Toaster strudels have been a childhood favorite snack and their crispy texture and jam-filled center have been an iconic go-to treat for both children and adults! Just pop them in the toaster, heat them and enjoy a hot treat within minutes!
However, one thing that most of us did not have in our childhood was air fryers. These portable ovens are a relatively new invention that can toast and cook food using nothing but hot air.
If you have an air fryer and have wondered if you can air fry a strudel then you are at the right place.
How to air fry a toaster strudel? Frozen toaster strudels can be cooked easily using an air fryer. All you need to do is add the frozen strudels, set the air fryer to 350F, and toast them for no more than 3-4 minutes on each side.
Read below to learn more about toaster strudels, how to properly cook them and how you can use an air fryer to get pipping hot and evenly cooked strudels every time!
What Are Toaster Strudels?
For the ones who don’t know, toaster strudels have been around since the 1980s! They are sold under the Pillsbury brand and are available in many different flavors.
This treat is essentially a thin sheet of dough that is filled with various types of jam that is rolled and then baked or, in this case, toasted.
Strudels were marketed as a convenient pastry snack that was easy enough for anyone to prepare at home.
Strudels are usually available in different sizes and thicknesses but in the case of toaster strudels, these pastries are designed to fit any toaster.
This means that even children could take out a strudel, pop it in the toaster and cook it within minutes, all by themselves!
But now that we have different heating appliances, like air fryers, can one make toaster strudels in air fryers?
Air Fryers Vs Toasters
Air fryers and toasters have different purposes but if we are talking about sheer utility, then air fryers would win by a large margin just because there are a lot of things that you can do with them.
Where toasters can only be used to lightly heat or “toast” thin foods, air fryers are designed to be portable convection ovens.
Convection ovens are basically like typical ovens that are fitted with a large fan. These ovens direct hot air around the cooking chamber and cook the food from all sides, just as it would if you were to fry food in oil.
The biggest difference here is that air fryers don’t require a lot of oil. In fact, for most purposes, you can simply heat food without using any oil.
However, most people tend to use a light spray or coating of oil to keep the food from drying out.
In the case of toasters, these appliances work by running an electrical current through a heating element on each side of the appliance. Therefore, the heat is unilateral and will only cook the side that is exposed to the heated elements.
So, when you add a strudel to a toaster, you are essentially only cooking each side and not the thin top and bottom surface of the strudel.
Also, when the toaster heats the strudels, the pastry is bound to puff up a bit as hot air is accumulated and circulated inside.
However, due to the confined space, the strudels will not reach their full potential in terms of size and texture. However, in an air fryer, the strudels will cook unrestricted!
Additionally, an important point to note here is that if you use an old toaster or a toaster that hasn’t been serviced in a long time, then there is a good chance of the heat being unevenly distributed inside the toaster.
This could result in cold spots or burnt spots on the strudel.
Worse is when the outside of the strudel cooks quicker than the inside, leaving you with a cold and at times still-solid center.
Furthermore, there is no exact temperature control on a toaster like you would find in an air fryer that is usually equipped with either a precise temperature knob or a small digital display.
Sure, some fancier toaster models might have this feature but you would still only be cooking the strudels on just two sides. If you want to avoid all of this and toast a perfectly golden-brown strudel then an air fryer is the way to go.
How To Air Fry A Toaster Strudel
Here is how you can get the most out of toaster strudels using an air fryer:
- Ensure that the toaster strudels are properly frozen. While you can use a thawed strudel, it will be better if you use a frozen strudel for this step as it will minimize the chances of it tearing when handling it.
- Depending on the size of the air fryer, place 2-3 toaster strudels side by side. Please make sure that you DO NOT overcrowd the air fryer basket. If you have a smaller air fryer then just place 2 strudels. If you can comfortably fit more then you may add a total of 3-4 strudels too! Just make sure that you don’t pile the strudels on each other or it may cause them to not cook properly.
- Set the temperature to 350°F or 375°F and cook the strudels for a total of 7-8 minutes. Make sure that you flip the strudels at the 3-4-minute mark. Also, be careful when flipping them and always use protective gear like gloves or an elongated spatula or tongs.
- Once the strudels have been cooked, check them on each side for a golden-brown color. The strudels should be crispy on the outside but will still lightly depress when you push them down at the center. Take them out on a plate and let them sit for about 2-3 minutes.
- Open a pack of the included icing and lightly drizzle on the hot pastry in a zigzag pattern. Enjoy!
Tips And Tricks
- Since air fryers circulate hot air evenly, you are not typically required to flip food over. But if you want a perfectly cooked strudel then you may want to flip it at the halfway point. This step is optional and you can skip it if you’re short on time.
- Toaster strudels are sold frozen so it would be a good idea if you would preheat the air fryer before cooking the strudels. This step is also optional but is an excellent way to get the most out of the cooking experience.
- You can spray the inside of the cooking basket before placing the strudels in. This is to ensure that the strudels don’t dry out and that they are crispy when cooked. Remember, just like you don’t need oil to cook the strudels in the toaster, you can similarly cook them without oil using an air fryer too. However, using just a dash of cooking oil spray will add great texture to the strudels.
- If you are familiar with the settings and cooking times on your appliance then you can use the maximum temperature setting to cook the strudels too. Most air fryers can reach a max temperature of 400°F. Of course, this would also lower the cooking time by a few minutes.
- Don’t open the air fryer to check the strudels while they are cooking. Only remove the basket once to flip the strudels and then allow them to cook undisturbed for the remaining time. Repeatedly checking the pastry by removing the basket from the air fryer will lead to cold spots.
Toaster strudels have been an important snack for many adults and children and continue to be a great-tasting and convenient pastry that can be whipped up in an air fryer within a few minutes.
Can you reheat cooked strudel in an Air Fryer?
Yes! An already toasted or cooked strudel can be reheated in an air fryer. Just add the cooked strudels to the air fryer basket and heat them at 350°F for about 2-4 minutes or until adequately warm.
You can also optionally flip the strudels at the 2–3-minute mark and then cook the other side for an evenly heated and deliciously crispy strudel!
Can you prepare strudels in an oven?
Yes. Strudels can be warmed up and prepared using just about any heating method, this includes oven toasting too.
However, in the case of ovens, you might have to spend more time cooking the strudels than other methods since you would have to first preheat the oven and then wait for the strudels to cook in a typically large oven.
In comparison, an air fryer would take half the time and will not require you to either thaw the strudels or preheat the appliance too.
Can you microwave and air fry strudels?
Yes. Even though cooking the strudels in a microwave is not recommended as it could ruin their texture, you can use the microwave to give the strudels a head start by heating it for no more than 10-15 seconds.
This method is great because it will allow the filling inside to warm up which will eliminate the chance of cold spots and will eventually help you cook the strudel better when you air fry it!
Ever wanted to take your toaster strudels to the next level? Here’s a great video on how to make your OWN toaster strudels from scratch!