This article is part of our series Air Fryer Basics.
It seems everyone has a different opinion about this question which makes it a bit confusing! The truth is, sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesn’t. Many models preheat when you set the temperature automatically and alert you when to put your food in. Other brands, you can just add your food and go!
If your model doesn’t automatically preheat and you feel like your food isn’t coming out as crispy as you think you should try preheating it first! How? Simply set the temperature the recipe needs and let the air fryer run empty for 5 minutes.
Lastly, if you find your food is sticking to the air fryer, that’s another good indicator that you should preheat it first. That and adding a little oil to the tray will ensure your food lift off with ease! (Read More: Avoiding Sticky Situations in Your Air Fryer.)