Air Fryer Cooking Chart – All You Need to Know About Air Frying!

Find out the amazing benefits of an air fryer and get the best air fryer cheat sheet, so you’ll always have the cooking temperatures and times of your favorite foods on hand!

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • February 25, 2020

Air fryers are all the rage these days, and we must say, their stellar reputation is well-earned. Wonderfully crispy seafood without making the whole house smell like a fishery? Yes, please! All the yum at only 20% of the calories? Okay, now you’re just reading my mind. Yes, we promise, the air fryer really is that good.

But how does it accomplish all that? Well, the compact machine’s rapid air circulation gets food delightfully crispy while removing high-calorie oils from the equation. With an air fryer, you can still achieve the flavors and textures that are very similar to deep-fried foods, but with only zero to one tablespoon of oil + really hot air.

So let’s jump into a few of the reasons air frying is so fantastic and then walk through tips for each section of our free temperature and cook time cheat sheet that you can download here:

Get ready, because if you love fast and furiously delicious foods but wish they could be healthier and quicker, the air fryer is about to become your new favorite kitchen appliance!

Benefits of Air Frying


Oils, especially higher quality oils that are safe for high heat, can really add up when you go through it fast. But when you air fry, you will use little to no oil and still enjoy the satisfaction of deliciously fried foods on a dream budget!


There are so many benefits to home-cooked meals, but our busy schedules don’t always allow for it. Thankfully, air frying is a faster cooking method that cuts out pre-heating and shortens the cooking time of many foods with its rapid air circulation technology.

Lower calorie meals

If you want to drop a few pounds in a healthy way while still enjoying the finger-licking goodness of fried foods, the air fryer is about to become your best friend in the kitchen. It creates delicious food with 70 – 80% fewer calories than foods that use traditional frying methods.

Tastier veggies

We all know that vegetables are good for us and essential for proper nutrition, but that knowledge doesn’t necessarily make us super excited about them . . . until now. All you have to do is stick your ‘meh’ veggies into the air fryer and it will crisp them up to tasty perfection. Get ready for your healthy sides and snacks to win the approval of kids and adults alike.

Safer cooking 

Deep frying requires a big vat of scalding oil, which is not the safest thing in the world, when you stop to think about it. Air fryers, on the other hand, eliminate the risk of hot oil spills and splashes and make frying safe even with kids or pets running around. 

Better Post-Cooking Environment

Unlike cooking in a conventional oven, an air fryer doesn’t heat up your whole home. During the hotter months of the year, you’ll love not having to crank up your AC every time you go to make dinner. Also, air frying doesn’t fill your home with the lingering smell of fried foods either – something the whole family can appreciate!

What and How to Air Fry

One of the wonders of the air fryer lies in its ability to make everything from bite-sized hors d’oeuvres to everyday staples. Here are some tips for air frying proteins, veggies, and frozen foods. Acquaint yourself with the basics and don’t forget to download our full infographic cheat sheet with all of the temperatures and cook times so you can consult it anytime, anywhere.

Just remember that cook times vary based on the size and quantity of foods placed in the air fryer. It’s also always okay to open the air fryer to check ingredients as they cook – unlike an oven that will have a dramatic temperature drop, the fryer heats so fast it won’t hamper the cooking process.

Meat and Poultry

You can cook all kinds of meat in an air fryer and get delicious results. Just keep in mind that the cooking times for meat depends on thickness and your own desired level of doneness. This means that it’s always best to use a thermometer to check your meat’s temperature at its thickest. You can get our free Meat Temperature Guide here and if you don’t have a cooking thermometer yet, this one is budget-friendly and super useful for cooking and grilling.


To get crispy, flakey fish, make sure you don’t overcrowd your fryer basket. If there isn’t enough space for air to circulate between every piece of seafood, they may come out more like they were steamed. It’s also a good idea to shake the basket every couple minutes when cooking smaller items like shrimp and calamari so you get a nice even cook from every angle.


Cooking any veggies in an air fryer (and you really can cook any of them!) will result in a texture that is most similar to roasting, yet is crispier on the outside. After you prep your vegetables, we recommend sprinkling just a little bit of oil on them before air frying. Not only will this make them positively yummy, recent studies show that a little bit of fat must be present for your body to absorb all of those good carotenoids. 

Unsurprisingly, soft vegetables will cook quickly while rough and tough roots will take a little longer. Simply consult our cheat sheet and get your cruciferous groove on any night of the week.

Prepared Frozen Foods

Whenever cooking will take too much out of you after a long day at work, your trusty air fryer is ready to send your microwave packing with its ability to heat premade frozen foods to perfection. Breaded items like chicken tenders and onion rings will get a satisfyingly airy crunch while mini pizzas and potstickers will end up with just the right amount of crispness. For any food you need to flip halfway through, grab a pair of silicone-tipped tongs like these so you don’t scratch the bottom of your fryer.

Extra Fun

We have only scratched the surface of what you can do with an air fryer, so let’s cover a few more fun favorites for you to try before we go. If you really want to make an ordinary bowl of ice cream special, whip up a quick batch of air-fried bananas! And, if you want to add crispy tofu to any Meatless Monday dinner, the air fryer is a great way to go – just make sure to press extra water out of it (place a heavy pan on top for a few minutes) before you stick it in the fryer.

Now that you have a taste of all of the amazing foods you can enjoy fried without all the oil, we know you probably want to try some of them out, like tomorrow! You can get our favorite air fryer here and then enjoy our full cooking time cheat sheet so you are always only minutes away from a mouth-watering meal:

A little note:

Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links, which means we earn a small percentage from those sales. We use this affiliate revenue to support the continued growth of Cook Smarts. Thank you!

Get more helpful cooking tips and resources by signing up for our newsletter below. We send out weekly emails that will help you improve in the kitchen and live a healthier life, so join our community today and start cooking smarter!

Air Fryer Cheat Sheet | Cook SmartsAir Fryer Cheat Sheet | Cook SmartsAir Fryer Cheat Sheet | Cook SmartsAir Fryer Cheat Sheet | Cook Smarts


Try our award winning meal plan service for free


Our Podcast: Strategies to become a smarter cook

Share the love!

Join our community

Enjoy free tips in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
How can we help you in the kitchen?

Join our community

Enjoy free tips in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up for the Cook Smarts Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM & promise to keep your email address safe.

Skip to content