Can You Put Sauce In An Air Fryer?

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Viscosity Of The Sauce Suitable For Air Fryer

If you plan to cook saucy food in your air fryer, here is what you need to know.

Adding sauce to foods in an air fryer can make recipes even more delicious. But should you put sauce directly over foods in the air fryer basket? And how does sauce affect cooking time and getting that coveted crispy exterior? Here I will share my experience.

Can You Put Sauce In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can put sauce in an air fryer to enhance the flavor of your food. However, you must take care of the sauce's viscosity and the quantity to be added to the air fryer. Avoid putting loose sauces, curries and stewy food in it.

Things To Consider When Adding Sauce In An Air Fryer

Putting sauce in an air fryer is not as simple as adding a few tablespoons to the food and folding it with a spatula. Here are the things you ought to consider before you follow your recipe.

Viscosity Of The Sauce Suitable For Air Fryer

Viscosity Of The Sauce Suitable For Air Fryer

A fluid’s viscosity is its resistance to flow; the more viscosity, the more difficult it is to flow. In the case of a sauce, higher viscosity will make it thicker and less runny.

But thicker sauces often have added sugar and starch in them. As a result, an extremely thick sauce may become runny upon cooking. It might even affect the flavor and texture of your food. 

Also, runny sauces create a big cleaning mess when they leak through apertures in the basket and stick to the grooves. So, use a sauce that is neither too runny nor thick and watch out when the food cooks in the air fryer to avoid overcooking the sauce.

Quantity Of The Sauce To Be Added

Quantity Of The Sauce To Be Added

When it comes to adding sauce to your food, finding the right balance is key. Putting too much sauce is not a good idea, but little quantity will not yield the expected results. We suggest start with a small quantity and adjust as needed until you achieve the desired taste.

Adding too much sauce will drip and smear the basket and the drawer underneath, causing a mess you must clean later. 

The splatters might even reach the heating element and the fan running at high speed and ruin them. The worst case scenario is when you cannot use your air fryer anymore after the splatters stick to the fan, malfunctioning it resultantly.

Cleaning the area above the fan is nothing less than big trouble; avoid it at all costs.

Also, some foods, such as chicken breast and fish, dry out quicker than others, like red meat (it stays moist for longer), and might need more sauce.

Right Time To Add Sauce To Air Fryer

Right Time To Add Sauce To Air Fryer

If you want to add the sauce in the beginning, coat the food with it and let it rest for about ten minutes. This way, excess moisture will evaporate from the food surface, and the sauce will absorb into the food, bestowing it with the flavor you expect.

However, it is better to put the sauce when the food is about to be cooked or in the middle. In that case, after coating each piece of the food meticulously, you can stop worrying about excess sauce dripping on the basket. 

If the sauce still drips, wipe the air fryer immediately with a damp towel to prevent a bigger cleaning emergency.

The sauce is commonly added to chicken, such as when making chicken wings in the air fryer or chicken breast, etc. It snugs to the meat while high heat caramelizes the exterior, turning it into a delicious meal that is hard to resist.

Time To Cook The Sauce

When putting sauce in an air fryer, cooking time makes a lot of difference. After adding the sauce, you must consider how long you can cook the food. Cooking ingredients for too long will burn the sauce, resulting in a charred taste you might not like.

On the contrary, if you cook for less time, the sauce’s flavor might not penetrate the food thoroughly. It is better to monitor the cooking time after adding the sauce. Slide the air fryer basket out of the drawer and peek at the food for a few minutes to ensure no disaster awaits your attention. 

Take note of the color change on the exterior of the food. Stop cooking when it attains the right browning. You can also add more sauce if need be. Adding layers of sauce helps intensify the flavor. Simultaneously, it prevents the food from burning.

Use Aluminum Foil

Using Foil in Cooking Food

You cannot eliminate the possibility of a mess when putting saucy food directly on the air fryer basket. Undeniably, the sauce will smear the basket bottom and leak through its holes too.

One of the ways to avert this mess is by placing an aluminum container or using foil in the air fryer. You can spread the foil before starting the cooking process or place it before adding sauce to the food. Both ways are okay! All the sauce and drippings stay on the foil while your air fryer remains mess-free.


Can you cook saucy things in air fryer?

Yes, you can cook saucy dishes in an air fryer! However, it is very important to consider aspects like the thickness, cooking time, and quantity of the sauce and when to add it to the food. Don’t add sauce at the start or more than the required quantity. Also, cooking longer and at a high temperature can burn the sauce and the food.

Do you put sauce before or after air fryer?

It is up to you or your recipe requirement when adding sauce to the air fryer. If your recipe demand to put it before air frying, then let the food rest for 10 minutes so the sauce gets absorbed. Adding the sauce after cooking food is okay too. As long as you cook the sauce for some time, you can enjoy two separate textures together in a bite.

Can you put hot sauce in an air fryer?

Yes, adding hot sauce to an air fryer is generally safe, but it's important to be careful. Not all hot sauces handle high temperatures, so choose one that won't burn or splatter. We recommend adding the hot sauce to your ingredients before putting them in the air fryer to spread the flavor evenly.

Can you put the wet sauce in an air fryer?

We don't advise putting wet sauce directly into an air fryer because it is unsafe. The high heat and rapid air circulation can cause the sauce to splatter, create a mess, and potentially damage the air fryer.

Wrapping Up!

Yes, you can put sauce in an air fryer, but a lot depends on the food you are cooking and your preferences. We advise you to coat your food with sauce and let it get absorbed properly. This will cause fewer splatters and save your air fryer from damage. Not adding the sauce in the beginning is also ok. You can brush the food with sauce after cooking. Let us know how was your experience of adding sauce to the air fryer.

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