How To Prep Air Fryer Vegetables So They Don't Escape The Basket

When making the ultimate French fry, achieving a crispy golden brown exterior on the sliced potatoes is paramount. It most often requires a good bit of oil for deep frying. But, Netherlands inventor Fred van der Weij found a way around this when he invented the air fryer. And, in order to do so, the air fryer required proper airflow. That is why your air fryer's basket has holes or slots. 

But, the air fryer isn't just well-suited for french fries. If you have one, you know how handy it can be for all sorts of roasted and fried vegetables. Still, from green beans and okra to peppers and beets, there are several techniques to keep in mind when using the time-saving gadget as your cook method of choice. One most important to remember is that you should cook them in a single layer to take advantage of airflow — but there's one caveat. The proper cut is a must if you don't want the vegetables to escape the fryer's basket.  

How to prep your veggies for the air fryer

If you cut your vegetables too small, they will inevitably end up a burnt mess at the bottom of your air fryer. The reason is that the smaller cuts will slip through the basket's holes. Whether you choose to use a processor, slicer, peeler, or knife, a 1/4-inch wide cut is the golden rule. 

Think about what a thick-cut French fry looks like. You know the ones served at a steak house?  Even the board-walk style fries that Five Guys serve, or the crinkle cut ones at Shake Shack will serve as a good rule of thumb for a 1/4-inch wide sliced vegetable. You can fry them dry, but tossing the vegetables in a small amount of oil prior to the time in the air fryer will optimize that golden brown factor you want.

Now that you know the best size cut, everything from Morrocan-spiced carrots to a simple side of green beans will take half the time by using your favorite modern kitchen appliance.