Air Fryer Cookbook For Dummies
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Think the air fryer is just to make your favorite “fried” foods fast? Think again! From Beef Short Ribs to Chicken Souvlaki Gyros, there’s a meaty main in this article that will appeal to every carnivore.

Pork Schnitzel

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Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 14 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


4 boneless pork chops, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

1 teaspoon salt, divided1 teaspoon black pepper, divided1/2 cup all-purpose flour2 eggs1 cup breadcrumbs1/4 teaspoon paprika1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Season both sides of the pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper.
  2. On a plate, place the flour.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.
  4. In another large bowl, place the breadcrumbs.
  5. Season the flour with the paprika and season the breadcrumbs with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  6. To bread the pork, place a pork chop in the flour, then into the whisked eggs, and then into the breadcrumbs. Place the breaded pork onto a plate and finish breading the remaining pork chops.
  7. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees.
  8. Place the pork chops into the air fryer, not overlapping and working in batches as needed. Spray the pork chops with cooking spray and cook for 8 minutes; flip the pork and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes or until cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
  9. Serve with lemon wedges.
Serve with spätzle and a tossed salad to complete this German meal.

Beef Short Ribs

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil2 tablespoons brown sugar1 teaspoon ground ginger2 garlic cloves, crushed1 pound beef short ribs


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and ginger. Transfer the mixture to a large resealable plastic bag, and place the garlic cloves and short ribs into the bag. Secure and place in the refrigerator for an hour (or overnight).
  2. When you’re ready to prepare the dish, preheat the air fryer to 330 degrees.
  3. Liberally spray the air fryer basket with olive oil mist and set the beef short ribs in the basket.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes, flip the short ribs, and then cook another 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the short ribs from the air fryer basket, loosely cover with aluminum foil, and let them rest. The short ribs will continue to cook after they’re removed from the basket. Check the internal temperature after 5 minutes to make sure it reached 145 degrees if you prefer a well-done meat. If it didn’t reach 145 degrees and you would like it to be cooked longer, you can put it back into the air fryer basket at 330 degrees for another 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from the basket and let it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
If you prefer more of a rare meat, decrease the cooking time to 14 minutes total.

Mustard-Crusted Ribeye

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 9 minutes

Yield: 2 servings


Two 6-ounce ribeye steaks, about 1-inch thick

1 teaspoon coarse salt1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


  1. Rub the steaks with the salt and pepper. Then spread the mustard on both sides of the steaks. Cover with foil and let the steaks sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees.
  3. Cook the steaks for 9 minutes. Check for an internal temperature of 140 degrees and immediately remove the steaks and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Using a thermometer is the most accurate way to ensure that your meat is not over- or undercooked.

Sirloin steaks are a leaner cut. If you opt for a sirloin, you’ll need to reduce the cooking time. Try this dish with any of your favorite steak seasonings.

Steakhouse Burgers with Red Onion Compote

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 22 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef

2 cloves garlic, minced and divided1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce1 teaspoon sea salt, divided1/2 teaspoon black pepper1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1 red onion, thinly sliced1/4 cup balsamic vinegar1 teaspoon sugar1 tablespoon tomato paste2 tablespoons mayonnaise2 tablespoons sour cream4 brioche hamburger buns1 cup arugula


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, 1 of the minced garlic cloves, the Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper. Form the meat into 1-inch-thick patties. Make a dent in the center (this helps the center cook evenly). Let the meat sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the olive oil and red onion for 4 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add in the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and tomato paste, and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer the onion compote to a small bowl.
  3. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
  4. In another small bowl, mix together the remaining minced garlic, the mayonnaise, and the sour cream. Spread the mayo mixture on the insides of the brioche buns.
  5. Cook the hamburgers for 6 minutes, flip the burgers, and cook an additional 2 to 6 minutes. Check the internal temperature to avoid under- or overcooking. Hamburgers should be cooked to at least 160 degrees. After cooking, cover with foil and let the meat rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, place the buns inside the air fryer and toast them for 3 minutes.
  7. To assemble the burgers, place the hamburger on one side of the bun, top with onion compote and 1/4 cup arugula, and then place the other half of the bun on top.
From a food safety perspective, we always advise cooking red meat to medium or well done. Use a mandolin on the thinnest setting to get paper-thin onions.

This is a fancier burger for many people, but don’t underestimate these flavors! You won’t miss the classic tomato and onion slices. But, if you prefer the classic version, opt for sliced tomatoes, onions, and crisp lettuce instead.

Chicken Souvlaki Gyros

Prep time: 2 hour 5 minutes

Cook time: 18 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed1 tablespoon Italian seasoning1/2 teaspoon paprika1/2 lemon, sliced1/4 teaspoon salt1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts4 whole-grain pita breads1 cup shredded lettuce1/2 cup chopped tomatoes1/4 cup chopped red onion1/4 cup cucumber yogurt sauce


  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, paprika, lemon, and salt. Add the chicken to the bag and secure shut. Vigorously shake until all the ingredients are combined. Set in the fridge for 2 hours to marinate.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees.
  3. Liberally spray the air fryer basket with olive oil mist. Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the leftover marinade. Place the chicken into the air fryer basket, allowing enough room between the chicken breasts to flip.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes, flip, and cook another 8 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the air fryer basket when it has cooked (or the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees). Let rest 5 minutes. Then thinly slice the chicken into strips.
  6. Assemble the gyros by placing the pita bread on a flat surface and topping with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and a drizzle of yogurt sauce.
  7. Serve warm.
Do not marinate more than 2 hours with the lemon inside. Warm the pita bread in the air fryer for a minute for a restaurant-like feel.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Meri Raffetto, RDN, founded Real Living Nutrition Services (, which pro- vides one of the only interactive online weight-loss and wellness programs.

Wendy Jo Peterson MS, RDN, enhances the nutrition of clients ranging from elite athletes to pediatric patients, and is currently a culinary instructor at Mesa College.

Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN, is a dietitian, culinary instructor, award-winning coauthor of Born to Eat, and a contributor to Taste of Home magazine.

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT, is a dietitian, personal trainer, nutrition professor, and media authority on TV and in print, sharing evidence-based facts.

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