Can You Cook Frozen Food in an Air Fryer? The A to Z Guide!


Can You Cook Frozen Food in an Air Fryer The A to Z Guide!

Almost every kitchen has an air fryer nowadays; it’s a staple in most households. This simple yet incredible appliance gives you outstanding and timely results every time. It is really fun to experiment with new cooking methods with your own air fryer!

Talking about new methods, taking frozen food out of the freezer and popping it straight into an air fryer seems like a very hassle-free idea, right? But is it possible? Can you put frozen food in an air fryer? Well, let’s find out!

Can you put frozen food in an air fryer?

Air fryers are perfect for cooking frozen food! You can air fry almost every frozen food and it will turn out to be amazing every single time– given that you do it properly.

Air frying frozen food items will make them crispier and tastier. Plus, you won’t have to thaw anything either!

How to cook frozen food in an air fryer? Preparation tips!

Each type of frozen food takes a different amount of time and heat settings for it to cook perfectly in an air fryer. Just make sure to give each piece of food enough space, and do not stack the pieces over each other. Shake the basket halfway into the cooking process to prevent the food from sticking to the basket.

Keep the tips below in mind to perfectly cook and put frozen food in an air fryer!

Adjust temperature and cooking time

An air fryer has a maximum temperature of 400 degrees. If the instructions of your food package mention a temperature that can be reached by your air fryer, reduce this heat by 10-25 degrees and initially cut the cooking time by half. Check your food to see if it has cooked by this time, if not then cook it further for as long as it needs to be cooked.

Make use of grease

Just how you would lightly coat your pan, skillet, or grill with some kind of grease before putting your food in, doing the same in an air fryer can be really helpful. Only a light touch of oil is needed, it might not even be necessary to grease the air fryer basket if your food already has some fat in it as that will prevent it from sticking.

Another important consideration is the kind of product you use to grease your air fryer. Many air fryers have a non-stick coating, so using a spray that has propellants or other additives can erode the coating over time. Instead, use a brush to coat both your basket and food in an oil or fat of your choice.

Don’t overfill your basket

You might be tempted to put all your frozen food in the basket at once to speed up the process. But the heat needs to be able to get to all of your food otherwise it will not be cooked properly.

Overstuffing the air fryer basket will cause a blockage in the air circulation. You can layer foods in the air fryer that are coated with bread crumbs such as mozzarella sticks or egg rolls and shake your basket periodically to ensure an even cook. However, if your food is open-faced or uncoated then the better way would be to simply place your food in a single layer down at the bottom of the basket.

Preheat your air fryer

Frozen food is prone to getting mushy as it thaws, therefore to overcome this hurdle, you can simply preheat your air fryer. The extra heat will evaporate the water from the food quicker, making it nice and crispy. You may also make use of parchment paper in an air fryer to prevent food from getting soggy!

Note: Some air fryers don’t have the preheat setting but don’t worry! You can just leave your air fryer basket open and check the temperature by estimation or an oven-safe thermometer.

All frozen food items cook differently

Most frozen foods cook perfectly in the air fryer. However, different foods have different consistencies and therefore cook differently. Foods that are pre-cooked, wrapped breaded or bite-sized cook perfectly. On the other hand, foods like frozen vegetables can be a bit difficult to manage as they can get soggy and mushy or are prone to drying out.

What frozen foods can you air fry?

There is a myriad of frozen foods that you can cook in an air fryer. They will turn out to be absolutely delicious given that you cook them at the right temperature for the right amount of time. The tables below will guide you.

Frozen Entrees:

FoodTemperatureCooking time (minutes)
Frozen Chicken Breast (Small)350° F | 176° C10 flip 10 more Rest 5 before cutting
Frozen Chicken Breast (Large)350° F | 176° C15 flip 15 more Rest 5 before cutting
Frozen Chicken Nuggets390° F | 199° C12
Frozen Boneless Wings360° F | 176° C14
Frozen Chicken Fries390° F | 199° C8
Frozen Chicken Fajita400° F | 204° C7
Frozen Chicken Tenders390° F | 199° C12
Frozen Chicken Strips390° F | 199° C12
Frozen Corn Dogs390° F | 199° C8-10
Frozen Mini Corn Dogs360° F | 176° C8
Frozen Fish Sticks360° F | 176° C8-12
Frozen Hoagie Patty400° F | 204° C6-7
Frozen Meatballs350° F | 176° C10-12
Frozen Turkey Filet (Bacon Wrapped)370° F | 187° C25
Frozen Hot Pockets390° F | 199° C13
Frozen Pizza400° F | 204° C10-15
Frozen Salmon Fillet (thaw first)400° F | 204° C10
Frozen Sausage400° F | 204° C5-10
Frozen Shrimp390° F | 199° C10
Frozen Veggie Burger350° F | 176° C10
Frozen Burrito 380° F | 180° C12

Frozen Appetizer

FoodTemperatureCooking time (minutes)
Frozen Battered Cauliflower400° F | 204° C15
Frozen Egg Rolls390° F | 199° C12
Frozen Empanadas400° F | 204° C8
Frozen Jalapeno Poppers340° F | 171° C8
Frozen Mac and Cheese Bites360° F | 176° C8-10
Frozen Mozzarella Sticks380° F | 180° C7
Frozen Pizza Rolls380° F | 180° C7
Frozen Potato Skins370° F | 187° C5
Frozen Soft Pretzel Bites400° F | 204° C5-7
Frozen Potstickers / Dumplings390° F | 199° C8
Frozen Spring Rolls390° F | 199° C8
Frozen Taquitos400° F | 204° C7

Frozen Sides

FoodTemperatureCooking Time (minutes)
Frozen Curly Fries400° F | 204° C11
Frozen French Fries400° F | 204° C18-20
Frozen Steak Fries370° F | 187° C14
Frozen Waffle Fries390° F | 199° C16
Frozen Garlic Bread: French Bread Style360° F | 176° C6
Frozen Garlic Bread: Texas Toast320° F | 160° C6
Frozen Tater Tots400° F | 204° C8-10
Kale Puffs390° F | 199° C9
Frozen Onion Rings400° F | 204° C8-10

Frozen Breakfast

FoodTemperatureCooking Time (minutes)
Bagels360° F | 176° C4-5
Bantam Bagels Frozen NYC Mini Stuffed Bagels400° F | 204° C8
Frozen Hash Browns370° F | 187° C15
Frozen Sausage Patties400° F | 204° C10
Frozen Sausage Links400° F | 204° C5-6
Frozen Hash Brown Patties390° F | 199° C11
Frozen Homefries390° F | 199° C15-20
Frozen Mini-Quiche350° F | 176° C15-20
Frozen Toaster Strudel / Pop Tarts350° F | 176° C7
Frozen Waffles (Eggo)350° F | 176° C6

Do you have to defrost food before air frying?

It is not necessary to defrost frozen food before putting it in an air fryer. Just directly pop the frozen item in the air fryer and cook according to your recipe’s directions. The excessive moisture in the food will be evaporated by the heat of the air fryer. However, frozen food items might require a longer cooking time.

Can you cook frozen meat directly?

Yes, you can! It is totally safe to cook frozen meat directly. However, the cooking time will be about 50% longer than the recommended time for fresh or fully thawed poultry and meat.

Can you cook raw foods in an air fryer?

Yes! Any raw food item would cook just as perfectly in an air fryer as it would cook in an oven, toaster, or broiler. Just make sure to cook the raw food at the correct temperature for the right amount of time.

Should I preheat my air fryer?

Though it is not absolutely necessary, preheating your air fryer for 10 minutes before cooking will make the food turn out even better! There is a chance that your food might go soggy in a cold air fryer by the time it heats up. Therefore, preheating is the right way to go.

Preheating the air fryer will ensure that the ingredients in the basket start cooking immediately, making them crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside.

Concluding our thoughts on putting frozen food in an air fryer!

Air fryers have made our lives so much easier! Not only are they fast but they can cook anything and everything healthily and perfectly. If you were curious about cooking frozen food in an air fryer, we’re sure you’ve got all the answers now. All the guidelines and tips we’ve provided will definitely help you out in the kitchen. Happy air frying!

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