Food & Nutrition

The Simple Trick for Perfectly Golden Air Fryer Food Every Time

Miss the golden brown of authentic fried food? Check out this simple tip on how to get better air fryer food every time.

air fryerTaste of Home

At first, the air fryer seemed like a bit of a fad (kind of like the George Foreman grills of yore). But the second I saw how well these gadgets crisped up frozen foods and appetizers, I changed my tune! Frozen fries, fresh eggrolls, and much, much more turned out as crispy and delicious as if they were fresh from the deep fryer. The only thing I really missed about these air-fried foods was that perfect golden color that you get from traditional frying. But it turns out, getting that just-fried color isn’t hard to do. Food editor Sue Stetzel filled me in. Find out 8 surprising things you can cook in an air fryer (and 6 you can’t).

How to get crispy, golden air fryer food

Air fryers rely on the circulation of hot air instead of oil to produce crispy food. They do use some oil (only a tablespoon or two) but not enough to provide you with that picture-perfect color and crispness. That color is a product of the oil and it’s near impossible to get it without a little fat.

“That’s where Pam saves the day,” Sue says. “A quick spritz will give your air-fried food that nice golden color and crispy texture.”

Really, that is it! A simple mist of cooking spray over the top of your food will give your favorite air fryer recipes that just-right color without adding any significant calories or fat. Learn about the 10 foods you should always cook in your cast-iron skillet, too.

The added bonus of this air fryer trick

Sue adds that while many any air fryers—including our Test Kitchen’s favorite—have nonstick cooking baskets and trays, sticky baked-on sugars and cheese can still be a pain to clean. She says, “A light coating of Pam will just give an added layer of protection to keep these messes from becoming troublesome.” Of course, be sure to check your air fryer manual—some recommend avoiding nonstick sprays.

Armed with this trick, you’re ready to make your best ever air fryer appetizers and dinners. Now get (air) frying! And another thing your kitchen needs? A cast-iron skillet! Check out the 12 most reliable cast-iron skillets you can buy.

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