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14 Air Fryer Tips, Tricks, And Hacks That Are Seriously Smart

Make the most of this miracle appliance.

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Maybe you own an air fryer and use it all the time. Perhaps you're considering buying one or maybe you were even gifted an air fryer for the holidays. Whatever the case, here are some tips and tricks for making the most of this genius appliance.

1. There are lots of air fryers on the market. Whether you need something compact or large enough to feed a family, find the one that fits your needs.

@ninjakitchen / instagram.com

Here's a handy guide to seven popular air fryers so you can find the one that works best for you.

Read more: Here's Exactly How To Find The Air Fryer That's Right For You

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2. Your air fryer is the absolute best way to cook frozen foods like French fries, frozen veggies, dumplings, and more.

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If you can think of a frozen food, you can make it in your air fryer. Try it with pigs in a blanket, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, egg rolls, mozzarella sticks, and more. You don't even need to defrost first. Just pop it into the air fryer and prepare for a delicious meal.

3. It's also a perfect way to reheat leftovers so that they taste good as new.

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Heat your air fryer to around 350°F and you'll only have to reheat food for a minute or two. While food can often turn soggy and unappealing when reheated in the microwave, air-fried leftovers taste food as new.

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4. Turn the most basic veggies into exciting dishes that even kids and picky eaters will get excited about.

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We're not talking about boiled Brussels sprouts and soggy baked french fries here. Your air fryer can turn veggies into an indulgent-tasting dish that even picky eaters will enjoy. For starters, try making sweet potato chips, Parmesan zucchini fries, or buffalo cauliflower bites.

Read more: 17 Airfryer Recipes People Can't Stop Making

5. Need to get dinner on the table quickly? Use your air fryer to whip up an impossibly easy dinner like crispy quesadillas or twice baked potatoes in about 20 minutes.

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6. If you're craving McDonald's fries or Chick-Fil-A nuggets, try using your air fryer to replicate your favorite fast foods at home.

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7. And use your air fryer to make your favorite restaurant-quality, take-out foods without any deep frying necessary.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

This past year, I've cooked at home far more than usual, but to break out of my ordinary cooking routine, I've made lots of my favorite restaurant dishes in my air fryer. Some stand-outs have been Chinese sesame chicken, "fried" chicken wings, and bang bang shrimp, but the possibilities are endless.

Read more: I Finally Got An Air Fryer, And It's Totally Changed My Home Cooking

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8. You can even make eggs in the air fryer, from baked to hard-boiled.

@theairfryerclub / instagram.com

And air-fried eggs aren't the only surprising recipe on this list. You can even make desserts like cheesecake.

Read more: I Just Got An Air Fryer And Here's Everything I've Made With It So Far

9. Save the pan drippings and juices that accumulate in the basket of your air fryer.

Eddy Zecchinon / EyeEm / Getty Images

If you make chicken, bacon, pork chops, etc. in your air fryer, save those drippings and store them in a Tupperware container. You can use them later to make delicious sauces and gravies.

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10. And remember to use olive oil sparingly! A little oil goes a long way in an air fryer.

@mckennafusselman / instagram.com

Whereas you need lots of oil to deep fry or pan fry, air fryer food gets the crispiest when you use only a small amount of oil. A very light coating of olive oil yields the tastiest food in the air fryer.

Read more: 18 Air Fryer Tricks You Should Know About

11. You can cook food in the air fryer in an oven-safe baking dish, bowl, or ramekins.

Vegetarian Mamma / Via vegetarianmamma.com

Your air fryer basket or shelf probably isn't ideal for cooking something like mac 'n' cheese, or fried rice. The solution: just place any glass, oven-proof baking dish or bowl into your air fryer.

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12. You can basically cook your entire holiday menu in an air fryer, from the glazed ham to the sides.

Best Recipe Box / Via bestrecipebox.com, Food Lovin Family / Via foodlovinfamily.com

Save space in your oven and time in the kitchen by cooking a holiday meal in the air fryer. You can make your holiday main — think: glazed ham, turkey breast, or pork loin — along with any of your favorite sides like crispy Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and more.

Read more: 31 Air Fryer Snacks, Sides, Main Dishes, And Desserts To Make For The Holidays

13. Use your air fryer to spruce up snack time.

The Gracious Pantry / Via thegraciouspantry.com

From ranch-seasoned chickpeas and crispy cheese sticks to avocado fries, the air fryer makes it easier (and tastier) than ever to whip up satisfying, crunchy snacks with just a few ingredients.

Read more: 17 Airfryer Snacks You'll Want To Make Again And Again

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14. And think beyond savory foods! You can use your air fryer to whip up some seriously satisfying desserts.

Cook it Real Good / Via cookitrealgood.com, Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

You can make anything from doughnuts and baked apples to fruit-filled hand pies and "fried" Oreos in this handy appliance.

Read more: 24 Easy Holiday Airfryer Recipes That Pretty Much Make Themselves

Do you have any great air fryer tips, tricks, or favorite recipes? Tell us in the comments below!

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