- When cooking Brussels sprouts, air frying is much faster than oven roasting.
- Brussels sprouts are sturdy but the delicate leaves are prone to burning, so check on them often.
- Cutting sprouts into even pieces exposes their inner layers for ultra-crispy results.
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Air fryers continue to be one of the most popular ways to quickly and conveniently make delicious crispy food. But when you “fry” foods in an air fryer, you’re not actually frying them. The mini ovens use convection technology to speedily circulate hot air and cook foods to crispy perfection without the need to submerge items in oil.
Janet Dockery, co-author of Plant-Based Air Fryer Cookbook and one-half of the Vegan As Fork YouTube channel, says, “It’s healthier because you don’t use as much oil or any – if you choose not to – you can really get away with not using any oil, and you get fantastic results.”
Janet’s co-author, YouTubing partner, and daughter, Maddie Dockery, also adds that cooking Brussels sprouts in an air fryer will give you similar results to roasting them in an oven but with a much shorter cook time.
To these plant-based foodies, the air fryer is the ultimate tool for turning veggies into tasty morsels.
- It’s quicker than the oven. Because there’s no preheating necessary with an air fryer, Brussels sprouts cook in almost half the time compared to oven cooking.
- Brussels sprouts are hearty enough to handle air frying. The tough veggies won’t turn to mush or burn as quickly as more tender produce.
- Brussels sprouts are full of nooks and crannies. Hot air gets into the layers and crisps them up from the inside out.
Below, Janet and Maddie give their tips on making the best air fryer Brussels sprouts possible.
Tips for the best air fried Brussels sprouts
- Perfect pairings. Some ingredients go really well with Brussels sprouts. Salty bacon, for example, pairs nicely with sweet, caramelized sprouts. Tossing them in honey and vinegar delivers a sweet and sour flavor profile. Maddie and Janet’s favorite way to prep sprouts is to toss them in orange juice and maple syrup. For cheese lovers, a sprinkle of parmesan before serving provides a massive flavor boost.
- Know your air fryer. Air fryer cook times vary widely based on the model. You may need to experiment a bit before finding the perfect cook time for sprouts and other vegetables.
- Equal cuts. With a uniform cut, everything will cook more evenly. Janet and Maddie say they love cooking Brussels sprouts with carrots and onions. If you do the same, try to cut all the veg to about the same size.
- Shake it up. Maddie warns that when cooking Brussels sprouts, it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Make sure to shake up the basket halfway through so that everything cooks evenly. Janet recommends an air fryer with a rotisserie basket because it eliminates the need for constant basket fiddling.
An air fryer is a fast and easy way to cook up delicious Brussels sprouts. Just make sure to liberally season your sprouts and keep an eye on the veggies as they cook to prevent them from burning and turning bitter.