How Do Air Fryer Ovens Handle Food With Batter Or Breading?

Air Fryer Ovens Handle Food With Batter Or Breading

Air frying is all the rage, with many home cooks eager to purchase ovens and ranges that include the cooking feature. While it’s no substitute for convection, which works to circulate hot air across dishes, the new technology offers some advantages and is a popular add-on to other cooking appliances, such as the microwave oven.

But what about foods that are battered or breaded? How do these products fare in the hot, circulating air of an air fryer?

Pre-fried foods, including French fries, chicken nuggets, empanadas and mozzarella sticks, tend to perform well in an air fryer, delivering appealingly crisp exteriors with moist interiors. The air fryer oven is also a great way to make from-scratch recipes that mimic the look and taste of many frozen foods, such as air fried chicken wings and air-fried mozzarella sticks.

Air frying also works well for some other types of food, such as whole roasted fish and vegetables and baked desserts like cinnamon rolls and apple crisps. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the temperature of an air fryer can get extremely hot, especially when using the high-heat setting. That means you need to take care when handling the drawer, making sure it isn’t hot enough to burn you and having a potholder or trivet nearby for removing and replacing the tray.

How Do Air Fryer Ovens Handle Food With Batter Or Breading?

Another thing to note about an air fryer’s heating system is that it does not conduct heat as quickly as a conventional oven, which may affect how quickly you can get your dishes ready to cook. This is particularly true for a countertop air fryer, which requires you to preheat the appliance before adding your food. Adding ingredients to the appliance before it’s preheated can lead to uneven cooking and can even cause the oven to overheat, which will require you to wait longer for your dish to cook.

Using a wet batter in an air fryer can also present some challenges. The wet coating won’t stay put while the dish is cooking, and it may drip onto other items in the basket or onto the heating element. This can result in a messy kitchen and could also damage the basket or heating elements of your air fryer, which you should avoid at all costs.

If you do want to try air frying foods that are coated in a wet batter, The Kitchn recommends refrigerating the foods after dredging and breading them. This will help the wet batter firm up, which can prevent it from dripping off the food during the air frying process.

Some ovens that have an air frying function come with trays and racks specifically designed to be used in the appliance. For other models, you can use a standard baking sheet, but Frigidaire advises that you opt for a dark nonstick one with low sides to maximize the appliance’s ability to circulate and evenly bake your food. For best results, you should also avoid overloading your oven air fryer, as too much food can result in soggy or undercooked foods.

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