Air fryers have grown in popularity in recent years as a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. It’s no surprise that people use them to cook a wide variety of dishes because of their ability to crisp up food without the use of excessive amounts of oil. However, not all foods are suitable for air fryers. In this article, we’ll look at ten things you shouldn’t cook in an air fryer to avoid potential disasters and keep your air fryer in good working order. We’ll cover everything from delicate foods that can easily burn to those that simply won’t cook evenly. So, if you’re an air fryer fan, keep reading to find out what foods you should avoid cooking with this handy appliance.
Table of Contents
- Green Vegetable
- Wet Batter
- Baked Goods
You also need to know: Things you shouldn’t do in an air fryer.
- Is Air Frying Healthy? Debunking Myths and Facts
- Can You put Aluminium Foil in an Air Fryer?
- The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Air Fryer
- Parchment Paper in Air Fryer – Tips, Tricks, and Safety Guidelines
- Preheating Your Air Fryer
- Maximizing Energy Efficiency: Tips to Reduce Electricity Consumption with Your Air Fryer
- Can you put plastic in the air fryer?
- Can You Use Wax Paper in an Air Fryer?
- Does air fryer use a lot of electricity?
- Can you use vegetable oil in an air fryer?
- How to add oil to an air fryer?
1. Green Vegetable
The Green Vegetable Problem in Air Fryers
Air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around it, producing a crisp texture similar to that of deep-frying but without the added oil. However, air fryers may not be the best option for cooking green vegetables. In this section, we’ll look at why cooking green vegetables in air fryers can be bad for our health.
What Is the Maillard Reaction and Why Is It Important?
The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that happens in food when amino acids and reducing sugars are heated. This reaction is responsible for the characteristic golden-brown color and flavor of cooked foods. While the Maillard reaction is desirable when cooking meats or baked goods, it can be detrimental to green vegetables. 
Green vegetables contain a lot of water, which is necessary for their nutritional value to be maintained. When exposed to high heat, however, the water in green vegetables evaporates quickly, causing them to dry out and lose their color and texture. This is due to the Maillard reaction, which can cause sugars in vegetables to caramelize and amino acids to degrade into harmful compounds.
Moisture’s Role in Green Vegetable Cooking
As previously stated, moisture is essential when cooking green vegetables. When cooking green vegetables, we want to keep as much of their moisture as possible because this helps to preserve their nutritional value and vibrant color. Green vegetables, on the other hand, can quickly lose moisture in air fryers, causing them to dry out and become tough and chewy.
Acrylamide Formation Risks When Cooking Green Vegetables in Air Fryer
Acrylamide is a chemical compound that is formed when certain sugars and amino acids are heated to high temperatures, as in the Maillard reaction. This substance has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and other health issues.
Unfortunately, cooking green vegetables in air fryers can result in the formation of acrylamide due to the high heat and lack of moisture, which can cause the sugars and amino acids in the vegetables to react and form this harmful compound.
The Nutritional Value of Green Vegetables After Air Frying
Green vegetables are high in nutrients that are necessary for good health. Cooking them in an air fryer, on the other hand, can cause them to lose some of their nutritional value. This is due to the fact that high temperatures and a lack of moisture can cause vegetables to lose some of their vitamins and minerals, as well as their vibrant color and fresh flavor.
Alternative Green Vegetable Cooking Methods
While air fryers aren’t the best option for cooking green vegetables, there are plenty of other healthy cooking options.
Here are some alternatives to air frying to consider:
Green Vegetable Cooking Methods That Are Healthy
Green vegetables can be cooked without losing their nutritional value by steaming. This method entails steaming the vegetables in a steamer basket over boiling water until they are tender.
Another healthy cooking method for green vegetables is boiling. Simply cook the vegetables in a pot of boiling water until they are tender.
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of green vegetables. This method involves roasting the vegetables on a baking sheet in the oven until they are tender and slightly caramelized.
Green Vegetable Cooking Techniques Without the use of an air fryer
- To keep the vegetables from sticking, use a nonstick pan or cooking spray.
- Cooking vegetables for too long can cause them to lose their nutritional value.
- To add flavor without adding calories, season the vegetables with herbs and spices.
- To help the vegetables retain moisture and flavor, add a small amount of healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado oil.
- Overcrowding the pan or pot will cause the vegetables to steam instead of cook, resulting in a mushy texture.
- To ensure even cooking, cut the vegetables into uniform sizes.
Why Air Frying Cheese Is a Bad Idea
What Happens When You Fry Cheese in the Air?
Air frying has grown in popularity as a quick and healthy way to cook. Certain foods, such as cheese, do not fare well in air fryers. This section explains the science of air frying and how it affects cheese.
The impact of high temperatures on cheese
Cheese is a high-temperature-sensitive dairy product. When cheese is heated, it begins to melt and release oils. This can cause the cheese to stick to the basket or grate of the air fryer, making cleanup difficult. Also, cheese can burn quickly in an air fryer, which can make compounds that can cause cancer.
The risks of air frying cheese, such as oil splatters and smoke
Air frying cheese can also be hazardous to your health and safety. Cheese has a high-fat content, which can splatter and cause oil burns. Furthermore, the high temperature can cause the cheese to smoke and emit toxic fumes.
The effects of air frying on the nutritional value of cheese
Cheese is high in calcium and protein, but air frying can reduce its nutritional value. High temperatures can destroy some of the vitamins and minerals in cheese, making it less nutrient-rich.
Popular cheese snacks that people air fry include mozzarella sticks and cheese curds.
Air frying cheese is a popular method for making snacks like mozzarella sticks, cheese curds, and fried cheese bites. These snacks, however, are frequently high in calories, fat, and sodium, making them an unhealthy choice.
The Risks of Air Frying Cheese
Air frying cheese can be hazardous to your health as well as your air fryer. This section investigates the dangers of air-frying cheese.
The risk of burning the cheese and creating carcinogenic compounds
Cheese, especially if coated with breadcrumbs or flour, can burn quickly in an air fryer. When cheese burns, it emits acrylamide, a carcinogenic compound linked to cancer.
The risk of melted cheese damaging the air fryer
In an air fryer, cheese can melt quickly, and the melted cheese can stick to the basket or grate. This can damage the air fryer and make cleaning difficult.
The possibility of causing a fire hazard as a result of oil splatters
Cheese is high in fat, which can splatter and ignite oil fires in the air fryer. This can be hazardous, resulting in injuries or property damage.
The possibility of producing an unpleasant odor and smoke in your home
When cheese is air-fried, it emits a lot of smoke and emits strong odors. This can be unpleasant and inconvenient in your home.
Other Ways to Enjoy Cheese
Although air-frying cheese may sound appealing, there are healthier alternatives. Here are some other ways to eat cheese:
Suggestions for Healthier Cheese Consumption
Use cheese as a topping rather than the main ingredient in a dish to make it healthier. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese on top of a salad or baked potato, for example. This will give you the flavor you want without filling you up with calories and fat.
Another way to limit your cheese consumption is to choose low-fat or reduced-fat varieties. These cheeses can taste just as good as full-fat cheese but have fewer calories and fat.
How to Cook Cheese in a Healthier Way
If you must cook with cheese, there are healthier alternatives to air frying. For example, you can melt cheese on a sandwich or wrap using a low-heat pan. This method produces the same gooey, melty texture as air frying, but without the added oil or risk of burning.
You could also grill cheese instead of air frying it. Because it holds its shape and develops a crispy exterior when grilled, halloumi cheese is an excellent choice for grilling. Slice the cheese into thick slices, brush with olive oil, and grill until golden brown on both sides.
Suggestions for Healthy Snacks with Cheese
Make a cheese and fruit platter if you’re looking for healthy snack ideas that include cheese. Pair some fresh fruit, such as grapes, strawberries, and apples, with small cubes of cheese. This is an excellent way to satisfy your sweet and savory cravings while also consuming fiber and nutrients from the fruit.
You can also make your own cheese crackers with whole-grain flour and low-fat cheese. This way, you can keep the ingredients under control while avoiding the excess salt and preservatives found in store-bought crackers.
3. Wet Batter
When cooking wet batter in an air fryer, it can cause sticking and uneven cooking. Because the wet batter is thicker and heavier than dry coatings, hot air can be difficult to circulate around the food. As a result, food may be undercooked or unevenly cooked. Furthermore, due to the moisture in the batter, it may stick to the air fryer basket or tray.
Cooking wet batter in an air fryer is also risky. Oil splatters are common, causing burns and making a mess in your kitchen. The smoke produced by the batter can also be a problem, especially if you have a small kitchen or poor ventilation. The wet batter can even come into contact with the heating element in some cases, posing an electrical hazard.
Popular foods to try cooking in an air fryer with wet batter include fried chicken, onion rings, and tempura shrimp. These foods, however, are not well-suited to air frying and may not turn out as expected.
Another factor to consider is how air frying affects the nutritional value of foods made with wet batter. While air frying is generally thought to be a healthier alternative to deep frying, the nutritional value of the food can be influenced by the ingredients in the batter as well as the cooking time.
The Dangers of Air Frying Wet Batter
There are several dangers to cooking wet batter in an air fryer:
- The possibility of making a mess and damaging the air fryer as a result of batter sticking and burning
- The wet batter is more likely than dry coatings to stick to the air fryer basket or tray, making cleanup more difficult. Furthermore, if the batter burns, it can make a mess and possibly damage the air fryer.
- The possibility of producing an unpleasant odor and smoke in your home
- Because of the moisture in the batter, it can produce smoke, which can create an unpleasant odor in your kitchen. This can be especially difficult if you have a small kitchen or poor ventilation.
- There is a risk of electric shock or fire if wet batter comes into contact with the heating element.
- A wet batter can cause an electrical hazard or even start a fire if it comes into contact with the heating element. This is potentially dangerous.
Undercooked or unevenly cooked wet batter foods pose a risk of foodborne illness.
When the wet batter is not properly cooked, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens. You may become ill as a result of this.
Alternative Wet Batter Cooking Methods
If you want to cook foods with wet batter, the following methods may be more suitable:
Alternative cooking methods for the wet batter, such as deep frying or baking in a conventional oven
Deep frying is a traditional method of cooking foods with wet batter because it allows the batter to cook evenly and creates a crispy texture. It can, however, be messy and unhealthy. Another option is to bake in a conventional oven, but the results may not be as crispy as deep frying or air frying.
Tips for cooking wet batter
There are a few things you can do to ensure the safe and effective cooking of wet batter foods in an air fryer. For example, it is critical to heat the oil to the proper temperature before adding the food. Monitoring the temperature with a thermometer can help ensure that the food is cooked evenly and thoroughly.
Healthier Alternative to the Wet Batter
If you’re looking for healthier alternatives to traditional wet batter foods, you have a lot of options. Baked chicken is a delicious and healthier alternative to fried chicken, and vegetable tempura provides a satisfying crunch without the excess oil and calories of traditional tempura. Experimenting with various cooking methods and ingredients can assist you in discovering a healthier way to enjoy your favorite wet batter foods.
Why Can’t Rice Be Cooked in an Air Fryer?
Because of the scientific process by which rice absorbs water, cooking rice in an air fryer is not possible. Rice is made up of two layers: the bran layer on the outside and the inner endosperm, which contains starch. When rice is cooked in water, the starch absorbs the water, softening and expanding the rice. This process cannot take place in an air fryer because the heat is insufficient to penetrate the rice grains and cause the starch to absorb water.
Rice must be boiled or steamed before the starch can absorb water properly. Rice grains are submerged in water when boiled, allowing the water to penetrate and soften the rice. Steamed rice, on the other hand, is placed in a container above boiling water, allowing the steam to penetrate and soften the rice.
Air fryers are not intended to cook rice because their temperature range is insufficient to properly cook the grain. Air fryers typically operate at temperatures ranging from 180°C (356°F) to 220°C (428°F), which is insufficient to fully cook rice. Furthermore, air fryers have limited cooking space and may not hold enough water to cook rice.
People may experiment with cooking rice dishes in an air fryer, such as fried rice or rice cakes. These dishes, however, require cooked rice as an ingredient, which means the rice must be cooked in a different manner before being used in the air fryer. Cooking uncooked rice in an air fryer will result in uncooked, hard rice that is unfit for consumption.
The Dangers of Cooking Rice in an Air Fryer
Cooking rice in an air fryer can be dangerous due to the risk of damaging the machine or making a mess. Air fryers are not designed to cook rice, and doing so may cause the rice to stick to the air fryer basket, making cleanup difficult. Also, if the rice isn’t cooked right, the air fryer could stop working or damage the heating element.
It is important to follow the directions from the manufacturer and not use an air fryer for something other than what it was made for. Using an air fryer for something it was not designed for can lead to dangerous accidents or malfunctions.
Air fryers can be used to supplement other methods of cooking, such as crisping up leftover rice or adding texture to rice dishes. However, it is critical to use air fryers safely and responsibly.
Rice Cooking Methods Alternatives
Rice can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling or steaming. The best rice cooking method is determined by the type of rice used. Short-grain rice, for example, is typically boiled, whereas long-grain rice is frequently steamed.
Measuring precisely and rinsing the rice before cooking are important tips for perfectly cooked rice. A rice cooker can also help to simplify the cooking process and ensure consistent results.
Rice dishes such as risotto, paella, and sushi can all be prepared using different cooking methods. These dishes have a wide range of flavors and textures and can be tailored to individual tastes and preferences.
Why You Shouldn’t Use an Air Fryer to Cook Bacon
Many people enjoy bacon for breakfast, and air fryers have become a common appliance in many homes. It’s no surprise that people would try to combine the two in the hopes of finding a faster and healthier way to cook bacon. Cooking bacon in an air fryer, on the other hand, has its own set of issues and risks.
The Difficulties of Cooking Bacon in an Air Fryer
Air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around it, resulting in a crispy exterior while keeping inside moist. This method, however, is not suitable for bacon. Bacon produces a lot of greases, which can cause problems in the air fryer. Grease can build up in the fryer’s bottom, causing smoke, unpleasant odors, and potential fire hazards.
Furthermore, the air fryer cooking process can result in unevenly cooked and burnt bacon. Because of the high temperature and rapid air circulation, the edges may become crisp while the center remains undercooked. As a result, breakfast may be less than satisfying.
The Dangers of Air Fryer Cooking Bacon
There are several risks to cooking bacon in an air fryer. Oil splatters are a common issue when air frying, and they can cause a significant mess as well as burns. Furthermore, if the grease buildup in the bottom of the air fryer is not cleaned on a regular basis, it can become a fire hazard.
It is important to follow the directions from the manufacturer and not use an air fryer for something other than what it was made for. Cooking bacon in an air fryer can damage the appliance and void the warranty. It’s best to stick to the appliance’s intended uses and avoid cooking bacon in it entirely.
Alternative Bacon Cooking Methods
Fortunately, there are several alternative bacon cooking methods that can produce deliciously crispy results. Bacon can be cooked in a variety of ways, including frying, baking, and grilling.
Frying is the traditional way to cook bacon, and it’s still a popular method. Baking is another great option for crispy bacon without the grease splatters. For those who prefer a smoky flavor in their bacon, grilling is an excellent option.
Whatever method you use, it’s critical to use a rack or paper towels to absorb excess grease and achieve crispy bacon.
Why Should You Avoid Cooking Broccoli in an Air Fryer?
Broccoli is a nutritious and healthy vegetable that many people enjoy. Cooking broccoli in an air fryer, on the other hand, might not be the best option. In this article, we’ll look at the issues with cooking broccoli in an air fryer, as well as the risks and alternatives.
Broccoli Cooking Issues in an Air Fryer
Air fryers cook food with hot air, which can cause problems when cooking broccoli. Broccoli, unlike other foods that benefit from the high heat and quick cooking time of an air fryer, releases moisture when cooked. This moisture can cause issues in an air fryer, such as soggy broccoli.
Furthermore, the air fryer cooking process can result in overcooked and dry broccoli. The hot air can quickly dry out the broccoli, which makes it less tasty and less healthy. Also, cooking broccoli in an air fryer can give it a stronger smell and less flavor than other methods.
The Dangers of Air Frying Broccoli
Cooking broccoli in an air fryer has its own set of risks. Oil splatters are one of the hazards, which can result in burns and a cluttered kitchen. Another danger is smoke, which can be harmful to one’s health and set off smoke detectors.
Air fryers’ high temperatures can also cause the release of harmful compounds in broccoli. When cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are cooked at high temperatures, they can make acrylamide and other chemicals that are bad for you. These compounds have the potential to cause cancer and other health problems.
When using an air fryer, it is critical to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not use it for unintended purposes. Air fryers, for example, are not intended to cook foods that release a lot of moisture or oil, such as broccoli.
Broccoli Cooking Methods Alternatives
There are many healthier and more flavorful cooking methods for broccoli than air frying. Steaming is one method for preserving the nutrients and natural flavor of broccoli. Another great option is roasting, which brings out the sweetness of the broccoli while giving it a crispy exterior.
Stir-frying broccoli is another tasty and healthy option. It cooks quickly while maintaining its bright green color and crisp texture. It is critical not to overcook broccoli and to season it properly with spices, herbs, or sauces.
The Difficulties of Cooking Burgers in an Air Fryer
To cook food, air fryers circulate hot air around it. Burgers, on the other hand, are unsuitable for this method of cooking because they release fat during the cooking process. Hot air in the fryer can cause fat to splatter, resulting in smoke and potential hazards. Also, the cooking process can make burgers dry and rubbery because they don’t keep their moisture. The flavor and texture of the burger may suffer as well because air fryers cannot replicate the char and crust that come with grilling or pan-frying.
The Dangers of Air Fryer Burger Cooking
Cooking burgers in an air fryer can be dangerous. The fryer’s high temperature can cause oil splatters, which can be dangerous and result in burns. If the burger is not properly cooked, there is also a risk of smoke and electrical hazards. Also, the air fryer’s high temperature can cause harmful chemicals to form in the meat, like acrylamide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. (PAHs). To avoid foodborne illness, use a meat thermometer to ensure the burger is cooked to a safe temperature of at least 160°F (71°C).
Alternative Burger Cooking Methods
There are a variety of cooking methods that can produce juicy and flavorful burgers. Grilling is a popular option because it produces the char and smoky flavor that air fryers cannot. Broiling and pan-frying are also good ways to cook burgers because they keep the fat in and cook the burger evenly. When making burgers, it is critical to use high-quality ingredients and season them properly. Adding toppings like cheese, bacon, or avocado can also help to improve the flavor of the burger.
The Most Important Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Cook Toast in an Air Fryer
Are you thinking about making toast in an air fryer? You should think twice before doing so. While air fryers are a useful kitchen tool, they are not ideal for making toast. Here are the main reasons:
The Difficulties of Cooking Toast in an Air Fryer
To understand why air fryers aren’t ideal for toasting, you must first understand how they work. Air fryers, like convection ovens, use hot air circulation to cook food. Toast, on the other hand, requires direct heat from an element to achieve the desired texture and flavor.
The hot air circulation in an air fryer can cause uneven toasting and dryness, resulting in a lack of crispiness and the signature crunch that toast is known for. Also, air fryers aren’t made to accommodate different sizes and shapes of bread, which can lead to uneven toasting and bread that is too dry.
The Dangers of Using an Air Fryer to Cook Toast
There are also risks associated with making toast in an air fryer. Air fryers’ high temperatures can cause bread to burn quickly, resulting in smoke and even fire hazards. Also, the high temperature can cause chemicals, like acrylamide, that could cause cancer to escape from the bread.
When using an air fryer, it is critical to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not use it for unintended purposes, such as toasting.
Alternative Toast Cooking Methods
If you don’t want to use an air fryer to make toast, there are a few alternatives to consider. One of the most common is to use a toaster or toaster oven. These toasting machines are made just for toasting bread and can make it taste and feel just right.
If you don’t have a toaster or toaster oven, you can also use your oven’s broiler function. This method requires you to place the bread on a baking sheet and place it in the oven under the broiler element. It may require some trial and error to find the right cooking time and temperature for your preferences.
Ultimately, achieving perfectly toasted bread comes down to using the right bread type and thickness, and adjusting the cooking time and temperature based on personal preference. Whether you choose to use a toaster, toaster oven, or oven broiler, you can achieve delicious and evenly toasted bread without the risks associated with using an air fryer.
FAQs about Toast in Air Fryer
Can I use an air fryer to reheat toast?
You can use an air fryer to reheat toast, but it’s not recommended for making toast from scratch.
Can I use an air fryer to toast bagels?
While you can use an air fryer to toast bagels, it’s not recommended due to the potential for uneven toasting and dryness.
Can I use an air fryer to make garlic bread?
While you can use an air fryer to make garlic bread, it’s not the best option for achieving the perfect texture and flavor. It’s recommended to use a toaster or oven broiler instead.
Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, resulting in a crispy exterior while keeping the interior moist. This method, however, is not suitable for pasta. Pasta requires boiling water to cook properly, and it will not cook evenly if there is insufficient water. Air fryers don’t have enough water to cook pasta properly, so it turns out sticky or undercooked.
Furthermore, to achieve the desired texture, pasta must be boiled at a specific temperature and for a specific amount of time. Air fryers lack the temperature and timing control required for proper pasta cooking.
Cooking pasta in an air fryer can lead to a bland meal. Because of the lack of water and boiling, the pasta becomes dry, hard, and chewy. The texture of air-fried pasta differs from that of traditional cooked pasta, with a denser and less tender mouthfeel.
Air-fried pasta lacks the flavor infusion that comes from cooking pasta in a well-seasoned pot of water. Air fryers are also incapable of incorporating ingredients such as herbs and spices into the pasta during the cooking process.
Reasons for Safety and Health
There are some health risks to using an air fryer to cook pasta. The high temperatures needed for air frying can cause harmful chemicals, like PFOA and PFAS, to be released from nonstick coatings. These chemicals have been linked to health issues such as cancer and hormonal imbalances.
Furthermore, air-fried pasta may have a lower nutritional value than traditionally cooked pasta. Water-soluble nutrients, such as B vitamins and minerals, can be lost due to a lack of water.
Alternatives to Air Fryer Pasta Cooking
Fortunately, there are other methods of cooking pasta that is better suited to it. Traditional methods of cooking pasta, such as boiling, baking, and sautéing, are all excellent choices. Temperature, timing, and the addition of flavorful ingredients can all be controlled using these methods.
If you want to adapt a recipe to include an air fryer-unfriendly ingredient, such as bread crumbs, use a traditional cooking method for that ingredient while using the air fryer for the rest of the dish.
10. Baked Goods
Air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around it, resulting in a crispy exterior. However, because of the lack of moisture and precise temperature control, they may be unsuitable for baking. Baked goods need a certain temperature range and a controlled amount of moisture to get the right texture and rise. Air fryers might not be able to keep the heat and moisture levels steady enough for baking. Furthermore, because air fryers are smaller than ovens, the size and quantity of baked goods that can be cooked are limited.
The Pitfalls of Air-Frying Baked Goods: Understanding the Effects on Texture, Taste, and Appearance
The lack of moisture and precise temperature control of air fryers can change the way baked goods feel, taste, and look. Without enough moisture, baked goods can become dry and tough. Also, air fryers may not be able to get the same level of browning and crust formation as regular ovens. As a result, baked goods may appear and taste differently than expected. Air-fried baked goods may not have the same level of rise or texture as traditional baked goods.
Is Air-Frying Baked Goods Safe? Understanding the Health and Safety Risks
Air-frying baked goods may also be hazardous to one’s health and safety. Many air fryers have nonstick coatings that, when heated, can release harmful chemicals. Furthermore, the high temperatures used in air frying can cause toxic chemicals, such as acrylamide, to be released from the food. Because high temperatures cause some nutrients to break down, air frying can have an impact on the nutritional value of baked goods. Baking in an oven or using a convection oven is generally a safer and more nutritious option.
Air Frying Baked Goods Alternatives
If you want to bake your favorite treats, other cooking methods may be more suitable than air frying. When you bake in an oven, you can control the temperature and add water as needed. A convection oven, which uses a fan to circulate hot air around the food, can provide similar benefits. Toaster ovens, which are similar to conventional ovens but on a smaller scale, are another option. When changing recipes for different ways to cook, cooking times and temperatures should be changed as needed.