Air Fryer, or “Little Champ” as I always call it, is undoubtedly a wonder appliance that does a whole lot of jobs.
But as it’s a comparatively new invention, therefore lot many doubts are there relating to it.
In this post, I have compiled a list of questions that bother anyone before using an air fryer. I hope after going through these question answers, most of your doubts will be cleared.
Though I have tried to include a lot many questions but still if I have left out any or you have any doubt then please feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge and experience.
So, let’s get started…
Q) What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is nothing but a mini convection oven. But unlike the microwave oven, it does not emit radiation as it works on the principal of rapid air technology. You may read in detail about air fryer in my post: What is air fryer? What are the benefits of air fryer.
Q) What all I can do in an air fryer?
Air fryer is Multi-purpose: It does frying, baking, dehydrating, reheating, toasting, roasting, broiling, grilling…everything.
Read in detail in 11 Clever And Versatile Uses of Air Fryer
Q) Is an air fryer of any use for vegetarians or vegans?
I am myself a vegetarian and this blog of mine is only about vegetarian recipes. And I have shared a number of vegetarian as well as vegan air fryer recipes.
Q) Can I use a steel bowl in the air fryer?
Yes! You can use steel, glass, ceramic, aluminium or silicone in the air fryer. Even plastic can be used but I don’t recommend it as it is not healthy to cook in plastic.
Q) Can I bake a cake in an air fryer?
- Yes! You can bake a cake in it. I have a detailed recipe on how to bake a cake in the air fryer.
- Lot many questions related to baking cake are also answered in this post, so go through it in case of any doubt related to baking cake in air fryer.
Q) Can I bake bread in the air fryer?
Q) Can I pull the air fryer drawer while the food is getting air-fried?
- Except for baking, feel free to pull out the AF basket to check for the doneness as well as to shake the food items in it.
- You can pull the drawer as many times as you need to. Anytime, you wish to peep in, simply pull the drawer, shuffle the food items, and then push it back.
- You don’t have to switch it off for doing this.
- While baking, you can pull the drawer after at least 10 minutes.
Q) Should I preheat my air fryer?
Preheating is necessary only in the case of baking recipes.
Other than baking, preheating is not required but is still recommended as it fastens the cooking process. So, while you do your preparations, if you preheat the air fryer for just 3 to 4 minutes, it will result in getting things done quickly.
Q) How to preheat air fryer?
- Ensure that the air fryer is empty without any utensils in it.
- Set the temperature and start it for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, your air fryer is preheated.
- Open it up and keep the food items on the air fryer basket.
Q) Can I use aluminum foil, parchment paper or butter paper in the air fryer.
Yes, you can line your air fryer basket with either aluminum foil or parchment paper or butter paper. Aluminum foil is not recommended due to health reasons, so better to use either parchment or butter paper. But take care of the following:
- Do not lay it while preheating otherwise these will be blown by airflow and thus can be dangerous.
- Measure any of these papers so that they almost fit onto the basket and are not extra otherwise they will flutter while baking and again can be dangerous due to the heating element on the top.
Q) How to clean my air fryer?
- The air fryer basket can be cleaned with mild detergent just like your normal utensils.
- The drawer or the bowl beneath the basket can also be washed with detergent and water if too dirty. Otherwise, wiping it with a damp cloth would be sufficient.
Tip: Line the bowl that is below the basket with aluminium foil. By doing so, all the drippings will be collected on the foil. Once you have finished cooking in air fryer, then simply throw the foil and replace it with a new one. This way, it will remain as good as new forever without any need to rinse it with water. And don’t worry, it’s safe to use it here as aluminium leaches into food only when in touch with it, not from a distance.
Q) Do air fryers heat up the kitchen?
No. In fact, air fryers emit very little heat as compared to microwave convection or Otg. And this is because it uses a sealed cooking compartment. This in turn means that you can cook by sweating less when the temperature is at its peak.
Q) Why did my air fryer stop working?
Possible reasons can be:
- It got overheated and thus tripped. Let it cool down fully and then check.
- It was kept too close to the wall so the hot air could not vent out thus the machine tripped. Again, let it cool down.
- Try using some other socket as maybe there is some problem in the existing one.
- Check the cable.
- Last but not the least, check whether electricity is there or not. Sometimes, electricity fails, the inverter starts and our power appliances are not connected to it.
Q) Can I dehydrate vegetables in my air fryer?
- Yes. You can dehydrate vegetables easily and in much less time as compared to a dehydrator or even oven. I have shared a detailed post on how to make Garlic powder, onion powder and Beetroot powder where all these three vegetables were dehydrated in the air fryer only.
- However, basic steps for dehydrating any vegetable are:
- If possible, let your vegetable dry completely on a kitchen towel under the fan for a few hours. This is not necessary.
- Put the vegetable directly on the air fryer basket and air fry at 180 degrees only for 5 minutes. We do so at a high temperature just to get rid of the excess moisture on the surface of the vegetable. So, just for 5 minutes, not more than that.
- Thereafter, reduce the temperature to 90 degrees and continue dehydrating for 20 to 30 minutes.
- After 10 minutes or so, when the vegetable starts drying then cover it with a wire mesh as it tends to fly then.
- Air fry it till it is completely dry.
Q) I have a large Otg. Do I still need to have an air fryer?
- Btw, before I answer this let me share with you that I have Microwave Convection, Otg, as well as air fryer and I, use all three!
- Here, I am sharing with you the plus and minus of having an AF, just have a look at these and then decide whether to buy it ot not.
- First of all, AF is good for a family of 4 to 6. However, a cousin of mine, who lives in a joint family of 13 members, is also very happy using it.
- And if you are planning to have a home bakery then also AF is definitely not the right choice.
- But for day to day usage for cooking/baking small quantities, AF is ‘The Best’ as things are done very quickly in it. Ovens, being bigger in size, take too much time to cook the same quantity. In fact, this is the best thing that I love about AF.
- 2 or 3 lots in air fryer are equivalent to 1 in the oven.
- If any 2 appliances, both of roughly 1500 W each, and one take 30 min whereas the other takes 15 min, then you know very well which one is better.
- So, If I have to put it in one line than I would say that AF is economical, easy and quick.
- On the basis of the above, decide what suits you best.
- Still, go for it if you can afford it space-wise because pocket wise you are going to love it anyway in the long run, by saving on your oil, electricity, time and efforts!
- You can read all the benefits of air fryer in the link below in m post Benefits of Air Fryer
Some More Questions raised by our dear readers during my Mentorship in OMBC, which is a FB group of healthy baking only.
Q) Is air fryer harmful? Or,
I have heard too many negative things about air fryers. They are 20 times more harmful than microwaves and all. That frying is less harmful than air frying. Would like inputs on this. (By Indu Sharma)
- So much so, they say pressure cooked Dal is not good, Chapati made on the direct flame on the gas stove, causes gastric troubles, and the list is never-ending.
- There are people who have stopped using microwaves totally and there are some who are using it for everything.
- Whenever there is a new invention, first it is rated high with all its advantages and then its negatives are shown. Both are correct in their own way!
- After reading your comment, I did little research and found that only at very high temperatures, say 200 C or above, it is slightly harmful (because of acrylamide formation) but is still better than deep-fried food. But uptil 180 C it’s absolutely safe and we use it mostly at 180 or lower than that only.
- These are my views. I may be good at cooking but certainly not good on the technical/scientific side.
- Moderation is the key I guess…
- Reply by Indu Sharma: Samira, thank you much for this. I was actually going to buy the air fryer when I was stopped. Reading you I see that it is as harmful as anything else in our kitchen. So here i goooo.
Q) Looking forward to learn…as once i tried making brownies in it but it became hard i baked at 180 for 10 mins only.. (By Zainab Trunkwala)
180 is too high for baking brownie or cake in the air fryer. Bake at lower temp like 160 or 170.But still shouldn’t have got hard in just 10 min.
Q) In what temp cake is baked in philips air fryer (By Shweta Jawa Bhandari)
Q) I’m in a confused state whether to buy or not.. looking forward to all your upcoming tips and suggestions ..thanks for the initiative..will be very helpfulWait for few more days, go through the upcoming posts and then decide.
Q) Making bhajiya in AF has actually let me down
Q) Can makanas also be roasted..n how to add the masalas..can you pls guide on that? (By Tasneem Phiroze Merchant)
- Put them in a bowl, toss in every little oil, may be 1/2 tsp to 1tsp.
- Mix spices of your choice and air fry for 3 to 4 min at 180 degrees C.
- No need to add oil if you are not adding salt/spices
Q) Hey Samira thanks for this series.
-Can u help difference/ best usage between basket and microwave type AF,
-which voltage is best for maximum usage.
-which size (qt) is ideal? (By Mythili Parchuru)I have basket style so can’t really comment about the microwave style. 1400 to 1500 W is good enough (as I have this much only). Go for a bigger size as this is the only limitation in it. If the basket is small, you always feel that it should have been little bigger
Q) Give us an idea of the amount that can be filled or layered. Mean to ask..What is the maximum quantity that can be roasted in a batch?
Would also like to know the size of your baking basket please (By Vani Adhithya)
- Good question dear and thanks for asking. Difficult to give accurate weights as it varies with each AF but just few tips…
- Try to use a shallow tray/plate and fill it just uptil half or little less.
- If using a bowl and the quantity is more then ensure to toss it in between.
- If laying straight on the basket then ensure that the basket is not over crowded and there is space in between for the hot air to move around. And of course, tossing in between.
- Hope this helps.
Q) Which utensils can be used in AF basket??
Means steel or aluminum or non-stick (By Twinkle Arora, Rems Nair and others)Everything except plastic can be used.
I wants to buy an baking appliance from long time and keep on pending and unable decide between air fryer and otg as I have less knowledge in both.Your posts making me to buy AF.
Which brand and model is suggested for a family of 4 . (By Sravanthi Gogineni)Sravanthi Gogineni, Thank you so much Nowadays many different brands are available to choose from. However, I have Philips and I am very happy with it. As I have used only Philips so can’t really comment about other brands.
Q) Thanks.. looks really.. can make popcorn from jowar, bajra grains too. (By Rekha Krishnamurthy)Rekha Krishnamurthy, I have made from corns. They come out very well. Jowar, bajra should also come out good..2 imp steps…1. Preheating is must2. Cover with mesh or they will fly and get stuck on the element above.
Q) Hie. For moong dal, do we need to soka before ? Or directly add some salt n chaat masala and air fry it ?
I tried masala peanuts today and my kid has gone crazy eating them… (By Monika Rathi Periwal)Monika Rathi Periwal, Great! Thank you so much for trying and sharing your wonderful feedbackSoaking is must, be it any lentils else it will remain hard. First soak, then keep it in the colander for a while. Then very little oil and masala.
Q) Wow. Will not spinach leave out more water. Does it have any issue while air frying.
Do you get the Steel mesh along with AF or do we get it seperately. (By Srideci Shyamaprasad)Yes. I have mentioned it in my post that it will look wilted after first 5 to 8 min. You toss it and soon it will be completely dry.Many AF accessories are available in the market but I have none.I am Jugaadu and use various things from kitchen only. The one used in the pics above is Atta Chhalni.You can use steel mesh, which we use for covering milk etc too.
Q) I don’t have a steel mesh what I use (By Bairavi Balaji)We need to protect the leaves otherwise they will fly all over inside the AF.Steel mesh or even a perforated plate that comes with pressure cooker can be used.Will try to think of more options. In the mean time you also go through your kitchen utensils. May be something suitable is found there.
Q) Wow. Can we do all this in the OTG as well at same temperature? (By Padmaja Paul)Yes, most of these can be done in OTG too. AF works at slightly lower temp (15 to 20 degrees approx) as compared to OTG, so adjust accordingly.
Q) Might be a silly question. Here we go… Earlier microwave and it’s convection , grilling etc. capabilities were wow. Then came the cons of microwaving food for health reasons.
Now AF is the new product… Just wondering if you can shed some insights on two points:
If microwave with convection is present in house then is buying AF advisable? ( Limited kitchen space)
Any cons on AF like the ones for microwave ?
If this is already covered in any of your posts – please tag me there.
Thank you for your time and effort appreciate it! (By Vidya Nair)Yes, it’s true every now n then new inventions are there and it’s difficult to go for all of them. Regarding whether to go for air fryer if Microwave convection is already there is a matter of personal choice.
- Plus, AF works on rapid air technology and there is no fear of radiation as in microwave.
- Another benefits are of time, saving on energy, multiple uses and many more. Will be soon covering this in detail in one of my upcoming posts. However, till then you may have a look at one of my posts regarding , Is Air Fryer Worth It?, the link of which is shared below:https://samirasrecipe.com/10-benefits-of-air-fryer-what…/
Q) Hi..do we af sweet potatoes the same way wash and wipe and af for 15 mins? (By Tasneem Phiroze Merchant)Yes, but time is much more, roughly 30 minutes.
Q) Please can u guide us how to make jacket potatoes in AF (By Madhvi Taneja)Will try and then let you know. Give me some time plIn the end, I would like to say just one thing. Experiment and explore. Start with small quantity if unsure, check multiple times in between and very soon you will be a pro in using air fryer.
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