Grill Smart: Benefits of Using Your Air Fryer as a Grill

Written by: Caleb Aguilera & the COSORI Chefs and Staff

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Time to read 3 min

The New Way to Get Your Grill On

Outdoor grilling is the age-old method of cooking up juicy, tender meat. It uses charcoal to create delicious, smokey flavors that you can’t get anywhere else. At least, you couldn’t until air fryers entered the conversation. With an air fryer, you can enjoy the same grilled flavors with all the added convenience. Air fryers take up much less space, they’re easy to use, and they deliver healthier results without sacrificing flavor!

The Air Fryer Difference: Nutrition & Flavor

We all love that heavenly feeling when we take a bite of delicious food, but we want to make sure it’s also good for our bodies. This is what makes an air fryer stand out from the competition. They require little to no oil to cook crispy, delicious meals. Less oil also means less trans and saturated fat in your food, giving you the same delicious fried taste with less grease and guilt.


Meanwhile, outdoor grills often cook your food at very high temperatures, which can charcoal the meat. The fat starts to burn, which  produces carcinogenic chemicals . Also, grilling with charcoal  creates a lot of carcinogenic smoke . Air fryers let you cook the same food at lower temperatures and without carcinogenic smoke.


Rather than using charcoal to cook your food, air fryers use a fan to circulate hot air that efficiently and evenly cooks your food. The hot air also browns the outside of your food to give it a crispy, grilled texture.

Recipes to Ignite Your Air Frying Creativity

Easy Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Thighs

air fryer BBQ chicken thighs


Yield: 4–6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • Oil spray

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, divided 



Directions:

1. Place the crisper plate into the COSORI Air Fryer basket.

2. Select the Preheat function, adjust temperature to 385°F, then tap Start/Pause.

3. Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, and onion powder in a small bowl. 

4. Season both sides of the chicken thighs generously with the spice mixture.

5. Spray both sides of the chicken thighs lightly with oil spray.

6. Place the chicken thighs skin-side up onto the preheated crisper plate.

7. Select the Air Fry function, adjust time to 16 minutes, then tap Start/Pause.

8. Brush some of the BBQ sauce over both sides of the chicken thighs when 4 minutes remain on the cook time.

9. Remove the chicken when golden brown and caramelized, then brush more BBQ sauce on the chicken and serve.

Air Fryer BBQ Salmon

air fryer bbq salmon


Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 4 salmon fillets (5–6 ounces each) 

  • Oil spray

  • ½ lime


Directions:

1. Place the crisper plate into the COSORI Air Fryer basket.

2. Select the Preheat function, adjust temperature to 350°F, then tap Start/Pause.

3. Combine the dark brown sugar, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, and maple syrup in a small bowl. 

4. Rub the mixture over the tops of the salmon fillets, using your hands to spread the mixture in an even thin layer.

5. Spray the salmon lightly with oil spray.

6. Place the salmon fillets onto the preheated crisper plate.

7. Select the Air Fry function, adjust temperature to 350°F and time to 8 minutes, then tap Start/Pause.

8. Remove salmon when the salmon flakes apart easily and the top is caramelized. If you prefer your salmon more well-done, cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

9. Squeeze ½ a lime over the tops of the salmon, then serve.

Air Fryer Tips for Perfect Grilling

The key to getting grilled flavor in your air fryer is preheating. You want to make sure your air fryer is at the right temperature before you put your food in to achieve max crispiness. It's also best to preheat to a higher temperature such as 400°F. A piping hot air fryer will replicate the high heat of a grill to give you that tasty charring effect. 


Once you put your food in, remember to lower the temperature to about 380°F, so your food doesn’t get overcooked. The initial high temperature will give you the grilling effect while the lower temperature makes sure your food doesn’t get overcooked internally. 


When you’re craving those tempting grilled flavors, don’t settle for risky charcoal cooking. Give your body and your taste buds the quality they deserve with a COSORI air fryer.