Already totally head over heels with your air fryer? Turns out, it's possible to love it even more — if you have a few small tools on hand. You may have some of these things in your kitchen already, but if you don't, they won't set you back much and they'll give you a big return for your money. Get them and you'll find it much easier to use your air fryer. Promise.
Tongs are absolutely the best tool for maneuvering food into, out of, and around an air fryer's deep basket without risking singed fingers. While most air fryer recipes recommend shaking small items (like fries!) during cooking, that's not so easy to do. I find I'm better off flipping things with tongs. My favorite set is the Oxo Good Grips Silicone Flexible Tongs. Not only are they good for grabbing, but their wide ends can also reach under a few fries to turn over a bunch at a time.
BUY: Oxo Good Grips Silicone Flexible Tongs, $17
Even when your air fryer basket has a nonstick coating, little crunchy bits tend to get stuck to the bottom and take a little bit of elbow grease to scrub off. I like to line my basket with a piece of Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil or parchment paper (any brand will do). To make a round shape, fold a piece (roughly the length of the basket) in half and then again in half twice more until you have a long triangular shape. Trim it to half the diameter of your basket and then unfold the piece to find a perfectly round liner.
BUY: Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil, $10
Chicken wings and other goodies will come out even crispier if you air fry them on a rack. And after you take them out of the air fryer, if you're not serving them immediately, they'll stay crispy (especially underneath) if you let them sit on a rack instead of a platter. For the bottom of your fryer, you'll need a small one like Mrs. Anderson's Baking Round 6-inch Cooling Rack. For resting, I'm partial to the Wilton Recipe Right Nonstick Cooling Racks, which are easy to clean.
4. Instant-Read Thermometer
Just like when you cook with other methods, it's important to air fry to the correct temperature in order to kill off any of those nasty bugs that can make you sick. And it's particularly critical when you're making poultry. It's not enough that fried chicken looks brown and crispy; it's imperative that it reaches 165°F in the thickest spots. To get an accurate read, I recommend the brightly lit digital ThermoPop.
BUY: ThermoPop, $34 at ThermoWorks
The one thing that any air fryer does best? French fries! Make them homemade and they're even better. Luckily, cutting the potatoes doesn't have to be a chore. With a mandoline you can quickly get uniform slices of potatoes, which means they'll all cook in about the same time. The Chef'n Pull and Slice is particularly safe to use because your fingers don't come near the blade: You pull the cutter rather than push the potatoes across the cutting surface.
BUY: Chef'n Pull'n Slice Mandoline, $48 at Walmart
Do you find that you use any other tools with your air fryer? Tell us about them in the comments below.