Compiled from Reader’s Digest, here is a list of foods you must not put in the air fryer.
- Fresh greens
Leafy greens like spinach will cook unevenly because the machine uses high-speed air. It’s very easy to burn foods that don’t say put. When choosing vegetables to cook in the air fryer, opt for those that hold some weight, like broccoli and zucchini. Kale chips may also be successful if you coat the kale in enough oil to weigh the leaves down. Ultimately, experts say that frozen veggies are the way to go when it comes to air fryers because they retain more moisture from the ice. This is just one of those food facts you may not have thought about before.
Who wouldn’t love to instantly make some fried cheese to snack on? Unfortunately, because your air fryer isn’t truly frying your food, cheese placed inside without some sort of coating will just melt into a puddle and create a mess you don’t want to clean up. Unless you scavenge the freezer aisle for some frozen mozzarella sticks, there won’t be any fried cheese coming out of your air fryer. This also applies to grilled cheese, which will likely burn under intense pressure from the hot air. Stick to the stovetop for this classic comfort food.
- Raw grains
Grains such as rice and pasta can crisp nicely in an air fryer but they have to be cooked on the stovetop first. Air fryers are intended to dry cook food, so trying to cook something that needs to be immersed in water during the cooking process won’t work. Even with an insert that allows you to place water inside the air fryer, the fan will never get hot enough to boil the water and successfully cook your grains.
Air fryers aren’t really designed to grill red meat, especially if you like your burgers medium-rare. Though it takes a fairly short amount of time for an air fryer to cook the inside of meat to medium-rare, the outside of the burger won’t brown as quickly. If you like your meat red and juicy, an air fryer won’t give it the char that balances it out. But if you like your burgers very well done, it should be just fine in an air fryer.
In theory, an air fryer would toast a piece of bread fairly well with all of its evenly dispersed hot air. You may have even seen air fryer kitchen hacks that praise the gadget’s ability to toast bread, but the high air pressure will actually make the bread move around and blow crumbs all over the basket. It’s important to remember that an air fryer is not a toaster oven. It’s best to stick to toasters and toaster ovens when you want a crispy piece of toast.
Before microwaved popcorn and packaged, premade popcorn bags, people had to add kernels and oil to a pot for some homemade popcorn. An air fryer chamber may seem similar to an enclosed pot, but an air fryer typically doesn’t get hot enough to pop popcorn. An air fryer is usually between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but it takes a temperature between 400 and 460 degrees Fahrenheit to get popcorn to pop.
Originally published at tribune.com.pk