Easy oven to air fryer conversion guide

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How to make chocolate chip cookies in an air fryer

If you love your favourite fried foods but are trying to cut back on oil and calories, an air fryer may be the perfect kitchen appliance for you. Air frying uses dry heat to cook food, giving you similar results to deep frying but with less oil and a shorter cook time. 

The main difference between cooking in a conventional oven and an air fryer is the cooking temperature and cooking time. As I am often cooking for just myself or one other person, I find the air fryer quick and convenient. I would buy it just to cook vegetables, potato wedges, and french fries. Cooking vegetables from frozen is a breeze.

I have (and love) the Instant® Vortex™ air fryer and this post is not sponsored. Some of the information in this guide has been supplied by them though.

An Air fryer on a counter with unbaked zucchini and cheese phyllo pies recipe

Over the past two years of using my air fryer, I have had to learn by trial and error how to adapt conventional oven temperatures and times to the air fry settings so I am creating this post as a thorough guide to help you with this.

Before we dive into the specifics of how to convert your oven recipes, it’s important to understand the key differences between an air fryer and a traditional oven. Air fryers use hot air to circulate around the food, creating a crispy exterior while keeping the inside moist and tender. 

They have a built-in fan that helps to distribute the hot air, ensuring that the food is cooked evenly on all sides. They are essentially very compact/mini convection ovens.

An air fryer basket filled with corn ribs for cacio e pepe recipe

Some benefits of using an air fryer include:

  1. Healthier cooking: Air fryers can significantly reduce the amount of oil needed for cooking, which can help lower calories and fat intake, making it a healthier cooking option. You only use a little bit of oil
  2. Faster cooking: Air fryers cook food faster than traditional ovens, making it a time-efficient cooking method.
  3. Versatility: Air fryers can cook a variety of foods, including meat, vegetables, and even baked goods.
  4. Easy to use and clean: Air fryers are easy to operate and require minimal clean-up compared to traditional frying methods.
  5. Safe: Air fryers are generally considered safer than deep frying as there is no risk of hot oil splattering, and there is no need for open flames or gas.
  6. Energy efficient: Air fryers use less energy than traditional ovens and fryers, making them an environmentally friendly cooking option.
  7. Overall, an air fryer can be a convenient and healthier way to cook a variety of foods while still achieving a crispy and delicious texture.

if you’re cooking or baking with an air fryer, you’ll need to do some slight tweaks.

To convert cooking temperatures from a regular oven to an air fryer, you need to keep in mind that air fryers cook food in less time and at a higher temperature than conventional ovens. 

Typically, you can reduce the cooking time by about 20-25% when using an air fryer compared to a conventional oven. Here’s an air fryer conversion chart to help you convert temperatures: NB: This is a general rule of thumb but air fryers may vary from brand to brand so consult your user manual for best results.

Note: These conversions are approximate and may vary depending on the specific type of air fryer you are using. 

Metric and imperial oven to air fryer temperature conversion chart

Here’s an example of how to convert a recipe from a conventional oven to an air fryer:

Conventional Oven Recipe: Roasted Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
  • Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until tender and crispy

Air Fryer Recipe: Roasted Potatoes

  • Preheat the air fryer to 180°C (356°F)
  • Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • Cook in the air fryer for 20-25 minutes, until tender and crispy

As you can see, the cooking temperature is slightly lower for the air fryer, and the cooking time is reduced by about 20-25%.

A recipe for rpast chicken and potatoes in an air fryer

How to bake cookies/biscuits in an air fryer

Baking cookies (biscuits)in an air fryer is a convenient and quick way to make a small batch of cookies without heating up your oven. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make your favourite cookie recipe and have the dough prepared.
  2. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (180°C) for 5 minutes. Use the baking setting if your model has one.
  3. For most cookie (biscuit recipes) it’s recommended line the drawer or tray with parchment (baking) paper otherwise the dough could burn on the bottom or if it’s very soft, fall through the basket slats.
  4. Once the air fryer is preheated, place the cookie dough balls or cutouts onto the paper-lined air fryer basket, making sure to leave enough space between them to allow for expansion. Do not overcrowd the basket. You will be baking small batches here.
  5. Bake the cookies for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are lightly browned around the edges.
  6. Once the cookies are done, carefully remove them from the air fryer basket using a spatula.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving.

Tips:  You may need to adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of your cookie dough balls.

Find more detail on how to make choc chip cookies here.

How to make chocolate chip cookies in an air fryer

How to bake chiffon and sponge cakes (cupcakes) in an air fryer:

Cakes made from a batter that is relatively thin can be quite tricky to bake in an air fryer since the batter can get scattered during baking and create a mess. 

However, you can prevent this from happening by baking them in a taller, sturdy metallic cake tin. Cover the batter-filled pan with aluminium foil and poke some holes in it. 

After the cake’s done, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. The result will be just as fluffy as the ones made using an oven!

Beetroot red velvet chocolate cupcake recipe

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when baking cakes in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer: Before placing your cake in the air fryer, make sure to preheat it to the desired temperature for the recipe. This will help ensure that your cake cooks evenly.
  2. Use the right pan: Choose a pan that is suitable for use in an air fryer. You can use silicone or metal baking pans, but make sure that they fit inside your air fryer basket.
  3. Adjust cooking time: Since air fryers cook food faster than traditional ovens, you will need to adjust the cooking time for your cake accordingly. It’s best to start with a shorter cooking time and check the cake frequently to avoid overcooking.
  4. Check for doneness: To check if your cake is done, insert a sharp knife or cake tester into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
  5. Let it cool: Once your cake is finished cooking, remove it from the air fryer and let it cool completely before frosting or serving. 
How to make chocolate chip cookies in an air fryer

Overall tips for baking with an Instant® Vortex™ air fryer:

  1. Reduce the suggested temperature for a conventional oven by 10-15°C.
  2. Reduce the baking time by 15-20%.
  3. Always use the pre-heat for Baking.
  4. Check for doneness periodically.
  5. Don’t overcrowd the baskets/trays.
  6. You still need some oil/butter to prevent sticking.
Air fryer chocolate chip cookie recipe

Overall tips for cooking in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer: Before you begin cooking, preheat your air fryer for a few minutes. This will help to ensure the food is cooked evenly. 
  2. Use the right temperature: The temperature you set in the air fryer should be based on the type of food you are cooking. Some foods require higher temperatures while others need a lower temperature.
  3. Don’t overcrowd the basket: It’s important not to overcrowd the basket when you’re cooking. If too much food is in the air fryer, it can stop the air from circulating and cause the food to cook unevenly.
  4. Single layer: Ensure the food is placed in the basket in a single layer
  5. Shake the basket: Shake the basket every few minutes while cooking if necessary (eg when making fries, tater tots, onion rings etc). This will help the food to cook evenly.
  6. Use a little oil: Though air fryers don’t require much oil, adding a bit of cooking oil or cooking spray can enhance the flavour and crispiness of the food.
  7. Use the right cookware: Make sure to use cookware that is designed for air fryers. Certain materials may not be safe to use in air fryers.
  8. Clean the air fryer regularly: Regularly cleaning your air fryer is important for optimal performance and preventing odours from developing. Most air fryers have removable baskets and non-stick coatings, which make them easy to clean.
Zucchini and cheese phyllo pies made in an air fryer basket

In summary, an air fryer can be a great appliance to use if you want to enjoy your favourite fried foods in a healthier and more convenient way. Remember to make adjustments to the cooking time and temperature when using an air fryer, and enjoy experimenting with new recipes.

Air fryer cooking chart/timetable (from Instant Vortex)

These timetables have been tested for the Instant Vortex Air fryer and may vary if you have a different brand. Use a meat thermometer if you are unsure about the degree of cooking.

Oven to air fryer conversion chart by food type

Here are all my air fryer recipes:

The best Air fryer ‘KFC’ chicken

Easy Air Fryer chicken fajitas

Easy air fryer choc chip cookies

Air fryer pork belly

Cacio e pepe air fryer corn ribs

Air fryer zucchini and cheese phyllo pies

Air fryer roast chicken (with ginger and & orange) and roast potatoes

Healthy air fryer frittata with vegetables

The best Air fryer roasted green beans

Air fryer zucchini and cheese phyllo pies recipe with a bowl of tzatziki


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  1. Must wondering why you dont use glass pans?

  2. Hello and you can totally use any oven-safe glass pans, ceramic, metal or silicone. It would just need to be quite small to fit the air fryer basket.

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