How To Convert Oven Cooking Times For The Air Fryer

If there were a contest for the most popular kitchen appliance, the air fryer would win it. Compact, easy to use, and able to cook everything from crispy sweet potato fries to barbecue ribs, it's no wonder they are so loved — especially for those with limited space or cooking experience. Before you get started with an air fryer of your own, however, it's worth noting that they work slightly differently from traditional ovens, so you will have to adjust cooking times accordingly. There are two main factors to keep in mind: time and temperature.

Air fryers cook food using the power of convection heat. This means that, unlike a traditional oven, which simply heats the air inside it to cook your food, an air fryer makes use of a powerful fan to also move the air over and around the food within it. Not only does this cook the food more efficiently, but the movement of the fan also heats up the air to slightly above the temperature to which the fryer is set. The fact that air fryers are much smaller than conventional ovens also helps speed up the cooking process. Therefore, cooking with an air fryer will be both hotter and faster than a standard oven.

Adjustments for air frying

Given the more efficient conditions of an air fryer, you should plan on cooking food in it at a lower temperature and for a shorter time than in an oven. Making this conversion from the oven guidelines provided in recipes or on packaged foods is relatively easy: The general rule of thumb is to reduce the heat setting by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit and to reduce the cooking time by about 20%. Of course, every air fryer is slightly different, so we recommend using these adjustments as a starting point and then making alterations that suit your individual fryer and preferences.

If making these conversions doesn't result in a successful outcome, there may be other variables at play. Common air fryer mistakes include using too much or too little oil, using the wrong size fryer, overfilling the fryer basket, and thawing frozen food before cooking it. Be sure to address these problems in addition to adjusting your frying time and temperature, and you'll get crispy, delicious air fryer meals every time.