Air fryers have taken the world by storm, but some things just don’t need to be put in them. TikTok and Instagram videos have popularized these kitchen appliances even more, touting them as efficient ways to cook healthier meals. Air fryers circulate air to achieve a fried finish commonly achieved by deep-frying food. The only difference is that air fryers don’t use oil, which can impart unhealthy saturated and trans fats into your food.
The beauty of an air fryer is that it is essentially a small convection oven. Because of the size, you can cook food in a shorter amount of time. Not to mention, they heat up quickly and tend to be more energy efficient than most ovens, depending on size and energy provider, of course. You don’t just have to reheat French fries or make donuts, chicken tenders and complex desserts, though. You can roast vegetables, toast bread, and make other healthy meal options.
However, you shouldn’t use these nifty kitchen appliances to cook everything. Some meals do not need to be air-fried. For safety reasons, you should definitely not cook certain foods in an air fryer. Don’t know what those foods are? Read on to find out.
Anything With A Sauce
Stews, chili, bolognese sauce, or other hardy dishes tend to be midweek favorites among the masses. They are relatively easy to prepare and are quite filling. We strongly advise against cooking these meals in an air fryer. As hot air circulates within the air fryer, the hot liquids can splatter. Not only does this make the air fryer messy, but it is also very dangerous, as wet splatters can potentially short-circuit the air fryer or cause an electrical complication. If you want to make a saucy recipe, slow cookers are the better appliances.
Some vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, are excellent at retaining moisture during the cooking process. For that reason, they crisp up nicely in an air fryer without drying out. Broccoli, however, can become chewy and bitter in an air fryer, which is why roasting or sautéing broccoli florets are better cooking options. You can also steam broccoli as an alternative preparation method.
In order to cook raw grains, you have to boil them in water. A few drops of water in your air fryer basket won’t do any harm, but this gadget isn’t meant for boiling or steaming food. If you already have cooked rice, however, you can put it in the air fryer to make a crispy rice cake. It’s better to cook rice in a rice cooker for the fluffiest rice possible.
Anything With A Wet Batter
Some people are aware of the fact that cooking something with a wet batter in an air fryer doesn’t yield the same result as frying it in a pot of oil. In fact, recipes that use a wet batter will be messy and they won’t crisp up properly. The reason for this is that there isn’t enough hot oil to set the batter. Instead of becoming crispy, that wet batter will most likely drop everywhere. You’ll be left with unevenly cooked food and a puddle of burnt batter drippings in the bottom of your air fryer basket. If you want to achieve a golden-brown, crispy exterior, you can use a dry coating on your food.
Popcorn is a classic movie theater snack, but you shouldn’t cook it in an air fryer. Popcorn kernels can easily become lodged with the fryer’s heating element, increasing the risk of a shortage and fire hazard. You can, however, make your own popcorn in a pot on the stove, or in the microwave. Manufacturers make silicone vessels to put kernels in and you can cook them in the microwave without the use of oil or butter.
You can use an air fryer to make hard-boiled eggs, but the texture can be a little chewy, rubbery, and unpleasant. There are much better and more efficient ways to achieve better results. If you want to give the air fryer method a go, cook medium-sized eggs straight from the fridge at 255º F for 10 minutes.