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6 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Air Fryer

So you bought an air fryer. You’ve made a few recipes, but things aren’t working as well as you anticipated. Now you’re frustrated and about to put that appliance in storage, never to be seen again.

Here are 6 mistakes you can fix to get the best experience out of your air fryer. And trust me, you’re going to love this appliance!

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Air fryers are famous for making fried foods healthier. People assume absolutely no oil is needed and end up with dried out food.

An air fryer works similar to that of a convection oven and moves the air around the food instead of the heat just being from the bottom of the oven.

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With all that air movement, the food starts to lose moisture, which takes away the delicious flavors you love in fried food.

You only need 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of oil each time you use your air fryer to help bring that flavor and moisture back.

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Various oil containers in front of an air fryer.

Since sprays, like PAM, can ruin your air fryer over time, I recommend using a mister like this EVO Oil Sprayer Bottle. You just simply put your own oil in the sprayer and you’re good to go. It’s even cheaper in the long run.

Here is an ultimate guide on how to use oil in an air fryer that explains what foods you should be using oil on and what foods should NEVER have oil on them (hint hint: air fried pork chops).

You may ask what makes an air fryer better than using an oven and the answer is simple. Crispiness.

An air fryer recreates the texture and crispiness you get when you fry food rather than softer texture you get when baking.

They can also make delicious food in half the amount of time without heating up the house, just like these Air Fryer Carrots in just 20 minutes.

They would normally take 40 minutes in the oven not including preheating time!


Nothing is worse than spending $20 on takeout pizza to have soggy soft reheated pizza the next day. Air fryers are great at keeping crispy foods, well… crispy when reheating them.

Turn your air fryer to 350-400 degrees F for just 3-4 minutes and your reheated leftovers will taste just as crispy as the night before. Just think – crispy, hot, and fresh reheated pizza in an air fryer (or any other food you want!).

Tater Tots in air fryer basket from overhead view.

I have reheated tater tots, french fries, pizza, vegetables, fried chicken, and more in an air fryer with big success. You can even reheat steak in your air fryer!

See how to reheat pizza in an air fryer or reheat chicken in the air fryer here. You can even reheat chicken wings in the air fryer when they’re already sauced!

I find that thinner foods work well at 400 degrees for less time while thicker foods like these Cheeseburger Slider Pockets are best at 350 degrees for a little longer.

Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love:

Title: Stop Making These Air Fryer Mistakes; Shown: Air Fryer on a countertop


Did you know you could roast vegetables or even bake Air Fried Oreos in an air fryer? Heck, you can even cook bacon in an air fryer and it’s amazing!

Air Fryer Bacon on a white plate

Just like baking in an oven, there are some incredible air fryer cookbooks out there to help you make some delicious dishes.

Some cookbooks even include up to 550 recipes. That’s a lot of use out of our air fryer!

Here is a great list of the Best 7 Air Fryer Cookbooks out on the market for everyone. They even include vegetarian and vegan recipes!

Love our recipes? (we do too). Check out our cookbook here for some delicious air fryer recipes.


This is one mistake I was guilty of when I first bought my air fryer. I filled it up with homemade french fries expecting them to cook evenly and thoroughly.

I ended up with half burnt, half uncooked fries and disappointed in the results.

After reading through the manual and researching online, I found out you should never fill your air fryer more than halfway.

Cosori Air Fryer with drawer halfway open and a small pie plate with totchos inside.

In fact, you should never even get close to halfway. This will destruct the air flow causing some fries to not get as much heat.

If you have a smaller air fryer, cook in batches. This means cooking a little at a time.

Everything will cook evenly and you will get the crispiness you are expecting.

If you plan to cook for a big family, eye on the side of a larger one. You will be able to cook more per batch.

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Recipes are not flawless. Each oven, stove, air fryer, even toaster are different. Just because a recipe says cook 15 minutes, doesn’t mean leave it in there for 15 minutes without checking on it. The same goes, especially for an air fryer.

Air fryers are actually designed so you can open them, check on your food, and shake the basket to move the food around without losing heat. You should shake the basket at least once while cooking.

This allows the food to get evenly cooked and allows you to ensure it is cooking at the right speed to avoid getting burnt.

If you notice your food is cooking faster than expected, lower the temperature a little bit to help it cook thoroughly. If the opposite happens and it’s cooking much slower, turn the temperature up.



If you are a This Is Us fan, you will understand this one. Just like a Crock-Pot, never leave an air fryer plugged in. It is always wise to unplug an air fryer in case you accidentally leave it on.

Some don’t make noise when opened, so it is easy to forget you didn’t turn it off. Air fryers, like any other appliance, take up electricity when plugged in anyway.

Different air fryers also have different wattage, which cooks food at different rates. 15 minutes in one air fryer can mean 10 minutes in another and 20 minutes in the next.


It is also important where you place your air fryer. I recommend placing a piece of heatproof tile or a heatproof cutting board under the air fryer to avoid any unneeded heat on your counter.

Certain counter materials can actually break when too much heat is applied to it.

This Countertop Sliding Tray works great for keeping your air fryer off the counter and moves easily away from the wall when in use.

Also, place your air fryer as far from the wall and outlet as possible. I set mine about 12 inches from the wall. Even though the machine is small, it still heats up to 400 degrees.

The machine can get hot and let off steam or excess heat. If left too close to a wall or outlet, it can melt anything close to it.

One place to never put your air fryer? ON THE STOVE!

Here’s why.

Air Fryer on Countertop

I have seen multiple horror stories where the air fryer either melts to the stove or it explodes and ruins half of the kitchen. Does this mean an air fryer could explode when used? No.

It means a stove burner was accidentally left on, turned on, or not completely cool. The heat from under the air fryer on the stove is enough to heat the air fryer in a way it’s not intended to causing it to explode.

Even if you think you will be extra careful, just please do not put it on your stove at any time.

Personal experience: There have been two local fires in my area from people using their air fryers on their stove.

I don’t care if you have ways to make it impossible for you to turn the stove on. Just don’t do it.

What mistake did you make when first using your air fryer? Let me know in the comments!

Looking for different ways to use your air fryer? Check out these recipes and cookbooks.


About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

47 thoughts on “6 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Air Fryer”

  1. When you air fry chicken wings in a toaster oven air fryer where do you put the oil. I cooked them today without oil and it took 50 minutes and they still weren’t that crispy. Thank you

    • I’ve cooked foods that take a little over an hour to cook in an air fryer at a higher temperature. I would say that amount of time is fine, but always keep an eye on the food and never leave the air fryer while it is on.

  2. Thanks for the simple explanations. I have had my airfryer for 6 months & it was still in the box because i was afraid to use it.

  3. I was literally about to put my air fryer in storage when I found this. Thanks so much for these tips. I really think this small appliance may almost replace my oven. At least for weekday cooking and reheating for just the two of us. You’ve inspired me to try new things in it. Next up…bacon!

  4. My first time, like you, Made store bought frozen fries. Followed the instruction manual that came with the air fryer! Big mistake, only did a single layer, but all came out burnt, Dummy me!,, followed the package directions next time and “boom” came out Prefect.

  5. YES!!!!!!! Thank you! Santa brought us a wonderful Air Fryer (Cuisinart) for Christmas. I mostly use it for toast and warming plates. When my full-size gas stove died a month later, the one I bought to replace it has a built in air-fryer and I plan to make full use of both of them! (the pork chops made in the oven A-F were the juciest ever.

  6. I just purchased a Ninja Kichen Air fryer on May 26th. Came home and cooked hamburgers & french fries. Burgers was great, BUT the fries were half burn & half raw. I used NO oil because book that came with it said no oil needed. But I soon learned I need a “touch of oil”. Thanks of your recipes. I have made hamburgers, brats, chicken, pork chops & a meatloaf. Hope to learn to cook lots more.

    • Hi Gloria, I took a look through all my uses of you’re and your and they are all correct unless one was accidentally skipped over. I recommend correcting your way of using the words because it sounds like you’re using them incorrectly. I do have a writing background.

    • I cover the food coming out of the air fryer as soon as it comes out of the air fryer and then throw them back in for 2-3 minutes to reheat them right before serving.

    • Yes, you can use all of my recipes labeled “air fryer” on the site in air fryer ovens. It can take just a few minutes longer to air fry, but you can cook more at the same time in them.

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