I am, in a word, obsessed with my air fryer. Not only are they convenient but they have leveled up my cooking game with extra-crispy food for half the effort. I wasn't always this proficient with my appliance, however.
Even the best air fryers need a little helping hand in the kitchen to get the most out of the marvelous machines, and through trial and error, I have decided on some air fryer accessory essentials that I would never go back to using my air fryer without.
Here are the air fryer accessories that I think are essential for using an air fryer, and where you can find them online.
Air fryer accessories
The good news is that these essentials aren’t hard to get your hands on, keeping air fryers as hassle-free as possible.
1. Lecithin-free oil
Spray cooking oil has been around for a while now, offering a healthier, more convenient way of preparing pans and food for cooking. While these seem to go hand in hand with air fryer cooking, I discovered a little while back that these ‘convenient’ sprays contain an emulsifier called lecithin, which slowly destroys non-stick coatings.
It is certainly an important thing to know about air fryers before using one extensively at home. After losing one of my best non-stick frying pans to flaking and sticking, I switched to using plain vegetable oil instead and still use it today for my air fryer basket to keep its non-stick patina in perfect condition.
2. A misting spray bottle
A small oil misting bottle was one of the best investments I had made for my air fryer, available at Amazon (opens in new tab). Having switched from commercial spray oils a few years ago, an oil misting bottle (originally made to spritz finishing oils over salads and the like) meant I could still use traditional bottled vegetable oil in just as convenient a way without ruining my baskets.
What’s more, the fine, controlled spray means that air fryers are healthy to cook with too.
3. Silicone tongs
We should all know by now that metal utensils on a non-stick surface are a no-go – unless you want to shorten the lifespan of your pans, that is. While many of my air fryer-cooked foods can be poured out of the basket onto plates, I find that a pair of silicone tongs makes moving more delicate food like air-fried breaded fish to my plates with no mess.
Farberware 11-inch Silicone Tongs | $8.97 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
These tongs feature a high-quality stainless steel frame and are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. Their black silicone tips are heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and are safe to use on all types of cookware.
4. An air fryer cookbook
When I originally purchased my air fryer, I thought I would use it occasionally for quickly cooking frozen foods for quick lunches or dinners when I was feeling a little lazy. I bought an air fryer cookbook as a gift, however, that opened my eyes to just how versatile my machine really was.
I believe any air fryer cookbook is essential to truly understand what you can cook in an air fryer, and what should be left in a normal oven.
5. A temperature conversion chart
At only $6 this is an essential that I only stumbled upon recently, but wouldn't want to be without. Air fryer conversion charts are the perfect little addition that makes cooking staple foods seamless.
The little stickers mean I no longer have to google or fight with my home's virtual assistant to find out what temperature I should cook something that would usually go in an oven and for how long.
I am not the only one who thinks these are the perfect air fryer addition either. 'The stick-on air fryer charts are the ideal addition for those who are wanting to get dinner on the table quickly,' said Millie Fender, head of reviews at Homes & Gardens. 'I have tested countless air fryers, and they are both the simplest and most useful addition you could buy.'
Millie Fender is Head of Reviews on the Homes & Gardens E-commerce team. She specializes in cooking appliances, such as the best kettles, and also reviews air fryers and pizza ovens.
6. A food thermometer
If like me, you have been a little weary of cooking raw meat in an air fryer as you get used to how an air fryer works and how long certain foods need to be heated to be safe, then a food thermometer is a perfect accessory. I find myself using it to make sure I am not overcooking my food in my air fryer, rather than undercooking, with its rapid heating capabilities.
Many are also magnetic, meaning they can be stuck somewhere in your kitchen within easy reach to use around your kitchen, no matter the cooking method
7. Pre-cut liners
The final air fryer accessory I wouldn’t be without is pre-cut liners like these from Walmart (opens in new tab). While some foods like fries are fine to be cooked on the air fryer tray, messier items like dehydrating fruit in an air fryer, or foods with a light glaze can make a mess of the wire tray and basket.
Although you can use foil in some air fryers, using precut liners is an excellent, low-effort luxury that makes these quick cooking machines even quicker to operate.
You can also find them in a range of sizes, and in reusable options too, to fit any air fryer. I have the Ninja Foodi DZ401 2-Basket Air Fryer H&G reviewed recently, and had no issues finding liners for the two, oblong baskets.
Why is everyone getting an air fryer?
Air fryers have boomed in popularity over the last few years as an affordable home cooking option. These handy appliances cost significantly less to run than a traditional oven and often cook food more quickly too, making them fitting for busy homes. What's more, air fryers traditionally use less oil and fat than conventional means of cooking, making food a little healthier and less wasteful.
Chiana is a junior writer for Homes & Gardens having joined Future plc as a new graduate in 2022 after achieving a 1st class degree in Literature at university. She first became interested in design as a child after spending her summers helping her parents redecorate her childhood home. As a long-time reader of Future’s homes titles, Chiana is constantly finding new inspiration at work as she focuses on emerging trends, how-to’s, and news pieces.
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