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Don’t put these 9 things in an Air Fryer

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The best air fryers can be counted on to cook full meals on a daily basis. These handy kitchen appliances provide a healthy-ish technique of cooking, resulting in crisp and delicate results in minutes. You’ll never have to wonder how to clean an air fryer because the majority of baskets and attachments are dishwasher safe.

An air fryer can be used to cook and enrich a variety of dishes, including chicken wings, burgers, and even Brussels sprouts. But, before you start throwing everything into your air fryer, there are a few foods you should avoid. Not only will the outcomes be unsatisfactory, but you may also create extra mess to clean up. So, here are nine foods that should never be air-fried.

1. Cheese

Most people’s mouths will water just hearing the words “grilled cheese.” What’s not to love about a sandwich like this with an air-fried finish?

The trouble is that the high temperatures of an air fryer cause cheese to quickly melt and burn, resulting in a stringy mess. Fresh mozzarella sticks are OK, but frozen mozzarella sticks are not.

2. Raw rice 

To cook raw rice grains, they must be boiled in water, something air fryers aren’t meant to do. Your air fryer won’t achieve a high enough temperature to boil the water, even if you find a container to hold it in. The rice should be cooked on the stovetop first, and then crisped in an air fryer thereafter.

Alternatively, you can buy a rice cooker, such as the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker, to make huge batches of rice. If you prefer something more adaptable, there are always the best Instant Pots.

3. Broccoli

While other vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, crisp up beautifully in an air fryer, broccoli does not have the same result. Because it contains little moisture, it dries out rapidly and can even turn to dust if left unattended for long periods of time.

You can add more oil to help it crisp up, but more conventional cooking methods, such as roasting, produce better results.

4. Wet batter 

Most of us would assume batter is safe to cook in an air fryer because batter is used in the majority of air fryer recipes. While this is true for cooked batter, it is not the case for wet batter. Wet batter won’t be able to set in an air fryer like it does in an oil fryer, so it’ll wind up pouring into a mess, similar to cheese. It won’t crisp up at all, and the batter puddle will burn to the bottom. That’s why you shouldn’t put wet batter in the basket.

You may make a bread crumb coating instead, which requires only flour, bread crumbs, and eggs.

5. Roast chicken 

This should only be done if your air fryer is large enough to hold an entire roast chicken and has a dedicated cooking programme. Air fryers, unlike the best toaster ovens, have a much smaller capacity and are intended for lesser operations.

Don’t do it, even if you can fit a chicken in there. You’ll wind up with a dry, burned bird if you don’t allow enough air to flow during the cooking process. Cutting the chicken into pieces and frying them separately is preferable.

6. Burgers 

While you can cook burgers in an air fryer, as previously noted, it’s important to note that it’s tough to cook anything less than well-done. Because of the high internal temperature of an air fryer, burgers will quickly achieve a medium-well colour on the inside, but the exterior will not have had time to cook, making it unappealing.

This isn’t an issue if you want your burgers well-done, but for others, the grill may be a better alternative. Steaks are in the same boat.

7. Popcorn 

Everyone enjoys a bowl of freshly popped popcorn, and because it’s so easy to cook in the microwave, it’s natural to assume that the same process would work in an air fryer.

Unfortunately, air fryers can’t achieve the temperature needed to pop the kernels (at least 400°F), so your movie night will be without snacks. Instead, use the microwave or the cooktop.

8. Seasoning 

Because an air fryer circulates the air while cooking, any loose dry seasoning can be blown away. Salt and pepper, as well as other fine seasonings that can be rubbed in, should enough. However, loose seasonings like chilli flakes might get caught in the air flow and make cleaning your air fryer difficult. This is a waste of seasoning as well.

Season your meal right after it comes out of the air fryer, or add some oil to it before seasoning to help it stay.

9. Fresh greens 

Similar to seasoning, any lightweight leafy greens you put in your air fryer will only get blown around. This means they will cook unevenly and burn easily too, so vegetables such as lettuce and spinach should be avoided. Kale chips are possible, but you would need to coat them in enough oil to give them weight. 

Generally, you will have more success with frozen vegetables because of the added moisture.  

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