Air fryers have become one of the most popular kitchen appliances in recent years. Their ability to make crispy foods like french fries and chicken wings using little to no oil is a big draw for health-conscious cooks.
But can you use wooden skewers in an air fryer? Let’s take a closer look.
The Benefits of Cooking with Skewers in an Air Fryer
Using skewers in an air fryer offers several benefits:
1. Even Cooking
Skewering food helps it cook more evenly in the hot air vortex of an air fryer. The food is elevated off the basket, allowing air to circulate completely around it. This prevents soggy bottoms and ensures food is crispy on all sides.
2. Easy Flipping
Flipping and rotating food partway during cooking is recommended when air-frying to promote browning. Skewers make this easy; just grab the exposed end of the skewer with tongs to flip the food.
3. Keeps Food Secure
Delicate or small foods like shrimp, chunks of chicken, or vegetables can be securely held on a skewer while they are air-fried. This prevents them from blowing around in the fryer and ensures they won’t fall through the basket.
4. Prevents Overcrowding
Skewers provide separation between foods, preventing overcrowding in the basket, which can lead to uneven cooking.
5. Easy to Remove
When air-frying is finished, skewers make it easy to lift and remove food from the hot basket safely.
Can You Use Wooden Skewers?
So can you use wooden skewers in an air fryer? The short answer is yes, absolutely.
Here are some pointers:
- Opt for flat bamboo skewers over round toothpicks or frilly bamboo. The flat surface offers more support.
- Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using them to prevent burning.
- Double-skewer foods for extra stability if needed.
- Insert skewers through the thickest, densest parts of food to prevent spinning.
- Avoid loading too many skewers in the basket at once. Overcrowding prevents proper air circulation.
- Use tongs or an oven mitt to remove skewers after cooking, as they will be hot.
- Clean the air fryer basket and element thoroughly after use to prevent debris burn-in.
Tips for Cooking Skewers in an Air Fryer
Cooking on skewers in an air fryer opens up lots of possibilities! Here are some tips:
- Try grilled favorites like shrimp, chicken satay, kebabs, and vegetables.
- Brush or toss foods with oil or marinades before skewering for extra flavor and browning.
- When skewing multiple foods, group similar items, like veggies, to ensure even cooking.
- Use two parallel skewers for burger patties, fish fillets, or other fragile foods to keep them in shape.
- Bread and fry skewered foods like cheese cubes, pickle slices, or fruit for delicious hot appetizers.
- Adjust cooking time and temperature as the air fryer manufacturer recommends for the specific food item. Check frequently.
- Insert skewers into fully cooked baked goods like brownies and cookies to reheat individual servings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wooden Skewers in Air Fryers
1. What types of skewers work best?
Flat bamboo skewers are ideal. The flat surface keeps food more stable than round skewers. Soaked wood won’t burn like metal or plastic.
2. Should you soak wooden skewers first?
Yes, soaking bamboo skewers for 30 minutes prevents burning and makes them easier to insert. Extended soaking can soften them too much.
3. How do you keep food from spinning on skewers?
Insert skewers through the thickest, densest part of the food to anchor it. Or use two parallel skewers for extra stability when needed.
4. How close should skewers be to the heating element?
Maintain at least 1-inch clearance between skewers and the fryer heating element. Overcrowding skewers risks uneven cooking and burning.
5. Do you need to use oil or spray?
Lightly brushing or misting foods with oil helps promote browning when air-frying on skewers. But much less oil is needed than for deep frying.
6. How do you flip and rotate skewer foods?
Use tongs to grab the exposed end of skewers to easily flip and rotate foods midway through cooking for even browning.
7. Can you put metal skewers in an air fryer?
Metal skewers can be used, but they get very hot. The exposed ends can damage the fryer basket coating if they make direct contact.
8. How do you clean an air fryer after using skewers?
Remove debris from the heating elements and the basket right away. Wash the basket by hand or in the dishwasher. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.
9. What’s the best way to check for doneness?
Use a food thermometer for meat, poultry, and fish. For veggies and fruit, a fork inserted into the center should meet little resistance when fully cooked.
10. How do you remove skewers after air-frying?
Use tongs or an oven mitt to carefully slide food off the skewer onto a plate. Skewers will be extremely hot straight out of the air fryer!
Get air-fried skewers!
Cooking on skewers in your air fryer opens up a whole world of quick and healthy possibilities! From kebabs to chicken satay, the options are endless.
Just be sure to use flat, soaked bamboo skewers, allow proper air circulation, and adjust cook times as needed. In no time, you’ll be whipping up beautifully browned, crispy air-fried meals on a stick!
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.