I don’t know about you, but grilling food has always challenged me. We have an outdoor grill that is great for summertime meals, but I wouldn’t say I like to go out in the heat on summer evenings. In the winter, our grill sits largely unused as well.
The problem is that I love the taste and texture of grilled foods, but I’m not too fond of all the work that goes into getting the grill cleaned and fired up. I know, I know, First World problems, right?
With a bit of tenacity and research, I figured out how to fix my problem. I didn’t know this before, but you can actually grill food in your air fryer and have it come out perfect! For me, it took a little bit of trial and error to get it down just right, but now I can grill all of my favorite foods in my air fryer like a pro. Here’s how to turn your air fryer into a lean, mean grilling machine so you can finally grill indoors!
Step 1: Invest in a Grill Plate
Some air fryers come with grill plates, while others don’t. If your air fryer doesn’t have a grill plate, you’ll need to purchase one. Make sure it will fit in your air fryer model before purchasing. Trust me; you’ll need that grill plate to make those classic sear marks and ensure air can get to both sides of your food as it grills.
Step 2: Preheat the Air Fryer
When you use an air fryer to grill food, it’s important to preheat the air fryer before you add the food to it. You’ll want to recreate the high temperature inside a standard grill, so heat your air fryer to 400⁰F to preheat it. Once you’re ready to put the food in, reduce the temperature to 380⁰F.
Remember that even though you’re using your air fryer as a grill, it will likely cook the food faster than a grill would. So be sure to check your food frequently and plan on grilling it in roughly half the time it would take you to grill it outdoors.
Step 3: Prep Your Food
When grilling food in the air fryer, you’ll want to make sure all of your food is evenly sized and already at the same temperature. This will help ensure that all your food cooks evenly. Also, if you want to avoid dry, overcooked meat, opt for thicker cuts of meat when you’re grilling it in our air fryer. This will help ensure that it remains juicy and moist inside.
Step 4: Use Oils That Have High Smoking Points
An oil’s smoke point refers to the oil’s ability to withstand heat. For best results when grilling with your air fryer, you’ll want to use oils with high smoking points. Some of the best options for this purpose include vegetable and avocado oils. Remember that you don’t need a lot of oil to grill your food. Using just a few teaspoons is best.
Step 5: Pre-Soak Skewers
If you plan to use wooden skewers in your air fryer, you can. However, make sure you soak them in water first (just as you would when using them on a standard grill). This will help you avoid burning your skewers.
Step 6: Season to Add a Smoky Flavor
Let’s face it—that smoky flavor is one of the main reasons grilled food is so tasty. You can recreate that flavor in an air fryer by using seasonings that have a natural smokiness to them. Some of my favorite options are smoked salts, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika.
Now that you know how to create delicious grilled foods in your air fryer give it a try tonight and see how you like it!