There are air fryer mistakes you could be making. Here are some ways you might be using your air fryer wrong and some delicious air fryer recipes to make things right! See which of these Common Air Fryer Mistakes you might be making.
Common Air Fryer Mistakes
We all know that the Air Fryer is a fantastic kitchen appliance. In our fast paced world, there is something very satisfying about cooking up dinner without every turning on the stove!
The air fryer is amazing for saving time, making food crispy, and using less oil, but be careful! There are air fryer mistakes you could be making. Here are some ways you might be using your air fryer wrong.
Mistakes When Buying an Air Fryer
Air Fryer Mistake #1: Buying the Wrong Size Air Fryer.
These appliances come in different sizes for a reason! If you plan to be cooking for 1 or 2 people, get a smaller one. If you’d like to cook meals for a larger family, get a larger one. There’s nothing more irritating that finding out that your air fryer can’t cook the right amount of food and having to do more than one batch to get everything cooked.
For 1-3 people, I would suggest an air fryer no larger than 4 quarts. For a larger family, get something 5 quarts or more.
Air Fryer Mistake #2: Buying a Low Quality Air Fryer.
Like everything else you buy, you get what you pay for. Stick with brands that have a good track record for making quality small appliances, and check the reviews on Amazon to find out how the machines really work for other customers.
Mistakes While Cooking with Your Air Fryer
Air Fryer Mistake #3: Not Using Oil
It’s right that you can fry food using less oil than deep frying, but you can’t fry food with zero oil. (unless we are talking frozen french fries, etc)
Spray or lightly coat your food with oil before putting it in your air fryer. Your fries and veggies will come out crispy and delicious!
Air Fryer Mistake #4: Overfilling Your Air Fryer
The air fryer works by circulating hot air around your food. If you put too much food in the basket, there will be food that won’t get the benefit of that hot air, and your food will not cook evenly.
Follow the instructions for how much food to put in your air fryer basket, and use your judgement. Make sure there is room for the food to move around.
Air Fryer Mistake #5: Not Checking on Your Food.
You can’t see inside of most air fryers, so it’s important to check on things as they cook, especially if you’re cooking something you haven’t cooked in the air fryer before.
I like to open my air fryer at the halfway point of any recipe cooking time to check, shake, and sometimes flip over my food.
Air Fryer Mistake #6: Cooking the Wrong Things
There are some things that you just shouldn’t try to do in the air fryer. One is battered items. You cannot air fry battered things the same way you would deep fry them. The batter will just drip all over and make a mess.
This can be confusing, I am talking about a straight liquid type of batter that would typically change to a solid once it hits the HOT oil in a deep fryer. That doesn't work well in the air fryer. BUT you can make things like fried pickles or air fryer oreos by dredging them through a liquid and coating the outside with a solid like breadcrumbs to help hold everything together 🙂
The other thing you shouldn’t try in the air fryer is foods that are delicate or without some weight to them. (Think: Leafy greens, uncooked grains) The air fryer pushes air around, so anything that might get picked up by that air will hit the heating element and burn.
Safety and Care Mistakes
Air Fryer Mistake #7: Forgetting about Fire Safety
Air Fryers get hot! It’s important to make sure that wherever you place the appliance, it isn’t touching anything that could melt or burn. It’s also very important to use tongs and potholders when handling the air fryer parts and the food inside of it.
Air Fryer Mistake #8: Not Washing Your Air Fryer After Every Use.
You might think that you can leave your air fryer on the counter, and not wash it unless it’s really dirty. I disagree! The air fryer will hold onto smells from food you’ve cooked before, and it’s more likely to burn if excess crumbs are left behind.
Wash the air fryer parts by hand in warm, soapy water after each use.
What is the Best Air Fryer?
Read my review of the Cosori air fryer here. I’m really happy with it.
What Vegetables Can I Make in the Air Fryer?
Almost anything! I’ve had so much fun this year testing recipes in my air fryer, and I’ve made everything from brussels sprouts to zucchini. There are many vegetarian and gluten free air fryer recipes in the recipe index for you to try.
More easy air fryer recipes:
We also have a sister website called Air Fryer Eats! On that air fryer site, we have a "start here" page which is an Air Fryer 101 for you. We answer some frequently asked air fryer questions. We also have a newly updated How to Clean Your Air Fryer post and a Tips for Using your Air Fryer. If you are a meat eater you might want to check out our Air Fryer Chicken Breast or our Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings recipe on our new sister site.
If you are looking for an air fryer conversion chart, we just launched one on our Air Fryer Eats Site. You can visit it here: Air Fryer Conversion
Vegetarian Air Fryer Resources – We have a vegetarian air fryer newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. We also have a specific vegetarian air fryer recipes group on facebook. You can find that Veg Air Fryer FB Group here.
If you are looking for vegetarian recipes beyond air fryer ones, we have a Vegetarian Newsletter as well as a Vegetarian Recipes facebook group. This newsletter and FB group offers up recipes that on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, in the instant pot and more!
We have an extended common air fryer mistakes post on our sister site: Air Fryer Eats! Click here to see the extended common air fryer mistakes
- Air Fryer Calculator (convert oven recipes to air fryer)
- Common Air Fryer Mistakes
- Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet
- Can You Put Foil in the Air Fryer
- How to Clean Your Air Fryer
- Tips for Your Air Fryer
- Cosori Air Fryer Reviews
- Air Fryer 101
More Air Fryer Goodies:
- Meat + Veg Newsletter
- Air Fryer Recipes – Facebook Group (large + fast paced – meat/veg)
- Air Fryer Recipes for Seniors – Facebook Group
- Gluten Free Air Fryer Recipes – Facebook Group
- Air Fryer Eats – Facebook Group (slower paced)
Thanks for stopping by! While you are here, we’d love for you to check out some of our favorite non-air fryer recipes! We have some delicious sauces that you can dip your favorite foods into as well a sweet treats and drinks!
Be sure to check out these recipe! Dirty Chai, Avocado dressing, Mediterranean Sauce, Vegetarian Charcuterie, BBQ Ranch, Vegan Rice Krispie Treats, Vegan Honey Mustard, Vegan Croutons
Have you made any of these Common Air Fryer mistakes? I hope you’ve found some helpful air fryer tips here, and I’d love to hear your own tips! Leave a comment telling me your favorite way to use your air fryer, or your best tip for using it.
We just got an air fryer for Christmas and we are realizing there are certain things you can't cook in the fryer.
I have been guilty of 3, 4, and 5 before! There's definitely a learning curve for using an air fryer but it is my #1 favorite and most used appliance. Thank you for the guidance!
For sure there is a learning curve! I have been there!
These are really great tips because I know I would be prone to making all these mistakes.
Thanks so much!
These are good tips to know! I'll keep them in mind for when I finally get my air fryer.
This makes me so much more confident in getting an air fryer. I was always afraid I would ruin it or the food, one or the other.
Glad it helped!
I hadn't used mine much and definitely have made one or two of these mistakes. So glad I came across this!
Glad to help!
I could see myself overflowing the fryer, but the others should kind of be understood. But I’m guilty of using my frydaddy too many times in between cleaning.
Yes for sure on the frydaddy! We have all been there!
I bought the air fryer with the two racks and the rolling basket for the fries. I see everyone has the one that has the drawer you open. I don’t like anything that I have cooked in my air fryer you think it’s because of the air fryer o have ?
Hi Stephanie, that is a great question. I have heard many people have good results from the air fryer ovens, but I haven't tried one yet. What types of things have you tried to cook? I'd love to try to help you!
We bought one of those AirFryer Ovens thinking it’d be better than our airfryer with just the basket. I made one thing (Tator Tots), and after dinner that night, we packed it back up and the next day I returned it. In the end we have decided to stick with our trusty ol’ basket airfryer!
I also used a friends airfryer the other day to cook something I have made multiple times in mine (which was a cheaper brand), and it did not cook nearly as well as ours! We have a GoWise USA, which isn’t like the top model but it was most certainly better quality. #2... has so much truth!
I looked online for how to cook cauliflower. It said 15 to 18 minutes. I checked it at 10 minutes and it was burned to a crisp. Totally black! I had misted it with oil before starting. What went wrong?
Hello Karen! When I cook mine I usually cook it at 370 degrees F for 10 minutes. I mist with oil as well. Try lowering the cooking time and do it was 370 F 🙂
I am 78 I have been advised from my Dr to change my diet to vegan 18 months ago. I haven’t been keen with to spicey food or the pulses. So have gone to the vegetarian. I like my dairy food. I still like the odd chicken and seafood. Very rare do I have red meat just about nil. I have just bought a turbo air oven. It is ideal sizes for me.l
Hi Margaret! Thanks for commenting. I am excited for you that you bought an air fryer. It sounds like you a doing a great job working on the changes your doctor wants. It is hard to change it all at once. Keep making steps in the right direction. If you have any questions, please let me know!
I just got an air fryer/toaster oven and, so far, I do love it. I went with a lesser know one—Dash—but read all the reviews. This is a whole new way of cooking. My question is: Is there a difference in basic instructions with your type of air fryer and mine - oven style??? I am enjoying your website and appreciate the recipes.
Hello Carol! So happy that we have connected. Basically most air fryers are the same. Sometimes they can run a touch different but after you've cooked a few things you'll get the hang of it. I have an air fryer oven and one with a basket. When I cook things in the air fryer oven I notice that I have to add a little more time. Usually 2-3 minutes 🙂 Reach out with any other questions! Happy to help!
I haven't tried anything to result in these mistakes yet because I've only made a few things. But I'm curious why your review is the first I'm seeing that says not to use batter at all? You said it drops, but I've read that people have a lot of success with making onion rings, fried pickles, fried oreos, etc . Food is supposed to drop off excess pieces or juices. That's why the drawer catches the crumbs or grease from meats under the cooking tray.
Other people have said batter & breadcrumbs is fine to use as long as you press the breading into the food before adding it to the air fryer. It's only supposed to eliminate the need for a deep fryer, while still allowing you to cook the same foods.
That's a great question. I have had great success with coating and breading food in the air fryer. But items that are dipped into a liquid batter have not worked well for me. I think the term is used loosely on air fryer sites. Some people are calling batter something that is actually more breaded. When I make air fryer pickles, I dip them into egg or maple syrup and then coat them with bread crumbs. That works great. But when I've used something that is a liquid batter without something solid coating the outside it just drips through into that bottom basket and doesn't stay on the food. Hope that helps 🙂
I just bought a Go Wise and it works beautifully, enjoyed your tips very much. I have to keep referring to the manual for times and temps on food.
Sounds great Carolyn, I've heard great things about Go Wise!
Hi Cindy, I have an 8 Quart Instant pot which I have put to the test and enjoyed completely so instead of buying another
(large Appliance ) I opted for the Mealthy Crisplid and it has completely exceeded my expectations because it works so well , reasonably priced and doesn't take up loads of room ! Another feature of this unit is a glass cover that you can see through to monitor the cooking level of the food ! I made last week and they were really great ! I used the basket that came with the unit and it was fine !
Cooking,Browning, Crisping ,or several types of Dehydrating all work well and deserve consideration before purchasing an air fryer !
i'm Retired ,but not from the kitchen so I try to use whatever suits my situation and the Crisplid works for me !
Hi Vinnie! I am SO glad you are loving the Crisplid. I've heard GREAT things about it!! Thanks for letting me know!
Mistake I put parchment paper in while preheating without food.it blows all over and gets caught in the machine. Another mistake I put grilled cheese sandwich in it needs tooth picks to hold it together.i love my airfryer I use it almost every night for everything.i mange to keep my weight down using it. I ❤️ love it
Thank you Brenda for sharing your mistakes!! We all make them, that is for sure. Thanks for helping others! So glad you are loving your air fryer!
We are snowbirds. My partner had a large AirFryer up north when I met him. I have arthritic hands and lifting that basket was difficult for me. When we came south for the winter, I bought a smaller GoWise 3.7 Qt and I love it. I have not made a lot in it yet but I hope to use the bigger one up north this summer. It will be great on hot humid days when we cannot grill outdoors. So thankful for your site and the recipes for snacks. The Air Fryer cookbook I bought is so into dinner, long fancy recipes etc, it has left me to my own devices and that is not always a good thing. When we make the move and I use the Air Fryer more I will post again.
Hello! Yes, I agree it will be great on humid days when you don't want to heat up the kitchen!! OR grill outdoors!! 🙂 Excited to see what you make next in the fryer! Keep in touch!
Hi. I prefer the AF with a ceramic basket . Can you recommend one ? Thanks. And just love your tips and recipes.
Hi Summer, thanks for the compliment :). I don't have any recs for a ceramic basket, but in our large facebook group (Air Fryer Recipes) I know some people have one. You can post there. 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/groups/AirFryerEatsRecipes
I cooked an acorn squash for the first time in my af. I followed how you suggested I cook it. It came out crispy & not soft like it always did when I cooked it in the oven. I checked as it was cooking & lowered the temperature. It didn’t help. I put it skin down. My friend said she cooks her skin up. I tossed it out. What do you suggest. I love acorn squash.
Hi Fran, I don't believe we have an acorn squash recipe on this site but we do on our sister site. Here is the post: https://airfryereats.com/air-fryer-acorn-squash/ On it we also cook it skin side down just like your friend, we put some butter brown sugar and cinnamon in it as well. The skin gets crispy and the inside flesh becomes very soft 🙂 I hope that helps 🙂
I am getting one for Christmas, so am anxious to take advantage of your website. I have already learned so much that I will put to good use. Thank You
Thank you so much for that sweet compliment! Happy to have you here! Be sure to visit our other sister site that is all Air Fryer Stuff! AirFryerEats (dot) com
I would add to the mistakes list: not turning up the temperature enough.
That is a great tip Fran, thank you!