air fryer immediately after using air fryer. Follow the simple steps:

1. Unplug the air fryer and cool it down before cleaning.

2. Take out the air fryer grate and basket and clean it with a sponge in hot, soapy water.

3. Dry all the parts with a clean towel and put them on the counter.

4. Remove the crumbs and wipe any oil from the inside. Use a damp towel to gently clean the interior, including the heating element.

5. Wipe the outside with a damp kitchen towel. If there are greasier spots, you can mix a little dish soap with warm water for efficient cleaning.

Air Fryer Tips

In this part, we will share some air fryer tips to enhance your air fryer uses, elevating your cooking skills to a higher level.

  • Put the Grate in the Basket: It helps the hot air circulate around the food and prevents the food from being submerged in any accumulated oil.
  • Don't Overcrowd: Arrange food in a single layer and leave some space between each other. This prevents food from undercooking or overcooking.
  • Shake or Flip Regularly: For items like fries or veggies, shaking the basket or flipping the food halfway through cooking ensures even crispness.
  • Use Minimal Oil: A light spray or brush of oil is often enough to achieve a crispy texture without excess grease.
  • Keep It Dry: Pat food dry before cooking to prevent sogginess and achieve better crisping.
  • Avoid Using Non-stick Sprays: Only spray a little cooking oil on the food or at the bottom of the air fryer basket. Non-stick sprays may damage the air fryer coatings.

Air Fryer Recipes

Here are some delicious and easy-to-make air fryer recipes that showcase what to use air fryer for:

  • Air Fryer Chicken: Enjoy the taste of fried chicken without the excess oil. Season your chicken pieces and air fry to perfection for a crispy, juicy meal.
  • Air Fryer Vegetable Fries: Slice up your favorite vegetables like zucchini, carrots, or sweet potatoes, season, and air fry for a healthy, crunchy snack.
  • Air Fryer Salmon: Quick and effortless, season your salmon fillets and cook them in the air fryer for a moist, flavorful dinner option.
  • Homemade Air Fryer Pizza: Create a personal pizza with your choice of toppings and cook it in the air fryer for a fast and crispy crust.
  • Air Fryer Donuts: Whip up a batch of donuts using biscuit dough or a homemade mixture, then air fry for a lighter version of this sweet treat.
  • Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks: Coat cheese sticks in breadcrumbs, freeze briefly, then air fry for a gooey, delicious appetizer.


In conclusion, learning how to use air fryer can revolutionize your cooking experience, offering a healthier, quicker, and more versatile method of preparing a wide range of dishes. From preheating and setting the right temperature and time to properly placing and flipping the food, each step is crucial for achieving the perfect outcome. Additionally, regular cleaning and maintenance ensure the longevity and efficiency of your air fryer. Keep in mind the air fryer tips and techniques to make the most of your air frying journey, enjoying healthier fried foods with ease.

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