How to Turn Fried Food Recipes Into Air Fryer Recipes

This is how you can make deep-fried classics in the air fryer.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
June 05, 2020

Food Network Kitchen’s Air fryer Dos and Don'ts, dont overcrowd the fryer ba, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: KATE MATHIS

KATE MATHIS

By Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen

Your favorite fried food recipes can easily be made over for an air fryer. Follow a few tips and say good-bye to that giant pot of oil.

How Does Frying Work?

Ever wonder why fried mozzarella sticks and potato chips get crunchy? All that hot oil causes the surface water in food to boil super-quick and exit as steam — leaving the outside of your food dry, which is the perfect setup for golden brown, crispy results.

How Does Air Frying Work?

Air fryers are full of hot air, literally. Air replaces oil in this machine and crisps and browns while it circulates around food. Air fried foods generally have less fat and calories per serving compared to their doppelganger fried version.

How to Convert Fried Foods to Air Fried Foods

Tweaking a fried food recipe for an air fryer is easy. Here's what matters:

Drop the heat. There's going to be a windstorm of hot air in your air fryer, so it's not necessary to cook at the same temperature for a traditionally fried recipe. Plus, it could brown too quickly. Knock the temperature down by 25 degrees: If a fried recipe calls for 350 degrees F set your air fryer to 325 degrees F and follow the same cook time.

Breaded is better. Foods that are breaded work best in an air fryer. If your recipe calls for a wet batter — like beer batter or tempura — it won't work in an air fryer. The batter will drip off into a puddle-y mess before the food is cooked. Use the standard breading procedure instead: Dredge the food in seasoned flour, dip in beaten egg and coat in seasoned breadcrumb or other coating. These breaded chicken cutlets are a good guide.

Oil isn’t evil. A little spritz of cooking spray or a teensy bit of oil (less than a teaspoon) will elevate your air fried food — it will be more golden and taste better. Be sure to oil the food, not the air fryer basket, or the nonstick coating could lose its slickness. For foods that are already high in fat — like chicken wings — skip added oil.

Fry in small batches. Space can be limited and awkward in an air fryer, so cooking in batches in best. Be sure not to overcrowd and budget extra time to get through all the batches.

Shake it up for even cooking. To help with even browning, shake the basket a couple times. Give larger pieces of food a flip. You can also add an extra spritz of oil for more even browning.

Related Links:

Next Up

How to Clean Your Air Fryer

Follow these simple steps to keep air frying smoke- and grease-free.

These Are the Foods You Just Can't Make In an Air Fryer

Some foods can't be cooked with hot air alone.

How to Make an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Even if you never use it, you'll feel better knowing it's there.

When to Use a Blender Versus a Food Processor in the Kitchen

Optimize the cooking process by choosing the best tool for the job.

The Best Ways to Use a Food Saver

Seal everything from fresh herbs to whole meals with this handy kitchen tool.

How I Keep My Smoke Detector From Going Off While Cooking — Safely!

You can sear a steak at home without the blare of a smoke detector going off in the background.

How to Make Recipes Work in an Instant Pot and Slow Cooker

Convert recipes to your preferred cooking method with these tips.

8 Common Herb Gardening Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Growing herbs is easy, if you avoid these basic blunders. Get advice for growing culinary herbs like basil, rosemary, cilantro, dill and more from herb gardening experts.

A Beginner's Guide to Composting

Here's how to start making the most of your food scraps.

How to Use All of the Functions On Your Air Fryer

Your guide to the roast, dehyrate, broil and bake buttons.

Latest Stories

Related Pages