Air fryer golden brown food - Family Guide Central
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Can An Air Fryer Turn Food Golden Brown? (Ways To Brown It)

You’re probably wondering if you should replace that deep fryer with a brand new air fryer. But I know you have a lot of questions. What’s all the hype about?

They call it the deep-fryer killer. One particular question you might be asking yourself is if an air fryer can produce a golden brown exterior in your food.

An air fryer can certainly make your food golden brown and can also help to deliver a satisfying crunch that is going to replace deep frying in your everyday cooking routine. The air fryer uses convection cooking to crisp up food and help to make it golden brown and with the right cooking method, you can get golden brown food with nothing more than your air fryer.

Steps on how to get crispy, golden air fryer food

To get the crispiest and most golden food with your air fryer you should first preheat your air fryer. This is much like preheating your oven. 

Preheating your air fryer helps you to get your food out faster and does help to make sure that your food does not burn or get dried out while you wait for it to brown. 

You do need to use some oil, not a ton, to get that golden brown color that we all love on our fried food. Try adding just a touch of spray oil to help give the food some added fat that can then crisp up and brown. 

You can also open up your air fryer and flip or rotate the food halfway through cooking to allow for even browning.

What should you do if you want even more browning from your air fryer?

If you want your food to be very brown or you want intense browning, some oil is necessary. Though your food will brown a bit on its own with the natural oils that are in the food, you do need to add some extra oil to help with browning if you want your food browner. 

Try adding spray oil like olive oil or canola oil as they have high burn temperatures and will not burn in your air fryer and ruin your food.

Cook food for a longer period of time

Another method for getting your food browner is to cook it for a bit longer. With cooking it longer you do need to take into account that the longer you cook your food, the more likely it is to burn and it can dry your food out. 

If you are cooking your food longer to get them browner, you should pay attention to the food and make sure you are watching it closely to make sure that it does not burn.

Add a spray of oil

Spray oil is another great method for getting browner food. When using spray oil, you do want to make sure that the oil has a high burning point so that your oil does not burn and so that it helps to brown your food without burning. 

Spray oils like olive oil and canola oil both have high burn temperatures and can help you to brown your food without burning it.

Cut your food into smaller pieces

Cutting food into smaller pieces is also a great way to help brown your food faster and get it crispier. With smaller foods, the air can circulate around the food easier and is going to crisp up your food faster than it might if you were dealing with larger pieces. 

You can also think of this much like food in an actual fryer, food that is smaller cooks faster and browns faster than food that is larger and has a larger surface area to deal with.

Can air-fried food get crispier than deep-frying?

Since air fryers do not use tons of oil to cook, you can get food crispier and food that stays crispy longer with an air fryer than you can with normal frying. 

One of the issues with deep frying is that excess oil tends to stay in the breading and does tend to stay on the surface of food which can break down the crispy exterior and make it soggy if you are not eating it immediately. 

Air fryer food does not have excess oil so it is going to stay crispier longer and you can also get food that is crisper from the start as well.

Mistakes to avoid when making crispier food using an air fryer

There are some issues that come into play with trying to get crispy food in your air fryer. Things like overfilling your basket, not setting the temp correctly, and not using the right oils can all lead to food that is less than perfectly crispy.

Overfilling the basket

The first and biggest issue is overfilling of the basket. An air fryer is essentially a small convection oven with a fan to circulate the air. You want to lay food out in an even layer on the bottom of the fryer and then make sure that they are not touching. 

This is going to help make sure that the air is able to circulate evenly and that all surfaces of the food are getting even heat for a crispy exterior.

Incorrect temperature settings

Another problem is the temperature setting. Just like food in a normal oven has different temperature settings, the food in your air fryer does as well. Some food packaging will also come with an air fryer setting suggestion. 

You should adjust your temp based on things like if the food is frozen, how long it is going to need to cook, etc.

Oil is not used correctly

Oils are important for crispy food. Though you do not need a ton, you should spray a light layer of oil on the food to help it crisp up and help it turn golden but you do not want to oversaturate the food.


Overcooking can also lead to burned food. Longer is not necessarily going to lead to browner food, it may lead to burnt food. Pay attention to the time that you are leaving your food in the fryer, move it around halfway through cooking, and make sure you are paying attention to both time and temperature settings.

Does a dirty air fryer affect how well it browns food?

A dirty air fryer is not going to work as well and may lead to burning with food. Excess oil from other cooking can lead to your food getting brown faster than you want and can also lead to burnt food, strange tastes, and strange smells while cooking.

In order to avoid this situation, make sure you clean your air fryer each and every time after use. This will lessen the chances of oil being built up inside and hardening.

Recooking residue oil isn’t good for you either. There can be potential risks for mold and bacteria to grow in uncleaned air fryers. Yes, it’s likely that if you cook your food in a dirty air fryer, it’ll practically kill everything inside, but I doubt anyone wants to eat chunks of dead bacteria or mold.

What are the best 3 oils to use that will make air-fried food extra crispy?

The best oils for air-frying food if you want them crispy are olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. These sprayed lightly on your food when you put them in the air fryer can help amp up the crispiness and the overall brownness of your food as well.

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