Can Ready Meals Be Cooked In An Air Fryer

Ready meals have long been a convenient and time-saving option for busy individuals and families. With the rise in popularity of air fryers, many people are wondering if these kitchen appliances can be used to cook their favorite ready meals.

Air fryers have gained a reputation for their ability to cook food quickly and with less oil, making them a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. They use hot air convection to circulate heat around the food, resulting in a crispy exterior and a tender interior.

While air fryers are typically used for cooking fresh ingredients, they can also be used to cook ready meals. Many ready meal brands now offer specific air fryer instructions on their packaging, providing consumers with an alternative cooking method.

By using an air fryer to cook ready meals, you can achieve a similar result to oven baking or microwaving, but with the added benefit of a crispy texture. The circulating hot air ensures even cooking and browning, resulting in a meal that is not only convenient but also satisfyingly delicious.

Benefits of Cooking Ready Meals in an Air Fryer

Ready meals have become a popular option for busy individuals who don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal from scratch. However, traditional methods of cooking ready meals, such as microwaving or oven baking, can often result in soggy, unevenly heated food.

Using an air fryer to cook ready meals offers several benefits that can greatly enhance the overall taste and texture of the food. Here are some of the advantages:

  1. Crispy Results: One of the main advantages of cooking ready meals in an air fryer is the ability to achieve a crispy texture. The hot air circulation in an air fryer creates a dry, crispy exterior, similar to deep-fried food, without the need for excess oil.
  2. Even Cooking: Unlike traditional cooking methods, which can result in unevenly cooked ready meals, an air fryer ensures even cooking throughout. The hot air circulates around the food, providing consistent heat distribution and eliminating any cold or undercooked spots.
  3. Healthier Option: Air fryers use significantly less oil than traditional frying methods, making them a healthier alternative for cooking ready meals. By reducing the amount of oil used, air-fried meals can be lower in calories and fat content.
  4. Time-Saving: Air fryers are designed to cook food quickly, which can be a major advantage for individuals who are short on time. Ready meals can be cooked in a fraction of the time it would take in a conventional oven, allowing for a quick and convenient meal solution.
  5. Easy to Clean: Compared to traditional ovens or stovetops, air fryers are much easier to clean. Most air fryer baskets and trays are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze. This convenience factor is especially appealing for those who rely on ready meals for busy weeknights.

Overall, cooking ready meals in an air fryer can offer numerous benefits, including improved texture, even cooking, healthier options, time-saving convenience, and easy cleanup. So if you’re a fan of ready meals, consider giving your meals a delightful twist by using an air fryer for cooking.

Healthier Option

Using an air fryer to cook ready meals can offer a healthier option compared to traditional cooking methods. When ready meals are prepared in an air fryer, they require little to no oil. This means that the final product will have significantly less fat and calories compared to deep-fried or pan-fried versions.

Additionally, air fryers use hot air circulation to cook the food, which helps to remove excess moisture and produce a crispy texture. This eliminates the need for breading or batter, further reducing the calorie content of the meal. The result is a lighter, less greasy meal that still maintains its texture and flavor.

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Furthermore, air fryers are designed to cook food quickly and evenly. This means that ready meals can be cooked in a shorter amount of time, reducing the potential for overcooking or drying out the ingredients. The quick cooking time also helps to retain more nutrients in the food, making it a healthier option overall.

It is important to note, however, that the nutritional value of a ready meal will still depend on the specific ingredients and cooking instructions provided. Some ready meals may contain high levels of sodium, additives, or preservatives, which can affect their overall healthiness. Reading and understanding the nutritional information and ingredients list is crucial in making an informed choice.

In conclusion, cooking ready meals in an air fryer can be a healthier option due to the reduced need for oil, the removal of excess moisture, and the quick cooking time. However, it is important to choose ready meals with low levels of sodium and additives to ensure a truly healthy option.

Time-Saving Convenience

One of the main reasons why ready meals have gained enormous popularity in recent years is their time-saving convenience. With our busy modern lifestyles, finding time to cook a homemade meal from scratch can be challenging. Ready meals offer a quick and effortless solution, allowing us to have a hot and delicious meal on the table in minutes.

However, many people worry about the nutritional value and quality of ready meals. That’s where air fryers come in. These appliances offer a healthier and more convenient way to cook ready meals.

When using an air fryer to cook ready meals, you can significantly reduce the cooking time compared to traditional ovens. Air fryers use hot air circulation to cook food quickly and evenly, resulting in a crispy exterior and moist interior. This means you can enjoy your favorite ready meals without having to wait for the oven to preheat or worry about uneven cooking.

Furthermore, air fryers require little to no added oil, making them a healthier choice compared to deep frying or pan frying. The hot air in the fryer seals the food’s surface, locking in moisture and creating a deliciously crispy texture without the need for excessive oil.

Benefits of using an air fryer for ready meals:
1. Time-saving convenience
2. Quick and even cooking
3. Crispy exterior and moist interior
4. Healthier choice with little to no added oil

Overall, air fryers offer a time-saving convenience that allows you to enjoy your favorite ready meals without compromising on taste or quality. With their quick and even cooking capabilities, you can have a delicious meal on the table in no time, all while maintaining a healthier cooking method.

Versatility in Cooking Different Types of Meals

One of the great advantages of using an air fryer is its versatility in cooking a wide range of meals. Whether you prefer hearty meats, crispy vegetables, or decadent desserts, an air fryer can handle it all. With its rapid hot air circulation, it can cook your favorite dishes to perfection, giving them a crispy and golden texture without the need for excessive oil.

Cooking Meats and Poultry

An air fryer is an excellent tool for cooking various types of meats and poultry. From juicy steaks to succulent chicken breasts, the hot air circulation ensures that the meats are cooked evenly and retain their natural juices. The high temperatures in the air fryer also result in a deliciously crispy exterior, giving your meats a satisfying crunch.

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Preparing Vegetables and Side Dishes

Vegetables cooked in an air fryer turn out beautifully crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. You can easily roast a medley of vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, and zucchini, in the air fryer, seasoning them to your preference. It’s also a great way to prepare side dishes like crispy french fries, sweet potato wedges, or even homemade onion rings without the excess oil.

Dish Air Fryer Benefits
Meats and Poultry Retains natural juices and achieves a crispy exterior.
Vegetables Cooked to perfection with a crispy outside and tender inside.
Desserts Creates a golden and crispy texture while reducing oil usage.

Exploring Dessert Options

Do you have a sweet tooth? The air fryer can also satisfy your dessert cravings. From apple fritters to churros, you can create a variety of delicious treats with a fraction of the oil used in traditional frying methods. The hot air circulation in the air fryer creates a golden and crispy texture that is perfect for desserts.

With its versatility and ability to cook a wide range of dishes, the air fryer is a valuable addition to any kitchen. Whether you’re cooking meats, vegetables, or desserts, it provides a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods, while still delivering delicious and satisfying results.

Enhanced Flavors and Textures

Air fryers are not just a convenient method of cooking ready meals; they also enhance the flavors and textures of the dishes. The hot circulating air in the fryer helps to achieve a crispy and golden brown texture on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy.

When it comes to ready meals, air frying can bring out the best in the flavors of the ingredients. The intense heat of the air fryer helps to caramelize sugars, resulting in a delicious browning effect on meat, vegetables, and even desserts. This caramelization process adds depth and complexity to the taste profile of the meal, making it more enjoyable to eat.

Furthermore, the unique cooking method of air frying allows for a reduced use of oil compared to traditional deep frying. This means that the flavors of the ingredients are not overshadowed by greasiness, allowing the natural taste of the food to shine through.

Whether it’s a frozen lasagna or a pre-packaged chicken schnitzel, cooking ready meals in an air fryer can result in enhanced flavors and textures that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Less Mess and Easy Cleanup

Cooking ready meals in an air fryer not only saves time and delivers delicious results, but it also makes cleanup a breeze. With traditional cooking methods, you often end up with a messy kitchen and multiple pots and pans to wash. But with an air fryer, you can say goodbye to the mess.

When using an air fryer, there’s no need for excessive oil or fat, which means less grease splatters and a cleaner kitchen. The air fryer uses hot air circulation to cook the food, resulting in a crispy and golden texture, without the need for added oils.

Another advantage of cooking ready meals in an air fryer is the easy cleanup process. Most air fryers come with a removable non-stick basket or tray that is dishwasher safe, making it effortless to clean up after your meal. Simply remove the basket or tray, wash it with warm soapy water or place it in the dishwasher, and you’re done.

The removable basket or tray also makes it easier to toss the ingredients, ensuring they are evenly cooked. You can easily shake or flip the food halfway through the cooking process, guaranteeing that every bite is perfectly cooked and crispy.

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In addition to the removable basket or tray, some air fryers also have a drip tray or catch pan that collects any excess fats or oils that may drip off during the cooking process. This further helps to keep your air fryer clean and prevents any lingering odours.

With less mess and easy cleanup, cooking ready meals in an air fryer is not only convenient but also a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. So, next time you’re in a rush or want to enjoy a tasty and hassle-free meal, consider using your air fryer for your favourite ready meals.

Advantages of Cooking Ready Meals in an Air Fryer
No mess from excessive oil or fat
Easy to clean with a removable dishwasher-safe basket or tray
Opportunity to shake or flip the food for even cooking
Drip tray or catch pan collects excess fats or oils

Cost-Effective Alternative

Using an air fryer to cook ready meals can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional methods. Air fryers are known for their energy efficiency, as they use hot air circulation to cook food, requiring less oil compared to deep frying. This means that you can save on cooking oil expenses in the long run.

Additionally, air fryers have a shorter cooking time compared to ovens, which can help save on electricity bills. They also tend to have a smaller size, allowing you to use less counter space in your kitchen. This can be especially beneficial if you have a small kitchen or if you live in a dorm or apartment.

Furthermore, using an air fryer can help reduce food waste. Ready meals often come in individual portions, and air fryers allow you to cook them quickly and easily. You can simply place the frozen meal in the air fryer, set the time and temperature, and enjoy a hot and crispy meal in no time. This can help prevent food from going to waste and save you money in the process.

In conclusion, by using an air fryer to cook ready meals, you can save on cooking oil expenses, reduce electricity consumption, and minimize food waste. It is a cost-effective alternative that provides convenience and efficiency in the kitchen.


Can I cook ready meals in an air fryer?

Yes, you can cook ready meals in an air fryer. Air fryers are versatile appliances that can handle a variety of foods, including ready meals.

Are ready meals healthier when cooked in an air fryer?

Cooking ready meals in an air fryer can make them healthier compared to other cooking methods. Air fryers use less oil, resulting in fewer calories and less fat. However, the specific nutritional content depends on the ingredients of the ready meal itself.

What types of ready meals can be cooked in an air fryer?

You can cook a wide range of ready meals in an air fryer, including frozen pizzas, chicken nuggets, fish fillets, and even pre-made desserts like pastries. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time and temperature according to the instructions on the ready meal packaging.

Can I reheat a ready meal in an air fryer?

Yes, you can use an air fryer to reheat a ready meal. It is a convenient way to warm up leftovers and achieve a crispy texture similar to when the dish was freshly cooked. Simply adjust the temperature and cooking time to ensure the ready meal is thoroughly heated.

Elizabeth Green
Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green is a seasoned home chef and culinary expert who has a passion for all things kitchen-related. With her extensive knowledge of the latest kitchen products and appliances, Elizabeth provides insightful reviews and recommendations to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Whether you're looking for a new refrigerator, blender, or cookware set, Elizabeth is your guide to finding the best kitchen products available in the UK.

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