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Can You Air Fry Frozen Asparagus?

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If you have been wanting to air-fry frozen asparagus, then this guide will answer all your queries.

Can you air fry frozen asparagus? Yes, you can air-fry frozen asparagus! Put the frozen asparagus in the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 400°F. Cook the asparagus for 8 minutes and enjoy! You can also give the vegetables a toss or shake around the halfway mark for an even better texture. 

Read below to learn more about how you can get perfectly cooked asparagus in the air fryer and some great tips and tricks!

Basics Of Cooking Frozen Food

Air fryers are the best option to cook or heat food, especially in the case of frozen food. These machines offer a great alternative to typical frying methods and can heat food in less time and without adding extra calories.

Air fryers work by heating food using hot air. So, when you add frozen asparagus, the vegetables will cook evenly and without any hazardous splatters that would otherwise occur in other cooking methods like pan-frying or deep-frying.

Many people get confused about using frozen food with air fryers. But if you follow some basic steps, then you can cook virtually any type of food in your air fryer!

How To Air Fry Frozen Asparagus

Before we get into the different ways to air fry frozen asparagus, let’s talk about the asparagus real quick!

Please make sure that the frozen asparagus does not have any visible freezer burn on it. Freezer burn occurs with improperly stored food and can ruin the texture and flavor of the vegetable. 

We recommend storing the food in a dry and airtight container. For the best results, try to store the asparagus in a no-frost freezer to discourage the build-up of ice crystals on the surface of the food.

Now that we’ve covered how to prepare and check your frozen asparagus for freezer burn, here are a few great methods for cooking them in an air fryer!

1. High-Temperature Method

This is the easiest way to get perfectly cooked asparagus without leaving any cold spots on the vegetables:

  1. Open a pack of frozen asparagus and lay them out flat in the air fryer basket. You should aim to add a handful of asparagus to the basket. 
    • Do not overcrowd the cooking basket! You don’t want the asparagus to touch.
  2. Set the temperature of the air fryer to 400°F and the timer to 8 minutes. Then put the basket back in the air fryer and start cooking.
  3. At the halfway mark (4 minutes) take the air fryer basket out and give the asparagus a quick toss. You can use tongs, or just shake the basket to flip the asparagus.
    • Make sure that the vegetables lay flat in the basket again (without overlapping) before putting them back in the air fryer.
  4. Continue cooking the asparagus for the remaining time and then check for doneness. 
  5. Dish out the asparagus and then quickly season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

2. Low-Temperature Preheating Method

Here is another method for cooking asparagus at a lower temperature:

  1. Before adding the asparagus, preheat the air fryer to 350°F for about 10 minutes. This will prime the heating element and the basket and will help in evenly cooking the asparagus. 
    • Once preheated, please work quickly to minimize heat loss. Remember: you want to preserve the preheated state of the air fryer to get the full benefits of using this method!
  2. Add asparagus to the basket and lay them flat in a single layer so they don’t touch each other. 
  3. Put the basket back in the air fryer. Set the timer to 12 minutes and let them cook. 
  4. Give the basket a quick toss at the 6-minute mark.
    • This step is optional, but highly recommended as it will improve the overall texture of the vegetables. 
  5. Continue cooking the asparagus for the remaining time and then serve hot!

3. Defrosting Method

This method is for people who want to defrost the asparagus before cooking it in the air fryer. Defrosting may add a better texture to the asparagus, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Here is how you can cook defrosted asparagus:

  1. Defrost the asparagus in the fridge. Do not let them defrost at room temperature!
    • The best way to do this would be to set aside the desired portion instead of defrosting the entire bag.
    • You can use any of the above heating methods to cook defrosted asparagus. We recommend going with the high-temperature method so that the asparagus takes on a bit of color.
  2. Before cooking, lay out the vegetables on a plate and pat them down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. 
  3. Put the asparagus in the air fryer basket so that they aren’t overlapping. 
  4. Set the air fryer to either 400°F or 350°F. Cook according to the time and instructions mentioned in either method above. 
  5. Dish out the cooked asparagus, season it as required, and enjoy!

4. Oil Method

One of the benefits of cooking with air fryers is that you don’t need a cooking medium to process the food but, in some cases, using a bit of oil may be beneficial!

In the case of asparagus, you can cook this vegetable without using a drop of oil. But if you want more flavor and texture, then we recommend using a light layer of any neutral oil to coat the vegetables!

The best way to go about this is to use a spray-based oil. 

Pressurized bottles of oil (like PAM) work brilliantly with air fryers because you can add a thin coating of oil without soaking the food. This will allow you to curb the calories and add a texture that is similar to pan-fried or deep-fried food!

Here is how you can cook frozen asparagus in an air fryer with oil:

  1. This method works best with defrosted asparagus — applying oil over frozen asparagus isn’t ideal because it may hinder the cooking process. Make sure you pat the defrosted asparagus dry before spraying the oil!
    • A benefit of opting for this method is that you will be able to season the asparagus after coating it with oil. The seasonings will stick to the vegetables and flavor the asparagus much more efficiently and evenly. 
  2. Add the asparagus to the cooking basket and lightly spray a bit of oil on the vegetables. Then give them a quick toss and spray again. 
    • Don’t have a spray-based oil? Then you can also use a brush to coat the asparagus! Lay out the asparagus on a plate (or in the basket) and then dip the brush in a bit of oil. Shake off the excess oil and then evenly coat the vegetables on each side.
  3. Once the vegetables are coated, cook as required. A great tip would be to toss the asparagus around the halfway mark to give them a textural boost before they finish cooking.

Tips And Tricks Air To Fry Frozen Asparagus

Here are some useful tips and tricks that can help you cook asparagus in air fryers:

  • Asparagus comes in different sizes. When cooking them in an air fryer, make sure that all of the vegetables are of the same size and thickness. Smaller spears will usually cook quicker than thicker and longer spears.
  • You should always season frozen asparagus after they have been cooked. If you want to add seasoning while the vegetable cooks then we recommend adding salt and pepper during the halfway mark. 
  • If your air fryer has different cooking modes, then always go with the normal or default mode when cooking frozen asparagus. Some smart air fryers may even detect and automatically cook food with the right settings for you.
  • If the asparagus isn’t cooked properly, then you can continue cooking the vegetables for another 2–3 minutes or until done. Do not change the temperature of the air fryer midway or it might overcook or undercook the asparagus.
  • Always refer to the user manual and cooking guide of your air fryer to know the right settings for your machine when cooking frozen food.
  • If the asparagus turns out to be mushy after coming out of the air fryer, then this could indicate a problem with the settings. It may also hint at the overall freshness and quality of the vegetables! Always check the expiration date before cooking frozen food.

Related Questions

Air frying is a great time-saving method for cooking frozen asparagus! Now that you know how to cook them, here are a few related questions.

Can I freeze raw asparagus at home before cooking it in an air fryer? 

The best way to store asparagus in the freezer is to first blanch them. Blanching will help preserve their quality, texture, and flavor.

Once you have blanched the vegetables, pat them dry and then store them in an airtight container at 0°F. Allow the vegetables to freeze properly before using them in the air fryer.

Which air fryer is best for cooking frozen asparagus? 

Every air fryer is equipped to cook frozen food, but you may have to get a larger machine due to the quantity and size of the spears.

Always make sure that your machine can comfortably fit the vegetables without them overcrowding the basket. 

Laying them flat will provide an even surface area, which will heat the asparagus much more efficiently and without leaving behind cold spots. 

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