Can You Put Oven Meals In An Air Fryer? (read this first)

The short answer is yes, in most cases you can cook oven meals in an air fryer, but there’s more to it than that. The air fryer has become our “go to” appliance and we can at some point see it replacing many other kitchen appliances like the toaster, grill, deep fat fryer and microwave.

Oven meals make an easy meal on busy days due to their convenience. 

Can You Cook Oven Meals In An Air Fryer?

Any oven meal that can be cooked in a conventional or fan oven can be cooked in an air fryer. The problem is the container the oven meal is packaged in. As long as that container is oven safe, then it can be cooked in an air fryer.

The way to tell is if the cooking instructions give ways to cook in a conventional oven or fan oven. That indicates that the container is safe to use in an air fryer too.

Reduced Time & Temperature

In many cases, you should reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes per hour. If the oven meal says it will take 30 minutes in a conventional oven, you should reckon on 25 in the air fryer.

You can also reduce the cooking temperature by 10 C (50 F). If you don’t feel comfortable altering the time or temperature, you can easily stop the air fryer and check on the cooking progress of the meal by simply opening the basket.

What You Need To Check When Cooking Oven Meals In An Air Fryer 

Just to recap and make absolutely sure you can safely cook your oven ready or microwave meals in an air fryer you should always;

  • Check that the meal can be cooked in a conventional oven
    As long as the meal can be cooked in a conventional oven, then it’s safe to air fry it. If it’s microwave only, you’ll need to put it in an ovenproof dish before air frying
  • Check that the container will fit in the air fryer basket
    In most cases these oven ready meals come in containers that will comfortably fit in the air fryer basket. If not, you’ll need to transfer it to a container that will
  • Ask yourself whether the top will need to be covered
    Cooking food in an air fryer results in crispy cooked food. Not all oven meals or microwave meals are designed to be cooked to a crisp. This might mean you’ll need to cover the ovenproof dish with foil during the bulk of the cooking time

What Are The Benefits Of Cooking Oven Meals In The Air Fryer?

Cooking oven meals in an air fryer offers a few benefits when compared to oven cooking. 

Not only does it provide convenience and efficiency, but it also delivers delicious, crispy results. Here are some of the main advantages of using an air fryer to cook oven meals:

1. It Cooks It A Lot Quicker

Air fryers are known for their fast cooking times. Compared to traditional ovens, air fryers heat up quickly and reduce cooking times. 

This can help especially on busy days when you need a quick and easy meal. By using an air fryer, you can enjoy your oven meals in a fraction of the time it would have taken in the oven, without having to compromise on taste or texture.

2. It’s The Healthy Option

If you prefer a crispy exterior to your oven meal, you usually have to spray it with oil before putting it in the oven. However, because air fryers use a circulation of hot air to cook the food, it gives it a crispy exterior and moist interior, without using any additional oil.

By cooking in an air fryer, you can enjoy the same tasty oven meals without compromising on healthy eating.

3. It Gives It A Better Flavour & Texture

Air frying your oven meals can actually give you a better flavour and texture of your meals in our opinion.

The hot air circulation in the fryer creates a crispiness that is difficult to achieve with traditional oven cooking. This unique cooking method yields golden-brown exteriors while keeping the insides tender and juicy. 

4. It’s Easy To Keep An Eye On It’s Progress (on some models)

Some air fryers have transparent lids or baskets that allow you to see the progress of your meal without interrupting the cooking cycle. 

This means you can check if the food is browning to your liking or if any adjustments in time or temperature are needed.

5. It’s Easier To Clean Than An Oven

Cleaning up after cooking can often be a difficult task, but using an air fryer makes cleaning up easier. With their non-stick surfaces and removable components – air fryers are designed for easy cleaning. 

The baskets and trays can usually be safely washed in the dishwasher or by hand, reducing the time and effort spent on maintenance. 

6. It’s More Energy Efficient

Air fryers are more energy-efficient than traditional ovens as they use hot air circulation and smaller cooking chambers – resulting in reduced energy consumption.

This means it’s cheaper to run than an oven and better for the environment too!

What do you call an air fryer that can’t fry?
An “air liar”! 😂


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put oven ready meals in an air fryer?

You can put oven ready meals in an air fryer as long as the packaging gives instructions for conventional oven cooking. The problem is with certain microwave ready meals, the container cannot or should not be exposed to the high temperatures found in an air fryer.

Can any oven safe dish go in an air fryer?

You can use any oven safe dish in an air fryer as long as it fits into the air fryer’s basket with enough space to allow adequate air flow.

Can I cook frozen meals in an air fryer?

You can cook frozen meals in an air fryer as long as the container is oven safe. If the cooking instructions mention cooking in a conventional oven, then it’s OK to cook in the air fryer.

Can I put a casserole dish in an air fryer?

You can put a casserole dish in an air fryer as long as it is oven safe. 

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