Previously underrated, the humble air fryer has been the talk of kitchens everywhere this year, and frankly, it’s about time. Thanks to the cooking appliance’s convection-like method of circulating hot air, it will prepare your favourite fried dishes with 90 per cent less oil in almost half the time. Translation: the air fryer transforms guilty-pleasure dishes into healthier alternatives in a snap. But this versatile kitchen staple can do a whole lot more than cook up fries and wings. Read on for nine surprising recipes you can make in an air fryer (and five you really, probably shouldn’t).
An air fryer offers the perfect type of heat for achieving those golden and flaky layers on puff pastry treats. Expecting last-minute guests? These healthy puffs of perfection will bake in less than 30 minutes. You can also choose from a variety of last-minute party appetizers that are beyond easy.
Whether served as a side or made to enjoy on its own, fluffy and buttery pull-apart dinner rolls can be made fool-proof in an air fryer within minutes.
Hard "Boiled" Eggs
Believe it or not, you can actually prepare soft- to hard-cooked eggs in an air fryer with zero boiling water required. Great for when you’re in a rush in the morning, pre-heat the appliance and cook eggs for 10-12 minutes (depending on your preference) and enjoy! Remember this hack the next time you’re planning to serve deviled eggs at a dinner party or potluck.
For the hostess with the mostest, change the way you brunch by quickly cooking quiches in an air fryer. For a standard quiche, use a large insert, and for mini ones, use small silicone muffin cups. And there you have it – the ultimate brunch dish or make-ahead protein-packed breakfast.
Few things are more satisfying than biting into a crispy egg roll for the first time (cue the drools). But what if we told you that flaky, crunchy exterior is still achievable with far less oil? The heating technology of air fryers can mimic the golden crunch of a traditional deep-fry without the guilt.
Air fryers can fry, roast and sear all types of protein, fish included. Our recommendation? A crispy breaded version (think of it as a healthier alternative to fried fish and chips!).
Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, stuffed peppers are a tried and true, versatile dish that’s simply pop-and-go. To make things even easier, cut down the cooking time and place them into your air fryer. Voila! A colourful, cheesy dish for your family to enjoy.
If you’re not already baking desserts in your air fryer, you’re doing it all wrong. Make the most out of the humble kitchen tool and whip up your favourite cakes, muffins and brownies in less time and with less batter, all thanks to its convention-like heating power.
While some fried dough recipes simply won’t work in an air fryer, you can still enjoy donuts guilt-free so long as you prepare them with yeast-risen dough. The air fryer delivers the same tenderness, crackly finish and flavour as the traditional version, but without all the oil. After “frying”, drizzle the baked goods with your favourite glaze.
Can't Cook: Fried Dough
When it comes to making churros and zeppoles, it’s best to stick with hot oil. Its runny batter won’t set or form its shape in an air fryer. But on the plus side, an air fryer is the perfect appliance for cooking other sweet, warm treats with the help of castings. You can also try this scrumptious homemade funnel cakes.
Can't Cook: Leafy Greens
Greens like spinach and arugula will likely crisp up like kale chips when cooked in the air fryer (not ideal). To sauté these greens, stick to the stove or oven and whip up this tasty butternut squash and arugula pizza. However, since air fryers hit ingredients with high heat from all sides, it’s the perfect appliance for roasting veggies like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, potatoes, squash and mushrooms.
Can't Cook: Rice or Pasta
Unlike other cooking appliances (pressure cookers and slow cookers), air fryers aren’t designed with the same heating technology that can bring water to a boil to perfectly cook fluffy rice and pasta (the exception here are the TikTok pasta chips. With that said, you can still use an air fryer to reheat leftover rice and pasta dishes, like this pan fried gnocchi with sage, lemon, and brown butter, in lieu of a microwave.
Can't Cook: Stir-Fries
Ah, stir-fries. Although this easy-to-make dish usually requires one wok or pan, replicating the same crunch, texture and flavours of the various, complementary ingredients in an air fryer is almost impossible without the constant stirring and adjustment of heat. So, on a day when you’re giving your air fryer a break, try this simple easy Ethiopian mushroom stir-fry.
Can't Cook: Wet Battered Food
Wet battered foods like tempura and beer battered fish are best prepared deep-fried in oil to create that irresistible crispy shell, like with this spicy fried chicken sandwich (AKA Nima sandwich) recipe. If they were to be cooked in an air fryer, the coating will drip while the food cooks, creating nothing but mess. To achieve the crunch you desire, coat your food in flour, egg wash and panko bread crumbs.