Doing This Simple Step Will Make Your Air Fryer Food Golden Brown

If there's one small countertop kitchen appliance that's stolen the hearts of home cooks everywhere, it is without a doubt the air fryer. But while the air fryer does wonders for cooking up amazingly crisp and crunchy foods without all of the extra oil, fat and calories of deep-frying, there's one thing the air fryer does not exceed at on its own. That's making those fried foods you love the golden brown color you expect to see. Air fryers simple do not brown food since they rely on hot air to cook food through rather than longer exposure to heat like an oven.

Fortunately, there is a trick that you can use to get good browning on foods cooked in the air fryer. Taste of Home suggests using a light spray of cooking oil. Reader's Digest also highlights the benefits of using a touch of cooking spray to make foods brown well even in the air fryer. But you might want to think twice before reaching for the PAM.

But don't reach for the cooking spray can

When you first got the appliance, you might remember reading that you should never use aerosol cooking spray with your air fryer. The reason companies that make and sell air fryers do not want you to use aerosol cooking spray is because they can actually cause the coating on the air fryer basket to flake off — potentially onto your food (via My Forking Life). That's obviously not something anyone wants. But there is a way to have the best of both.

Instead of using aerosol cans of cooking spray, you can buy an oil sprayer. Your air fryer might have even come with one. You can use this to spray both the basket and the food you plan to cook to prevent sticking and to get browning on the food. So, the next time you use the trendy appliance, just remember to add a small touch of oil sprayed onto the food for the absolute best results.