8 Of The Best Things To Make In Your Air Fryer

air fryer

Air fryers have been one of the hottest small kitchen appliances on the market over the past few years. The more I use my air fryer, the more I understand why there’s been so much hype around them!

Not only are they easy to use, but they’re better at making food crispy than almost any other cooking appliance. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most delicious things you can make with the help of your air fryer.

Check Out These Air Fryer Resources!

Whether you’re a new air fryer user or use yours several times a week, my free Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet can be an incredibly useful resource. It includes cooking time and temperature recommendations for all of your favorite foods — including many of the ones featured in this post!

If you could use a quick refresher on what air fryers are or how they work, check out my intro to air fryers to bone up on all the important details.

8 Of The Best Ways To Use Your Air Fryer

air fryer

1. Frozen Snacks

Nearly every type of frozen snack food cooks up wonderfully in an air fryer! From chicken nuggets to tater tots, and jalapeño poppers to taquitos, they’ll all turn out perfectly crispy every time (and in a hurry, too!)

air fryer

2. Meat

But the air fryer isn’t just for snack time—it can come in handy for dinner too! We’ve used ours to cook up all sorts of proteins, including chicken tenderloins, salmon filets, and thinly sliced pork chops.

The nice thing about using it to cook meat is that you don’t need a lot of information to do it. Since you’ll be opening up the basket to flip or shake the food anyway, there are plenty of opportunities to see how it’s coming along.

air fryer

3. “Hard-Boiled” Eggs

It’s easy to make delicious hard-boiled eggs in your air fryer. Just place your eggs in the basket and cook them at 275°F for about 15 minutes. Transfer the eggs to an ice bath to cool, then peel and enjoy!

air fryer

4. Chicken Wings

Wing lovers rejoice; people rave about how much they love air fryer chicken wings. Prepare your wings how you like them (breaded or not, seasoned to your liking), then cook them at 400°F for about 20 minutes.

Add about 5 minutes of cooking time if your wings are frozen, and make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Once cooked, toss the wings in your sauce of choice and return to the basket for 1-2 more minutes. Yum!

air fryer

5. Vegetables

Roasted vegetables have such a great flavor and texture, especially when cooked in an air fryer. Toss green beans, broccoli, or even corn on the cob in a bit of oil, then cook at 400°F, checking every 5-12 minutes, until they’re cooked to your liking.

air fryer

6. Warm Cookies

Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey, freshly baked cookie? With an air fryer, you can enjoy that warm, gooey goodness anytime you like!

Pop a homemade cookie or two into the basket, then cook for just a minute or two until warm and melty. Mmmmm…

air fryer

7. Hot Dogs

Some of the best hot dogs I’ve ever eaten were cooked around a campfire! Roasting or grilling hot dogs gives them a deeper, more satisfying flavor that boiling or steaming just can’t beat.

You can replicate that delicious, fire-roasted flavor in your air fryer. Just heat to 385°F, add a few hot dogs to the basket, and cook them for 5 minutes for a quick and delicious hot dog experience!

air fryer

8. Reheating Leftovers

When it comes to heating leftovers, the air fryer is the undisputed champion of the kitchen. It is capable of working miracles on sad and soggy leftovers, and yes, that even includes leftover French fries! They crisp up beautifully, which means you can genuinely enjoy those leftover fries you brought home yesterday.

It’s also good for heating leftover pizza. A single slice takes just a few minutes to reheat at 400°F, and the crust is deliciously crispy every time (even if it was a bit soggy after being refrigerated!)

air fryer

Bonus Tips For Air Fryer Success

  • Pre-heat your air fryer at least 5 minutes before putting your food in to cook.
  • Don’t overcrowd the basket. Overcrowding restricts airflow inside the basket, which can result in uneven cooking and less crispy results.
  • Shake and/or flip your food over a few times during cooking for best results.
  • Add a bit of oil or cooking spray to your meat and veggies to ensure they develop a nice, crispy exterior.

Do you own an air fryer? If so, what’s your favorite way to use it?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Food & Recipes

  • After reading about all the small air fryers, I have to ask if anyone has had a stove with the capability to air fry. It also dehydrates and has convection capabilites. Not sure how to do some of these foods in that oven.

  • I see that you have a different type of air fryer than I do. I have the front loader with the wire shelves in it. Do you have advice for that kind? thank you.

  • I bought my Power XL Air Fryer about a year and a half ago and I use it “almost” every day. I had bariatric surgery about ten years ago and pretty much only cook for myself. This little appliance has been such a blessing for my situation. I can whip up roasted veggies or heat up pizza easily and quickly. I can’t tell you the last time I actually turned on my oven LOL

  • I bought a 5-qt airfryer for just my son and I and everyone thought I was crazy. Well, I proved them wrong! When I got it, my oven happened to be broken and my landlord was extremely busy. So I sort of “crash coursed” my way through it, and after a few days I called my landlord and told him to take his time. The ONLY thing I missed my oven for was my famous cheesecakes that I am known for. (Can be made in airfryer, but I make 10″ ones) Anyway, does anyone know that if you bake a baked potato to a perfect 195-210 degrees it is just like those great big fluffy inside, crispy, salty outside ones you get at a steakhouse? And to go with, I cooked 2 beautiful New York strip steaks! Too bad the airfryer wasn’t around when we were in college, huh? All I need is my airfryer and a good quick-read thermometer!

  • I also got an Air Fryer for Christmas, after a lot of reading and soul searching (did I really need ANOTHER APPLIANCE on my shelf). The answer was yes and it is great. My granddaughter ate my store bought frozen chicken fingers and declared them the best in the world, I decided I made a good decision. I’ve tried fried chicken thighs (best fried chicken I ever made, and since frying food gives me a really bad headache, I don’t make many fried things) She loved the fries I made with it but what really sold her was my air fryer donuts. The are made out of Grand Biscuits (like the Poppin Fresh kind). Baked on the browning tray at about 350 degrees for about 4 minutes, then stopped and turned for another 2 minutes. I rolled them in cinnamon and sugar and they were better than donut store donuts. I could only make three at a time in my Air Fryer. They taste best fresh and warm out of the machine. Not quite as good ten minutes later, but they only take 6 minutes to make them fresh!

  • I bought the PowerXL (7.5 qt, cheaper than the 5qt) as a Christmas gift for myself. I’ve cooked a whole chicken, wings, salmon, chicken legs, french fries, hamburgers, new potatoes, vegetables, etc…. OMG..!! I love my airfryer. Also great for warming up leftovers. I’m going to get my mother one soon.

  • Hi – we bought the instant pot vortex 10 qt oven and I couldn’t be more pleased!!! It has a rotisserie and we made a small chicken (max 4 lbs) ours was about 3 lbs and OMG was so juicy and delicious. Have made little drumsticks and they are so amazing….I have never been one for dark meat chicken but this little oven makes them crispy on the outside and so juicy and flavourful on the inside. At this point I think I would give up my stove before I would give up my vortex oven. So easy to clean too.

  • I got one for Christmas this year, it’s the Instant Pot original Vortex, I have done the usual frozen stuff but I did some baked chicken the other day. The only thing I don’t like about it unlike some of the other air fryers the basket doesn’t come out but the tray does. I need to get an accessories set and a cookbook. I am loving Pinterest that’s for sure. I love homeade potato chips tho!!

  • Just bought a small Copper Chef air fryer, on sale, at Sam’s Club for $37. I had talked with a woman giving samples of breaded shrimp & demo’ing the Power 99 or some such. She was very helpful. I’m amazed at the simplicity of this appliance – doesn’t even have a S/N to register :) So far so good.

  • I LOVE my air fryer!!!!! I bought the Black and Decker because it blows hot air from the bottom and the top. Makes things super crispy! If you are watching calories, it allows you to “fry” with little or no oil. The only disadvantage that I see is you are cooking large quantities, it would take several batches to complete the task. BIG RULE: Do not overcrowd the basket, especially if your model has only one fan.

    • Oh, Paulette…if you stick with it and master it I promise it will be your best friend! Get yourself a quick read thermometer and make sure to pull the basket out and check your food often. I found that was 2 important things for me while I learned (and failed!). But now I do a 5# roast chicken, steaks, stir-fry fajitas, with any kind of meat and peppers and onions, chicken breasts…it really is a handy little appliance. Wish I could come help you in person like I did for my neighbor/best friend! Good luck and God bless!

  • I’m in agreement with the exception of 1. There is NO way I’m going to put eggs in my air fryer unless they are cracked and soaked into a slice of bread.

    • Toy really don’t know what you’re missing Alice. My first air fryer was a smaller version with the knobs which I just never used that much. This year I got a bigger digital one. I had seen many postings on Pinterest about the eggs so I jumped up and tried it. 260° for 16 minutes or 270° for 15 minutes, they come out the prettiest bright yellow yolks you’ve ever seen! Cooking them this easy and then immediately putting them in an ice water bath for 5 minutes will make them peel so easy no matter the age of the eggs. Not one spec of green around the cooked yolks either!

      • Since cooking hardboiled eggs in my air fryer (and an ice bath afterward) I would never, ever cook them any other way. Not only was it set it and forget it but the shell almost fell off the egg when all was said and done. If I don’t have time to peel them right away, I just throw them in a container and pop them in the fridge. I can make just two for a couple of egg salad sandwiches OR an entire carton for deviled eggs for a party.

  • This was very informative. I have a co-worker who has one and loves it. I mentioned these to my mom. I didn’t think she’d heard of it. She said her sister has one and loves it.

  • I’ve been almost obsessively reading reviews for air fryers and I can’t decide which one to get! The Cuisinart one that is also a convection oven looks great and is big but people complain that the temperature knob never works and the timing they set the food to comes out to the wrong time and gets overcooked.
    I looove your blog Jillee. Yours is the only one I actually read. I’m so glad you did an article on air dryers. Now just need Serio’s help picking the right one!
    Please reply with suggestions everyone! Thanks!!

    • I have the Cuisinart one, and while it is a GREAT toaster oven, it is terrible as an air fryer or oven. I find that setting the temp to 320 is as high as I can take it as the temp just keeps ramping up. If you try to use the Fry setting, things will be way over cooked. I’m now looking at the just air fryer ones…FYI

    • I bought a 1.3 qt air fryer and the Mealthy air fryer lid and now have the Hamilton Beach Sure Crisp Oven model # 31193C. The 1.3 qt air fryer is good but small, I knew that when I bought it. It was for the knowledge of how well these perform.The mealthy air fryer lid comes with a basket that is about 7″ in diameter works very well but again only holds a small amount of food (imagine how much food you can place on a 7″ plate) and I found it to take longer than the 1.3 qt air fryer to cook things. The Hamilton Beach oven is the star of them all but only comes with information which is not instructions. It’s very light and heats up from 170 deg to 450 deg with a ‘stay on’ feature. It has 4 settings to choose from with a temp dial and a time dial. There is an air fry button that engages the convection fan that works with the Bake and air fry settings only. A 12″ pizza (not frozen) cooks in 20 min on a grill sheet with a crisp bottom and a very melted top. A four lb chicken cooks in about 1 1/2 hrs at 275 with the bake setting and the airfry button pushed. It comes out very moist and juicey, very tender and mostly of the sking crisped. It is hotter in the back of the oven than the front so things hav to be rotated. My grandson is a firefighter and he just about went ballistic conserned over the heat it generated BUT I have a silicone placemat on top of it NOT COVERING THE VENTS and with the oven at 400 deg told him to touch the underside of the upper cabinets which are only4-5″ above and see how warm they are. HE SMILED. Grandma knows a thing or two. That mat was moved over the vents somehow while we were standing there and the HB oven turned off. We looked at each other in surprise and wondered what happened. When we noticed the mat over the vents, I moved it back and turned the oven back on. Everything worked as normal so I suspect it might have a heat sensitive switch that shut it off but that is not in the information so I can’t say that it does. I can only suspect that it does.

    • I think an airfryer is actually a mini-convection appliance anyway, isn’t it? I may be wrong, but my neighbor up the street bought a new range which is a convection oven and the salesman told her, “well, now you have a huge airfryer.

      • I have an Oster countertop oven and it has the convection feature which I often use.

    • Also, Caren, I bought my airfryer from a mail-order catalog company and it is a 5.3 qt which I don’t even think it has an actual brand name on it, but it has a one year warranty and works amazing! I love the fact that I can do like 2 steaks or 2 grilled cheese or 2 huge bone-in chicken breasts in it. But I know several people who were really worried about “brand” and now are pretty unhappy. Just something to think about. Hope I helped with all my rambling on & on…sorry. :-)

  • I’ve seriously been considering purchasing an air fryer, however I recently learned that there is a air fryer lid that fits on the Instant Pot and turns is into an air fryer. I’d be curious to hear if anyone has one of those and how they like it.

  • Steaks are amazing in the Air Fryer. We prefer in the air fryer over the grill any day (especially when it is freezing outside). We use our Air Fryer almost every day to cook.

  • I love my air fryer. My husband makes the best homemade french fries even better than McDonalds! (After slicing them he soaks the potatoes in cold water to remove much of the starch.) Then hed would deep fry them in organic lard. Today we drizzle them in avocado oil then throw them into the air fryer! Yummy and perfectly delicious without the fat! For Christmas I received a
    attachments and little extras to use with my fryer. They’re amazingly helpful and give you much more room in the air fryer!

    • Thanks Terri for sharing this. I have a recipe for oven-baked french fries that is one of my most popular recipes. I also suggest that you soak the potatoes in my recipe. Makes a big difference. I am going to try them in the air fryer!

      • Greetings everybody & thank you Jillee & team for amazing tips & encouragement. Just reminding folks that adding 2 tablespoons of salt to the chips soaking water improves ‘crisppiness ‘& drying thoroughly before oil coating.
        I usually soak for abt 1/2 hour.

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