10 Tools to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Air Fryer
Want your air fryer to do the work of your oven? Then you need the right equipment! Invest in these budget-friendly kitchen tools, and your future self will thank you.
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Sure, your air fryer can make your favorite frozen food fare in a matter of minutes with up to 70% less fat than a traditional deep-fried version. But, if you want to think outside the “bag” when it comes to using your air fryer, you really need to ensure you have the right tools to get the job done.
Don’t worry – we’re not suggesting you spend hundreds of dollars on a slew of kitchenware you’ll only use one. Rather, we’re inviting you to invest in quality- and budget-friendly products that will work in both your air fryer and oven (or toaster oven). Plus, thanks to the compact size of your air fryer, these items won’t take up valuable storage space.
Get ready to add these tools to your cart for easier, more efficient air fryer cooking!
1. Food Grade Thermometer
If you don’t own a food grade thermometer yet for your kitchen, you definitely need to add this to your cart immediately. Temperature-checking your food is crucial, whether you’re air frying or using another cooking method. This helps ensure that foods that are more susceptible to causing food-borne illness when not cooked thoroughly are done before eating.
One important note about food thermometers: They do need to be recalibrated every so often. So, use the ice bath method for 30 seconds (submerge the tip of your thermometer in an ice and water mixture) to test if it is measuring freezing (32 degrees F or 0 degrees C.)
2. Glass Oil Sprayer
Here’s the deal: Nearly every single time you use your air fryer basket, you’re going to have to spritz it with cooking spray. Rather than using a generic spray mixed with a few other food-grade ingredients (which can cause more wear and tear on your air fryer basket than you’d like), consider investing in an adorable glass oil sprayer that can house both your olive and avocado oils – or really, whatever oil is your jam!
This particular brand comes with a mini funnel to help prevent spills while filling your sprayer as well as a cleaning brush.
3. Kitchen Tongs with High Heat-Resistant Silicone Tips
Trust me when I say I learned the hard way before making this investment! Having a set of kitchen tongs is crucial to protecting your skin from serious burns on the air fryer basket when flipping foods.
This set is perfect for the weekly air fryer user. Not only is this product made with stainless steel, but the tongs also have bisphenol-A (BPA) free food-grade silicone on the handles and tips to prevent burns. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe and can handle high heat.
4. Silicone Spatula
Similar to the kitchen tongs, this set of spatulas is a no-brainer for the air fryer foodie. Spatulas come in handy when flipping tender proteins, like a delicate fish, breaded chicken cutlet or veggie burger.
When selecting your spatula, just be sure to choose a set made with food-grade silicone. Almost all food-grade silicone will hold up to the maximum temperature of the air fryer (which is usually somewhere around 400 to 450 degrees F), but double-check the details before purchasing.
5. Silicone Mini Loaf Pans
Not only can you use loaf pans in your air fryer, but these particular pans also work in the oven and microwave too, making this a versatile and worthwhile investment. These mini loaf pans will easily fit in most 6-inch-wide air fryer baskets, but they are much more compact than traditional loaf pans. Make sure you again purchase food-grade silicone here, as well as a brand that’s BPA-free.
While you may think you don’t need four pans, trust me when I say you do. When cooking for a family, it’s easy to throw a nutritious meatloaf in the air fryer to reheat when you batch cook ahead of time and toss two in the freezer. These pans are also nonstick, making it easy to pop out your favorite banana bread!
6. Reusable Silicone Baking Cups
These reusable silicone liners are a wonderful investment you can reuse time and time again in all of your favorite appliances (hello, oven and Instant Pot too!) Like the other silicone products mentioned, ensuring you have a food-grade and BPA-free pick in your cart is essential.
This particular set is wonderful because the cups are free standing, meaning you can literally portion your batter straight into the liner and set in your air fryer to make beautiful Blueberry Oatmeal Cups in under 30 minutes!
7. Silicone Round Cake Pan
Okay, you get the point by now: All kinds of products made with food-grade silicone are gems when it comes to cooking in your air fryer. Having a cake pan made from silicone is a great choice for those who want to make quiches or frittatas as well as cakes. While you have to think low and slow when baking in your air fryer (you want to ensure even cooking), using your air fryer will certainly help keep your house cool in warmer months!
8. Soft-Bristle Kitchen Cleaning Brush
If you haven’t learned how to properly clean your air fryer’s basket, then you’re going to want to make sure you get your hands on this brush. You don’t want to throw your air fryer basket in the dishwasher. I know, I know; it’s easy and the air fryer manual says it’s dishwasher safe, right? Yes, while it may be dishwasher safe, the wear and tear of the high heat in the temperature on the material your air fryer basket is made of will allow the basket to degrade quicker (and, you’ll have to get a new basket sooner than you thought.)
Instead, invest in a designated air fryer cleaning brush with soft bristles. This, alongside a little dish soap and elbow grease, will help even your toughest air fryer messes – I see your keto cheese toast experiment! – come clean.
9. Instant Pot Silicone Egg Bites Pan
If you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon before the air fryer, good news! You can use your silicone egg bites pan in the air fryer as well. This actually works great for frittatas and muffins, albeit the muffins will turn out a bit oddly-shaped. Thanks to the food-grade silicone used in this, too, you won’t have to worry about your recipe sticking to the mold. Simply pop out your egg bites, muffins or mini meatloaves and enjoy.
10. Recyclable Aluminum Foil
While I don’t personally recommend using parchment paper often in your air fryer (you may have found the quick-circulating air can easily blow the paper), aluminum foil can come in clutch when cooking a few different types of foods. For instance, when making quick breads in those loaf pans, covering the mini loafs with aluminum foil will help prevent uneven cooking. Nothing is worse than biting into a rock-hard top with a mushy, undercooked center.
Plus, if you’re looking to quickly prepare and bake a foil packet for, say, fish and veggies in your air fryer, having this on hand can be a time-saver.