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15 Foods You Didn't Know You Can Cook in an Air Fryer

Margaret Minnicks is a health-conscious person who researches the health benefits of foods and drinks.


Almost every household has an air fryer. They might not all be the same make, model, or size because there are so many available that fit every need. Just because almost every household has one doesn't mean that everyone is getting all the benefits out of their air fryers.

You can make almost any food in an air fryer, and whatever you make is healthier than frying food in a frying pan with grease. Look through the list below and you will be utterly surprised that you might be keeping your air fryer on unemployment instead of working it to its capacity. If you are leery about any of the foods, take the proverbial advice and "Don't knock it until you try it."

There are many more foods that are not listed. However, the 15 foods listed below are my favorites. Number 11 tops my list of favorite foods to cook in my air fryer.


1. Crispy Bacon

You might need to cut the slices of your bacon in half, depending on the size and shape of your air fryer basket. The air fryer will cook thin or thick strips of bacon into a crispy delight in about seven to 11 minutes.

2. Toast

You really don't need a toaster if you have an air fryer. You could get rid of your toaster to save space on your kitchen counter. That's because everything you use your toaster for can be done in your air fryer. You can toast bread, bagels, and Pop-Tarts in just a matter of minutes.

Cornbread in an air fryer

Cornbread in an air fryer

3. Pancakes and Cornbread

Don't you get tired of making pancakes that do not turn out round? The batter runs all over the pan when you make them in a frying pan on the stove. Mix your batter as usual and use the small tray that probably came with your air fryer. Your pancake will turn out round and will be brown on top and soft and fluffy inside.

The only disadvantage about cooking pancakes in your air fryer is that can make only one at a time in the small tray that you have. If you have a larger fryer with more accessories, you might not have that problem.

Use the same procedure to cook delicious golden-brown cornbread as seen in the photo above.


4. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Who doesn't like a good grilled cheese sandwich? Simply put two slices of your favorite cheese between two slices of bread and butter each side. Air fry at 370°F for 4 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 3 minutes. Do not overcook.

Your grilled cheese sandwich will be crispy, crunchy, and delicious. You will discover that making it in your air fryer is so much better than making it in a frying pan.


5. Potatoes

You can cook white potatoes and sweet potatoes in your oven or microwave, but it takes longer. It is so much quicker to cook potatoes in your air fryer. Besides, your white potatoes and sweet potatoes will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

6. Chicken

You can cook chicken nuggets, chicken wings, and any part of the chicken in your small air fryer if you cut the chicken up into individual pieces. You can also cook a whole chicken if you have a large air fryer. No matter what size you have, the chicken comes out juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.


7. Chips

Just as you can cook white potatoes and sweet potatoes in your air fryer, you can also make homemade chips in your air fryer. Don't limit your choices to plain potato chips. You can also make sweet potato chips, kale chips, beet chips, tortilla chips, and even pickle chips. All air fryer chips come out with a delicious and healthy crunch.

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8. Corn on the Cob

Do you want some corn on the cob to go along with that air-fried chicken? There is no need to grill chicken, cook it on top of your stove or in the microwave. For corn that is sweet and tender, brush each ear lightly with olive oil or butter and air fry at 370°F for 10-12 minutes.


9. Fried Pickles

You have probably seen or even eaten fried pickles at a state fair. Now you can air fry your own. Use thick pickles or pickle chips. Dip them in beaten eggs and roll them in panko, flour, or regular bread crumbs. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, or other favorite seasonings. Fry them at 400°F for 8-10 minutes. For evenly browned pickles, turn them over after about 4 minutes.


10. Pizza

You do not need to order a pizza every time you want to eat one. You can make individual pizzas in your air fryer. Use frozen bread dough, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce. Choose your own toppings which could be ground Italian sausage, ham, or bacon, green pepper, onions, dried oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes for a finger-licking good pizza.


11. Steak

You can cook a steak quickly and conveniently in your air fryer. When cooking most foods, you do not need to preheat your air fryer. However, when you are cooking a steak, set your appliance at 400°F and let it heat up for about 10 minutes before adding the steak. That will ensure that your steak will turn out to be golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside. Turn the steak over after five minutes.

Keep in mind that the time of cooking depends on how thick the steak is and whether you like your steak rare, medium-rare, or well done.

You can also cook other meats in your air fryer such as pork chops, lamb chops, fish, and salmon cakes.


12. Doughnuts

If you have a taste for doughnuts, you don't have to run out to a doughnut shop or your local grocery store. It might surprise you to know that you can make doughnuts in your air fryer by using canned biscuit dough or crescent roll dough. Remove the centers from the biscuits with a round cookie cutter.

Fry four doughnuts at 350°F for 5 minutes. Turn the doughnuts over only once. Fry all the doughnut holes at once for 3 minutes. Lightly brush the hot doughnuts with butter and roll them in cinnamon sugar. You can also use powdered-sugar glaze and sprinkles.


13. Brownies

Preheat your air fryer to 325°F. Mix all your ingredients for brownies. Pour the batter into the pan that might have come with your air fryer. Insert a toothpick in the center of the brownies to determine when they are done. Remove from the air fryer and cut into squares.

14. Cupcakes

Keep in mind that an air fryer is a countertop oven. That means anything you can bake in an over, you can make in your air fryer. That includes doughnuts, brownies, cookies, cakes, and cupcakes.

Use silicone baking cups if your air fryer didn't come with a cupcake or muffin pan. The cupcakes will be delicious and fluffy on the inside and crispy on top. Add frosting and sprinkles, if you like.

15. S’mores

You don't have to be sitting around a campfire to enjoy s'mores. Marshmallows toast evenly when they are air-fried. They are gooey on the inside the way they should be. However, they won't have that campfire taste when they are heated in your air fryer.


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