Air fryers are lifesavers! People love them not only because they allow you to cook with little or no oil, but also because they are convenient.
If you are thinking about buying an air fryer, you probably have some questions. For instance, you might be asking – can you cook frozen food in an air fryer?
Yes, you can cook frozen food in an air fryer! Nonetheless, it requires a slightly different approach than cooking food that is not frozen. You need to figure out things like proper temperature and cooking time for the best results.
Cooking Frozen Food in an Air Fryer
An air fryer is a convenient appliance to have in the kitchen. You can cook food in it straight from the freezer. If you are often in a hurry, you will love how there is no need to thaw your food before you can cook it.
There are many reasons why you should cook frozen food in an air fryer. On the top of the list is that it is a healthier method than traditional frying. You will use less or minimal oil, which is the reason for its potential health benefits.
Not to mention, using the air fryer for frozen food is a quick and convenient method of cooking. You do not need to wait for it to thaw before you start cooking. Put it in the air fryer, and it is ready within minutes.
Another good thing about cooking frozen food in an air fryer is that it has great texture and taste. The circulating air in an air fryer will give your food a unique crisp while keeping it juicy, similar to what you can achieve when deep frying.
How To Cook Frozen Food in an Air Fryer
If you are clueless about what to do, below are some of the most important things to keep in mind.
Choose the Right Temperature and Time
The secret is to adjust the cooking time and temperature. Compared to cooking food that is not frozen, you might want to cook a bit longer and at a higher temperature. This way, there is enough time for the food to thaw while making sure it is evenly cooked inside.
Here is a general guideline on the time that you should be cooking frozen food in an air fryer, as well as the temperature that we recommend for the best results.
- Boneless Chicken Wings: 14 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit
- Chicken Nuggets: 12 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit
- Chicken Tenders: 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Chicken Wings: 9 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mozzarella Sticks: 8 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Burrito: 19 Minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sausage Rolls: 13 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit
- Onion Rings: 8 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Fish Fingers: 8 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit
- Thin French Fries: 14 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Thick French Fries: 18 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Hamburgers: 13 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit
- Shrimp: 9 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pizza Rolls: 7 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit
- Corn Dogs: 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cauliflower: 13 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Egg Rolls: 12 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit
- Hot Pockets: 13 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit
- Roast Potatoes: 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Pay Attention to Proper Spacing
Aside from the right cooking time and temperature, it is also essential to consider how you position the food in the air fryer. Make sure there is proper spacing. Do not crowd the air fryer. Doing so will make sure that the food will cook evenly.
Spread the food as far out as possible. This will prevent them from sticking. More so, it will prevent having under and overcooked portions of the food.
It can be tempting to put as much food as possible to make the most of the cooking time in an air fryer. Nonetheless, such is a rookie mistake you should not commit. It needs air around to cook properly.
To cook more efficiently, you should put food in a single layer. This means that there should be nothing on top of the food that you are cooking. Nonetheless, you can stack food like onion rings and fries, but they can take a while to cook.
The opinions vary when it comes to whether you should use oil when cooking frozen foods in an air fryer or skip it. In most cases, we would say that it is best to skip the oil. Most will already have oil in them.
If you want to use oil, then we suggest using an oil spray. Coat the basket with the oil spray before cooking. If you prefer, you can also spray oil on the food before air frying. This is a good way to achieve a nice golden color and a distinct crunch.
Nonetheless, you should avoid using too much oil. This can make your frozen food soggy, so use oil in moderation or skip it.
Pre-Heating the Air Fryer
Aside from whether you should use oil or not, another concern among many people is whether they should pre-heat the air fryer or not. We suggest that you pre-heat the air fryer before cooking any frozen food in it.
Pre-heating is important because it will cook at the right temperature. Otherwise, it will start cold and take a few minutes to reach the desired temperature. This can result in uneven cooking. Aside from being evenly cooked, your food can also end up being crispier.
Turning Your Food
Those who are inexperienced in using an air fryer will face one dilemma when using it to cook frozen food – should I turn the food or not? Despite the fact that hot air circulates, it is still best to turn your food halfway as it is cooked.
If you do not turn the food, there is a possibility that one part is over-cooked while the other portion is under-cooked. Watch out on the timer and rotate the food once it is halfway done to ensure more consistent cooking.
Knowing When It Is Cooked
Do not be left guessing whether food is cooked or not in an air fryer. If it is a pre-cooked item, you can cut it into one piece and check inside if it is cooked.
Meanwhile, if you are cooking cheese-filled air-fried food, try to pinch it. it should feel squishy or soft when it is cooked.
The best way to check is to use a kitchen thermometer, especially if you are cooking raw frozen food. According to the Food and Drug Administration, chicken is cooked when the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Read the Instructions
The rules for cooking frozen foods in an air fryer can vary. It is crucial to read the instructions in the box or packaging of the food. Religiously follow the instructions from the manufacturer on how to cook the food. If the recommendations from the manufacturer contradict our recommendations earlier, then we suggest that you follow whatever is in the packaging.