The Best Way To Air Fry Meatballs From Frozen To Crispy

Frozen food has a bit of a bad reputation for turning out less than crispy, thanks to moisture creating steam during the cooking process, but the air fryer can actually be your secret weapon in the fight against soggy entrees. Take frozen meatballs, for example. The beloved appliance, along with the help of a few air fryer hacks you'll wish you knew sooner, can help you achieve meatballs that are perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

Advertisement

The best way to air fry meatballs from frozen to crispy starts with the preheating process. Allowing your air fryer to come to temperature (typically between 375 degrees Fahrenheit and 400 degrees Fahrenheit for frozen meatballs) will ensure that your food is immediately zapped with high heat from all angles, which can lock in the moisture and produce a crispy end product.

Including some additional fat can also help along the Maillard reaction, which browns the meatballs and leads to delicious results. It's best to steer clear of aerosols though, as cooking sprays can actually ruin air fryers. Turns out, most of them contain an ingredient that can seriously gunk up the mechanics of your appliance when exposed to high temperatures, and no one wants that. Instead, grease up your food before adding it to the basket with an oil that has a high smoke point, such as avocado, peanut, or canola.

Advertisement

For frozen meatballs with an extra bite

Air frying frozen meatballs for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit should produce acceptably crispy results, but if it's truly a crunch you're after, there are a couple ways to elevate them. Try transferring the air fried meatballs to a preheated sheet pan in the oven and use the broiler for a couple minutes (or, alternatively, dial up the temperature on the air fryer for the last few minutes) to create a real crust on the outside of the meatballs.

Advertisement

You might also try moving the air fried meatballs to a lightly oiled pan on the stovetop, then giving them a quick pan sear over high heat right at the end of the cooking process to crisp them up. The trick with either of these methods is to hit the meatballs with a dose of very high heat for only a minute or two, as exposing them to high temperatures after being air fried could dry them out.

Recommended

Advertisement