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Cheap Air Fryer Recipes Easy To Make for Newbies

Do you love fried food? I know I do, but like my mother usually says, all of your food should not be deep-fried in fat or grease because this can have long-term detrimental effects on your health. Then, the air-fryer hype came in about 2018. Suddenly, a lot of people are buying it in stores or online.

Author:James Pierce
Reviewer:Karan Emery
Oct 11, 20213K Shares509.8K Views
Do you love fried food? I know I do, but like my mother usually says, all of your food should not be deep-fried in fat or grease because this can have long-term detrimental effects on your health. Then, the air-fryer hype came in about 2018. Suddenly, a lot of people are buying it in stores or online. So much is the hype that a lot of chef celebrities and TV shows started talking about air fryers and making an array of dishes using them. That’s what we’ll talk about right now, I’ll give you some cheap air fryer recipes that are easy to make for newbies or even for professional cooks and tips on how to take care of your air fryer.

What Is An Air Fryer?

Black air fryer with open basket
Black air fryer with open basket
In the sense that it bakes and roasts, an air fryer is similar to an oven, but the difference is that its heating elements are only on top and are accompanied by a large, powerful fan, resulting in food that is super crispy in no time — and, most importantly, with less oil than deep-fried counterparts. Because of the combination of a focused heat source and the size and positioning of the fan, air fryers often heat up quickly and cook food quickly and evenly.
The cleaning is another advantage of air frying. Most air fryer baskets and racks can be washed in the dishwasher. We recommend an excellent dish brush for those that aren't dishwasher safe. It will get into all the nooks and crannies — which enhance air circulation! — without making you crazy.

What's The Difference Between An Air Fryer And Deep Fryer?

Difference between air fryer vs deep fryer
Difference between air fryer vs deep fryer
Deep fryers cook food in a tank of oil that has been heated to a precise temperature, whereas air fryers bake food at a high temperature with a high-powered fan. Although both cook food quickly, an air fryer requires almost no warmup time, whereas a deep fryer can take up to 10 minutes. Air fryers use little to no oil, but deep fryers use a lot, which absorbs into the food. Food in both appliances comes out crispy and juicy, but they don't taste the same, mainly because deep-fried dishes are coated in batter that cooks differently in an air fryer vs a deep fryer. In an air fryer, the batter should be sprayed with oil before cooking to help it color and crisp up, whereas heated oil soaks into the batter in a deep fryer. In an air fryer, flour-based and moist batters do not cook well, but they do in a deep fryer.

Is Air-fried Food Healthy?

Food cooked in an air fryer has a similar flavor and texture to food cooked in a deep fryer: On the outside, it's crispy, but on the inside, it's moist. However, depending on what you're cooking, you'll only need a small quantity of oil, if any at all. Yes, air frying is "certainly a healthier alternative to deep-frying if you commit to using just 1-2 teaspoons of a plant-based oil with seasoning, and you stick to air-frying veggies more than anything else," says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, of Good Housekeeping. "Any appliance that encourages you and your family to eat more vegetables is essential for weight control, lowering the risk of chronic disease, and improving long-term health as we age."

What Can You Cook In An Air Fryer?

Because of their speed, air fryers are ideal for heating frozen items or cooking a wide variety of fresh ingredients such as chicken, steak, and pork chops together with vegetables. Because most meats are naturally juicy, they don't require any additional oil; simply season with salt and your favorite herbs and spices. Stick to dry seasonings - less moisture equals crisper results. Wait until the last few minutes of cooking to baste meats with barbecue sauce or honey.
Oil is required to brown and crisp up lean cuts of meat or dishes with little or no fat. Before seasoning, brush boneless chicken breasts and pork chops with a little oil. Vegetable or canola oil is typically preferred due to its higher smoke point, which means it can withstand the high heat of an air fryer.
Before air frying, vegetables must also be stirred in oil. Before air frying, we recommend sprinkle them with salt but use a bit less than usual: The crispy, air-fried chunks are bursting with flavor. Broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts, and tiny potato halves are all favorites of ours to air fry. They're incredibly crispy when they're done! Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and beets all seem to get sweeter over time, whereas green beans and peppers don't.
List of foods you can air fry
List of foods you can air fry

Is An Air Fryer Good For Beginners?

Yes, it is! Whether you’re a newbie to cooking or already a professional chef, anyone can definitely use an air fryer to cook their favorite meal. And the good thing is that most air fryers (if not all) come with a manual and recipe booklet that has the guidelines on which setting to use if you’re cooking chicken or steak or just making plain french fries. It’s already idiot-proof, as I heard my sister say.

What Cannot Be Cooked In Airfryer?


Two broccoli header
Two broccoli header
While Brussels sprouts are air-fryer friendly, broccoli is not, according to Stephanie Pixley, deputy food editor of America's Test Kitchen.
"After our success with Brussels sprouts, we were optimistic that broccoli florets would be equally crispy and tasty. Unfortunately, they became quite dry and gritty, and eating on them felt like biting sandpaper "Insider spoke with Pixley about her cooking experiences with veggies.

Large Roasts Or Whole Chickens

Whole Roast of Chicken with legs twined together
Whole Roast of Chicken with legs twined together
"Aside from the obvious concern of whether they'll fit in the air fryer basket," Pixley explained, "bigger roasts and whole birds just won't cook evenly in the air fryer."
According to Pixley, the portion nearest to the heat source will burn and dry out long before the portion farthest from the heat source is safe to eat.

Any Food With A Wet Batter

Food with a wet batter, such as corndogs or tempura shrimp, should also be avoided in air fryers.
The wet batter gets everywhere, and without a good oil bath, the batter won't set, which means it won't be the crispy, fried dish you hoped for.
"Not only will the batter leak off the food during cooking and most likely burn and adhere to the bottom of your air fryer," Pixley added, "it will also finish up chewy and not at all crispy."


Grated cheese next to grater
Grated cheese next to grater
According to Yankel Polak, the head chef at ButcherBox, you should also avoid placing the cheese in an air fryer.
"Because an air fryer isn't a fryer, there isn't the instant outer crust you'd get from deep-frying cheese for, instance, a mozzarella stick," Polak explained to Insider. "Instead, your fryer will be a cheesy disaster."

Fresh Greens

Fresh arugula greens on chopping board
Fresh arugula greens on chopping board
Fresh greens, such as spinach or kale, should also be avoided in an air fryer, according to Polak.
"These greens are going to fly all over the place and cook unevenly," Polak said. "If you're searching for kale chips, stick to the standard oven."

Overseasoned Proteins And Vegetables

Another common blunder is overseasoning your meats and vegetables before putting them in the air fryer.
Polak explained that when you have food with a dry surface and seasonings, the seasonings can be blown off by the airflow in an air fryer or fall through the basket.

Is It Worth Buying An Air Fryer?

First and foremost, consider whether you are in the market for a new appliance. Many toaster ovens, such as the Cuisinart TOA-65 and the Breville Smart Oven Air, and certain pressure cookers, such as the Ninja Foodi, now include air frying capabilities.
The cost of a standalone air fryer ranges from $40 for small compact models to $400 for giant air fryer toaster ovens, so keep that in mind. Take into account how many people you'll be cooking for while looking for an air fryer. To start with, the smaller air fryers (1.25-liters in size), the middle sizes (3-4 liters in size), and the largest (6-liter air fryers or larger) cater to 1-2 people, while the larger (6-liter or larger) can accommodate up to six people. Instead of shelves, we prefer air fryers with baskets, as they cook more evenly.

What Are The 10 Best Air Fryers On The Market?

What To Look For In An Air Fryer

It's important to keep a few things in mind when purchasing an air fryer for your kitchen.
  • Price: They might be as low as $100 or as much as $500. For example, the more expensive choices come with extra functions, such as grilling or pressure cooking, so you may wind up saving money on other kitchen appliances in the long term.
  • Style: According to Meredith Laurence, chef, and author of "Air Fry Everything”, the two most prevalent types of air fryers are oven-style and basket-style. The oven takes up more counter space, but it has more functionality and can cook larger quantities of food. The basket drawer style allows you to shake rather than spin the food to disperse it, although it usually has fewer features. Laurence adds that appearances are important, so choose a color and style that complements your style.
  • Size: When it comes to choosing the right size air fryer, it's crucial to take into account how many people you'll be cooking for. To avoid uneven cooking, Urvashi Pitre, author of "Air Fryer Revolution” recommends stacking the food in the fryer in a uniform layer, exactly as you would in a conventional oven. A greater surface area is preferred when cooking for a large group of people (AKA one of the square or rectangular options).
  • Cleaning: Do you despise cleaning the dishes? Pitre recommends choosing a smaller basket because there are fewer parts to wash and they are easy to clean. "I fill it with hot, soapy water, put it in the sink, and then go eat dinner or have a glass of wine," she explains. "I come back 20 minutes later and everything falls right off."
We've compiled a list of the best air fryers in terms of price, design, and size to suit any need.

Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer

Silver Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer
Silver Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer
With an eight-quart capacity, this large air fryer is ideal for preparing appetizers for small gatherings or family feasts. It also includes preset buttons for fries, chicken, and fish, which come in handy. What's the best part? It's now available through a variety of shops. And, for a limited time, Best Buy is slashing the price by 60%, bringing it down to just $60!

Beautiful Quart Touchscreen Air Fryer

Drew Barrymore's Beautiful cookware collection, which debuted at Walmart earlier this year, includes an air fryer. The air fryer sold out within 24 hours, and the sage green and white icing colors are frequently out of stock. However, thanks to a recent replenishment, you can now choose from any of the color possibilities. It not only looks wonderful on your counter, but it also includes an easy-to-use touchscreen interface with temperature controls that can be adjusted.

Elite Gourmet Personal 2.1 Quart Compact Electric Hot Air Fryer

Black Elite Gourmet Compact Electric Hot Air Fryer
Black Elite Gourmet Compact Electric Hot Air Fryer
This alternative is small and won't take up much room on your counter. It will also fit conveniently into a cupboard for storage. It's an excellent choice for college students or anyone living in a small apartment.

Dash Compact Air Fryer Oven Cooker

Snacks or individual portions are easy to prepare with this small fryer. Its sleek form and vibrant color options make it a perfect addition to any kitchen counter.

COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer 5.8-Quart

On Amazon, this air fryer has over 14,000 five-star reviews. With the touch of a button, you can cook steak, poultry, fish, frozen foods, vegetables, and more. The Wi-Fi-enabled device can also be managed and monitored using an app (or even Alexa!).

GoWISE USA 1700-Watt 5.8-Quart 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer

This option is already one of the most affordable on the list, but you can get it for even less right now owing to promotions at various stores. The touch screen menu is simple to operate, and the fryer comes with a cookbook with 50 recipes to try.

Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer

Silver Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer
Silver Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer
This one takes up a little more counter space than others, but it serves as an air fryer, toaster, and oven all in one. If you're creating many pieces, the wider surface area will help your food cook more evenly.

PowerXL Grill Air Fryer Combo

This fryer is another all-in-one choice, with a dozen cooking presets that allow you to fry, bake, grill, simmer, sous vide, and much more. Prepare everything from soups to steaks using it as a barbecue, slow cooker, or air fryer.

Ninja 5.5-Quart Air Fryer Max XL

This simple device has seven pre-programmed cooking settings. You'll be able to make more at once because it's a full quart larger than Ninja's other popular fryer.

Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven 10-Quart

Silver Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven 10-Quart
Silver Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven 10-Quart
Instant Pot is known for more than simply pressure and slow cookers. You can place two trays in this air fryer from the company at once, so you can feed the whole family. To make cleaning easier, everything that comes with the unit is dishwasher safe.

Air Fryer Tips Before You Begin

Make Sure Your Basket Is Properly Greased

Although it is not usually essential, a small bit of oil may be required if you want everything to turn out golden brown. Aerosol sprays, such as Pam, should not be used since they can cause the baskets to peel. It is preferable to apply oil or purchase an oil mister.

Make Sure The Basket Isn't Too Full

Don't stuff too much food in the basket. If possible, try to leave some space between the items. If there is enough room for the air to flow, the food will become crispy on all sides.

Halfway Through Cooking, Shake Or Turn The Pan

More consistent cooking can be achieved by shaking or turning your meal midway through the cooking process.

Don't Give In To The Impulse To Crank Up The Heat

If you try to cook on the highest setting, your meal may become dry.

Stop The Production Of White Smoke

Make sure to place a piece of bread under the basket to catch any grease that may fall, especially if you're cooking bacon. The simplest approach is to add some water to the lowest pan.
Someone mentioned that he uses rock salt (not normal salt) to make ice cream. The chunks are large enough that they won't be blown around by the air in your air fryer and will soak up the grease.
Line your frying basket with parchment paper. There are a few types of parchment paper designed expressly for use in an air fryer. They are specifically designed for air frying and feature small holes in them to allow for air circulation. Check the measurements of your individual model, as these can vary in size. Parchment paper comes in a variety of sizes.

Cheap Air Fryer Recipes For Newbies 


Air Fryer French Toast Sticks

Air Fryer French Toast Sticks on a plate with orange slices
Air Fryer French Toast Sticks on a plate with orange slices
On the outside, it's crispy, yet on the inside, it's warm and tender. They're ideal for dipping into syrup for a quick and simple breakfast delight.
  • A loaf of THICK CUT white bread (the thicker the better)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • Cooking Spray
Follow the easy steps here.


This one is a game-changer.
Why? It's far more convenient and less dirty than using the stovetop, microwave, or baking in the oven. It's easy to do, mostly hands-free, and the grease just flows off into the lower reservoir. If you wish to, you can also wash the pair of fryer parts in the dishwasher. Check your model for the dishwasher feature. Check the easy steps to crunchy bacon right here.

Air Fryer Hard-Cooked Eggs

Air Fryer Hard-Cooked Eggs may sound absurd, but it's a straightforward culinary method that requires no supervision. It also works, and it works well. Follow the easy steps here.


Chicken Parmesan

Air fryer chicken parmesan with salad on a plate
Air fryer chicken parmesan with salad on a plate
Chicken Parmesan in the Air Fryer — all the flavor, none of the fat! It's a cinch to make and takes around 10 minutes. Eggs, flour, Italian breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella cheese are used to make chicken cutlets. Dinner is complete when served with a simple side salad.
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Follow the simple steps right here.

Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken

Perfectly golden, crisp, and crunchy Air Fryer Southern-fried chicken! Who would not love this?
  • 2 lbs. Chicken
  • Spice Mix
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • olive oil
Follow the easy steps and guide here.

Air Fryer Wings

These are the greatest chicken wings, cooked to perfection in minutes. For the perfect appetizer spread, serve these wings alongside the bean dip, chicken nachos, and Mongolian beef meatballs.
  • 2 lbs chicken wings
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup Sauce of choice
  • 1 Tbs parsley garnish
Find the simple steps to follow here.


Air Fryer Simple Grilled American Cheese Sandwich

Grilled cheese on a plate
Grilled cheese on a plate
Air Fryer Simple Grilled American Cheese Sandwiches are quick and easy to prepare. It takes only a few minutes to prepare and uses less butter than a pan! Use your crisp lid or air fryer!
  • Bread
  • American Cheese
  • Butter or Mayonnaise
Follow the simple steps right here.

Pork/ Beef

Crispy Air Fryer Pork Chops

This Crispy Air Fryer Pork Chops recipe is a delicious quick supper that the whole family will enjoy. From start to end, it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, and cleanup is a pleasure! Follow the recipeexactly as written, or experiment with different seasonings to make it your own.
  • 1 ½ lb boneless pork chops
  • ⅓ cup Almond Flour
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika

Perfect Air Fryer Steak With Garlic Herb Butter

Perfect juicy air fryer steak.
  • 2 8 oz Ribeye steak
  • salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • olive oil
Garlic butter:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Follow the steps here.


Air-Fryer Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Choco chip cookies on a plate
Choco chip cookies on a plate
Yes! Make these delicious cookies with your air fryer! Didn’t see that coming, did you?
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
Follow the easy baking instructions here.

9 Tips On How To Take Care Of Your Air Fryer

Don’t make these mistakes if you want to use and enjoy your air-fryer for a long time.

You're Overcrowding The Basket Of Your Air Fryer

Overcrowded airfryer basket with fries
Overcrowded airfryer basket with fries
Though it may be tempting to dump all of your ingredients into the air fryer at once in the hopes of swiftly reheating or frying your food, Byron Puck, chef at Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, advises against it.
"You want to leave room for each component to have this air hit it on all sides since it operates as a convection oven by spinning hot air around the basket," Puck told Insider.
Putting too much food in the basket, he explained, could affect the quality of the completed dish by causing some of the components in the basket to become soggy rather than crispy.

You Aren't Thoroughly Drying Your Proteins Before Placing Them In The Appliance

3 perfectly fried chicken legs
3 perfectly fried chicken legs
Another approach to avoid soggy food is to make sure your meal's surface is dry before frying it, according to Dan Zuccarello, executive food editor at America's Test Kitchen.
"A dry surface browns faster than a wet surface because moisture on the surface steams," he explained. As a result, you'll want to pat meats and some veggies dry before cooking them.

Your Air Fryer Isn't Being Cleaned Correctly Or Frequently Enough

Cleaning your air fryer is critical, especially if you use it frequently.
You'll want to thoroughly clean all of the removable elements of your air fryer between recipes or when you cook something exceptionally dirty. Fortunately, many air-fryer parts may be washed in the dishwasher.
You should also clean the main body of your air fryer on a regular basis to eliminate grease and food splatters, which can build up and cause the fryer to generate smoke, according to Zuccarello.
You could be imparting undesired flavors and chunks of food from your prior dish onto your latest meal if you don't clean your air fryer in between preparations, according to Puck.

You Fail To Pre-heat Your Air Fryer

If you forget to preheat your air fryer, your food will be undercooked. Set the air fryer to the proper temperature a few minutes before putting your meal in the air fryer basket for best results.
In this way, you'll be able to ensure that your food is cooked uniformly and at the correct temperature.

You're Only Going To Use It For Frying

"People forget it's also a countertop convection oven," Puck told Insider, "so you can cook and bake so much with it other than simply fried meals."
According to Kenzie Swanhart, culinary director at Ninja, cookbook author, and food blogger, you can use your air fryer as a little convection oven to produce quick and easy dinners like chicken breasts or pork chops, cook small roasts, or reheat leftovers.

You Do Not Rotate Your Proteins While They Are Cooking

Another common air-fryer blunder, according to Zuccarello, is failing to rotate your proteins. Halfway through cooking, flip your protein to ensure an evenly cooked final dish.
Fold the thinner "tails" underneath for meats with varying thickness, such as pork tenderloins or fish fillets, to create a more consistent size and ensure even cooking, he said.

You Don't Move Your Vegetables Around While You're Frying Them

When cooking veggies in an air fryer, Zuccarello advises moving them around every now and then. He claims that tossing veggies halfway through cooking will result in greater browning.
Tossing small slices in a separate basin, according to Zuccarello, can be helpful.
He also mentioned that using a bowl makes it easy to season your meal halfway through cooking.

You're Not Using Your Air Fryer For Baking

Six Air Fryer cupcakes in basket
Six Air Fryer cupcakes in basket
Air fryers, according to Puck, are also wonderful for baking desserts. "The air fryer is ideal for baking doughnuts, casseroles, and even cakes if you want to make a lovely homemade dessert," Puck told Insider.
Before utilizing your air fryer to make desserts, make sure it's as clean as possible to avoid infusing your sweets with any unwelcome savory flavors, according to Puck.

Not Using Any Oil

You don't need oil to use an air fryer, but if you want to crisp up particular dishes, you shouldn't be scared to use a little.
Cooking without oil may sound attractive, but fat encourages browning and can help food crisp up, so even a small bit of oil can considerably improve your results, according to Zuccarello.
"Many people believe that because air fryers are a healthier way to fry food, they don't need any oil," Swanhart explained. "Before air frying, I always recommend applying around a tablespoon of oil to evenly coat your dish."


There you are! Recipes you can try out on your own air fryer and tips on how to take care of your latest appliance. Just remember, if you don’t get it the first time, there’s always a second or third time to get it right.
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James Pierce

James Pierce

Karan Emery

Karan Emery

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