Air Fried Fish

As an empty-nester trying to get rid of "stuff" accumulated over the years, buying a new kitchen gadget was the furthest thing from my mind. But after several of you shared how much you love your air fryer, well, I had to give it a try and...

Wow! The results were impressive: perfectly crisp panko coatings, beef filets and pork tenderloin that tasted more grilled than "oven-baked" and - this is the biggie! - significantly shorter cooking times from frozen!

Stuffed chicken breasts from freezer to table in just 35 minutes? Um, yes please!

So, what's an air fryer?

The air fryer is a countertop appliance that has a heating element and fan at the top - it's kind of like a small, turbo-charged convection oven! The fan circulates very hot air quickly throughout the cooking area and around the food, speeding up the cooking process. It's also excellent for reheating foods.

Dinner Done + Air Fryer = Faster Cooking Times!

In our testing, the air fryer remarkably reduced "from frozen" cooking times. Because the rapidly circulating hot air helps speed up the cooking process, frozen items are removed from the disposable pan and placed directly on the air fryer's rack -- if left in the original pan, the sides prevent some of the air circulation and impact cooking times.

So far, we have found the types of dishes noted below cook well in the air fryer. Click here for a printable copy  - a little "cheat sheet" that's perfect to keep as a reference on the side of the fridge!

Entrée Type



Dishes like…

Panko or Breadcrumb Crusted Chicken Breasts


28-33 min*

Dijon Buttermilk Chicken Breasts, Chicken Parmigiana, etc.

Panko or Breadcrumb Crusted Stuffed Chicken Breasts


30-35 min*

Ricotta Spinach Stuffed Chicken, Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Chicken, etc.

Panko or Breadcrumb Crusted Chicken Cutlets


22-25 min*

Walnut Rosemary Oven Fried Chicken, Chicken Cutlets with Lemon Basil Sauce, etc.

Panko or Breadcrumb Crusted Chicken Strips


23-27 min*

Parmesan Chicken Fingers, Ranch Chicken Fingers, etc.

Panko or Breadcrumb Crusted Fish Filets, Salmon Filets

370F to 400F

18-21 min*

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Salmon with Citrus Beurre Blanc, etc.

Beef Filets, Pork Tenderloin


28-33 min*

Steak Diane, Rum Glazed Pork Tenderloin, etc.

Panko or Breadcrumb Crusted Pork Chops


23-27 min*

Pork Schnitzel, Portabella Piccata Pork Chops, etc.

* Cooking times are from frozen and, as always, are approximate and will depend on your exact device as well as the thickness of what is being cooked, which can vary greatly. To ensure food has been cooked to the recommended safe temperature, simply use an instant read meat thermometer... it's that easy!

GoWISE Air Fryer

Lots to choose from...

There are lots of different air fryers out there and picking one was a little confusing. Basically, they vary in size (volume for cooking) and shape (basket vs. toaster oven-like). 

The Elite Platinum 3.5 Quart Air Fryer was our first purchase. It seemed big enough for two people and was economically priced. While it worked fine for certain things, the size and shape of the basket was too restrictive for many of our petite-sized freezer-to-oven dishes, so after a few weeks the search for a larger air fryer began...

Ultimately, I chose the GoWISE USA Deluxe 12.7-Quart Air Fryer. It has an oven-like shape and a much larger volume for cooking, which was exactly what I was looking for. As a bonus, it also came with a lot of accessories that have been useful, including a rotisserie rod which I haven't used yet, but hello, Peruvian Chicken!  I also like that the inside is stainless steel and I can easily line the bottom with foil to catch any drippings. There are a few cracks and crevices where crumbs collect around the door, but generally speaking this air fryer is easy to clean. 

A few tips!

There's not much of a learning curve to using the air fryer, but a few tips never hurt.

  • Read the manual!
  • Just like conventional ovens and other appliances, different air fryers cook differently based on brand and wattage. The more you use it, the more familiar you’ll be with how our dishes cook in your particular air fryer.
  • Preheat your air fryer. It it doesn’t have a preheat setting, that’s OK, just put it on the desired temp and let it heat 2-3 minutes before cooking. (I just add 2 to 3 minutes to the estimated cooking time and then put the food in to cook once the oven is heated.)
  • Oil the basket or racks to minimize sticking. It’s best to simply wipe with cooking oil as non-stick sprays can damage the coating on some air fryer baskets.
  • Remove frozen items from our disposable pans and don’t overlap food when cooking. Remember that a main reason the air fryer is so effective is because very hot air circulates rapidly around all sides of the food! Separate the items you are cooking so that the heat can properly circulate.
  • Placing foods too close to the heating element at the top of the air fryer can result in food burning or over-cooking quickly. I cook my entrees in the lower and middle area of the air fryer when possible.
  • Check for even cooking. Some foods will need to be flipped halfway through cooking, or if you are cooking on multiple racks, you may want to swap the bottom rack for the top rack halfway through cooking so all items brown evenly.
  • If you really enjoy fried foods, try “spritzing” your dishes lightly with a little bit of oil right before cooking and halfway through the cooking process.
  • Always use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of your dish, measuring in the thickest part. This is especially important when cooking foods from frozen as they can cook unevenly. Instant read thermometers are inexpensive (under $10) and easy to use… just don’t leave them in a hot oven and do wash them by hand! Here are a few that we own: Rubbermaid Instant Read Thermometer ~ Taylor Instant Read Thermometer.  

Do you have any awesome tips for using the air fryer? If so, we'd love to hear them! Feel free to comment below...

Happy Air Frying!

~ Audra

P.S.  Yes, we've also testing certain Dinner Done dishes in the Instant Pot and had great results You'll see Instant Pot friendly dishes noted as such on our menu!

Disclaimer: If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we may get a little beer money (not enough for a 6-pack). We will NEVER recommend something that we haven't used and loved!