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Air Fryer Cooking Times UK

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Excited you have a new piece of kitchen kit – but have no idea about air fryer cooking times? Worried you’re either going to undercook your food, or burn everything dry? Used a generic air fryer cook times chart but it all went horribly wrong? Well don’t worry, there’s an easier way to get to grips with air fryer timings! Keep reading to learn how, and grab yourself some awesome freebies in the process!

Ninja Foodi dual zone air fryer with a pot stand

Here’s why you shouldn’t trust a generic air fryer cooking times chart (UK or otherwise)

An air fryer cooking time chart is typically made using such a ridiculously broad set of food types, there’s just no way it can be accurate.

Take chicken for example. There’s breasts, thighs, nuggets, breaded, butterflied etc. And each of those can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. All of which will require a different air fryer timing and temperature in order to achieve perfect results. 

Not only that, it could have been made outside the UK, which presents multiple issues. You may end up needing to convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius. You may not even be able to buy the products that those timings and temperatures were tested with (be it air fryer model or ingredient). Even a different climate can effect cooking times and temperatures!

Cookie dough balls in an air fryer drawer

And then there’s the issue of variables. Portion sizes can differ wildly. Air fryer brands and models all vary. Ingredients can be hugely different, with a multitude of varieties and brands available across the country. There’s no end to just how different things can be from one household to another.

So if you don’t want to make lots of costly mistakes or potentially even damage your air fryer, I beg of you – don’t use a generic air fryer cooking chart!

Keep reading to discover a much more reliable way of working out air fryer timings and temperatures. To make sure you’re not wasting time and money, or getting stressed out!

Someone forking an air fryer roast potato in an air fryer drawer

How do I calculate cooking times for an air fryer?

Cooking times for an air fryer are always less than an oven. If you used the same temperature, your air fried food would end up dry and overcooked. Or worse, burnt!

To work out cooking times for air fryers, you need to reduce the recommended oven time to about 80%.

But don’t worry! Later in the post I’ve got a solution for you that means you won’t have to do brain hurty maths every single time you want to use your air fryer!

Someone getting food out of an air fryer drawer. A text overlay says 'Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Review'

Do you have to preheat an air fryer?

In short, you don’t have to preheat your air fryer. But it is often recommended. Preheating usually ensures that suggested cooking times and temperatures will be more accurate. If you start with a cold air fryer, it will likely take longer.

Picture this – if you were cooking something in your oven and told to use a certain temperature, you would instinctively preheat it unless told otherwise right? Or if you were frying an egg on the stove top. You’d heat the pan and the oil first!  It’s the same with your air fryer. Although the bonus with your air fryer is that you don’t have to preheat it for anywhere near as long as an oven! Just 3-4 minutes is more than adequate.

On the other hand, lets say you’re warming up your morning croissant – you wouldn’t really need to preheat your air fryer in this case.

Cooked back bacon in an air fryer drawer with tongs

Does an air fryer cook faster than an oven?

Yes! Air frying is usually faster than oven baking as it is a smaller, more concentrated space.

However, there is an exception to this rule. Should you need to cook larger quantities than will fit in your air fryer, you will likely need to cook in batches. This can result in a longer overall cooking time. At which point, I would recommend just using your oven.

Air fried cheese on toast in a drawer with other ingredients on plates around it

A better way to find air fryer cooking times

I’ve told you how not to work out air fryer times, here’s the easy, more reliable way of doing it with better results

Utilise how you’re already used to cooking.

What do I mean by that? Well, when you cook food in your oven, you will probably use one of two methods, or a combination of both. You’ll either use the packet instructions as a guide, or you’ll use your existing knowledge and instincts.

Use both of those techniques for air frying? And you’ll achieve far greater results than you would have done using a generic air fryer time chart.

But Emma, didn’t you say that air fryer timings and temperatures are less than oven settings??

air fryer conversion chart and 10 secrets to mastering timings and temperatures

Yes, I did! Here’s where I can help make your life easier. Fill out the form below, and you can get a printable air fryer conversion chart for FREE! This will help you easily convert fan oven timings and temperatures into air fryer settings. (No need to get your calculater out every single time!) Oh, and those air fryer cooking times are in Celcius, to make it easier for UK dwellers.

You’ll also get 10 secrets to mastering timings and temperatures… whatever your air fryer! So no need to worry about whether these will work with your particular air fryer model or not!

Not only will you get your 2 FREE air fryer cheat sheets, you’ll also get some extra bonus emails filled with lots of air fryer tips! Trust me, this is 100% worth it! (They’re really good tips!!)

What have you got to lose? They’re absolutely FREE! And could save you a lot of money on potentially burning ingredients, or even replacing a broken air fryer.

Do you have to wait for an air fryer to cool down before you can use it again?

In my experience I’ve not found this to be true. Essentially, you’ve already preheated your air fryer! However, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of though…

  • If the foods your cooking afterwards are cooked at a lower temperature
  • If what you’ve already cooked has left the air fryer greasy or dirty

If either of these are true, you will need to allow time for your air fryer to cool down. So you can either cook at a lower temperature, or so it’s cool enough for you to clean the air fryer before using it again. (That second point is important, I talk more about it in my air fryer bacon recipe. Check it out if you want to learn more.)

An air fryer basket filled with air fried fries

Can you leave an air fryer unattended while cooking?

Personally I never leave my air fryer unattended while it’s on. For a couple of reasons…

One, I’ve never been comfortable leaving an electrical item with a heating element on in my house, without being around to quickly resolve any potential machine faults, electrical faults or even putting out fires! (Although I’m grateful to say this has never actually happened, it still gives me piece of mind that I’m there just in case!)

Two, as an air fryer is such a small and concentrated method of cooking, I like to regularly check on what I’m making. I’m a frugal person by nature, and really don’t like wasting (or burning) money! I also don’t like it when anything gets in the way of me and my food. Boy, do I get HANGRY!!

Raw sausages in a ninja air fryer drawer with a linen napkin

Air fryer recipe inspiration

Feeling more confident already, and want to get stuck in? Check out this round up of over 40 UK air fryer recipes! And, of course, all of Kitchen Mason’s air fryer recipes too!

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Air fryer conversion chart and air fryer timing and temperature tips printables

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Have your say!

Did you find this post useful? Thought of something I may have missed? Let me know! Get in touch via social media – on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com. I’d love your feedback!

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About Emma Mason

Emma is a professional blogger. Utilising over 20 years of cooking experience, she’s passionate about making your life easier, one recipe at a time! Drawing on her 12+ year background in recipe research and development, photography, copy writing and marketing, Emma has turned kitchenmason.com into a successful career. Known as ‘the organisation queen’ among friends, she is passionate about creating easy to follow recipes that anyone can follow and enjoy. She lives in Nottingham (UK) with her husband, daughter and 2 naughty cats. In her spare time she can be found reading a good book, training at the dojo preparing for her black belt grading, or dreaming up the next crazy colour combo for her hair!

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