I failed with my air fryer, so you don’t have to

Air fryers lack instructions; here are some to avoid mistakes



Air fryers do not contain necessary warnings for certain foods.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

If you have been following these recipes over the past couple of weeks, then you will know that I am the recent owner of an air fryer and have been trying my luck learning new recipes for it. Beyond learning how to cook some delicious meals, I also learned that there are things that you can do wrong in any other area of cooking.

Whether spending a bit long clearing up the mess that you made or not knowing where to start, the air fryer doesn’t come with many instructions beyond a small booklet on how to turn the thing on. Thus I have decided to gather a few tips and tricks that I have learned over the past week about the air fryer to make your life easier.

As you are going along this journey, you might mess up, and I am here to say that is okay! One of the more critical parts of cooking, perhaps besides the food itself, is exploring all the possibilities. Many creations can come from exploring the culinary world, from Dino nuggets to full-course meals, so don’t be afraid to experiment. That being said, take some of the things I have learned the hard way, so you don’t have to.

 Essential Tips With an Air Fryer:

  • Be careful with cheese – This is not to say do not add cheesy recipes to your air fryer repertoire; for instance, a cheesy chicken breast is easy and delicious. But air fryers melt the cheese very quickly, which can make cleanup much stickier and longer. 
  • Follow a recipe – A lot of what I do does not follow an exact recipe, either from previous cooking experience or an amalgamation of things I have read on the internet. It is advisable to have at least a baseline recipe to work off, especially when meats and temperatures are involved. 
  • Find a good spice blend – While certain dishes call for other spices or seasoning, I have consistently run into potatoes or other starches. These additions to your plate can be elevated with the spices and herbs that you prefer! My personal favorites are rosemary, garlic powder, thyme, and onion powder though you are welcome to experiment with whatever flavors you like. 

Important “Do’s” With an Air Fryer:

  • Make sure to buy a good sponge – While using an air fryer drastically reduces the number of dishes you have to do, it does not eliminate them, and at the end of the day, you will still be doing them. Investing in a quality sponge or scrubby will cut dish time in half.
  • Always have a backup plan – Sometimes, you do not feel like cooking. That is okay! I would encourage you to have a quick and easy meal ready to go through the air fryer to help you feel like you are cooking without a lot of hassle. Things like chicken nuggets or hash browns are a good example and are pretty filling. They come in handy as a bit of a middle-ground for you! 
  • Olive oil is your new best friend – or at least some oil to use for your air fryer. I like using olive oil as it adds to the flavor and helps things crisp up. 

I hope these tips help, enjoy!