What Can’t an Air Fryer Do?

What Can’t an Air Fryer Do?

Things you can’t cook (well) in an Air Fryer

Battered foods

Air fryers can cook a lot of things, but they do have some limitations. Battered foods are one example. Because the food is being tumbled in hot air rather than submerged in oil, you might find that the batter falls off more easily.

However, battered foods are not impossible to make with an air fryer. One way to minimize this problem is to coat your food twice in batter, letting it dry and crust over before breading again and tossing into the air fryer for cooking. You also can get creative by baking your own bread crumbs—either from fresh or stale loaves of bread—and using them to coat your food instead of a traditional tempura-style batter. You will still end up with a crispy crust on your vegetables or meat, without having the worry that the coating will fall off in the appliance

Fresh greens

Air fryers are not a good choice for cooking foods with high water contents, such as leafy green vegetables. This is because they need liquid to be cooked properly. There is no liquid in an air fryer, which means that the greens will come out dry and chewy, instead of nice and tender.

On the other hand, if you want to cook vegetables like carrots or potatoes in an air fryer, then it’s perfectly fine! They have low water content and they can be cooked at a high temperature without being dried out by the heat from inside of your air fryer.

Don’t try to cook fresh leafy greens in an air fryer! (Unless you are making Kale Chips.)

Whole roasts

Meatloaf is one thing, but a whole roast? That’s where you draw the line. Yes, an air fryer can do wonders for a cut of meat, but only if it’ll fit in there. A whole roast not only won’t fit into the basket; it will also take hours to cook properly—something your air fryer’s timer is not equipped to handle. The good news is that cooking a roast isn’t difficult, nor does it require any special equipment. Unless you’re pressed for time or have a tiny kitchen, you’re best off using your oven or even a slow cooker.


It may be tempting to put cheese in your Air Fryer, but don’t do it. If you put cheese and breading on something that you attempt to cook in your Air Fryer, the cheese will burn and the breading will not get crispy. The inside of the food will still be raw, and it will all come out soggy. However, if you have already cooked something in your Air Fryer and want to top it with melted cheese, that can work well – just don’t cook the dish with cheese or breading! Also remember when melting cheese that a lower setting is usually better high temperature, fast air can result in your cheese ending up in a greasy mess in the bottom of the basket.

Raw grains

Grains are tricky in the air fryer. They take a long time to cook, and they can burn easily, as you’re dealing with a hot surface and dry heat. Grains like oatmeal or risotto can stick to the bottom of your air fryer basket.

If you want to cook grains in an air fryer, it’s best when they’re part of another recipe that has a lot of liquid in it. A good example of this is making rice pudding! You’ll add the cooked rice into your pudding mixture—it’s the perfect way to use up leftover rice if you need to!

You can even adapt recipes that call for raw grains by precooking them outside of the air fryer and adding them later on. For example, if you want to make cheesy grits in your air fryer, first pre-cook grits on your stovetop according to package directions until al dente. Then mix in butter and cheese until fully melted and combined. Place mixture into your air fryer basket (you may have to work quickly before the cheese hardens) and set for 10 minutes at 350°F (177°C).

Heavily Rubbed Meat

While the Air Fryer is a great tool, it’s not the best for everything. Some things just don’t work in an Air Fryer. One of those things is heavily rubbed meat. I’m talking about things like BBQ rubs or steak seasoning that sticks to meat thanks to oil, butter or mustard used as a binder.

The reason this type of meat doesn’t work very well with an Air Fryer is because the food needs to be suspended in order for the hot air to circulate around it and cook it properly.

If you want to do something like this in an Air Fryer, without suspending it from skewers or anything else, you can use a mesh pan instead of relying on an open basket. That way you can still get good coverage from the hot air cooking technology and have your heavily coated meat cooked quickly and evenly!


It sounds like a great idea, but while an air fryer is probably capable of making some type of bread, it will not yield anything that resembles what you get from your oven. Baking bread in the air fryer will result in a bread that is more crust than bread. There’s only one way to get the golden brown and crisp chewy loaf of real bread: bake it in the oven.

Now if you meant to ask about toast, then go ahead and chuck that first loaf of bread into the air fryer because it will work just fine there. Just make sure that your fan doesn’t blow it into the heating element.


Yes, the air fryer *can* cook rice, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. There’s a reason why this starch has been prepared in a traditional way for centuries. To put it simply: Rice is not suitable for air frying.

Rice needs lots of water to cook properly. It needs to be boiled and/or steamed in order to get the right texture and flavor. Dry heat will bake the grains into an unpalatable consistency and make them taste like dust.


One of the most important things to know about an air fryer is that it cannot cook anything well with too much water content. If you try to make pasta in it, for example, all the liquid will simply evaporate and you’ll be left with a mushy lump of noodles at the bottom of your machine. That’s why we recommend not using an air fryer when cooking pasta dishes—just use a saucepan or pot instead! If you have to cook pasta, make sure to use a ramekin.

An Air Fryer is great for most things, but it still has its limitations.

An air fryer can be a great way to cook a meal quickly and easily. However, it can’t handle everything. If you want to prepare a meal that requires more than one cooking method, you will need to use your oven or stove as well. For example, you can cook meat in an air fryer and then add some vegetables that have been prepared on the stove.

If you’re looking for a quick way to make some fresh veggies, an air fryer is perfect. Just cut up your vegetables into bite-sized pieces and place them in the air fryer with a bit of oil, salt, pepper and/or garlic salt (optional). Then turn the air fryer on high heat for 5-10 minutes and they are done! The result is delicious vegetables that are crispier than what you would get if they were boiled or steamed. You can also try this technique with tofu if you like tofu better than meat or if you’re vegetarian or vegan. You could even make quinoa instead of rice if you wanted something healthier but still tasty!

Leave a Comment