The lonely, lonely air fryer
November 30, 2019 6:00 PM   Subscribe

I received an air fryer that's still in the box because I just don't know what to make in it. Lend me your favorite air fryer recipes and tips?

I was gifted a Chefman air fryer. I am (or was) a pretty good cook, but my food prep capabilities are limited now. What are your most favorite foods and recipes to make in an air fryer that are dead easy and lean toward fish and non-starchy veggies? Recs for flours and oils for crispy coatings are appreciated. Tips for easy clean up are also welcome.
posted by vers to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
best cauliflower

1. take a head of cauliflower and cut/break up into small florets. It's ok with me if you just buy a bag of florets. But make them pretty small.

2. coat them with oil (whatever you like) and plenty of salt. Optionally, add spices like cumin or curry mix powder, but maybe try it with plain salt first to see how this works. Coat by tossing it all together in a big bowl. I know it's another thing to wash but you will waste a lot of oil otherwise. Wash it while the stuff is cooking.

3. air fry for like 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Shake them up at the midway point if your fryer is the egg shape kind. If yours has shelves you probably don't need to do that.

they should be brown and crispy and delicious, firmer than you'd get by high-temp roasting. my kid calls this cauli-candy.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:42 PM on November 30, 2019 [6 favorites]

I would absolutely make a chile-y garlicky vinegary crispy broccoli, perhaps as deduced in this Ask saga. Air frying isn’t as fast as deep frying so you might not need the blanch. (If you do blanch, dry thoroughly— salad spinner or paper towels for a while.)
posted by supercres at 6:53 PM on November 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

We roast broccoli or brussels sprouts multiple times a week. Either one, break larger pieces down to about bite size (so the giant sprouts you might quarter, large ones halved, small ones whole), toss in a big bowl with olive oil and salt until evenly coated.

I like most vegetables done between 370 and 400 depending on moisture content and how willing I am to burn them pretty good (they're good that way, but a little dry). I did broccoli tonight 370 for 10 minutes and it wasn't very caramelized and still al dente, so more like 14 to get good burned edges. Sprouts can take up to 20 minutes and might need the temp nudged on the higher end. Stop halfway to shake everything so it doesn't stick and gets exposed all around.

After cooking, drop back into the bowl and toss with seasonings: seasoning blend of your choice, good pepper, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, whatever moves you. (I have cheddar and white cheddar powders and they are divine on the broccoli.)

Chicken breasts: in a zip-top bag, gently pound them out until the thick end is as thin as the thin end. Mix up a bowl of mayo (maybe 2 tablespoons per breast), seasoning blend of your choice or invention, you can even add some BBQ or similar sauce, soy and hoisin, fresh garlic and/or ginger, tomato paste, take your pick of flavors. Add a splash of water but you still want it to have some thickness (comparable to yogurt or sour cream) so it sticks. Pour that in the bag and squish everything around. You can cook this anywhere from 15 minutes to two days later, but not more than an hour or two if there's a lot of acid in your marinade because it makes the chicken gummy if it sits too long. (I save my acid for last minute instead.) Cook at 350 for 20-24 minutes until internal temperature is 165 (or, theoretically, 155 if you actually like chicken) and/or juices run clear when stabbed.

I do very little actual frying, though I use my air fryer pretty much daily. Now and then I'll make a breaded chicken or eggplant, but I largely use mine as a highly efficient roasting oven. I also constantly make fritattas, using an 8" silicone cake pan.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:56 PM on November 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

I spice and air fry chickpeas until they are very crunchy. I use them as croutons and also for snacks. Lots of recipes online.
posted by FencingGal at 6:57 PM on November 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

Seconding the roasted brussel sprouts.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 7:30 PM on November 30, 2019

Tempura green beans! I don't really have a recipe for them, and just wing it - but man, they are good. Just tempura batter the green beans as you would anything else - I like celery salt and garlic for seasonings; tried masala once and it wasn't as good as I would have liked.
posted by destructive cactus at 9:29 PM on November 30, 2019

I just made fried fish and fried shrimp in mine. I use aluminum foil in the basket with just cooking spray on it - I know there’s debate on whether you can or should use foil but my fryer came with a recipe book that recommended it for easy cleanup and I’ve had no problems.
posted by sm1tten at 12:04 AM on December 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, after air frying corn on the cob with lime juice and salt, I now don’t want to have it any other way.
posted by FencingGal at 5:10 AM on December 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

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