Air fryers have become one of the most popular kitchen appliances today. If you own or are about to purchase one, you will surely get a crisper tray in the package as well. But the question is, do you have to use a crisper tray in an air fryer?
Yes, you have to use a crisper tray in an air fryer; otherwise, the hot air won’t be able to circulate properly, and the food will be cooked only on one side. Moreover, the fat or grease will collect at the bottom.
There are some air fryer models that don’t run if you take out the crisper tray. One such example is the Cosori air fryer.
In this article, we are going to discuss why using a crisper tray is important, along with the alternatives you should consider in case you don’t get your hands on one.
What kind of pans can you put inside an air fryer? Learn now.
How does a crisper tray work?
A crisper tray is simply a wire rack that is placed inside the air fryer. It is designed in a particular way to let the hot air circulate properly and let the grease and fat drip away.
It holds the food until it is cooked evenly from all sides. Plus, the crisper tray also keeps the food crispy and dry and makes it healthier.
Even though most air fryers come with a crisper tray, not all do; this does not mean you cannot cook food.
How to remove the crisper tray
Due to several reasons, users tend to remove the crisper tray. For instance, it could be that a user plans to cook larger quantities of food at once. So, removing the tray is a logical decision as it takes up quite a bit of space inside the air fryer.
To remove the crisper tray from an air fryer like Cosori, simply unscrew the handle from the crisper tray and screw it back into the compartment.
Alternatives to a crisper tray
Now that you are familiar with the usage and significance of the crisper tray, it is time to look at some alternatives if you didn’t get one with your air fryer.
Metallic rack insert
A metallic rack insert has the perfect spacing for air circulation and also lets fat and grease drip from the food. It works almost like a crisper tray except that it’s not much of a basket and has large spaces in between.
Liners are perhaps the most cost-effective alternative out there. Plus, they offer the biggest cooking space as well. Liners protect the non-stick coating, thus preventing the food from sticking to the air fryer and causing difficult clean-ups.
Liners are available in various materials as well. The best ones are probably the parchment paper liners.
Silicone pots are a great alternative that comes in various shapes and sizes. Since silicone is safe for use in air fryers, plus you can cook different varieties of food without having to worry about difficult clean-ups later.
Moreover, silicone posts are:
- Made of food-grade material
- Dishwasher safe
- Heat resistant
Tips for cooking using an air fryer crisper tray
Here are some tips to help you use an air fryer crisper tray correctly.
- Always place a single layer of food at a time. If the rack is overcrowded, the food will not cook evenly.
- Use oils with high smoke points, and do not use too much oil.
- Flip the food at least once during the cooking process.
- For best results, preheat the air fryer for 3-5 minutes before adding the food.
- If you are cooking multiple batches of food, clean the tray between the batches.
In the end, using an air fryer crisper tray is a good option if you want crispier food. However, if you do not have one, consider the alternatives mentioned above to cook equally delicious recipes. You may remove the tray if you want to make space for some food but remember that the result will be slightly different!