Air fryers are all the rage in the health food industry at the moment, allowing you to achieve crispy food like deep fried options but without all the oil and calories, making air fryers the perfect tool to help with weight loss.
But what happens when you want to use your air fryer for an oven-style recipe, will it still work? Or can you only cook it in the oven for the best results?
In general, you can convert an oven to an air fryer recipe by reducing the temperature by around 20 degrees and the cooking time by 20%.
We've made a guide below to answer all your questions and show you how to convert oven to air fryers times and temperatures for a healthy quick meal.
To start our conversion guide, for the best crispy results in your air fryer, you need to ensure your using the right type and size of air fryer for you.
In terms of size, your air fryer basket must have enough room to cook the amount of food you need otherwise it can become overcrowded and cook food unevenly.
Sizes range from three litres for a single person and up to nine litres for a large family, you can also find dual air fryer basket models for extra room, these are perfect if you want to cook a main meal and sides at the same time.
There are three main types of air fryers on the market, toaster oven style models which have an air fryer function and baking function at the same time, dual air fryer basket models and single basket choices.
The style of air fryer you choose is up to how many functions you want to use in your type of air fryer and the kind of recipes you will be cooking, if you are looking to essentially replace your oven, the more functions the better.
As we mentioned in our introduction, by rule, when converting an oven recipe to the time for an air fryer, you want to decrease the cooking time by around 20%, this is because air fryers have very quick cooking times due to the air/heat circulation, this is what helps foods get crispy too.
For cooking temp, you also want to decrease this by around 20 degrees, this is once again because air fryers have a fast cooking temperature, by reducing it, you can prevent foods from drying out.
Below we have listed some general time conversions for an oven to air fryer cooking times so you can get an idea of what's right for your recipe.
As well as times, the cooking temperature in your air fryer will need to be decreased too when converting oven-style recipes. We've listed some general values below to give you an idea of the conversion.
Once you've figured out the temp conversion for your air fryer from the oven, to get the result you want from your meal type, we also recommend following these tips below.
Just like an oven, it's always best to cook foods in a preheated air fryer, you want to preheat air fryer baskets for around 3-5 minutes at the right cooking temp, this allows you to get a nice sear and crispy effect on whatever food you will be cooking.
Plus it also stops food from being overcooked since it's at the right temperature when it goes in.
Yes, we know what you are thinking, why would I use oil when the whole point of an air fryer is that it cooks without oil?
Well, hear us out, food can stick to your air fryer basket, so it's a good idea to use some low cal cooking spray to prevent this, spray oil also gives a nice crispy edge to foods.
Do be aware some spray oils have emulsifiers which can affect the non-stick coatings of an air fryer basket, therefore you might want to use measured regular oil instead.
Overcrowding your air fryer is a big no-no. This is for two reasons, the number one being that it will likely cook your food unevenly since there is not enough room in the air fryer for the air to circulate properly and cook the food.
Number two is it can make some foods soggy, especially when cooking frozen foods or types of food like chips. This is why it's important to use the right size air fryer basket for your meals.
If you are used to cooking common food types in an oven, air fryers always cook foods quicker, therefore to prevent your meal from drying out or even burning, we recommend opening the air fryer basket a few times just to see how it's doing.
As well as cooking foods, air fryers are a fantastic option for reheating meals too, just make sure you are reheating on a much lower heat than what you were cooking the food at to prevent it from drying out.
We also suggest checking often to see when it's heated through.
Air fryer meals make a great alternative to deep frying if you love food types like crispy chicken wings or chips, if you are used to deep frying or using lots of oil in oven-baked goods then an air fryer can help cut calories and aid in your weight loss.
For example, a tablespoon of oil could have around 100 calories, by air frying you could have up to 80% less fat in your food. However, just because you're cutting oil from your meals, doesn't mean the food is healthier.
As an example, if you were having breaded chicken, you might want to grill it without the breading instead rather than cooking it in the air fryer.
Now we know we can successfully cook our oven meals in an air fryer, we've listed some successful air fryer dishes you can try and convert below for a healthy slimming world-friendly meal, we also have some more options here.
If you are a lover of paprika chicken, you can easily convert this recipe to air fryers by reducing the cooking temperature to 180 degrees and cooking for around 40 minutes, checking often.
There's nothing better than chips, and you can enjoy them without the guilt of making them in your air fryer! Best of all, cooked like this they are syn-free on the SW plan! Recipe details are here.
This slimming world-baked KFC chicken is a healthy alternative to your usual KFC takeaway which is loaded with calories and syns.
By using an air fryer, you can make it even healthier, simply heat the air fryer to 160 degrees then cook for around 30-40 minutes checking often.
To conclude, oven recipes can easily be converted to air fryer recipe by simply reducing the cooking temperature by around 20 degrees and the cooking time by 20%.
Always check your food often when cooking in an air fryer since it cooks much faster than the standard oven, we also suggest using some oil to stop food from sticking as it cooks in the basket.