Do You Have to Flip Meat in Air Fryer? (Explained)

Kitchen appliances are invented to make our life easier and hassle-free. An air fryer is the talk of the town nowadays because of its unique feature of cooking food without or with significantly less oil.

An air fryer is considered a life savior for people who prefer low-fat and lower-calorie food.

An air fryer is designed to do deep frying without drowning the food in oil which is harmful to health.

It contains a fan that produces hot air at a very high speed to cook the food, presenting beautiful brown crisp layers on the food using the help of a browning reaction called the Maillard reaction.

It is undoubtedly considered a valuable and time-saving appliance, but some things still need to be taken care of while cooking food in an air fryer.

As we all know, an air fryer works on the convection heating method of hot air moving around the food to make it cooked but to make it cooked evenly; The food needs to be flipped because the air fryer contains only one heating element.

People get confused between either flipping or not flipping meat as people think the air fryer is supposed to do everything on its own, but that is not the case; it is indeed a state-of-the-art technology, but alas, a little human intervention is needed.

Flipping meat is one of the essential things to do when you are cooking a thick or dense piece of meat to have a perfect and brown crisp layer, whereas thin slices of beef don’t need to be flipped.

Food needs to be rotated, shaken, or flipped to ensure even tenderness on the inside and crispiness on the outside.

You also have to check the state of your ingredients in an air fryer from time to time.

Check out the following video to learn about the flipping of food in an air fryer.

Flipping food in an air fryer.

If you want to know more about how meat is done in an Air fryer, keep reading!

Can you put raw meat in an air fryer?

Grilled chicken in an oven
Air fryers can cook meat really well

Yes, you can cook raw meat in an air fryer, but it will take a little more time than usual.

Though an Air fryer is faster in cooking than an oven or grill, it takes almost 30 minutes to cook a raw chicken at 360 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

To ensure that meat is cooked thoroughly, you must check its internal temperature in between cooking sessions because meat like beef and pork is cooked adequately at the internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, when cooking the raw meat, you need to keep pulling out the thermometer to check the temperature until the desired tenderness of the meat is achieved.

Let’s look at the different types of meat and their cooking time in an Air fryer.

MeatTemperatureCooking time
Beef325° F35-45 minutes
Pork375° F12-15 minutes
Sausage400° F8-10 minutes
Salmon400° F5-7 minutes
Cooking time and temperature of the meat.

Why should you cook natural meat in an air fryer?

There are several reasons why you should cook raw meat in an air fryer. The first reason is that it is a healthier method of cooking meat.

Air frying uses less oil than deep frying, so it’s a better option if you want to cook your food in a healthier way.

Another advantage is that it cooks your food faster. Air frying cooks your food with a circulating current of hot air, resulting in a tasty, crispy exterior without the mess or hassle of deep-frying.

How to cook raw meat in an air fryer?

Raw meat is the most delicate food that can be cooked in an air fryer. You must ensure that the furnace is set to the proper temperature and time. Because raw meat contains less water than cooked meat, it can dry out quickly if overcooked. The rules are as follows:

  • Preheat your air fryer first.
  • Season the meat with salt and pepper in step two.
  • If your meat is fatty, use oil to grease the air fryer basket. (However, if your meat isn’t fatty, you can skip the oil.)
  • Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Then, increase the heat to high and cook for another 8-10 minutes.

What’s the best type of meat to cook in an air fryer?

The best meat to cook in an air fryer is tender beef cuts which include KC Strip, Ribeye, Top Sirloin, and Tenderloin.

Thin slices of meat are easy to cook.

Meat cuts with a higher degree of marbling cook well in an air fryer. However, ground beef also cooks fine in it as the air fryers work on convectional heat.

For making beef in it, a leaner cut is recommended for a better eating experience.

  • If you want to make steak in an air fryer, use pieces of meat no more than 1 inch thick and season it with salt, pepper, and your favorite dry herb.
  • Now preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes, put the steak inside the basket, and let it cook according to the air fryer’s given time.
  • Now make sure to flip the steak once halfway through the cooking time.
  • You can also check the internal temperature of steak by the instant-read thermometer to avoid overcooking.
  • For 1-inch steak, it would take 12-15 minutes for medium doneness.
  • Now, remove the steak from the air fryer basket, cover it with foil, so it doesn’t get dried out, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

How to keep food moist in an air fryer?

Keeping the meat in the marinade would make your food moist, juicy, and flavorful.

The marinade helps to lock the moisture in the meat and prevent the meat from becoming dry or hard to bite.

Marinating meat overnight gives the best results, but if you are short on time, you can just marinate food for 15 to 30 minutes maximum for flavored and moist food.

Here are some techniques to keep your food moist.

  • Don’t grease the whole basket of the air fryer.
  • Sometimes you have to flip it more than once to ensure its crispness and tenderness.
  • Spray oil on food from time to time to prevent it from becoming dry.
  • Keep checking the air fryer to see how food is coming along.
  • Don’t try to cook all meat at once. Only put 2 pieces of meat at a time to ensure the doneness and brownness of it.
  • For fatty foods, add water to the basket so that its moisture is locked.
  • Flip meat one by one to ensure it is cooked from both sides equally.
  • You can shake the air fryer basket also for well-flavored ingredients.
  • Use a thermometer to check the food’s internal temperature to ensure it is well cooked.

Here is the exciting part

The leftovers can also be reheated in the air fryer; they turn out even more crispy and tasty and taste even better than reheating them in an oven or microwave.

How to flip food in an air fryer?

To cook food thoroughly in an air fryer, it needs to be flipped, especially the thick and dense ones, because an air fryer has one heating element.

However, if you’re cooking in an Air fryer with an oven with a dual heating element, then the food doesn’t need to be flipped.

But, food like potatoes, fries, or thin beef strips don’t need much flipping, and a single shake to an air fryer basket would be enough for them to cook evenly.

When cooking chicken breast and fish, you must open the air fryer to flip the food at halftime.

To cook a whole chicken, you have to set a timer of 30 minutes at the temperature of 350° degrees Fahrenheit after applying seasoning and oil to it.

When it is half cooked, check the air fryer and flip it using tongs and let it cook for another 20-25 minutes so that the chicken gets a brown color evenly on each side with a layer of crispiness.


Cook meat
Cook meat the way you want!

For better cooking and eating experience, keep these things in mind.

  • Thick and dense meat needs flipping in an air fryer.
  • You can rotate or shake the air fryer basket for better results and crispiness.
  • Frozen and fried items of food don’t need much flipping.
  • Air fryers with dual heating elements don’t need flipping and work independently.
  • For cooking food evenly, the air fryer basket must not be overcrowded.
  • Please don’t grease the whole basket with oil; instead, spray oil on food from time to time, so it doesn’t get dry.
  • Leftovers can also be reheated in an air fryer and turn out more crispy and tasty than ever.
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