Air fryers are the new wonder in the world of kitchen appliances. That’s saying a lot, as they’re sort of competing for that lofty spot with slow cookers and multicookers, both of which have had their time in the spotlight.
It is a well-deserved honor. Air fryers offer people a healthier alternative to frying in oil. They tend to use less energy than traditional ovens. They cook food faster, saving users time and energy. They are very versatile when it comes to what they can cook. And, they offer a much more affordable alternative to food delivery if you don’t have much time to cook. Plus, they’re also affordable themselves, with even the best air fryers regularly get price cuts during big sales.
Simply put, they are just the ticket for most households, especially in this time of inflation. In fact, PRNewswire Reports (opens in a new tab) that the “air fryer market in the United States is expected to forecast robust growth” by 2028.
But, of course, like everything else, air fryers also have their limitations. As a sometimes overzealous air fryer user, I’ve learned that there are some things you should not do when using an air fryer. I’ve also learned that there are some things you shouldn’t even cook in one — no matter how many “hacks” these so-called TikTok influencers post to convince us otherwise.
Here are seven foods you shouldn’t cook in an air fryer lest you risk an impossible-to-clean mess or worse.
1. Wet dough, dry seasoning
Wet batter – like beer batter or tempura batter – needs a hot oil bath to harden quickly. That’s what makes these tempura corndogs and veggies crispy on the outside. Since an air fryer works by circulating hot air, it does not have the ability to cook your favorite crispy foods the way they are meant to be cooked. Instead, you’ll end up with a chewy or soggy mess that’s also uneven because chances are some of that batter dripped out during the cooking process.
Also, do not fry food with a layer of dry seasoning. This circulating air will blow out that seasoning right away, especially if you’re using large ones like cornflakes. If you must, be sure to rub this seasoning in or coat your food with a little oil to help it stick.
2. Raw rice
Just as wet dough needs hot oil to harden, raw rice needs water to cook. And, unfortunately, air fryers are not designed for this type of cooking. I’ve seen some people do tutorials in an air fryer, and it looks like a pain. One recipe asks you to find a suitable container like a cake pan, by first boiling some water, putting the rice and boiling water in the pan, covering the pan tightly with aluminum foil , then setting the timer for 30 minutes! 30 minutes!
Honestly, it’s best to cook raw rice the way you’re supposed to, i.e. put it in a pot with water, bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until all that water is absorbed. It’s so easy and so much less complicated. If that doesn’t work for you, invest in a rice cooker.
3. Whole roast chicken
Again, an air fryer uses hot air to cook things, and putting a whole chicken in it to roast means there’s a lot less room for that air to circulate properly and cook things evenly. This is even if you have one of the larger models.
Also, the part of the chicken closest to the heat source will likely end up cooking faster than the bottom, which means you’ll end up with a burnt top and a bottom that still needs a bit more time. to cook. . Or worse, a soggy one! If you want to be able to cook roast chicken in an air fryer, you might want to invest in an air fryer oven like the Cuisinart TOA-60.
Ok, it’s one thing if you like your burgers well done – although, too, why?! However, if you want perfectly cooked medium-rare burgers, which is how the beef should be cooked and eaten to always be beautifully juicy and flavorful, you might want to skip cooking the patties. burger in an air fryer.
Keeping a burger patty medium-rare means you’ll have to cook it for less time, which means it may not take long enough for the outside to brown and get a bit of that char. If you bake it long enough for the outside to brown, the inside will be cooked through and dry.
Popcorn kernels need 400 to 460 degrees to pop, and most air fryers unfortunately aren’t that high. But, if you have one that reaches 400F, like mine, you also risk starting a fire.
The popcorn does what it’s supposed to do, which is pop, which means some of it might accidentally get lodged in the heating element at the top, whether it’s because a piece jumped high enough to get stuck or there was not enough space to accommodate all the popped kernels in the basket. It’s a potential fire hazard, especially if that piece is still lodged in there while you’re cooking another dish.
Of course, there are plenty of tasty dishes you can cook wonderfully in an air fryer, so why not check out our guides to making air fryer fries, air fryer French toast, and even brownies. fondants in an air fryer. We can also help teach you the 9 things you need to know about your new air fryer and the 6 common mistakes to avoid.