Content Summary

Are you new to the world of air frying? To get the most out of your air fryer and to prevent any mishaps, it is crucial to preheat it correctly. Preheating your air fryer is also an essential step that brings evenly cooked results.

This guide will provide you with these tips:

  • A step-by-step guide on how to preheat an air fryer;
  • Preheat your appliance following different cooking settings;
  • The do's and don'ts when preheating your air fryer.

Read on for more details!

Preheating The Air Fryer

Step 1: Check The Air Fryer Manual

  • All air fryers have a different preheat time and temperature settings.
  • It is essential to read the manufacturer's instructions in the air fryer manual before preheating your air fryer for the first time.
  • Most air fryers have a digital preheat setting or a manual temperature control dial.

Step 2: Set The Temperature

  • Turn on your air fryer and set the temperature to the desired cooking temperature according to  your recipe or the instruction manual.
  • The temperature typically ranges from 350 degree F - 400 degree F (175 degrees Celsius to 200 degrees Celsius).
  • Preheating to the right temperature ensures that your food will be cooked correctly.

Step 3: Set The Timer

  • After setting the preheat temperature, set the preheat timer.
  • This varies depending on the model and the food you're cooking. Some food may require a more extended preheat time, while others require only a few minutes.
  • Once you have set the timer, let the device heat up for a few minutes.
  • Typically, it should take between 3-5 minutes to have a preheated air fryer.

Step 4: Place The Food Basket

  • Insert the removable basket into the air fryer's chamber, making sure it clicks into place.
  • Some air fryers may have multiple racks or levels for cooking food; if so, make sure everything is inserted properly.
  • Ensure it is positioned correctly so that the hot air can circulate evenly and cook your food thoroughly.

Step 5: Preheat The Air Fryer

  • Once the basket is in place, close the lid of the empty air fryer and let it continue to preheat.
  • When your air fryer is preheated, carefully remove the basket and place your food in it.

Step 6: Cook The Food

  • Make sure to follow the air fryer recipes' instructions for cooking time and temperature.
  • If you are unsure about the cooking time or temperature, check the instruction on how to use an air fryer.
  • Don't overcrowd the food basket. Overcrowding the food basket can block the hot air from circulating properly, resulting in unevenly cooked food.
  • This can also reduce the air fryer's efficiency, making it take longer to cook your food.
  • Keep an eye on the timer to ensure that you don't overcook your food. Most air fryers come with a built-in timer, so you can set it to your desired cooking time and let it do its job.
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Different Cooking Settings & Preheating

Air fryers have different cooking settings. There are settings for frying, roasting, baking, dehydrating, grilling, and heating.

  • Depending on what you're cooking, set the correct setting and preheat temperature.
  • The cooking process for baking, for example, may require a lower temperature and longer preheating time than grilling.
  • There are many air fryers come with preset functions for popular foods such as French fries, chicken wings, steaks, or vegetables.
  • Each of these settings has unique temperature and time requirements, so it's important to choose the right setting for your food.
  • Some air fryers also have an adjustable temperature control dial that lets you fine-tune the temperature.
  • For best results, always refer to your air fryer's manual and follow our recommendations on using air fryers for different cooking purposes.
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Preheating Your Air Fryer: Do's & Don'ts


  • Do preheat your air fryer before cooking to ensure evenly cooked food.
  • Do read the manufacturer's instructions to determine the correct preheat time and temperature.
  • Do ensure that the food basket is correctly positioned for even cooking.
  • Do use the correct cooking setting for the food you're cooking.
  • Do remove any protective plastic from frozen foods before cooking them.


  • You cannot successfully air fry food when starting off with a cold air fryer.  So don't skip the preheating step.
  • Don't overcrowd the food basket, make sure there is enough room for hot air to circulate around the food.
  • Don't put too much oil in the cooking basket; air frying is a healthier way of cooking that requires less oil.
  • Don't use metal utensils or cooking spray as they can damage the basket's non-stick coating.
  • Don't walk away from the air fryer while it's preheating or cooking – keep an eye on your food to avoid overcooking.

Preheating Air Fryers FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about preheating air fryers:

Why is preheating important for air fryers?

Preheating makes sure that the air fryer reaches the desired cooking temperature, resulting in evenly cooked food.

Does an air fryer need to be preheated?

Yes. Preheating your air fryer is an important step to ensuring delicious and evenly cooked food. 

  • It helps to bring the air fryer to the desired temperature before placing your food inside. 
  • Skipping this step may result in unevenly cooked or undercooked food.

How do I preheat my air fryer before first use?

Follow the general guideline and the manufacturer's instructions in the user manual on how to preheat your specific air fryer model.

Do you preheat an air fryer with the basket in or out?

It is recommended to preheat your air fryer with the basket in place to ensure even cooking. However, some models may require you to remove the basket during preheating.

How long do you preheat an air fryer?

It takes between 3-5 minutes for most air fryers to reach the desired temperature. However, this may vary depending on the food being cooked and your specific model of air fryer. Also, smaller air fryers may take less time to preheat than larger air fryers.

How long to preheat an air fryer to 360 degree F?

To reach a preheat temperature of 360 degree F, it takes between 3-4 minutes for most air fryer models.

How long does it take to preheat an air fryer to 400 degree F?

To reach a preheat temperature of 400 degree F, it takes between 4-5 minutes for most air fryers. However, this may vary depending on the specific model.

How do I know when my air fryer is preheated?

Most air fryers come with a preheat indicator light that will turn off once the desired temperature has been reached. You can also refer to your manufacturer's instructions for specific guidance on how to determine when your air fryer is preheated.

Do you preheat air fryer for frozen French fries?

Yes, it is recommended to preheat your air fryer before cooking frozen French fries for best results. As with any food, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for correct temperature and timing.

How to preheat an air fryer and should you? | AirfryDaily

Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure to clean your air fryer basket thoroughly before preheating and cooking.
  • Don't preheat your air fryer with any oil or food inside; always wait until the preheating process is complete before adding your ingredients.
  • If you're short on time, some models come with a rapid preheat function that can speed up the preheating process.
  • Don't forget to turn off your air fryer once you're done cooking and unplug it from the power source. Safety first!

Preheating your air fryer correctly can make a big difference in the quality and taste of your food. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your air fryer is preheated correctly, allowing for even cooking and delicious results.


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Keep experimenting with different foods and recipes to discover all that your air fryer can do. From crispy and golden fries to flavorful roasted vegetables, the possibilities are endless. Happy cooking!

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