Why You Should Usually Avoid Putting Wet Batter In An Air Fryer

man using an air fryer in kitchen
man using an air fryer in kitchen - Complexio/Getty Images

Air fryers are impressive devices that allow you to enjoy the great taste of fried foods while using less oil than you would with conventional deep frying. However, they're not always suitable for certain types of recipes. This includes foods with a wet batter, which is a technique that combines dry ingredients with some sort of liquid, such as buttermilk or a pickle brine solution. While incorporating liquid into batter can enhance taste and texture, it can make for a messy and inconvenient air frying process.

The major issue is the liquid components of wet batter may not stick to the food that's being air-fried as they would when deep frying. The larger volume of oil keeps wet batter in place while it cooks, while a lower volume of oil won't be able to handle the task. The result is a less-than-pleasing finished product, as well as a messy air fryer. Wet batter has a tendency to sully air fryer baskets, which means you'll need to clean up the mess before using the device again.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

How To Get Crispy, Crunchy Batter In An Air Fryer

person dredging chicken in egg
person dredging chicken in egg - Fabián Ponce/Getty Images

While traditional wet batters don't always play nice with air fryers, there are a few tweaks you can use to spare your device from catastrophe while enjoying a tasty meal. Consider experimenting with a semi-wet batter to achieve the desired results. Instead of using a liquid like buttermilk, use egg in conjunction with dry ingredients like breadcrumbs and flour. The consistency of the egg will hold together a bit better than a true liquid might, which prevents a mess and creates a pleasantly crunchy coating on food.

You can even use something like milk in the batter, provided you do so carefully. In this case, mix flour with seasonings and add milk in very small amounts. The key is to make a wet batter that will cling to the food, rather than drip off it in the air fryer basket. You can also firm up the batter even further by placing it in a refrigerator for about 30 minutes or so.

Best Practices For Cleaning Air Fryer Messes

woman looking into air fryer basket
woman looking into air fryer basket - Miragest/Getty Images

In the event you tweak your wet batter recipe but still end up with a messy air fryer, there are a few techniques at your disposal. Wet batter is most likely to create a mess in the basket and underlying pan. In this case, you're free to remove both components and soak them in a solution consisting of water and dish soap. For particularly stubborn messes, you may need to soak the air fryer components for an extended period, or even overnight.

You can also prevent messes from occurring by adding a bit of parchment paper to the basket prior to cooking. However, you must make certain the brand you're using can withstand the heat generated by the air fryer. Also, it's best to prep the paper before adding it to the device. You can do so by trimming it to fit the size of the basket, as well as adding holes to ensure the proper flow of air. While you must proceed with caution if you wish to use wet batter, these steps can help you avoid a major air fryer mishap.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.