November 13

9 Air Fryer Mistakes | Learn How to Avoid Them in Our Detailed Guide!


Author: Colin Ma and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Air fryers are a great way to cook foods with little or no oil. They are convenient, affordable, and easy to use. Unfortunately, this convenience and ease of use sometimes lead people to make air fryer mistakes.

These mistakes can turn out badly for your health and your wallet if you don’t understand what they are and how to avoid them. In this guide, we have discussed the common mistakes people make when using their air fryers and how to avoid them.

Key Takeaways

  • Mistakes while air frying include using a lot of oil when cooking; You don't need much oil in an air fryer because it cooks with little or no oil
  • You need to clean your air fryer after every use. If you don't, then it will start smelling like burned food and get clogged up with grease.
  • If you overload your air fryer with a lot of food, it won't all cook evenly, which means some could be over or undercooked by the time it’s done
  • It's very important that you preheat your air fryer before putting food in there to cook. This will ensure that your food cooks evenly
a person serving the food prepared in air fryer

What Are the Common Air Fryer Mistakes People Make?

1. Skipping to Read Air Fryer Manual

The first mistake people often make before air frying is not reading their air fryer instructions carefully enough.

You should always read through the manual before using your air fryer for the first time so that you know exactly how it works and what you can expect from it. This will help you avoid any problems or confusion later on in your cooking experience.

2. Not Cleaning Their Air Fryers Properly

Some people do not clean their air fryers properly after each use. You should always clean your air fryer after every single use because it can get dirty very quickly if left unattended even for just one day.

Cleaning Your Air Fryer

The first thing that you should do when you're done cooking with your electric air fryer is clean the basket. This will help remove any excess grease or food residue from the surface before it has time to harden and become difficult to scrub off later on.

Take out any removable parts like trays or baskets and clean the air fryer properly by hand using water and dish soap or another cleaning solution recommended by the air fryer manufacturer.

cleaning the air fryer

3. Overfilling The Basket

Another common error is overfilling the air fryer basket or cooking too much food at once in an air fryer. When you overfill the basket, food won't cook evenly unless you have enough room in your appliance for them all (which most don't).

an overfilled air fryer

Have Enough Space inside the Air Fryer Basket

You'll want to make sure there is enough space between each piece of food so they can all get cooked evenly without any pieces getting too close together or touching one another.

 If you do decide to cook more, make sure they're similar in size so they'll all finish at the same time.

4. Failing to Preheat Your Air Fryer Before Adding Food

Preheating is crucial when cooking with an air fryer because it helps the appliance reach the appropriate cooking temperature faster than if you simply turned it on straight away.

Preheating can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes depending on how much food you're cooking and how much moisture it contains. If you don't preheat your air fryer, then you'll end up with soggy, overcooked food instead of crispy, delicious treats.

However, not all recipes require preheating so be sure to check this in advance.

a person pushing the button on the air fryer

5. Using Too Much Oil or Butter

This is one of the most common mistakes people make when using an air fryer. They use too much oil in recipes that call for little or no oil at all (and vice versa). If you want fewer calories and less fat in your food, try using less oil or butter than what's stated in the recipe; this will help keep your food healthier while still giving

cooking the corn in the air fryer

Read the Recipe Well

The best way to determine how much oil is needed for any given recipe is by reading through the recipe and making sure you have all the ingredients on hand.

If you’re using a recipe from a book or online, it may be helpful to take some notes as you go along so that when it comes time to cook, you can refer back to them if necessary.

While some recipes call for oil or butter, others don't need any additional fats in order to taste good.

6. Cooking Too Long

Air frying requires less time than traditional cooking methods, so you don't want to leave your food in there for too long. If you do this, it could burn and give off smoke from burning oils or fats from the food itself.

You should also never exceed the recommended cooking time listed in your recipe book or manual for your particular model of the air fryer.

7. Not Knowing How Long to Cook Your Food For

The biggest mistake people make is not knowing how long they should cook their food. This typically comes from not reading the instructions on the packaging of food or taking the time to learn how long each type of food takes to cook in an air fryer.

If you're unsure, ask someone who has used an air fryer before or check online for tips on how long different foods take to cook in air fryers.

a man using air fryer and looking at the laptop screen

8. Buying The Wrong Air Fryer

Air fryers come in all shapes and sizes so choosing one that fits your needs can be difficult. Make sure you know exactly what you want before buying an air fryer because there is one that will fulfill your cooking needs.

It's also important to remember that some models come with more accessories than others, which could mean more money out of your pocket or a less effective air fryer.

9. Not Flipping Foods

Some foods need to be flipped halfway through the cooking time so that they cook evenly through and through. This is especially true when cooking meat such as chicken wings or pork chops which take longer than other foods such as potatoes or fries.

a person flipping the chicken in an air fryer

FAQs Related to Air Fryer Mistakes

Should I Read the Manual Before Using an Air Fryer?

The first thing you'll notice when you open the air fryer box is a user manual. It has important information: how to take care of your appliance, how to clean it, and how to use it.

But should you read the manual before using an air fryer? The answer is yes. Here's why:

  • The manual explains how to set up your device and what accessories are included in the box (if there are any)
  • It tells you how to clean your device after using it
  • It helps you understand what temperature and time settings mean for different types of foods

Is an Air Fryer Dishwasher Safe?

A dishwasher is a great way to clean up after using your countertop oven. The removable parts of the air fryer are dishwasher safe.

Before washing your hot air fryer parts, make sure that they're cool enough to handle. Never attempt to wash an appliance while it's still hot as you risk getting burned.

Should I Use Oil When Air Frying?

You can use little or no oil when cooking foods with your air fryer. Air frying is a healthy way to cook food without adding oil, unlike a deep fryer that uses a lot of oil for frying food.

Just like a convection oven, an air fryer uses hot air, rather than oil, to cook food. The result is a crispy outside and tender inside without the need for added fat. You can spray oil on your food to make them crispier outside.

About the author

Colin Ma

An avid home chef, Colin is equally passionate about delicious meals as well as the latest cooking appliances. He's also a keen writer about cooking-related topics.


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