Air Fryer Meal Prep Guide: Everything You Need To Know!
Updated: Sep 4, 2022
Meal Prepping with your Air Fryer? Here's everything you need to know about Air Fryer Meal Prep!
Air Fryers are a great way to prepare your meals quickly and easily without the need for oil! This means Air Fryers are perfect for those interested in fitness, weight loss, bodybuilding, CrossFit or are just looking for a healthier option.
Meal Prep now doesn't have to be boring chicken and white rice to get your protein and carbs, air frying makes meal prep tastier, easier and a great way to regulate your intake.
In this blog we take a look at:
What Is An Air Fryer?
How Do Air Fryers Work?
Why Meal Prep?
What Are The Best Air Fryers For Meal Prep?
Air Fryer Meal Prep Must Haves
Air Fryer Meal Prep Recipe Ideas
Oil can contain 100's of additional calories in just a tablespoon which can really add up over the week, alongside the health benefits of cutting down on oils and fats. For people who want to reduce the amount of calories they consume but still eating great tasting and filling food, Air Fryers are the perfect option.
When meal prepping you want foods that are easy to make, low in unnecessary fats and that taste GREAT! Air fryers seem like the perfect option for meal prepping!
What is an Air Fryer?
An Air Fryer is basically a mini convection oven that distributes heat evenly over your food, mimicking the results of a fryer but without all the added oil, meaning that your food will taste great and have less calories.
After growing in popularity over the last few years, more and more brands of Air Fryers have been released as well as meal recipes and ideas that make the most of Air Frying, like crispy chicken, roasted vegetables and home baked cookies.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
In a typical Air Fryer the top section holds a heating element and a fan and the bottom section will typically be a fryer style basket. You place your food in the basket and when turned on the heated air is blown down on to the food. This fan circulation is how your food becomes crispy and delicious, much like deep frying but without the unnecessary oil (and calories!).
Here’s how to use an air fryer for meal prep:
1. Place your raw food in the basket
If you are meal prepping in your air fryer you'll have to note that you typically won't be able to fit as much in your air fryer at any one time, however you can use much less oil - about 1/2 teaspoons should get your food nice and crispy.
2. Set the temperature and time
Depending on the food your cooking typical air fryer cooking times and temperatures can be from 5-30 minutes at between 350° and 400°F.
3. Let the food cook
To get the most even crisp on your food, we recommend flipping or tossing your food halfway, that way heat can be distributed evenly for a nice all-round crisp. Don't forget to then clean your air fryer after meal prep.
With an air fryer, you can get the same great taste and reduce the calories. Air frying for meal prep is perfect for fitness fanatics, athletes and those wanting to lose weight for those lower calorie foods, and because it's so easy to make!
Why Meal Prep?
For those who don't have the time to cook full lunches or dinners, meal prepping ahead of time makes sure that you can still have tasty food where ever you are, at the gym, at work or out and about.
You know how difficult it is to stick to a diet, but it is made so much easier by prepping your meals ahead of time with proper planning.
These meals can then be specifically designed to have all your nutritional and caloric needs for the day, meaning that you can lose weight effectively with meal prepping.
Having meal prep recipes that are low in calories but high in taste is a great way to keep things interesting and for those that want to, drop down your body weight, build muscle and keep healthy.
Here are our 6 benefits to meal prep with an Air Fryer:
1. You can save time
Meal prep makes sure you always have a meal on hand ready to go so you don't have to spent time figuring out what to eat, buying and cooking it. All you have to do is cook once or twice a week and all your meals are ready to go.
2. You’ll have more dough in your pocket
Buying in bulk always means you save money in the long run and on top of that, not having to spend extra on ordering take out or eating out can save $$$!
3. You can better manage your portion sizes
For those who are meal prepping for weight loss or to reduce their body fat % you can manage your portion sizes, protein, fats, carbs and caloric intake all through effective meal prepping. With meal prep you are in total control of what nutrients you are consuming and meal prep can help you reach your health and weight goals.
4. You might lower your stress levels
Cooking once or twice a week can seem too good to be true but it really is as easy as that. Meal prep means you don't have to think about food as much and for some people, this can be a big weight lifting off their shoulders.
5. You’ll gain a new handy skill
Meal prepping, especially with an air fryer, doesn't have to be hard and there are plenty of easy meal prep recipes for those who aren't so comfortable in the kitchen yet. The more you meal prep, the better at cooking you can become.
6. You’ll create a better relationship with food
Taking the time to plan your meals with the right nutrients and macro nutrients can help improve you relationship with food. Making sure you're eating enough protein or carbs is essential in meal prep and when you stop meal prepping, you can then spot those foods whilst eating out too.
What are the best Air Fryers for Meal Prep?
So you're sold on air fryers for meal prep but which air fryer should you buy? We've picked out our top air fryers for meal prep money can buy.
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
4 QT Capacity
The Ninja AF101 is the smallest Air Fryer on the Ninja range but is one of the best rated. With a wide temperature range, the Ninja Air Fryer is perfect for roasting, air frying, heating and dehydrating with a 4 Quart capacity. Perfect for meal prepping for one.
The Ninja Air Fryer has a one touch control panel and the basket is dishwasher safe.
COSORI Air Fryer
5.8 QT XL Capacity
The COSORI Air Fryer has the largest capacity at 5.8 Quarts and comes with a book of over 100 air fryer recipes for meal prep. The COSORI has a wide temperature range and again is perfect for air frying, roasting, heating and dehydrating with 13 cooking functions to choose from. The COSORI also comes with a square basket that adds the XL capacity.
SAKI SMART WiFi Air Fryer
5 QT Capacity
One of the cheapest air fryers we recommend but this one packs a punch. The SAKI Smart Air Fryer not only has a large 5 Quart capacity and 7 function range but it is WiFi Enabled. You can control the temperature, check on your meal prep cooking times and completely control your Air Fryer from your phone!
Air Fryer Meal Prep Must Haves
For air fryer meal prep obviously the first thing you need is an air fryer but actually there are some useful pieces of equipment you might also need when meal prepping, so here are our air fryer meal prep must haves.
EZ Prepper Meal Containers
Store your air fryer meal preps in these microwave safe containers. These meal prep containers are also dishwasher safe so that you can reuse the containers week on week!
Measure out your chicken, rice and vegetables with these scales to make sure your macros are accurate with your air fryer meal prep meals.
Think Fit Lunch Box Kit
6 containers, Lunch Box, Chill Packs, Shaker
Everything you need for meal prep air frying, with this lunch box, meal prep containers, chill packs and shakers with extra compartments. This is all you need for meal prep!
Air Fryer Meal Prep Recipes
Air Frying for meal preps can introduce you to cooking with simple to follow recipes for bodybuilding, weight loss and general health.
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
These air fryer wings are super easy for meal prep, and they're just as crunchy as if they were deep fried. Get the recipe from Delish.
Air Fryer Potatoes
One of our favourite air fryer recipes to get the perfect crispy potatoes. Get the recipe from Delish.
Air Fryer Steak
Packed full of protein with a tonne less fats and oils. Bodybuilders or fitness athletes will love this one. Get the recipe from Delish.
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
This cauliflower perfect for carbs and vegetables to get your nutrients in. Get the recipe from Delish.
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
Love chicken parmesan but don't like the calories? This is the perfect recipe for you, using less oil but still tasting great. Get the recipe from Delish.