Why You Shouldn't Cook Some Battered Foods In Your Air Fryer

According to Today, air fryers are becoming a kitchen staple, transforming once greasy fried fare to air-fried perfection with little to no oil. The outlet claims that many foods cook to crispy, crunchy deliciousness in the air fryer, such as tater tots, mozzarella cheese sticks, bacon, and even chicken nuggets. The air fryer makes cooking these foods faster than oven or skillet cooking and creates fewer greasy messes.

According to Cleveland Clinic and registered dietician Julia Zumpano, RD, Air-frying is a healthier option. She states, "Air-frying is a healthier option because it essentially eliminates added oils completely." As for marinades and battered foods, Zumpano says to "skip marinades and dressings that will drip. It's OK to lightly coat something in oil, though you don't have to. And it should never be sopping wet."

Today encourages readers not to place beer-battered shrimp, fish, or other wet-battered foods in the air fryer. The batter sticks to the basket, and the texture of the food is compromised, resulting in a gummy, sticky mess, according to Today.

Foods To Avoid Cooking In An Air Fryer

Which foods should you avoid cooking in an air fryer? The Daily Dish explains that an air fryer cooks with hot air instead of hot oil, so it cannot quickly solidify wet batter, and The Food Network agrees. The Food Network states that wet batter won't have time to crisp up before it drips through the crevices of the air fryer basket. According to Southern Living, avoid foods such as onion rings and tempura veggies. The batter on these foods causes dripping, resulting in cleanup, and it may activate the smoke alarm.

Food Network suggests that if you're craving crunch, try dipping your food in egg, flour, and breadcrumbs before air frying. This technique will add a crunchy exterior without the gooey, sticky mess. The Whole Portion suggests another crunchy option — dry-battering your foods in cornmeal or breadcrumb and avoiding the egg wash altogether. The site says it isn't difficult to prepare food in the air fryer as long as you don't use the wet, runny batter. Instead, the key is using a thick, dry coating that remains intact.