You Should Never Put Leafy Greens In An Air Fryer. Here's Why

Air fryers are one of the hottest kitchen appliances right now, and if you're thinking of buying one (or already have one), you've probably heard that this handy tool can cook almost anything. An air fryer works a little like a mini oven – it circulates hot air around your food, which helps cook it quickly and evenly and give your food that delicious crispiness everyone craves without using much oil (via The Kitchn). But just because your air fryer can make crunchy, juicy fried chicken just as easily as it can bake up a batch of gooey chocolate chip cookies, that doesn't mean you can put just anything in there.

Leafy greens are one of the few foods your air fryer probably can't handle (and we're not really sure why you'd want to try air frying them anyway). According to Reader's Digest, putting unseasoned greens in your air fryer, including spinach and romaine lettuce, won't give you crispy veggie chips – instead, the lightweight leaves will probably just get blown around and create a big mess. But while most greens are a no-go for your air fryer, with the right recipe, you can still have success cooking kale.

How to make kale chips in an air fryer

The key to making kale work in an air fryer is lightly coating each leaf in olive oil so they're weighed down and less likely to take flight when the air starts moving (via Reader's Digest). According to Live Eat Learn, you can also substitute olive oil for a spritz of cooking spray if you want to use less oil. The site also recommends massaging the oil into the leaves just to guarantee that each one has enough to help weigh it down – then, you can sprinkle on seasonings like salt or your favorite spices.

Once the kale is covered in oil and seasoned, it's time to get air-frying. Live Eat Learn recommends air frying the kale at 375 degrees F for just four or five minutes. To make sure they cook properly, you might want to cook the leaves in small batches. Shake the basket about halfway through the cooking time, checking the crispiness of the leaves. Other greens may not be able to hold up in the air fryer, but in just a few minutes, you can enjoy a fresh batch of crunchy kale chips!