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5 Things We Didn’t Know We Could Do With An Air Fryer

Get the most out of your air fryer with these clever ideas.

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First came the slow cooker. Then the Instant Pot. And now… the air fryer! There’s no doubt that air fryers have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. In fact, according to a marketing research firm, NPD Group, nearly 40% of households in the US had an air fryer as of July 2020.

In case you’re unfamiliar, air fryers are basically an amped-up countertop convection oven. The appliance claims to mimic the results of deep-frying using just hot air and sparse or no oil. Tatse of Home has a great explanation for how air fryers work. “The top section of an air fryer holds a heating mechanism and fan. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and when you turn it on, hot air rushes down and around the food. This rapid circulation makes the food crisp—much like deep-frying, but without the oil.”

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This method of cooking is just as quick if not quicker than using an Instant Pot. Some even argue it’s easier to use since you don’t have to deal with the pressurized lid. Even though air frying is already easy, there are always tips and tricks to make the most of these kitchen appliances. Let’s take a look at our top 5 air fryer tips in the list below!

Heat Up Leftovers

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Microwaves have long been the standard for heating up leftovers, but there’s a new go-to reheating method thanks to the air fryer! Since microwaves tend to focus on heating up the water inside your food, they often either dry out your leftovers or make them a soggy mess. Not so with the air fryer. You can reheat pizza to perfection with melty cheese and a crisp crust right inside the air fryer. You can also reheat steamed veggies by frying them, as well as add some extra crunch to breaded foods.

Conversely, if you happen to have some stale bread or slightly dried out pastries and cookies, you can revive these foods by simply adding a few tablespoons of water to an empty drip pan and setting the timer for a few minutes.

Dehydrate Foods

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Not only is the air fryer capable of reheated and reviving old food, but it can also dehydrate fruits and veggies. How can one appliance do it all? It just depends on how you use it! Some models of air fryers come with a built-in dehydration option, but you can get good results without it.

To dehydrate fruits and veggies in your air fryer, simply cook the food in thin slices in a single layer. Set the air fryer to its lowest temperature, usually about 150-200°, and check every 15 minutes or so.

Make Desserts

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Typically, we think of salty, crunchy food when it comes to air fryers, but these multi-purpose appliances can whip up a mean dessert as well. You can make donuts, churros, pies, and even cake if you have a big enough basket. Keep in mind that you’ll most likely need to flip your food at some point, so make sure to follow the recipe!

Make Hard-Boiled Eggs

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Did you know you can make soft, medium, or hard-boiled eggs without any water? Just pull out your air fryer and let it do all the work for you! Keep things simple by simply putting eggs in your basket preheated to 270°. Soft-boiled eggs take 10 minutes, medium-boiled eggs need 12 minutes, and hard-boiled eggs take about 15 minutes of cooking.

Convert Oven-Based Recipes For Air Frying

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Looking for a specific recipe to make in your air fryer but just can’t find it? Go ahead and grab any normal oven-based recipe and try this trick for converting it to use for the air fryer. According to Candice Hutchings from her YouTube channel, The EdgyVeg, you can simply lower the cooking temperature by about 25 degrees and reduce the cooking time by 20%. “For example, if the oven recipe states 400° for 20 minutes, cook in the air fryer at 375° for 16 minutes, opening halfway to shake the basket and flip the food,” she writes.

Go ahead and try out a few of these air fryer hacks this week and let us know which one is your favorite!