Having an air fryer does give you plenty of cooking benefits. It is convenient, easy to use and often touted as a healthier alternative to the usual deep fryers. However, just because an air fryer turns out to be a versatile kitchen appliance doesn’t automatically mean you can put whatever food in it. That being said, here are the 10 Foods You Shouldn’t Make In An Air Fryer.
Beyond its miniature tree-like shape lies a vegetable packed with fibre and protein. You’ll get the benefits of multivitamins, iron and calcium no matter the cooking methods of steaming or boiling them. However, cooking broccoli in your air fryer is a different story altogether. Instead of having that nice crunch commonly associated with cooked broccoli, what you’ll get is “very dry and dusty” and even feeling like “chewing on sandpaper”, according to Stephanie Pixley of the long-running “America’s Test Kitchen”.
2) Leafy Greens
Thinking of cooking leafy greens such as spinach in your air fryer? Well, it’s best to reconsider your action since (most) leafy greens don’t see eye to eye with the air fryer. Here’s what happens: It can cause them to fly around during the air-frying process since leafy greens like the aforementioned spinach contain little weight. They also fail to cook evenly and can even burn your food easily due to its high temperature. Stick to the good old wok or pan instead.
3) Raw Vegetables
Cooking frozen vegetables in an air fryer may be a good idea. But the same cannot be said with raw produce, say carrots. You won’t get the same crisp and texture as you would get from the frozen varieties. Insisting on cooking raw vegetables in an air fryer can only bring nothing but disappointment. In other words, nobody wants to eat flat and soggy vegetables. If you want to cook raw vegetables, stir-frying them is always the best way to go.
Uncle Roger isn’t going to like this if he finds out you’re cooking rice in an air fryer (!). It will not cook evenly and won’t make your rice fluffy.
Air fryers may have the heating elements that typically generate high temperature. But rice grains absorb lots of liquid (water) and need to be hot enough to reach to a boil — something that an air fryer is incapable of. As versatile and convenient as an air fryer would be, do yourself a favour and use the rice cooker instead.
Here’s another high water-absorbing food that you shouldn’t cook in an air fryer. And that food in question happens to be pasta. It doesn’t matter whether you are cooking different types of pasta like spaghetti, fettuccine or angel hair. None of them will work well in an air fryer since they require lots of water to cook evenly in a consistently boiling state. So, if you ever want to cook some pasta, stick to the tried-and-tested pot on a stovetop or an induction cooktop method.
6) Foods With Wet Or Loose Batters
Using an air fryer to make fried food with dry breading (e.g. breadcrumbs and flour) may work like a charm. But never try frying foods such as chicken and fish with wet or loose batter of any kind. What happens here is that the batter will end up dripping away from the food during the air-frying process. As a result, there will be a mess all over the pan waiting for you to clean up instead. Which is why it’s best to fry food that contain wet or loose batter in boiling hot oil in a pot or pan.
7) Grilled Cheese Sandwich
That oozy goodness of a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast? Now that’s something you can’t resist. While toasting two slices of white bread with cheese in between on a hot pan does give you the desired result, making them in an air fryer is sadly… a bad mistake. Attempting to melt a cheese in an air fryer can only mean one thing: a big, sticky mess. Your best bet? Always make your grilled sandwich on the stovetop.
8) Large Whole Chicken
Considering the average size of an air fryer, cooking a large whole chicken or any large roast meat/poultry just wouldn’t work well. Besides, you do not an air-fried whole chicken not being cooked evenly and tasting very dry. But if you insist on cooking chicken in an air fryer, there’s a correct way to do it instead. Avoid placing it in its entirety unless you use a smaller chicken, or at least cut them into pieces or strips.
Whether it’s stir-frying vegetables or meat, it’s best to cook them in a wok or pan. They incorporate with the rest of the added ingredients well enough. However, using an air fryer to stir-fry your food won’t end up with the same result you’ll get from the usual wok or pan method. Among the reasons? Unlike the stovetop, you can’t adjust the heat if you choose to stir-fry your food in an air fryer.
10) Foods With Lots Of Seasonings
Given the fact that air fryers circulate hot air during its cooking process, you can guess what would happen if you use dry or loose seasonings on your food. It just wouldn’t stick well as herbs or spices end up flying all over the place, resulting in clogging your air fryer. Not to mention doing so will make cleaning the air fryer a lot harder. Still, if you want to air-fry them with seasonings, consider coating the food with a bit of oil so the herbs or spices will stick.