Your air fryer can do more than the recipes included in the manual. If you have quick and easy meals for the oven, grill or stovetop, you can convert those into air-fryer dishes. All you need is to tweak the steps and cooking process a bit to start your air fryer conversion adventure!

Adjust the Heat and Time

Always remember that your air fryer is hotter than your oven, mainly because of its more compact size. That also means that cooking your conventional oven recipes in the air fryer will cook faster than usual. If we stick to their old cooking temperature and time, chances are your dishes will be undercooked, if not burnt.

The general rule is to take 25 to 50 degrees off your usual cooking temperature and shorten your cooking time by 20%. If your roast chicken, for example, cooks in the oven at 200C for 60 minutes, you’ll want to adjust these to 175C for 40 minutes. You can also use this technique for frozen food and its package directions. The best way to do it is to set it on a shorter cooking time, then add extra time as you go. If your unit has a pause button, you can use that, too.

For deep-fryer recipes, the trick is to follow the old cooking temperature with adjusted cooking time. Deep-frying your quick and easy meals is faster because of the direct heat from the oil. Air fryers, on the other hand, use hot air, which makes cooking time longer. To avoid overcooking, follow the old cook time, then extend it as needed.

Check and Shake

Whether you cook with the original or adjusted settings, one thing that you should always do is to check your food halfway through. You will also need to shake or flip your food every time you check to ensure even browning. Doing this also prevents you from overcooking or burning some parts of your delicious dinner.

Simply Mumma_Air Fryer Quick and Easy Meals with Sweet Potato

Cook in Small Batches

Unlike your oven or deep fryers, air-frying units have limited spaces. Overcrowding is not ideal as it will only prolong your cooking time and make food stick together. At times, it also affects texture, making your food dry and less crisp. So, adjust the amount of food you put in the air fryer per batch and fill it up to 80% of its capacity only. If possible, keep food in a single layer, too. Also, you might need to extend your kitchen time if you’re making family-friendly dinners for a crowd.

Swap Potful of Oil to Light Spritzes

Air fryers are popular because of their ability to cook healthy recipes. With them, deep-fryer recipes that typically require cups of oil now need a few spritzes. You can skip the cooking spray for fatty food like chicken wings. Also, add a spritz of cooking oil to food at the start and midway of air frying for extra crispness and juiciness. Just make sure not to spray the basket to preserve its non-stick properties.

Use the Right Accessories

You can cook most stovetop recipes like stir-fries and veggie side dishes in the air fryer. However, you might need to cook other items like grains separately before air frying. Also, you need to line your basket or use air fryer accessories, like a pan insert, to keep small items from falling through. These tips can also help you get the best results out of your air fryer recipes.

Create an Air Fryer Cheat Sheet

If you want to try cooking new quick and easy meals with your air fryer, you can make a cooking time and temperature guide for ingredients you often use. You can check on your air fryer cheat sheet whenever you need to experiment on a new oven or deep fryer recipe. Instruction manuals usually have this info, but you can always look them up online or use the following tables as a guide.

Simply Mumma_Air Fryer Quick and Easy Meals with Veggies

Meat and poultry

Cooking times for meat vary in the air fryer and depend on type and thickness. You can adjust them based on your preferred doneness. Also, for safety when cooking thick cuts of meat, a thermometer and a meat temperature guide will come in handy.

Ingredient Cooking Temperature (C) Cooking Time (Minutes)
Bacon 177 8 to 12
Burgers 177 8 to 10
Chicken (whole) 177 45 to 65
Chicken breasts (bone-in) 190 25 to 35
Chicken breasts (fillet) 177 15 to 20
Chicken tenders 177 8 to 12
Chicken thighs (bone-in) 204 15 to 22
Chicken thighs (fillet) 190 16 to 21
Chicken wings 190 18 to 28
Lamb (leg) 199 17 to 30
Lamb (rack) 177 10 to 17
Meatballs 204 7 to 10
Pork chops 177 10 to 15
Pork tenderloin 190 15 to 25
Ribeye or T-bone steak 204 15 to 25
Strip steak 204 6 to 14


Baked seafood and breaded fish are among my favourite quick and easy meals for the air fryer. To get the best results, make sure not to overcrowd the basket to avoid steaming the fish. Small items like calamari and shrimp also need flipping every few minutes for even crispness.

Ingredient Cooking Temperature (C) Cooking Time (Minutes)
Calamari 204 4 to 8
Fish (fillet) 204 8 to 12
Salmon (fillet) 190 8 to 13
Scallops 204 5 to 7
Shrimp 177 5 to 8
Swordfish steak 204 10 to 12
Tuna steak 204 7 to 10


The air fryer is an excellent alternative appliance for roasting vegetables. Like oven roasting, you need to lightly coat the vegetables with oil and your favourite seasoning before air frying. Keep in mind that root vegetables will cook longer than soft-textured ones.

Ingredient Cooking Temperature (C) Cooking Time (Minutes)
Asparagus 204 6 to 10
Beets, sliced 177 15 to 25
Bell peppers, sliced 177 7 to 19
Broccoli, chopped 204 5 to 9
Brussel sprouts, sliced 190 9 to 16
Butternut squash, chopped 204 15 to 20
Button mushrooms 190 8 to 13
Carrots, baby or chopped 204 10 to 15
Cauliflower, chopped 204 10 to 15
Corn on the cob 204 8 to 10
Eggplant, sliced or diced 204 15 to 18
Green beans 204 8 to 10
Kale leaves 190 4 to 5
Potatoes, chopped 190 15 to 30
Sweet potatoes, chopped 204 8 to 15
Tomatoes, halved 177 6 to 12
Zucchini, chopped 177 8 to 12

Frozen food

Of course, there will be times when you are too busy or tired to cook something new. Good thing the air fryer works even for packaged food. It’s a great time saver when you want quick and easy meals on busy nights.

Ingredient Cooking Temperature (C) Cooking Time (Minutes)
Breaded chicken tenders 190 14 to 18
Breaded shrimp 204 9 to 11
Buffalo wings 204 12 to 15
Chicken nuggets 204 10 to 12
Dumplings 204 6 to 10
Fish sticks 177 6 to 12
French fries 204 14 to 17
Hash browns 204 6 to 9
Mini pizzas 163 8 to 15
Onion rings 204 8 to 10


For even better quick and easy meals, make sure you’re cooking with the best air fryer! Our buying guide and air fryer reviews can help you find the unit that suits your household.