The air fryer is fast becoming one of the most common small appliances in home kitchens all over the US.
They are affordable and they promise users crisp ‘dry-fried" foods, juicy proteins and drool-worthy vegetables.
Given how much it can do, it doesn't come as a surprise that the air fryer has led to the creation of air fryer cookbooks.
They contain great recipes but sometimes you just want to try an old recipe in the air fryer. Which begs the question: can recipes not initially designed for the air fryer be converted to work with it?
The answer is yes, but with a few caveats. It would be helpful to recall that every air fryer is different and so will perform differently, especially when the recipes are not written specifically for your unit.
As such, it is best to err on the side of caution by checking the food frequently for doneness and getting proper internal temperatures on proteins to make sure it is fully cooked as you experiment.
It helps to take notes as you go; these could indicate temperatures, times, and techniques for air frying.
Also while air fryers significantly reduce the amount of oil needed for cooking, for best results you will require a light spray of cooking oil to get your food brown and crisp.
Below we talk about three kinds of recipes: deep-fried, pan-fried, and oven-baked, and share how you can adapt these recipes for your air fryer.
Converting Deep-Fried Recipes for Your Air fryer
Temperature: Standard deep fryer recipes usually require a 350°–375°F hot oil to get done. It is the perfect temperature to make things crispy, thoroughly cooked and hot enough to prevent greasiness.
However, since the circulating air of an air fryer will be in less intense contact with your food than hot oil, compensate by increasing your temperature to around 390°F if you want anything that's traditionally deep fried.
Oil: You can start with a light spray of a high-temperature cooking oil, like avocado or canola, then halfway through cooking, flip the food over and add a second light spray.
Timing: You may start checking for doneness about 2/3 of the way through the standard time in your original recipe. Ensure protein internal temperatures are safe before taking them out of the air fryer.
Pan: This is important. If the recipe you're making includes a sauce, use a non-stick accessory pan.
Oil: if you're making items like tempura, put them in a single layer in the greased pan and lightly spray then flip halfway through cooking.
Timing: while it cooks, stir it well every couple of minutes to keep things cooking thoroughly and evenly. Start checking for doneness 2/3 of the way through the standard time in your original recipe and again ensure protein internal temperatures are safe before deeming them ready to be removed from the air fryer.
This are the simplest recipes to convert. Simply reduce the heat from your standard oven recipe by 25 degrees and also reduce the time by 25%. Start checking for doneness about 2/3 of the way through the standard time in your original recipe and make sure protein internal temperatures are safe before removing them.