This article is part of our series Air Fryer Basics.
I don’t think I have to explain the feeling of frustration when your food decides it would rather stick inside the air fryer than come out cleanly onto your plate. All of that perfect coating now has to get cleaned off and likely thrown out! It’s definitely discouraging, and while these situations do happen every now and then, they can be avoided with a little prep work! We’ll tell you how!
TIP 1: PREHEAT THE AIR FRYER
While there is much debate on whether you need to preheat your air fryer or not, if your food is sticking, give this a try! Why does it work? Much like cooking on the stove, getting your pan nice and hot before adding a little oil and the food will allow the food to sear; building an exterior crust that helps keep it from sticking.
TIP 2: OIL SPRAY
Spraying the tray or basket with oil will also help keep food from sticking. Even better, preheat the air fryer with the tray/basket inside! Then spray the tray/basket and add your food.
TIP 3: ALUMINUM FOIL
Lining the tray/basket with nonstick foil can also be a great way to keep your food from sticking. Not to mention keeping cleanup a breeze. It’s worth mentioning though that depending on what you’re making, the blocked airflow may alter the results of your finished recipe.
TIP 4: PARCHMENT PAPER
We’re big fans of parchment paper, especially perforated parchment! They come in round sheets with a bunch of holes to allow the airflow while also keeping direct contact with the air fryer to a minimum.
TIP 5: DRY YOUR FOOD
This one is a bit sciencey, placing wet food, or even frozen food with ice crystals can cause the food to bond with the tray/basket as it cooks. The best thing to do if you notice this is to thaw frozen food and pat it dry. Then season and add it to the air fryer. As stated above, preheating and oiling will also help with this issue, and combining all three steps is never a bad idea.