How To Use An Air Fryer? Ultimate Guide [2023]

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If you recently bought an air fryer, you must wonder how to use it. Owning a good air fryer does not make you a pro chef. For that, you need to learn about its usage.

Knowing its proper use means you can cook delicious food every time without making any mess. Let’s start with getting an idea about using an air fryer for the first time. Check out the best dual basket air fryer and picks for the best air fryers made In USA.

How To Use An Air Fryer? Ultimate Guide [2023]

For using an air fryer, set up the unit and configure the time and temperature according to your recipe. If mentioned in the air fryer instruction manual, preheat the unit before adding food. Push the start button, and voila! You will get a healthy meal in a few minutes.

Now, let’s get deeper into this guide about using an air fryer to get the results you are looking for.

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Setting Up Your Air Fryer For First Use

Unbox the air fryer and remove all the stickers and wrapping from it and all of its accessories.

Some people report that when they first unboxed their unit, it gave off a distinct plastic-like whiff. Don’t panic; there is nothing off-beam about your air fryer.

Stylish Look of Best Philips Air Fryer

We experienced the same smell upon opening our air fryer for the first time. This plastic smell is due to a protective coating covering all the accessories of your air fryer. Experiencing an odor actually means your air fryer is brand new.

Removing Air Fryer Smell Before Use

You can remove the air fryer plastic smell by washing all the air fryer accessories, including the rack, basket, drawer, etc., a few times.

Once washed, put the unit and the accessories on a stable, heat-resistant surface. Dry everything with a clean, dry towel. Run the air fryer empty for about 10 to 15 minutes. Now, your air fryer is ready to unfold its true cooking power.

Step-By-Step Process of Using An Air Fryer

Below, we list the step-by-step process of using an air fryer.

Step 1: Take out the air fryer basket and neatly arrange food items such as vegetables, fries, wings, finger fish, etc., on the basket.

Don’t arrange the food in multiple layers. Also, make sure food is completely dry before putting the air fryer basket into the drawer.

Step 2: Use an oil spray bottle, a mister, a brush, or your hands to apply a small amount of oil to the food.

However, for cooking air fryer recipes, you don’t need to add oil as the air fryer uses the natural oils present in the food to cook it. So, to add or not to add oil in the air fryer depends on what you are cooking.

Step 3: Plug the air fryer into an electrical socket. Make sure not to insert the plug into a damaged power socket.

Plugging in Air Fryer in Socket

Step 4: Choose the temperature and time settings from the preset cooking options or make manual settings depending on what you are making. Make sure to refer to the user manual before pressing the preset buttons.

NOTE: During cooking air fryer will make some noise, don’t worry about that like other kitchen appliances this one too make some sound.

Step 5: When halfway through the timer, press the button on the handle to pull out the drawer and shake its contents. Shaking/tossing/flipping/rotating ensures that food is evenly cooked from all sides.

Step 6: Once the food is cooked, the unit will make a beep sound. Take out the drawer, and add spices, oregano, or other decorative seasonings to give your food a mouth-watering aroma and taste.

For the first time, we tried making french fries in our Philips air fryer, below are some screenshots:

How to Reheat Food in Air Fryer

It is highly recommended to use an air fryer to reheat your food. It is a great way to crisp up your leftover food once again.

A rule of thumb for reheating your food is to set the temperature 30 degrees lower than its initial cooking temperature.

Air Fryer Crispy Crust On The Food

For instance, for reheating pizza, set the air fryer at 320° F instead of 350F and reheat the slices for 3-5 minutes.

Don’t put one slice over the other as they will stick to each other, and heat will also not pass through them.

For reheating chicken wings, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees for a couple of minutes.

Arrange the chicken wings in the basket in a single layer and let the air fryer run for 2 to 3 minutes until warmed. Add a few spritzes of oil if necessary.

Cleaning the Air Fryer After Use

Basket-style air fryers have a removable basket, an outer drawer, and a crisper plate you must wash. Often these accessories have a non-stick ceramic coating and are dishwasher safe.

But hand washing is recommended as it protects their outer coating and increases their useful life.

Washing air fryer basket in water

For cleaning an air fryer through hand washing, make a mixture of warm water and dishwashing detergent.

Dip the accessories into the soapy solution for a few minutes. Later use a non-abrasive sponge to rub off the grease gently.

Finally, rinse with water. After washing, dry everything with a soft cloth or paper towel.

For the easiest cleaning, wash the accessories after every use. As for the rest of the air fryer, use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the whole unit. To learn some pro cleaning tips, you can check out our guide how to deep clean an air fryer.

Should You Preheat an Air Fryer?

Setting Timer on Philips Air Fryer

Well, you won’t find consistent views on this matter. Some manufacturers recommend preheating the air fryer, while others don’t.

Preheating means giving your air fryer a few minutes to reach the desirable cooking temperature before adding food into the cooking chamber.

Without preheating, your air fryer will cook fine. But you will have to cook food for a little longer, as the unit will take a few minutes to reach the cooking temperature before starting the cooking process.

In our cooking studio, we generally stick to preheating our air fryer because, after several cooking attempts, we realized that preheating cooks food better.

In our cooking studio, we generally stick to preheating our air fryer because, after several cooking attempts, we realized that preheating cooks food better.


Avoid preheating for cooking food items that take longer to become tender from the inside. For instance, Brussels sprouts quickly turn brownish from the edges but take time to cook thoroughly from the inside. Therefore, add them into a cold air fryer for slower cooking in the beginning.

Best Air Fryers to Buy in 2023

With so many air fryer options, choosing the unit that promises superior construction and high-quality cooking is overwhelming. So, we took it on us to help you by listing air fryer brands that performed exceptionally well during our testing.

  1. Ninja Air Fryer
  2. Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer
  3. Cuisinart Air Fryer
  4. PowerXL Air Fryer
  5. Nuwave Air Fryer

10 Best Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners

Now that you are aware of using an air fryer, it is time to get into real cooking. Whether you just unboxed your air fryer or are an avid cook, these air fryer recipes are a must-try for beginners and professionals alike.

  • Ranch Potatoes
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Shrimp with Lemon and Pepper
  • Cookie Cake
  • Buttered Toasts
  • Roast Beef
  • Quesadilla
  • Baked Sweet Potato
  • Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
  • Frozen Green Beans
  • Turkey Legs
  • Roasted Carrots
  • Chicken wings
  • French fries
  • Cupcakes
  • Salmon
  • Chicken thighs
  • Steaks

Why Should You Get An Air Fryer?

An air fryer is the best thing to get if you are a fitness freak or even just prefer healthy eating.

Features like auto-shutoff and shake-remind enhance your convenience. You will know when the food is cooked and ready to be served or when it is time to shake it.

The price can be an issue for some of you. There is no denying that the high-quality and best large air fryers do not come cheaply, but with some search, you can get a good air fryer under 100; pretty affordable, right?

Besides, they are a one-time investment; they are long-lasting and do not require frequent maintenance. 

Wrapping Up!

If you have been worrying about operating an air fryer, we hope that the information provided in the above will be of great help. From unboxing your air fryer to adding food to the air fryer basket and turning it on, we have provided a step-by-step guide to using an air fryer. By following this cooking process and other etiquettes of using an air fryer, such as cleaning, you can enjoy cooking in your air fryer much longer.