How to Cook Frozen Food in the Air Fryer

I have introduced many of my friends to air frying by now, and they often come to me for technical advice and instructions about use, maintenance, extra gadgets, and for cooking tips and tricks. Here are some of the most common questions.

There Aren’t Any Air Fryer Heating Times on the Package.

Some people buy air fryers simply because they don’t enjoy to (or have time to, or know how to) cook, and some people just want their fried treats to be less fatty. The only potentially intimidating part is that packaged foods do not help out with instructions for air fryer cooking.

Conversion is a scary term, but what’s needed is pretty simple. Air fryers will cook food faster than a conventional oven and sometimes require shaking (shrimp, fries) like a deep fryer does, or flipping and stirring, as oven instructions do. Here is a cooking chart from the Blue Jean Chef that is a good guide for basic cooking times and temperatures.

For perfection, the prepared, coated food is sprayed with a little olive or canola oil, for maximum crispiness. Don’t spray a pizza, though!

Most prepared foods cook faster and at higher temperatures than are recommended for oven heating. Once you have converted and cooked a few, you will have the hang of it.

Here Are Some Tips:

  • Do not use microwave heating directions with an air fryer.
  • Do not use oven cooking directions as printed on the package.
  • Do shake the baskets as in a deep fryer, or flip the foods as you would in an oven.
  • Do spray the food with a little cooking oil to make sure it crisps.
  • Or spritz it. You can fill a food safe spritz bottle with your favorite oil. This is said to be better for nonstick surfaces, as well.

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