Post was Updated on April 29, 2022
Wondering if you need to flip your food in the air fryer? If so, when do you need to toss the food, and how to do it properly to avoid burning yourself? Read further to find answers to all these questions.
So, do you need to flip the food in an air fryer? If the air fryer is not overcrowded or you don’t cook big pieces of meat, then it is not needed to flip the food because the hot air can easily circulate between the food and the food will cook evenly on all sides. If you will overcrowd the air fryer, then at half of the cooking time, remove the air fryer basket, and shake it to toss the ingredients.
If you’re cooking some light food like fish, chicken nuggets, or some vegetables in the air fryer you may not need to flip the food because it is thin and it can easily be cooked evenly. Just make sure that you didn’t overcrowd the air fryer basket so the hot air can easily circulate between the food and fry it evenly on all sides.
If you’re cooking something dense or big like a whole chicken, you will need to flip it over at half of the cooking time. If you have a digital air fryer, most probably it will tell you when it is time to flip your food.
Pro Tip: Even if you have a top air fryer, when you will plan to cook a piece of meat or fish, I still recommend flipping them at half of the cooking time to distribute evenly the inner juice. In that way, the meat or fish will be juicer inside, and it will be beautifully browned on both sides. Otherwise, if you will not flip the meat, the juice may leak into the bottom part of the meat and you may risk getting drier meat on the top.
In case you are cooking some vegetables like broccoli, potato wedges, or sweet potatoes, you may remove the air fryer basket half of the time and shake it well to change the position of the vegetables. In that way, you will make them even crispier.
Another case when you need to flip your food is if you are using an entry-level air fryer in which the hot air didn’t circulate easily. In that case, you may consider flipping your food more often. If you have a mid-range or top air fryer and you didn’t overcrowd the air fryer basket, then if you’re not cooking something heavy, you are good to go without flipping.
When Do You Need to Flip the Food in the Air Fryer?
As a general rule, you need to flip half of the cooking time. That way, your food will be cooked evenly on both sides. But there are exceptions like when I cooked the pork loin in the air fryer, I cooked it at high temperature for about 10 minutes to obtain a crispy crust that will stop internal juice leakage. Then, after that, I lowered the temperature, and I cooked for another 25 minutes to get juicy meat on the inside.
Quick Note: As all the air fryers are working differently, I recommend cooking a few recipes and paying attention to which results you like the most. After these few tryings, you will learn how your air fryer works and you will find how to get the best results from it.
When you cook some big pieces of meat or fish and you want to be sure that the meat is cooked evenly and the inside juice of the meat is also distributed evenly on the entire surface of the meat.
Quick note: If you have a smart air fryer, you don’t need to stop the cooking time. When you will remove the air fryer basket, it will pause the cooking time, and after you will reinsert it, it will continue from the point you left.
Another case when you need to consider flipping your food in the air fryer is when you filled too many pieces in the air fryer basket, like when you’re cooking the carrot fries. In that case, you may shake it half of the time to make sure that all of the carrot fries will be evenly crispy.
Pro Tip: If you have a full basket of french fries, there may be needed a few flips during the cooking time.
Answering Your Questions:
Remove the air fryer basket and shake it back and forth to toss ingredients. In case you have larger food pieces use silicone tip tongs to help you to toss the ingredients. After that reinsert the air fryer basket and resume cooking.
Help yourself with some silicone tip tongs, or use a fork and wood spoon that will make the flipping process easier. After that, return the baking tray to the air fryer and continue the cooking process.
Remove the air fryer basket, and shake it a few times until you will make sure that all the vegetables changed their initial position. After that, put back the air fryer basket and you will get evenly cooked vegetables in the air fryer.