Whether you're new to air frying or you've been using air fryer recipes for some time, at some point, you might want to try to convert recipes for a conventional oven to one that would be more appropriate for cooking in an air fryer. You're in the right place: We have the oven to air fryer conversion tips you need.
We'll look into the basics of air frying, learn about why you might want to convert oven recipes to be used in an air fryer, go over how to change the times and temperatures and take a look at some of the dos and don'ts that pertain to air fryer conversions.
Let's get started!
The Basics of Air Frying
Before you begin air frying, it's important to know how an air fryer works. If you have a convection oven, you probably already understand the basics of the cooking process.
First, air fryers cook food by using hot air circulation. Like in a conventional oven, an air fryer has a heating element, but it also has a fan to circulate the hot air around the food.
This ensures the food cooks evenly and from all angles, resulting in a shorter cooking time and a crispy texture.
When using an air fryer, you'll set the time and the temperature. These times and temperatures will differ from those used in the oven; those are going to be the main differences when you're converting recipes.
A lot of what you cook in your oven can be cooked in an air fryer. These foods include:
Chicken: Whether it's chicken wings, drumsticks, or breasts, cooking chicken in the air fryer will result in deliciously crispy results.
Meatballs: Meatballs are another food that will come out perfectly in the air fryer, with a crisp outside and a tender inside.
Roasted vegetables: Some veggies that roast up nicely in an air fryer include carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and zucchini.
Leftovers: You can heat up your leftovers in either the oven or the air fryer; in the latter, they'll come out piping hot, evenly heated through, and crisp on the outside.
Frozen food: Anything you might heat up in the oven, like French fries, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, or frozen appetizers, will do well in the air fryer as well. You don't need to thaw frozen foods before heating them unless the package advises you to.
Desserts and baked goods: While the air fryer is often thought of as a way to cook savory foods, you can actually also air fry sweet foods, like cakes, cookies, brownies, donuts, and more.
The Benefits of Converting Oven Recipes for an Air Fryer
Many people find a wide range of benefits when it comes to choosing to cook in an air fryer rather than in a conventional oven.
While you will still certainly want your oven for large items (such as a holiday turkey), casseroles, and other traditional oven recipes, here are some reasons you might want to switch to an air fryer for other types of recipes.
Less Oil and Fat
When you cook in an air fryer, you can use less oil and fat than you might if you were cooking in an oven. In many cases, you can actually use no oil at all; in others, you'll want to use a spritz of cooking spray.
Less Time and Energy Expenditure
When figuring out an oven to air fryer conversion, it's important to adjust the cooking temperature and cook time; items will cook more quickly in an air fryer.
Because of the hot air circulation through the air fryer basket, you'll find that your food comes out with a lovely, crisp texture that's unlike what you get when you cook in a traditional oven.
Most food will go right into the air fryer basket, which is generally non-stick and simple to clean. Rather than scrubbing a casserole dish or oven pan, you'll simply be washing or wiping out the basket.
Less Heat in the Kitchen
On warm days or when you don't want to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven, your air fryer is a great alternative, providing you with a hot meal without having to adjust the air conditioning.
Changing Times and Temperatures for Air Fryers
When converting recipes, the most important part will be changing the amount of time you're cooking the food and the temperature you're air frying the food at. When you take a look at the recipe instructions, you might not know how much to adjust these factors.
As a general rule, you'll want to reduce the baking temperature by about 25 degrees and the cooking time by about 20 percent.
So, for example, if you're making meatballs and the oven recipe calls for a temperature of 350 degrees and a cook time of 30 minutes, you'd set your air fryer to 325 degrees and consider a maximum cook time of 20-25 minutes in total.
Note that this doesn't work for every recipe. Many recipes for the air fryer will be shorter than what an air fryer calculator will tell you.
It will take some experimentation, so let's go through some tips for a successful air fryer conversion.
Air Fryer Tips to Keep in Mind for Successful Conversions
Remember That All Air Fryer Models Are a Bit Different
What works for the "typical" air fryer might not work for your air fryer. Even if you were to look up dedicated air fryer recipes, you'd find that the food might cook more or less quickly in your specific air fryer.
You can and should experiment with your air fryer to get to know it well. Once you make an item several times, you'll know how long it takes to cook food and will be able to do an oven to air fryer conversion more easily in your head.
You also might find that your air fryer temperature needs to be set a little closer or farther away from your oven temperature as called for in the recipe.
You Can Always Add More Cooking Time If Needed
It's best to err on the side of setting your air fryer for less time than you think it will need at first. Note, I'm not advising you on undercooking your food!
Simply take it out and check to see if it's done a few minutes before your conversion would suggest.
Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the food, and then you can decide from there if it still needs more time or if it's done sooner.
Keep track of how long foods take to cook in your air fryer, and in time, you'll be less uncertain when converting recipes.
Always Flip The Food Halfway Through the Air Fryer Cook Time
While you might not always flip your food when using a conventional oven, it is important to do so when using an air fryer. Open up the air fryer basket and flip the food after half the time has elapsed. This will give you a good checking point and will also enhance the evenness of the cooking.
Consider Using an Air Fryer Conversion Chart or Calculator
Just remember that these are starting points, not definitive instructions.
Remember These General Air Fryer Tips
In addition to tips specific to oven to air fryer conversion, here are some additional tips to help you make the most of your air fryer:
Always preheat your air fryer: Just as your traditional oven needs to preheat, so does your air fryer. This will help ensure the even and complete cooking of your food. Wait until the appliance is at the right cooking temperature before adding your food.
Note: The time it takes to preheat is not included in the air fryer time meant to cook the recipe.
Consider using parchment paper: If you want to keep your air fryer basket clean and reduce washing time, parchment paper will help.
Cook the right foods in your air fryer. There are some foods that will do better in your oven. One of these is wet foods; in general, you're going to want to avoid anything goopy or drippy, as it will just make a mess in and under the basket.
You may need a lower temperature than you think: If, when you flip your food over at the halfway mark, it's looking too "done," try reducing the temperature for the second half.
From Oven to Air Fryer
Air fryers are all different, but a good rule of thumb to follow when converting a recipe from oven to air fryer is to reduce the cooking temperature by 25 degrees and reduce the cooking time by at least 20 percent.
Don't be afraid to experiment when learning how to air fry your food. Have fun getting to know your air fryer!
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