Read This Before Putting Broccoli In An Air Fryer

For people who want to avoid excess fat but still feel like keeping things crispy and delicious, the air fryer may very well be a game changer. However, because the kitchen appliance has only recently hit the mainstream, this potentially revolutionary cooking method still comes with a few caveats. For instance, many people might be hazy about what air fryers actually do to your food, and there are a few mistakes people regularly make when using the kitchen gadget. 

Still, when you nail a dish with an air fryer, it's just as delicious as any other method of frying — if not more so. As such, it may be tempting to use it as a cheat code to make food that's healthy, but can be difficult to prepare in a delicious way. Take broccoli, for instance — the time-tested gold standard vegetable of making children (and picky adults) go "uggh" and refuse to eat their greens. This veggie can be cooked countless ways, most of which have been received with frowns and complaints from less than enthusiastic eaters. So, could air-frying the stuff finally be the trick to make broccoli that's simply too delicious to deny? It could be! However, before you go for it, you should know that cooking broccoli in an air fryer can go horribly wrong if not done correctly. Here's what you should know before putting broccoli in an air fryer.

Broccoli is a tricky air fryer food

What's worse than limp, boiled broccoli? It could just be broccoli that has been air-fryed to a crisp. The air fryer has a knack for roasting vegetables quite rapidly, so cooking broccoli in an air fryer can be trickier than it seems. Per Insider, broccoli can easily get extremely dusty and dry, to the point that the dining experience might remind you of sandpaper — a notorious non-delicacy. 

Fortunately, there are ways to get around this. According to Chew Out Loudthe air fryer broccoli experience can be quite succulent and crispy if you know what you're doing, and adapt oven-roasted broccoli recipes properly for air-frying conditions. If you cut your broccoli to same-sized pieces, you dodge the drying-out factor that would otherwise affect florets that are smaller than others. It's also wise to use seasonings that are powdered instead of fresh, as they are less likely to burn. The real trick, however, is simple: Just add a tablespoon or so of water to the bottom of the air fryer before cranking up the heat. This trick will ensure the broccoli stays tender and help you avoid burning the green veg. If you do it right, cooking broccoli using this method should take only about six minutes — and taste just like the oven-roasted version.