This Is What Happens When You Put Too Much Food In An Air Fryer

For many, air fryers have become the best invention since sliced breadĀ (per Home Kitchen Fryer). With the popularization of air fryers, at-home cooks can now extend the breadth of things they can do in the kitchen in a much healthier way than before. Air fryers now make it possible to "fry" things like fish, make french fries crispier and crunchier without all the extra grease, and even bake small batches of yummy desserts likeĀ these from Delish.

Air fryers hit the market in September 2010, and since then, there have been mounds of articles that list all the best cooking practices, most unconventional things you can make in an air fryer, and all the things you should keep in mind when using your air fryer (via Exnovate). Experts have suggested things like preheating the air fryer, rotating the protein that is being cooked, lightly greasing your food, and probably one of the more important recommendations: don't overcrowd the frying basket in your air fryer (via Insider).

Why it's important to cook in small quantities

Similar to when you are cooking in a pan, the moment you start to crowd things, they begin to steam cook or will take much longer to cook, according to End of the Fork. When crowding the basket in the air fryer (that's been preheated, of course), you not only limit the ability of the fryer to cook it properly in a set amount of time, but you won't be able to achieve the desired level of "fry" that you were hoping for (via Dummies and Reddit). Which, when you think about it, is terribly counterintuitive to what the air fryer was made to do.

Cook and Brown recommends that you cook in batches because it will help your food cook faster and better. Because air fryers are in essence mini-convection ovens, cooking in them will be much faster than roasting your food or even actually frying it in oil, according to Cook and Brown. Faster cooking means you can get to munching on your french fries with your family that much sooner.