Discover the Magic of Air Frying: Your Ultimate Guide with FAQs and Videos!

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Welcome to's section on Simple Vegan Recipes! If you're looking to make the most of your air fryer, you're in the right place. This versatile kitchen tool can save you time and effort, and we'll show you how to master it! Our comprehensive guide provides answers to frequently asked questions and even includes instructional videos.

Personally, we can't get enough of our air fryer. Whether we're making full meals, sides, or snacks, it's become a daily staple in our kitchen. So, let's dive into some of the most common questions we've received from our readers.

image collage of vegan air fryer recipes: cauliflower tacos, tater tots, crunchy tofu, chocolate chip cookie

Are you searching for delicious vegan air fryer recipe ideas? We've got you covered, with dozens to choose from on our website.

Before we get started, let's cover the basics. After unboxing your air fryer, be sure to remove any plastic and paper packaging/instructions. Then, give it a quick clean with warm soapy water, allow it to dry, and you're good to go!

When you're ready to start cooking, simply arrange your food in the basket and follow the recipe instructions. We know it can be daunting at first, but as you practice, you'll become a pro in no time!

Our FAQ section answers common questions ranging from how to cook frozen food to how to keep your air fryer clean. If we haven't addressed your specific concern, please let us know. Our goal is to have the most comprehensive guide possible!

Now, let's get to the meat of the matter. One common question we receive is, "What does 'shaking the basket' mean?" This technique simply involves moving the basket back and forth a handful of times to prevent your food from sticking. If you have an air fryer oven, you can stir instead of shaking. However, if your tray is nonstick, be sure to use a wooden, plastic, or rubber utensil instead of metal.

hand opening an air fryer baskethand opening an air fryer basket

Another frequently asked question is, "Do you need oil in an air fryer?" The answer depends on the recipe. Some require oil, while others skip it altogether. If we do use oil, it's for added flavor, moisture, or texture. We always provide oil-free alternatives when possible, so feel free to make your own choice!

We hope this guide has been helpful in answering your air fryer questions. With your newfound knowledge, you're sure to become an air fryer pro in no time.

When it comes to oil, it's essential to note that a recipe may require a spritz of spray oil. However, using an aerosol spray on the basket is a big no-no, as aerosol sprays can damage the nonstick coating of the basket. It's best to invest in a non-aerosol spray bottle, which you can refill with any liquid oil.

Many people ask if preheating their air fryer is necessary, especially when some recipes specify a three-minute preheat. If a recipe doesn't call for preheating, it's usually safe to skip it. One of the air fryer's perks is that it heats up quickly, so you can adjust the back end when cooking time is up.

Think of the air fryer as a quick oven that's perfect for dry cooking. You can cook roasted vegetables, bake cookies, or make crispy okra or tofu from it. However, it's not ideal for "wet" dishes like soups and stews. We recommend using an Instant Pot for that.

Our favorite way to use the air fryer is to cook potatoes or tofu. They cook fast and get perfectly crispy. If you're looking for the right air fryer, we highly recommend DASH. It's functional, the size is perfect, and the price is reasonable. If you're cooking for one or two, a two quart air fryer should do the trick, but if you're into using accessories, get a larger one.

If you're cooking for a group of up to three people, a three or four quart air fryer should suffice. As a family of three, I used to be content with my old 3.7 quart fryer, but since upgrading to a six quart basket, I can cook with leftovers in mind!

For families of four to six people, I would recommend an air fryer with a 5-6 quart basket.

When it comes to cleaning your air fryer, most models are very easy to clean. Opt for a model with a basket that comes apart for easy cleaning. With most conventional basket-style air fryers, you can remove the inner basket from the outer basket and wipe away anything that falls through the holes. If you have a combo oven, the tray should come out completely, and you can wash it with the soft side of a sponge. If you use oil in your fryer, you'll need to pay special attention to cleaning the lower tray to prevent the oil from sticking. Line the tray with foil for easy cleaning, but don't cover the mesh tray since this will hinder airflow. If something is stuck, soak your basket or tray in warm, soapy water until it softens enough to wipe away with a sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or sponges that could damage the nonstick surface.

If you notice your air fryer is getting stinky, don't worry! Just unplug it, let it cool completely, and use a damp sponge to gently wipe down the inside, paying attention to the vent on the back.

As for making perfect air fryer fries, soaking your potatoes is optional. It can help get rid of some starch but doesn't make a significant difference in the final outcome. Check out this detailed guide on making air fryer fries for the dos and don'ts.

One of the best things about air fryers is how they cook food quickly. Think of them as a speedy veggie roaster and deep fryer that uses hot, circulating air to cook food to crispy perfection. Some recipes are completely oil-free, while others use a small amount of oil to prevent sticking and add extra crispiness. They're a great appliance to have in the summer when you want to avoid heating up the kitchen.

If you're wondering how to cook your frozen Beyond or Impossible Burger, the air fryer is an excellent option. Just place the patties in the basket, making sure they don't overlap, and cook at 400°F for 12-15 minutes.

In summary, an air fryer is a versatile appliance that cooks food quickly and crisply using hot, circulating air. It's easy to clean and can be used for a wide range of recipes. So why not ditch the stove and oven for a while and try out your air fryer?

What are the different types of air fryers available in the market? Air fryers are available in three types that can be placed on the countertop. The first type is basket air fryers that are shaped like a vague egg and come with a detachable basket. The second type is air fryer ovens that resemble a toaster oven and often come with additional features apart from air frying. The third type is paddle air fryers which come equipped with a rotating paddle that stirs the food while cooking it. Although I don't have extensive experience with paddle air fryers, I have cooked with basket and oven-style air fryers for an extended period, and I prefer basket air fryers for their consistency in cooking times and temperatures.

Is investing in a combo oven air fryer worth it? I have used different air fryer combo ovens, and my experience with each has been vastly different. My first combo oven was from Cuisinart, and my current one is Kitchen Aid Digital Countertop Oven, which features an air fryer function. While I found the air fryer function to be inconsistent with the Cuisinart, both combo ovens are comparatively more challenging to clean compared to the basket air fryers. However, it's still a good option to explore, especially if you want to save space. The essential thing to keep in mind is that combo ovens cook differently than conventional air fryers, with Cuisinart being faster and Kitchen Aid being slightly slower than the basket-style units I have used. Therefore, it's imperative to keep checking your food while cooking in a combo oven and adjust cooking times to avoid overcooking or burning.

What's the best way to cook frozen food in an air fryer? Sometimes, the objective is not to cook a full meal, but instead, heat up frozen food quickly. In that case, air fryers come in handy for cooking frozen tater tots, French fries, veggie burgers, or nuggets. There are two methods to cook frozen food in an air fryer: if your frozen food comes with oven directions, you can cook it at the same temperature (or a close temperature range) for half the time. Alternatively, for items without oven directions, you can cook them for 8-12 minutes at 400° F, adding a few extra minutes if required based on the food's size. For more tips and tricks on cooking frozen food in an air fryer, check out my helpful video below.

Do you have any questions that I may have missed? Feel free to ask, and I'll ensure this FAQ remains a helpful resource for you.

Greetings! My name is Becky Striepe (pronounced like the word "sleepy"), and I am a fervent connoisseur of handy tech and nifty tricks that make whipping up quick and scrumptious vegan comfort foods a breeze for people constantly on-the-go. Whether you're a diehard Instant Pot or air fryer enthusiast, or simply an admirer of delectable, plant-based cuisine, look no further! You have come to the right place.

Headshot of Becky Striepe in front of a teal wallHeadshot of Becky Striepe in front of a teal wall

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