Why Your Air Fryer Takes Too Long to Cook and How to Fix It?

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Do you ever wonder why your air fryer seems to take forever to cook your food? It can be frustrating when you’re hungry and waiting for your meal. But don’t worry, there are some simple things you can do to fix it! In this blog post, we’ll explore why your air fryer might be taking too long to cook and share some easy tips to speed up the process.

From preheating properly to arranging your food in the basket, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get your air fryer working faster and cooking your meals in no time. So if you’re tired of waiting around for your food to cook, keep reading to learn how to make your air fryer more efficient!

Why Your Air Fryer Takes Too Long to Cook

There are several reasons why this might happen, and understanding these reasons can help you cook more efficiently. Here are some common issues and detailed solutions to make sure your air fryer works at its best.

Why Your Air Fryer Takes Too Long to Cook

Overloading the Basket

One of the main reasons your air fryer might take too long to cook is that the basket is too full. When you put too much food in the basket, the hot air inside the fryer cannot circulate properly. This leads to uneven cooking and longer cooking times because the air cannot reach all parts of the food effectively.


  • Do not fill the basket too much: Try to keep the amount of food in the basket at a moderate level. The food should not be piled up too high or packed too tightly.
  • Cook in smaller batches: Instead of trying to cook everything at once, divide your food into smaller portions. Cook one batch, then the next. This might take more time overall, but each batch will cook faster and more evenly.
  • Spread the food out: Arrange the food in a single layer so that the hot air can circulate around each piece. This allows the food to cook more evenly and quickly.

Incorrect Temperature

Setting the temperature too low can also cause your air fryer to take longer to cook. Sometimes, people set a lower temperature to avoid burning the food, but this can backfire by making the cooking process slower. The food needs a certain amount of heat to cook properly and become crispy.


  • Follow the recipe’s temperature guidelines: Recipes are designed with specific temperatures for a reason. Sticking to the recommended temperature can help ensure your food cooks in the expected time.
  • Start with a higher temperature: If you are unsure, start at a higher temperature and check the food frequently. You can always lower the temperature if it seems like the food is cooking too fast or might burn.
  • Use a thermometer: If you are cooking meat or other foods that need to reach a specific internal temperature, use a food thermometer to check doneness. This can help you avoid undercooking or overcooking.

Not Preheating

Preheating your air fryer can make a significant difference in cooking times. Without preheating, the air fryer needs to warm up before it starts cooking your food, which adds extra time to the process. Preheating ensures that the air fryer is already at the right temperature when you start cooking.


  • Preheat the air fryer: Most air fryers have a preheat function. Use this function to let the air fryer heat up for a few minutes before adding your food. If your air fryer does not have a preheat button, set it to the desired cooking temperature and let it run for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Check the manual: Your air fryer’s manual might have specific preheating instructions. Following these guidelines can help you achieve better cooking results.

Thick or Large Pieces of Food

Larger or thicker pieces of food naturally take longer to cook because the heat needs more time to penetrate through the thickness. This is especially true for meats and dense vegetables.


  • Cut food into smaller or thinner pieces: By cutting food into smaller pieces, you reduce the cooking time. Smaller pieces of food, be prepared for longer cooking times. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meats to ensure they are cooked through. For vegetables, use a fork to test tenderness.

Using Too Much Oil

Although air fryers use less oil than traditional fryers, using too much oil can lead to problems. Excess oil can drip and cause the basket to become greasy, which can interfere with the hot air circulation and result in uneven cooking and longer cooking times.


  • Use a small amount of oil: You only need a little bit of oil to help your food get crispy. A tablespoon or two should be enough to coat most foods.
  • Use an oil spray: Using an oil spray bottle can help you apply a thin, even layer of oil to your food without using too much. This ensures that your food gets a nice, crispy texture without becoming greasy.

Opening the Basket Too Often

Each time you open the basket to check on your food, heat escapes from the air fryer. This means the appliance has to reheat each time you open it, which extends the cooking time.


  • Minimize opening the basket: Try to resist the urge to check on your food too often. Instead, set a timer and only open the basket when necessary, such as to shake or turn the food halfway through cooking.
  • Use the viewing window: If your air fryer has a viewing window, take advantage of it. You can monitor the progress of your food without opening the basket and letting the heat out.

Air Fryer Needs Cleaning

A dirty air fryer can significantly affect its performance. Grease, food particles, and other residues can build up over time, blocking the airflow and making it harder for the air fryer to cook food efficiently.


  • Clean the air fryer regularly: After each use, clean the basket, tray, and any removable parts with warm soapy water. Wipe down the interior and exterior of the air fryer to remove grease and food particles.
  • Deep clean periodically: Every few uses, give your air fryer a more thorough cleaning. Check the manual for specific cleaning instructions and be sure to clean the heating element and other hard-to-reach areas.

Different Types of Food

Not all foods cook at the same rate, even if they are the same size. Dense vegetables like carrots and potatoes take longer to cook than lighter vegetables like zucchini or bell peppers. The cooking time also varies for different types of meats and other foods.


  • Group similar foods together: When cooking multiple items, try to group foods with similar cooking times together. For example, cook all your dense vegetables in one batch and your lighter vegetables in another.
  • Adjust cooking times: Be prepared to adjust cooking times based on the type of food you are cooking. Check the food often and remove items that are done while allowing others to continue cooking.

Faulty Air Fryer

Sometimes, the problem might be with the air fryer itself. If your air fryer is old or has a faulty heating element, it may not heat up properly or maintain the correct temperature, causing longer cooking times.


  • Check the warranty: If your air fryer is still under warranty, contact customer service for troubleshooting tips or consider getting it repaired or replaced.
  • Consider replacing the air fryer: If your air fryer is old or has persistent issues, it might be time to invest in a new one. Modern air fryers often come with improved features and better performance.


Your location can also affect cooking times. At higher altitudes, the air pressure is lower, which can change how your air fryer cooks food. Water boils at a lower temperature at high altitudes, which can affect cooking times and results.


  • Adjust cooking times and temperatures: If you live at a high altitude, you might need to cook food for a longer time or at a slightly higher temperature. Experiment with different settings to see what works best for your location.
  • Look for altitude-specific recipes: Some recipes are designed specifically for high-altitude cooking and can provide more accurate guidelines for your air fryer.

Following Oven Recipes

Recipes designed for conventional ovens do not always translate directly to air fryers. Air fryers cook food differently, often at higher speeds and using different temperatures, so oven recipes might require adjustments.


  • Use air fryer-specific recipes: Whenever possible, look for recipes that are specifically designed for air fryers. These recipes will provide more accurate cooking times and temperatures.
  • Adjust oven recipes: If you must use an oven recipe, start by reducing the temperature by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit and the cooking time by about 20%. Keep an eye on the food and make further adjustments as needed.


There are many reasons why your air fryer might take too long to cook food. Overloading the basket, setting the temperature too low, not preheating, and using too much oil are just a few common causes.

By understanding these reasons and following the detailed solutions provided, you can improve your air fryer’s performance.

Remember to preheat, avoid overfilling the basket, and clean your air fryer regularly. With these tips, your food should cook faster and more evenly, making your air fryer a more efficient and enjoyable tool in your kitchen.

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Hi, I'm Zein, and I know everything there is to know about home tools. I'm able to fix everything from coffee and espresso machines to washers and dryers. I really enjoy figuring out how to use home electronics, so I'm going to share some guides, tips, and tricks with you. You can count on me to make your home life easy, whether you're looking for the right brew or dealing with annoying problems. Welcome to my space, where I combine my knowledge with simple life hacks!

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