Since getting my air fryer, life has become so much easier. Even after a long workday, I can rapidly prepare a delicious and healthy meal.
But what has amazed me the most since getting started with my air fryer has been discovering its versatility.
If you're thinking about getting an air fryer of your own, you may be wondering whether the investment is worthwhile. What types of foods can you cook in an air fryer? How many different cooking functions does an air fryer offer you?
In this guide, I will introduce you to the primary cooking functions of an air fryer, and share some of my favorite recipes with you for meat dishes, veggies, seafood, snacks, baked goods and more.
Air Fryer Cooking Functions
Did you know that you can do far more than fry foods in an air fryer? You can also bake, broil, roast, slow cook, and even dehydrate foods.
That fact means that when you purchase an air fryer for your home kitchen, it can eliminate the need for a variety of other cooking appliances.
In doing so, it can save you counter space while enhancing your culinary life.
It may even become your most frequently used kitchen appliance.
Foods You Can Cook in an Air Fryer
There are dozens upon dozens of different types of foods you can prepare in your air fryer. So, there is no possible way for me to share them all.
But, to give you an idea what an air fryer can do for you, let’s go over a few different recipes in each of these categories:
1. Chicken and other meat dishes
3. French fries
6. Seeds, nuts, and snacks
9. Baked goods and desserts
10. Other fried foods
We will begin with meat dishes.
1. Chicken and other meat dishes
1. Apply the seasoning and oil to the outside of the chicken. Apply as much or as little as you want based on your taste preferences.
2. Set the chicken inside the air fryer (in the rotisserie basket, if you have one). The entire chicken needs to fit inside, and the breast should be situated downward. If it isn’t quite fitting, break a couple of the bones and squish it in the rest of the way.
3. Cook for 30 minutes. Many air fryers include a setting specifically for making rotisserie chicken. If you do not see a rotisserie chicken setting, look for a “roast” setting.
4. Turn the chicken over.
5. Cook for an additional 30 minutes.
6. Check the temperature inside the chicken. When your thermometer reads 165 degrees, it should be done.
There are so many easy ways you can vary this recipe, depending on the spices you choose or the oil you select.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken.
1. Begin by preheating to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Use a paper towel to dry off the beef gently.
3. Coat the beef with the mixture of spices and oil.
4. Insert the coated beef into your air fryer basket.
5. Peel your onion and slice it into two halves.
6. Add the onion halves to the fryer.
7. Cook for 15 minutes.
8. Adjust the temperature to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the beef at this point if it is necessary.
9. Cook for another 30 minutes and the beef should be medium-rare. If that is how you like your beef, it is now done. If you prefer it to be more well-done, continue cooking to your liking.
10. Take the roast beef out and wrap it in aluminum foil. Wait 10 minutes before removing it, slicing it, and serving it.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fried Roast Beef.
Simple Salted Green Beans
1. Your air fryer may have a vegetable setting. If so, you can use that. Otherwise, just reheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Coat your vegetables in oil or ghee, and add as much salt as you prefer.
3. Add the beans to your air fryer.
4. Cook for around 7 minutes. Make sure that you are attending the beans and moving them around once in a while so that they are evenly cooked.
Note that you can use the same basic approach to prepare a wide variety of simple salted vegetables. For example, this would work just as well with carrots.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fried Green Beans.
Mexican Corn on the Cob
The very fact that preparing corn on the cob in your air fryer is so similar to cooking up green beans shows you just how versatile these basic instructions are for making veggies.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Mexican Air Fryer Corn on the Cob.
3. French fries
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Homemade Crispy French Fries.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Crispy Fish Fillet.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp.
Take note that you will probably want to serve this as an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre rather than as a main course.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Toasted Ravioli.
Carbonara Mushroom Pasta
Here is a recipe that really demonstrates the impressive versatility of the air fryer. It turns out you can cook almost anything and in an air fryer, even sauce.
Wondering why you need to add water to the mix? Doing so prevents the sauce mixture from getting dry.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Carbonara Mushroom Pasta.
5. Seeds, nuts, and snacks
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds.
Love kale chips, but tired of buying them at a premium at the grocery store? With an air fryer, you can prepare them quickly and easily at home and save much money in the process.
The same approach that you used here to coat the kale in oil also works if you want to cook other greens in your air fryer.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Kale Chips.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Breaded Mushroom.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Fried Eggs.
8. Baked goods and desserts
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Pull Apart Bread.
9. Other fried foods
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Air Fryer Egg Rolls.
Check here the full recipe and procedure of Crunchy Onion Rings.
Here Are a Few Foods You Cannot Cook in an Air Fryer
Yes, you can cook frozen foods using your air fryer. Just remember that the settings required for frozen foods and fresh foods are different.
It is fine to put spiced foods in your air fryer, but ideally, you want the spices to adhere to your food, i.e., as part of a breadcrumb/egg coating, or just apply some oil first to your foods so that the spices stick. If the spices are loose, they are too lightweight to do anything but flutter around.
This seems to depend on whom you ask. Some people complain that raw vegetables come out soggy, but it seems to rely on the recipe you use and the preparation steps that you take.
If you are correctly preparing the food following all instructions, it should come out crispy and delicious. There can be a bit of a learning curve when you are a beginner, so expect some trial and error before you start achieving the crispy textures you are after every time.
Conclusion: A World of Easy, Delicious Recipes Awaits You When You Get Your Own Air Fryer
An air fryer’s functionality goes far beyond merely making fried foods at home. With it, you can also bake, roast, broil, and more.
You now have some simple recipes to get started with to make bread, rotisserie chicken, roast beef, toasted ravioli, egg rolls, and so much more. Enjoy discovering the full capabilities of your air fryer!