Chicken wings inside an air fryer basket

7 air fryer tips & hacks

Whether you’re just starting out with air frying or you’ve been doing it for a while, you may want some helpful hacks to get the most out of your appliance. Use this guide to learn air frying tips and tricks to use in your oven or your standalone appliance and discover the answers to frequently asked air frying questions.

How does an air fryer work?

The key components of an air fryer or oven with air fry capabilities is an internal fan and a perforated tray or basket. Air frying works by rapidly circulating hot air around food that sits in a perforated tray, heating up all surface areas of the food to create crispy results.

Why cook with an air fryer?

Air frying helps you achieve crunchy results that mimic your favorite deep fried recipes, but without the hassle of preparing and cleaning up a deep fryer. They can also get frozen foods like fries, chicken strips and onion rings crispier than a standard oven so you can enjoy fried favorites at home.

Tips for getting started with your air fryer

You can get the most out of your air fryer or oven with air frying capabilities when you use the following air frying tips and tricks.

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1. Preheat

This tip may not apply to countertop air fryers, but if you are using an oven or range with air fry capabilities, you may want to preheat the appliance to achieve the best results. Always consult your product manual for specific heating instructions to ensure you’re properly utilizing your air fry oven.

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2. Avoid using too much cooking spray

A quick spritz of cooking spray on the bottom of the tray or on your food can help to promote crisping, but using too much cooking spray may damage your air frying tray or basket. Some of the ingredients in non-stick cooking spray may contribute to the chipping of the basket’s coating, which may reduce its lifespan.

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3. Consider rack placement

When using an oven to air fry, be sure to place the air fry basket or tray on the middle rack. For example, if your oven has five racks you should place the basket on rack three. This ensures proper air circulation throughout the oven cavity.

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4. Adjust cooking time

If you’re using a non-air fryer recipe, make sure you shorten your cooking time as air fryers tend to finish cooking foods faster than a conventional oven or deep fryer.

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5. Don’t use too much oil

The beauty of an air fryer is that you can achieve results similar to a deep fryer without the excess oil. Follow your air fryer recipe and brush fresh foods lightly with cooking oil.

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6. Use a perforated tray or basket

To ensure that your food gets proper airflow throughout the cooking process, always use the perforated air fryer basket that came with your appliance. This helps your food get crispy on its entire surface area.


Learn more about whether to use aluminum foil in an air fryer.

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7. Place a baking tray on the rack below

To avoid drips and crumbs from collecting on the bottom of your oven, place a baking tray on one of the racks below your air fryer basket.

What is the best thing to cook in an air fryer?

There are a number of foods that can be cooked in an air fryer, including French fries, chicken, vegetables, and even fish, like salmon and shrimp. You can also use an air fryer to revive stale bagels. Select Whirlpool® Microwaves feature a Dishwasher-Safe Air Fry Basket to help you simplify cleanup and get crispy results at home for your chicken wings, nuggets, onion rings and more.

What cannot be cooked in an air fryer?

There are a few things that you shouldn't cook in an air fryer, including cakes, delicate pastries and breads. The air frying process can cause these items to become dry or tough. Additionally, some vegetables like carrots may come out bitter or mushy. Foods dipped in wet batter also cannot be cooked in an air fryer.

Shop Whirlpool® Ranges and Ovens with Air Fry Mode

Now that you know the best air frying tips and tricks, it’s time to put your new appliance to use to crisp up your family’s favorites. Free up space in your kitchen and enjoy the convenience of select Whirlpool® Ranges and Ovens with a built-in Air Fry Mode.

Shop Whirlpool® Microwaves with Air Fry Mode

Free up counter space and enjoy the flexibility of both a microwave and an air fryer in one appliance with Air Fry Mode available on select Whirlpool® Microwaves.

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