Why You Should Be Shaking Your Air Fryer's Basket While Cooking

The air fryer has been the "it" small appliance for several years, making as much noise in the trendy department as the beloved instant pot. It even made Oprah's famed "Favorite Things" list in 2016. Enough said, right? According to the NPD Group, more than 25 million air fryers have been sold in the last two years. Why do people love their air fryers?  Because this appliance can create some of our favorite foods and make them crispy and crunchy — hello fried chicken, french fries, doughnuts, and bacon — without all the fat from oil, we cannot help but love the air fryer. How does it work?

This countertop appliance is described by CNET as being similar to a convection oven, where air is circulated at a much faster rate and at a hotter temperature. However, as The New York Times explains, the air fryer only uses a miniscule amount of oil to accomplish what takes deep frying a much greater amount. Furthermore, CNET shares that air fryers come with a basket that allows air to hit your food from all angles. This basket is pretty essential to the cooking process and Insider says if you aren't shaking the basket of your air fryer while you're cooking, you should start.

Shaking means more uniformity when cooking

According to Insider, if you shake the basket of your air fryer, it will actually make it crisp up better, brown more efficiently, and cook more evenly. The outlet further notes that this practice of shaking the basket is especially important when you're air frying french fries and vegetables. Kitchen appliance maker Philips says, essentially, when you shake the food in your air fryer basket, you ensure that air hits all the food surfaces.

Philips further suggests that when you have multiple layers of food, it's the shaking that helps it cook uniformly. Shaking the basket also lets you check on the color of your food and make certain it is getting golden brown.

How do you shake the air fryer basket during cooking? Simply take the handle, pull the basket out, and shake. If you are making something that has small ingredients, you only need to shake the air fryer basket once. However, if you shake it a little more, no worries. It won't do any harm to whatever you're cooking up. Reader's Digest also suggests that you really need to make certain you don't overfill the basket if you want your food to get that deep fried crisp.