Some friends might talk about how good of a purchase their air fryer is. The fact is that air fryers have many advantages, such as the usage of less oil, quick cleanup, and fast cooking. However, if you haven’t invested in an air fryer yet or wondering how to get that same crispy effect without this handy appliance, then you must’ve wondered how to air fry without an air fryer.
If you own a convection oven or a toaster oven with a convection setting, then you can make any air fryer recipe. Just use an oven-safe cooling rack or perforated pan, and make sure to slice your food thinly for the best results. Plus, use the right temperature and time conversions given here!
So, follow these tips to prepare air frying recipes without using an air fryer.
1. Use the right pan for proper air circulation
The first thing you need to do is pick and use the right cookware. You might think that using the same cookware as in the case of an oven will work, but it won’t.
So, you should use a perforated pan or a perforated crisper tray which allows air to circulate both under and around the food for even cooking and crisping like in an air fryer. And if you do not have one, you can also use an oven-safe cooling rack.
Note: Place a baking sheet or aluminum foil under the rack below to catch any crumbs or drips.
2. Thin slices are the best way to go
The next important tip to keep in mind is that you should cut your food wisely. There is a reason that French fries are mostly cut in long thin sticks. This is because the shape maximizes their surface and allows for even cooking and browning.
Therefore, depending on the dish you intend to make, make sure you cut the ingredients the right way. For instance, try keeping the cut thinner if you are cooking veggies.
Also, check out our article explaining whether air fryers turn off automatically or not.
3. Spread the food out evenly over the pan
Make sure to spread the food items out evenly over the tray and not layer them. Some people have the habit of overlapping food items over each other in an attempt to cook more items in a shorter span of time, but that won’t be a good approach if you want the best result!
If the food is piled up or touching, the exterior won’t brown, and the food will simply steam instead of air-frying or baking. So, it would be better to spread out the food and use a certain quantity at a time to allow the air to circulate properly and the food to cook evenly as well.
4. A little oil goes a long way
Ovens are more drying compared to air fryers. Therefore, make sure to apply a little oil to your food items to give them that nice crisp brown texture and retain their juiciness. You can use cooking spray, grapeseed, or vegetable oil to toss the food items.
5. Flip the food mid cooking
Always remember to flip the food items mid-cooking. Air fryer recipes usually demand flipping at least once so that both sides of the food are cooked perfectly. This important step should not be missed if you’re using a regular or convection oven.
6. Adjust the temperature and time
Make sure to increase the recipe’s temperature by 20 to 25 degrees, and always make sure to preheat the oven!
Secondly, air fryers cook faster than ovens, so it will take a bit longer for your food to cook in the oven using an air fryer recipe. Therefore, start checking every 3 minutes after the time recommended by the recipe until you think the food is done. If you do not keep a check and accidentally eat undercooked meat, then click here to know what can happen!
In the end, it is possible to air fry without an air fryer if you do it correctly. Remember the tips mentioned above the next time you plan on cooking an air fryer recipe without using an air fryer. You might need to adjust along the way to produce the best possible results, but it’s definitely doable. Have fun!