With all the cooking I’ve been doing over the last few months, I’ve been trying to widen my cooking skills. I’ve been getting better at using the Instant Pot and using it more often. Before I would use it to cook frozen chicken, which you can do in less than 10 minutes. However, now I’m comfortable doing a lot more, which I’ll be sharing some new recipes with you soon.

With all that being said, I’ve had it in my mind that I wanted to get an Air Fryer as I’ve seen lots of bloggers sharing recipes for those. I’ve also heard that kids really like the ease of cooking frozen foods in them and not having to preheat the big oven all that.

Two Types of Air Fryers

So I started looking into them and found that are two categories of air fryers: basket air fryer and convection oven air fryers. The basket air fryer looks more like a deep fryer with a basket and the convection oven type looks more like a toaster oven.

My Decision

I decided to go with a basket type air fryer, because the convection type air fryer has larger foot print and seem more expensive. I also looked to see which air fryers some of my favorite food bloggers had and they all had the basket kind, so I knew I had made the right decision. From there I did some more research about which one to get. I considered how much it will hold, price, and customer reviews. I ended up buying the Ninja Max XL Air Fryer, which Cooks, Crisps, Roasts, Broils, Bakes, Reheats and Dehydrates and has a 5.5 quart capacity.

Ninja Max XL Air Fryer

Selling Points of the Ninja Max XL Air Fryer
As you can see from the box below, the air fryer I got:
-fries food with up to 75% less fat
-has a 450° max temperature
-cooks up to 30% faster
-is very easy to clean
-holds 5.5 quarts, which equals to about 3 lbs of wings or fries
Mine also came with a boiler rack bonus accessory.

Ninja Max XL Air Fryer

Here is the Quick Start Cooking Guide. You can click the image and then zoom in for easier reading.

Ninja Max XL Air Fryer Quick Start Cooking Guide

Things I’ve Cooked in it so far

Frozen Potatoes
Here you see I cooked enough tator tots for 4 people. This is one thing I’ve really loved about the air fryer is that since I’m home to cook lunch most days, I’m about to whip up usually a sandwich of some kind with frozen potatoes. I don’t have to preheat the oven, which takes awhile and uses more energy. Now I preheat the air fryer and they are cooked in 8-10 minutes (on Air Fryer mode) or 3-4 minutes (on Max Air Fry Mode) depending on how crispy I want them.

Cooking tator tots in the Air Fryer

Side note: you don’t have to preheat air fryers, but I find that it helps items cook quicker. I’ve just pull out the air fryer and turn it to the correct mode while I’m preparing whatever it is I’m about to put in there.

Burgers in the Air Fryer
While I have not yet perfected how to cook burgers in the air fryer, I can tell you that I plan to. My kids, well really just Drew, raved about how good the burger was. It was juicy and flavorful. I’ll post a recipe for this once I nail down all the deets.

Burgers in the Air Fryer

Having an air fryer is definitely not a necessity. It’s nice to not have to heat entire oven or toaster oven. BTW, I hate toaster ovens.

Sandwiches
I’ve also heated sub sandwiches in the air fryer. I just wanted to warm these sandwiches and melt the cheese. I put these on the broiler pan and cooked on Air Roast Mode for about 3 minutes.

Sandwiches in Air Fryer

Leftovers
I love it for reheating. When you have leftover fries or chicken fingers, don’t heat them up in the microwave! Reheat them in the air fryer! Preheat for 3 minutes and Air Fryer mode for 3-5 minutes. Be sure to shake half way through!

Lots Still to Learn

I’ve still got a lot to learn about the air fryer to be sure I’m using the best modes for cooking and to ensure I’m getting the most out of it. I’ll update with another post once I’ve cooked a few more things and explored the other modes of cooking.

Modes to Use and Understand
-air roast
-bake
-reheat
-dehydrate

Things to Cook in my Air Fryer
-cookies
-fish
-home made mozzarella sticks
-dehydrate herbs/fruits/veggies
-pigs in a blanket
-chicken wings
-baked potato
…and lots more!

Do you have an air fryer? What do you love/hate about it?

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