10 best recipes and foods to cook in an air fryer

air fryer basket full of potato chips poured onto tray


Posted September 13, 2023

Air fryers are becoming a must-have kitchen appliance because they're energy-efficient, cost-effective and versatile. We'll show you what foods and recipes work best with this alternative to deep frying.

Both home cooks and aspiring chefs have embraced the air fryer for its ability to save energy, make cooking easier, and ensure even cooking.

Moreover, the air fryer has gained a reputation as a healthier option for frying foods, without sacrificing that delightful crispy texture and flavour.

So, whether you've joined the air fryer trend for its health and energy benefits or an enthusiastic owner has convinced you of its indispensability, we've handpicked some food staples and recipes from the RACV Club kitchen that are perfect for cooking in an air fryer.

Best foods and recipes to cook in an air fryer

Potatoes and hot chips in an air fryer

Whether you use regular potatoes or sweet potatoes, your tasty results in an air fryer will rival oven roasting. Cut your potatoes into chunks, slices or leave them whole. Season them to your liking, add a little cooking oil, and spread them evenly in the air fryer basket.

There's nothing more disappointing than taking out oven-baked chips that are undercooked or not crispy enough. It's even worse when you drown your potatoes in lots of oil and end up with greasy, soggy chips that come with extra calories.

To make the best homemade chips, put your potato pieces in the air fryer with very little or no oil and cook them until they turn golden brown.


chips in air fryer

Experiment with all shapes and types of potato and cook them in an air fryer. Image: Getty.


Garlic bread in an air fryer

Garlic bread is always a good addition to a meal. The best part is, you can easily whip up some tasty garlic bread in an air fryer. Just take some bread and spread it with your preferred mix of butter, garlic, and herbs, then put it in the air fryer.

After about five minutes, you'll have some delicious garlic bread that goes perfectly with hearty dishes such as this easy vegetarian lasagne or budget friendly sweet potato and red kidney bean hot pot from the RACV Club kitchen.

Pro tip: If you want an extra cheesy side, add a layer of mozzarella or parmesan on top.


Salmon in an air fryer

Making salmon in an air fryer is a simple meal for lunch or dinner. When you use an air fryer, salmon cooks evenly and faster compared to baking it in a regular oven. It'll be ready in about 10-12 minutes.

Pro tip: You can also experiment with other types of fish like hake, pollock, and calamari in your air fryer. Just be sure to thaw any frozen fish completely before cooking.


Garlic bread cooks well in an air fryer. Image: Getty.



Pork and bacon in an air fryer

You don't have to spend all day in the kitchen for your next Sunday roast dinner. Cooking pork belly in an air fryer is simple and efficient, and it won't compromise on taste. The meat becomes tender, and you can achieve crispy pork crackling thanks to the even heat circulation.

If you're aiming for that perfect crispy pork crackle, make sure to dry and score the skin before putting the pork in the air fryer.

For a delightful spring lunch, pair your air-fried pork with some greens to create a warm pork belly salad.

Thanks to air fryers, you no longer need to stand at a safe distance from a sizzling pan while cooking bacon. Arrange the bacon strips in the air fryer basket (don't overcrowd it), and cook until they reach your desired level of crispiness.

The air fryer might just become your new favorite way to prepare bacon, especially since you won't have to deal with a greasy mess to clean up.

Steak in an air fryer 

You might be surprised to learn that if you cook it correctly, steaks made in an air fryer can turn out tender and juicy. The air fryer maintains a consistent cooking temperature and requires only a small amount of oil to give the steak a nice crust. Some air fryers even have a specific setting for meat to help you get the best results.

For an extra tender steak, you can add some butter to the outside of the meat before cooking it in the air fryer.

However, if you're not confident in cooking your own steak at home, you can always go to one of Melbourne’s best steak restaurants.


pork in air fryer

Prepare your next Sunday pork roast in an air fryer. Image: Getty.


Chicken in an air fryer 

Chicken wings, nuggets, and tenders are some of the family favorites that you can cook in an air fryer. When you use an air fryer, the chicken skin becomes crispy, just like when you roast or deep fry them in an oven.

To enjoy a meal that's perfect for warmer weather, you can cook your chicken in the air fryer to create this warm chicken salad recipe.


Sausage rolls in an air fryer

Whether frozen or made from scratch, you can cook sausage rolls in an air fryer. You can follow this recipe for juicy, flavoursome sausage rolls and then cook them in an air fryer rather than the oven.

Tip: Brush milk or egg wash (egg mixed with water) on top of the pastry to make extra golden.

chicken nuggets in air fryer

Cooking chicken in an air fryer can save you time. Image: Getty.


Eggs in an air fryer

Yes, you can make eggs in an air fryer, although they can be a bit messy compared to other foods. Just remember, the longer you cook the egg, the harder the yolk will be.

You can even get something like a regular 'boiled' egg in an air fryer without needing water or dealing with the mess. However, it might take longer than simply boiling it in a pot.

Toasties in an air fryer

For times when you’re low on pantry ingredients, or want a delicious and simple lunch, a cheese toastie can be easily made in an air fryer. In just a few minutes, you can have golden toasted bread paired with perfectly melted cheese inside.

Tip: Butter the outside of the bread before cooking for even better results.


sausage rolls

Homemade sausage rolls will be on the table quicker if you use an air fryer. Image: Getty. 


Biscuits in an air fryer

For a quick and easy sweet treat, get the family involved and bake your favourite biscuit recipe in an air fryer. You’ll be left with warm, soft biscuits in under 10 minutes.

Wait a few minutes before removing the cookies from the air fryer to avoid them falling apart.

Looking for inspiration? Try these salted caramel chocolate chip cookies.

cookies on tray

Prepare your next batch of delicious biscuits faster with an air fryer. Image: Getty.


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