Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Air Fryer Tips for Home Cooks

As an emergency room doctor, trained chef and cookbook author, Dr. Sonali Ruder knows exactly what foods make us healthier. Her passion for helping others live healthy is clear with the recipes, content, advice and tips she shares on The Foodie Physician, her lifestyle website. She excels in creating simple, fast meals that are both delicious and good for you. So with those quick-and-easy air fryers all the rage now, Dr. Ruder is sharing a few of her favorite tips and tricks.

Dr. Sonali Ruder

First, what do you love about the air fryer?

It gives you the taste and crispy texture of deep-fried foods but with little to no oil. Not only is air frying a healthy cooking method, it’s also so convenient. In the time it takes to preheat your oven, you could make an entire dish in the air fryer. Also, most air fryers are easy to clean.

What are your best tips?

• Always preheat the air fryer.

• Flip your food or shake the basket halfway through cooking. This will help ensure that all sides get evenly browned.

• Don’t overcrowd the basket. Arrange your food in a single layer so that it crisps up nicely.

• You can adjust pretty much any recipe that’s cooked in the oven to cook in the air fryer; just adjust the cooking temperature and time. A good general rule of thumb when converting a conventional oven recipe to an air fryer recipe is to reduce the temperature by 25°F and reduce the cooking time by about 20 percent.

• Air fryer models differ quite a bit, so check your food occasionally to make sure it’s not browning too quickly. It’s OK to open the basket to check on it.

Coconut shrimp

What should we cook (and not cook) in the air fryer?


Foods that are traditionally deep-fried: Chicken wings and French fries

Frozen foods: Chicken nuggets, salmon burgers, garlic bread

Roasted vegetables: Potatoes, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, butternut squash

Meat: Pork chops, chicken breast, meatballs

Seafood: Fish filets and shrimp


Foods with a thin, wet batter: Onion rings or tempura. They won’t set up immediately as they do when submerged in the hot oil of a deep fryer. You’ll be left with a drippy mess.

Wet foods: Meats in a liquid marinade. They won’t brown well. Meat should be patted dry and spritzed with oil before going in.

Light, leafy greens: Kale. They’ll fly around because of the fan and cook unevenly.

Some baked goods: delicate cakes and pastries tend to dry out.

Large whole chickens: may cook unevenly.

Salmon teriyaki

What should people know about the air fryer regarding their health?

Air frying is a healthy cooking method, because air fryers cook your food with minimal or no oil. However, they don’t make everything healthy, like bacon, mozzarella sticks and stuffed Oreos.

Is there a brand you recommend?

I personally love my Ninja Max XL 5.5-quart air fryer. It has a large basket that’s perfect for a family of four (they also have smaller sizes). COSORI is one of the most popular brands of air fryers on Amazon and is another good option.

For more tips and recipes, visit

This article is from the November/December 2022 issue of Boca magazine. For more like this, click here to subscribe to the magazine.

Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie is a food lover, travel fanatic, bookworm, Francophile, and she believes art in all its forms is good for the soul. When she’s not writing about the incredible dishes, people and places that capture South Florida's culture and vibe, Christie is irresistibly happy in the company of her husband and a glass of red wine.

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