Air fryers have taken the world by storm. Yet one of the biggest searched topics on this appliance still has to do with air fryer cooking times.
It seems that very few articles exist that properly explain what affects cooking times and what they actually are for a broad variety of ingredients and dishes.
So, today we will explore this topic to its fullest! I’ve created 5 incredibly handy air fryer cooking times cheat sheets that will help you choose the best temp and time for your specific product.
We will also be looking at what will ultimately affect the cooking time and how to make the necessary adjustments.
This guide will come in handy when you make any of my air fryer recipes or create your own. If you don’t know where to start, go check out my Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe, these Crispy Mac And Cheese Balls, or these savory Shrimp Spring Rolls.
What Affects Air Fryer Cooking Times
So, first things first. There’s no point you have the cheat sheet without understanding how we got to the temperatures and times. And believe me. There are MANY factors that ultimately affect the final cooking times.
Understanding how that works will enable you to make small adjustments that suit your need/situation best. For example, I could say that meatballs take between 10-15 minutes to cook. However, if you are making mini meatballs, that time frame leans more towards 10 minutes (potentially less) than 15 minutes (which will overcook them).
Using the perfect cooking time and temperature ensures you get the best texture, flavor, and consistency for the dish or ingredient you are making.
So, let’s take a look at some factors that have the biggest influence on air fryer time and temperature. I’ll try and keep it short – PROMISE!
Some temperatures work better for some ingredients. That’s just a fact of life. Sure, you can spend an hour cooking chicken wings at 200ºF, but they won’t be nearly as delicious as baking them at 350ºF.
So, the temperatures I’ve laid out in the air fryer cook times cheat sheet are what’s usually best for most recipes.
Now, if you have a lower air frying temperature, the ingredients or dish will take longer to fully cook.
If the temperature is higher than what I’ve recommended, the outside will cook faster. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the overall cooking time will be reduced. It may still take the same amount of time for the inside to fully cook.
The downside to simply using higher cooking temps to reduce the cooking time is that often the outside comes out burnt or dry. That’s why I HIGHLY recommend you stick to my cooking temp guide.
Type Of Ingredient
Naturally, different ingredients have different densities and therefore different air fryer cooking times.
Some items, like meats, also need specific internal temperatures before they are safe to eat. So, don’t undercook the fish because you are short on time. Make sure that minimum internal temp has been reached for the perfect flavor, texture, and doneness.
Then, with meat especially, how the ingredient has been processed can also affect the cooking time. Chicken breasts with the bone in and skin on will take longer to cook than their boneless version.
Thickness Or Size
And finally, the larger the item the longer it will take to cook/reach the correct internal temp.
Making a 1-inch rare steak will take less time than cooking a 2-inch rare steak.
Cooking a 4-ounce chicken breast will take less time than cooking an 8-ounce chicken breast.
Naturally, a whole fish will take much longer to cook than a fillet of fish.
So, always consider the size of what you are cooking. Today’s air fryer cooking time cheat sheet mainly applies to average-sized ingredients or dishes.
Oven Versus Air Fryer Cook Times Chart
If you are ever unsure about the cooking time for air fryer recipes, it’s usually slightly less than what you would bake it for in an oven.
An air fryer circulates hot air much more effectively in a smaller chamber. This reduces the overall cooking time of the item by a couple of minutes. But really only by a couple.
For example, something that takes 10 minutes in the oven will take 8 minutes in an air fryer. But, if it takes 60 minutes in the oven, it will usually take around 48 minutes in the air fryer. Of course, that’s if you are using the same temperatures.
You can use my Air Fryer Conversion Chart to see how you can adjust the times and temperatures between an oven, fan oven, and air-fryer.
Air Fryer Cooking Times
Finally, let’s get down to numbers!
To recap, my guides will help you use the best cooking temp and time for most items. But you always have to look at what you are actually making and the variables I’ve mentioned above.
Always know what the item should be like (when it’s fully cooked), especially the internal temperature. It could mean the difference between undercooked and overcooked food. It could also mean the difference between life and death – literally!
Virtually all beef cooks best at 350ºF (180ºC). It helps brown the meat beautifully while cooking it evenly. But, depending on what you are making, the cooking times will vary significantly.
A smaller ground beef item, like meatballs, can take about 10-15 minutes. The larger the item becomes, the longer it will take. Corned beef, for example, can take over an hour to completely bake.
And remember, when it comes to meat, these ingredients need to reach a minimum internal temperature before they can be eaten safely. You can research what your specific beef item needs to be or take a look at this Meat Temperature Chart.
Lamb is pretty easy to make because it cannot be undercooked. The most common cuts are either loin chops or a rack of lamb.
Loin chops between 1 to 1 1/2-inch in thickness will take roughly 10-12 minutes to cook at 400ºF (200ºC).
A rack of lamb will take 20-30 minutes per pound at 350ºF (180ºC).
Pork is pretty easy too. Again, the most common air fryer temperature is between 350-400ºF.
Smaller cuts like chops and bacon take roughly 10-15 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness and size. Larger cuts, like loin, take about 30 minutes to cook.
If you have a unique cut you are unsure about, a good rule of thumb is 30 minutes or every 1.1 pounds (500 grams).
Chicken is easy to roast in an air-fryer. You can cook every cut at 350ºF (180ºC).
A whole chicken takes about 50 minutes to completely cook. Small cuts can take anywhere between 10-15 minutes, depending on the size.
Chicken wings, which are significantly smaller than most cuts, only need 8-12 minutes of cooking time.
Keep in mind, the bones and skin ultimately affect the cooking time. If they are left on the meat, the air fryer oven cooking times will be longer.
Fish And Seafood
Fish is generally also very easy to cook in an air fryer. The temperature is usually 350ºF (180ºC), but can also be 400ºF (200ºC).
Most items take very little time to cook. Calamari, shrimp, and prawns only take 5 minutes. Scallops take between 5-7 minutes, depending on their size.
A fillet of fish (about 1 inch in thickness) takes 10 minutes. And salmon, which is a pretty sense fish, takes between 10-12 minutes.
Always check what the minimum internal temperature of these items needs to be before serving them.
Vegetables are roasted in an air fryer at temperatures between 350-400ºF (mostly 400).
The thinner or smaller they are, the quicker they take. Asparagus, green beans, and mushrooms take 5 minutes.
But denser whole vegetables can take significantly longer. Pumpkin or squash takes about 30 minutes to cook. Whole potatoes take 50 minutes.
If you cut the vegetables into smaller pieces, they take less time. Cut potatoes (wedges or cubes) can take 30 minutes to bake.
Vegetarian proteins like tofu and tempeh are extremely popular in the air-frying recipe community.
Both are cooked between 350-370ºF (180-190ºC). Tofu takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces you are using.
Tempeh takes about 15-20 minutes.
Frozen food is one of the easiest things to cook in an air-fryer. You can always use 400ºF (200ºC) as the cooking temperature.
Furthermore, everything always takes between 8-15 minutes. Smaller items like egg rolls and onion rings take 8 minutes. Larger items like sausage rolls or chicken nuggets take 15 minutes.
Snacks And Sweets
And finally, as you know, there is no shortage of snacks you can make with this appliance.
So because there are SO MANY OPTIONS, it’s impossible to cover all of their air fryer times and temperatures.
If you are making roasted nuts, they will take between 5-8 minutes at 350ºF (180ºC). Muffins will take around 15 minutes at 320ºF (160ºC). And baked dense fruits (apples and pears) will take 15 minutes at 400ºF (200ºC).