I know what you’re probably thinking. Why would you ever want to “season” your air fryer? Are you planning to eat it?
Well, no. You’re not having the air fryer for dinner. Seasoning in terms of equipment like pots, pans, and including air frying refers to sealing your cookware with a layer of oil so that the food that goes on top won’t stick to the surface.
But the question is, should you season an air fryer basket?
An air fryer is a fantastic tool that makes your life so much simpler, but food can stick to the basket of your fryer if you do not properly season it before use. Seasoning your air fryer basket is an easy process that can make cooking more even and can help to get rid of sticking issues.
Why do you need to season your air fryer basket?
There are a few good reasons for seasoning your air fryer basket. The first is that it helps to reduce sticking of food to your basket by creating a non-stick coating on the surface. This means you are going to be able to use less oil and your food is still going to come right out of the basket when it is done.
We’ve always recommended to our readers to season your basket the day you take it out of the box brand new. Think of seasoning as a way to add extra protection to your air fryer components, even though some of these components like the basket already have a non-stick coating on it.
Also, you can always re-season your air fryer basket if you feel like the current coating is coming off. Think of seasoning as a way to make your air fryer basket non-stick again.
Altogether, the non-stick coating is going to reduce the instances of food sticking in your basket, making your life a little bit easier when you’re cleaning it.
Are there any potential health risks if I don’t season my air fryer?
Not seasoning your air fryer is not going create any relavent health risk, it is however going to run you the risk of food sticking and of the non-stick coating becoming damaged over time. We all want to keep our electronic equipment running properly for as long as we possibly can. So not seasoning your basket can potentially cost you money in the long run.
If the non-stick coating flakes or peels, that can be a health issue that may require you to replace the basket or even get a whole new machine.
How to season your air fryer basket
There are a few easy steps that you can use to season your air fryer and make sure that your food is going to come out crispy and delicious.
The first step is to wash the basket.
You then want to put the basket back in the air fryer and heat your machine to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes. This is going to heat the pan and allow the oil to season properly when applied.
After three minutes remove the basket and a thin layer of coconut oil over the hot basket. Be careful not to burn yourself.
Replace the basket and allow it to heat for the remaining two minutes.
Do I need to preheat a seasoned air fryer?
With a basket that has been seasoned you are not going to have to use as much oil, true, but preheating may still be needed if you want to quickly cook your food on time.
So to answer this question, no. You don’t necessarily need to preheat your air fryer and having a seasoned basket won’t make any difference in the matter.
Preheating is a process that is used to help make cooking time less and help cook your food more evenly. Preheating does not generally affect food sticking to the basket.
Other ways you can prevent food from sticking to my air fryer?
There are other ways to prevent food from sticking to your basket and knowing what they are can help you determine what is going to work best for you.
Aluminum foil can be used in an air fryer, but it may affect the ability of the air fryer to cook evenly. An air fryer works with convection and air circulating through the holes at the bottom of the slotted basket.
By covering the holes of the basket with foil, you may affect the ability of your air fryer to cook evenly and quickly.
Parchment paper can also be used. This is an ok alternative to aluminum foil as it is more porous and will allow more air to circulate. You do need to replace the parchment paper after every use, to prevent burning and to ensure that it is not going to negatively impact the cooking process.
Spray oils are the best option to get crispy food and to prevent issues with sticking in your air fryer. Olive oil has a very high burning point at 374 to 400 degrees meaning that it is going to be able to withstand the high temperatures of your air fryer.
Canola oil has an even higher burning point at 375 to 450, and vegetable oil is even higher being able to withstand 400 to 450 degrees before it smokes. These are all great spray oil options for your air fryer.
Preparing your air fryer for the first use
If you are planning on seasoning your air fryer basket you should do it before you ever use it. Wash the basket, heat it cleaning method and apply a thin layer of oil to help get it ready for use.
I already used my basket and did not season it. Is it too late?
It is not a huge issue if you have already used your air fryer before seasoning it. You simply need to follow the steps that are listed for seasoning and keep track of the seasoning from that point on.
What are the easiest ways to clean an air fryer basket?
If your air fryer basket is dishwasher safe, the easiest way to clean it is going to be throwing it in the dishwasher and allowing it to do the work. You can also hand-wash the basket in the sink for easy cleaning.
If you are not washing it after each use, you can simply wipe it out after each use.
Do I need to add grease to my air fryer basket?
You do not need to add grease per se to your air fryer basket, but a light layer of oil will help season the basket and will help make it easier to use and keep food from sticking.
Should I wash my air fryer after I’ve seasoned it?
The answer is no. You don’t have to wash your air fryer after seasoning. Oil doesn’t grow mold or rot.
If you want to clean your air fryer basket, make sure you use warm water and gently wash it. The point is to keep that layer on the surface of the basket thick enough so that it can protect the basket’s surface and prevent food from sticking to it.
How do you clean a sticky air fryer basket?
If you find that the oil has become sticky on your air fryer, the best method for cleaning is going to be to soak it in hot water with a mild detergent. You can then use a non-abrasive sponge and non-abrasive cleaner to help gently remove the layer of sticky residue.
You may need to re-season the basket after this cleaning.
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