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Can You Reheat In An Air Fryer ? The Way To Get A Crispy Texture

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The air fryer sounds like a great invention, and it really is ! However the name is a little bit misleading, since by name alone you’d think you don’t need to add any oil at all. After all it’s an AIR fryer. Well, you do need the slightest bit of oil, otherwise your food will come out dry and sometimes a bit tough. 

Still, one thing you may have been wanting to try with that new toy is reheating. Maybe it’s pizza, maybe it’s fish, maybe it’s corn on the cob. it was hot, now it’s cold, and you want it hot again. Can you reheat food in an air fryer ? Take a look.

reheat air fryer

Can you reheat in an air fryer ?

Yes, you can reheat food in an air fryer just as easily as you can reheat food in a regular convection oven. An air fryer is, all things considered, a mini convection oven. This means it relies on circulating hot air through its cooking chamber, rather than radiating heat from a single point like a traditional oven. 

A key point when dealing with air fryers: it dries food, add water ! Not a lot of water, just a tablespoon or so when cooking meats or something that is meant to come out nice and juicy. 

And because of the way it works – incredibly hot air – you can reheat a whole bunch of things in there. It can keep crispy foods crispy, it won’t make anything soggy, and you can even use it to dehydrate some foods if you’re into that !

Read also: Can You Reheat Risotto ? 

Best foods to reheat in air fryer

Plenty of foods can be reheated in an air fryer, some of them don’t really require instructions. Some of them need a little more care, especially if it’s a specific texture you’re trying to retain such as pancakes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common foods you can reheat in an air fryer. 

Crispy foods, like tortilla chips and chicken tenders

Crispy foods are probably everyone’s first guess, and for good reason. Anything that’s been fried and turned out crispy can then be reheated in an air fryer. It could be chicken tenders, tortilla chips for nachos, plain donuts, fish fingers, anything you like, it can go into the air fryer. 

Roast veggies, they won’t turn mushy

Roast vegetables have their own moisture, and if you reheat them in the microwave they turn even more wet and mushy. So, stick them in the air fryer ! Hot air, no extra moisture, they may even crisp up a little in some key places. If these are grilled veggies they have a chance of tasting just like the real thing when you take them out of the fryer.

Leftover pizza will always have the best texture

Leftover pizza is always a sad thing to witness. Soft, soggy pizza is nobody’s favorite so the air fryer is the way to go.  few minutes in the air fryer and it’s good to go.

But if your leftover pizza is the extra dry kind, do add the slightest amount of water to circulate some moisture before the pizza is done cooking. If you don’t, your pizza slice might end up extra dry and that’s even harder to eat.

Fries are saved in an air fryer

Leftover fries are even worse than leftover pizza. They turn from crispy into soggy and they’re just a sad mess. Thankfully they still have some oil on them, and a quick stint in the hot air chamber will get them nice and crispy again. How crispy will depend on your air fryer, but it’s bound to get you some good results. 

air fryer fries

Toast and pancakes come out nice and warm

If you’re looking to warm up some toast or pancakes you’ve definitely chosen the right medium. Both of them have a texture to maintain, and there’s definitely no room for soggy in there. 

However, if you don’t add a tiny amount of water that hot air can completely dry out both the toast and the pancakes. You don’t need much, just a teaspoon of plain water. By the time the toast and pancakes are done and hot, the moisture will evaporate and you’ll get soft yet crispy food. 

Tips on reheating with an air fryer

There’s a few things you need to be aware of when reheating your food with an air fryer. All of them stem from it being a tiny convection oven, so your food will have to obey some thermodynamic laws, so you don’t end up with overly dry or burnt food. Here’s what you should know. 

Always preheat the air fryer

Your air fryer heats up fairly quickly, but you should still preheat it to make sure you get an even cooking temperature. This means you need top preheat the air fryer every time you want to reheat something in it. It may sound like a lot of work but really it just means turning it on a couple of minutes before you add the food.

Don’t crowd the pan !

A crowded pan will mean the air fryer won’t work as efficiently. The hot air won’t go everywhere (low circulation) and you won’t be able to get the right texture. It’s also the perfect way to get soggy food. The outside of the food will be dry and very crispy by the time the middle will be heated through.

Remember air fryers circulate air

Keep in mind the these items rely on the air circulation throughout the cooking chamber. This means that you should not crowd the pan, like we stated above, but it also means things can and do fly around in there.

If you food or plate is very light, it will fly around the chamber and it will eventually burn as it touches the hot coils at the top. That’s the perfect way to burn parchment paper, paper plates, or styrofoam cups. Don’t use those, and make sure the food you place in there is weighted.

Do add a tiny amount of water

When reheating your food, you may want it crispy. And that’s fine, it’s just that you may need to take into account how drying the hot air can be. If your food is already pretty dry (like fries) a little bit or water will add moisture to the air so they won’t be completely dried out and hard by the time they’re hot.

Only add heat-proof dishes in the pan

This one should go without saying, but please be very, very careful when adding your dishes to the air fryer. Be sure to use the trays it comes with, but if you add something of your own be absolutely sure it’s made of a material that can stand high heat.

This mean tempered glass, metal, or ceramics. Heat-proof, and always have an oven mitt around. 

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