Can You Cook Frozen Food In An Air Fryer? (Here’s How It’s Done Plus Cooking Charts)

Assuming that you are now in possession of an air fryer, it is likely that you are discovering the various options it offers. The idea of being able to grab frozen foods such as french fries, chicken or spring rolls from the freezer, placing them in the air fryer and having them cooked and ready to consume within a few minutes seems appealing.

It can be challenging to cook frozen food in an air fryer because cooking times are not typically provided on packaging. To achieve optimal results, it is necessary to convert cooking times. Research has been conducted on cooking frozen foods in air fryers, and the findings are presented here.

Yes, it is possible to cook frozen food in an air fryer, but to achieve optimal results, some adjustments may be necessary. The air fryer cooks food at a faster rate than the oven, so the recommended cooking time on the package must be modified to suit the air fryer. For frozen convenience foods like nuggets or spring rolls, it is advisable to use the same temperature as you would in an oven but reduce the cooking time by half. For instance, if the package instructions suggest cooking for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, you should only cook it for 10 minutes at 400 degrees in an air fryer.

A cooking chart for various frozen foods is available in the article, which displays the appropriate cooking times and temperatures. It can be found by scrolling down.

When cooking frozen food in an air fryer, if the recommended temperature on the packaging exceeds 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it is advisable to set the air fryer to 400 degrees and reduce the cooking time by half.

Although the half-time rule has been effective for many individuals, there are those who opt to reduce cooking times by only 25% instead of 50%; nevertheless, this approach may lead to a higher likelihood of overcooking when preparing frozen food in an air fryer for extended periods.

It is important to remember that the air fryer is smaller than an oven and has a powerful heat source, which enables it to quickly reach high temperatures. To avoid overcooking, it is recommended to reduce the cooking time by 50% initially and increase it gradually if the desired outcome is not achieved.

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Air Fryer Cooking Chart For Frozen Food

If you need additional assistance while using the air fryer, cooking charts can provide an approximation of the ideal temperature and duration for cooking particular foods.

As chicken breasts come in different sizes globally, the cooking chart may require modifications based on the size of your chicken breast or any other food you are preparing to avoid consuming undercooked food, particularly poultry.

A chart for cooking frozen food in an air fryer is provided below.

TypeCooking TimeTemperature
Frozen Chicken Tenders10 minutes400F
Frozen Chicken Strips12 minutes390F
Frozen Onion Rings8-10 minutes400F
Frozen Hamburgers13 minutes360F
Frozen Sausage Rolls13 minutes360F
Frozen Fish Fingers8 minutes360F
Frozen French Fries (Thick)18 minutes400F
Frozen French Fries (Thin)14 minutes400F
Frozen Shrimp9 minutes400F
Frozen Chicken Breast20-25 minutes390F (Preheat)*
Frozen Pizza Rolls7 minutes380F
Frozen Corn Dogs10 minutes400F
Frozen Chicken Wings9 minutes400F
Frozen Mozzarella Sticks8 minutes400F
Frozen Burritos10 minutes400F
Frozen Tater Tots10 minutes400F

When cooking frozen chicken breast in an air fryer, it is recommended to either preheat the appliance or place the chicken in the fryer for 5 minutes at 320F before cooking it at the suggested temperature.

Placing And Preparing Frozen Food In An Air Fryer

Despite its ease of use, the air fryer lacks instructions for all scenarios.

Thanks to those who first used the air fryer and worked hard to understand it and its features, we can now benefit from their advice to maximize our use of the appliance. Despite having owned mine for years, I am still uncovering novel ways and strategies for utilizing the air fryer.

It is important to give each piece of frozen food enough space when cooking in an air fryer to avoid sticking, so be generous with the spacing.

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Shaking the basket halfway through cooking is advised to prevent the food from adhering to it.

After shaking the basket, it is important to ensure that the food is once again separated before placing it back in the air fryer, taking into account the available space provided by the appliance.

If you are facing problems due to not owning an XL air fryer, there are accessories available to resolve your issue.

It is important to be aware that there is a possibility of the texture of non-breaded or unwrapped frozen food being compromised if it is air fried.

To maintain the taste of the food, it is crucial to avoid any changes in its texture, which can be achieved through a variety of available flavors.

For frozen food that is not breaded or wrapped, it is necessary to add moisture before air frying.

To prevent frozen food from getting a dry texture while cooking in an air fryer, it is recommended to apply a sauce or dressing beforehand, which will add some moisture and also improve the taste of the food.

Converting Recipes To Make Them Air Fryer Friendly

As air fryer instructions are not yet available on food packages, it is necessary for air fryer owners to modify recipes to ensure they are appropriate for the appliance.

It is not advisable to use the cooking instructions for an oven or a microwave when preparing food in an air fryer, as doing so will likely yield unsatisfactory results.

If you are not satisfied with the temperature or cooking time, or if you are unable to achieve the desired outcome using one method, you can experiment with alternative methods.

As long as air fryers lack their own cooking guidelines, we must create our own, but there is an online tool available that can transform your conventional oven recipes into air fryer ones.

Simply input the necessary information into the calculator and follow the traditional recipe (cooking instructions) to cook frozen food in an air fryer.

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Using an air fryer cooking chart can provide immediate guidance on necessary adjustments for preparing a dish, making it a valuable resource that can be easily utilized and eventually lead to the ability to convert personal recipes on the spot.

Below are some additional tips to achieve optimal outcomes when using an air fryer for cooking.

  • Make sure to shake the basket every 5-9 minutes or halfway through cooking to ensure that the hot air circulating in the air fryer cooks all sides of the food evenly.
  • Avoid piling up frozen foods as it hinders the air from circulating through them, leaving them undercooked. It is recommended to give each food item enough space for proper cooking.
  • When deciding to cook frozen food in an air fryer, it is important to consider the size and power of the appliance. Although the difference in wattage between larger and smaller air fryers may be small, it is still worth being mindful of.
  • The general guideline: Use the same temperature but reduce the cooking time by half.
  • Inspect the basket periodically to prevent the food from being overcooked.

Related Questions

Is it possible to cook frozen vegetables using an air fryer? Absolutely, frozen vegetables can be cooked in an air fryer. This method of cooking not only enhances the taste of the vegetables but also makes them more appealing to children who are usually reluctant to consume greens. By adding your preferred spices, you can create a nutritious and low-calorie snack. It is recommended to follow the instructions on the packaging and apply the same temperature and half-time rule when preparing them.

Is preheating necessary for an air fryer? No, unlike a traditional oven, preheating is not required for an air fryer. Preheating may only slightly reduce the cooking time. Unless there is a specific need to preheat, you can simply place your ingredients in the air fryer and start cooking. However, some foods may benefit from gradually reaching the desired temperature.

Check out our reviews for Air Fryers and Accesories!

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