Ice machines, air fryers, coffee makers, blenders… and toasters. We have so much on our kitchen counters already, so wouldn’t it be nice if you could ditch at least one?
You’ll have to in order to make room for your new espresso or juicer. Can the toaster's job be done by an air fryer?
That’s precisely what we’ve put to the test.
Using the most basic air fryer available, we tried several methods, temperatures, and times to recreate the best possible version of your favorite buttery, toasty breakfast treat.
Some air fryers come complete with toasting functions and compartments. Sadly, not all air fryers are made equal – However, any functioning air fryer can get the job done.
Put your preferred choice of bread into the air fryer
No need to preheat – set the air fryer to 400° for 4 minutes
CAREFULLY extract toast from air fryer
Enjoy your way. Our way is pure, fresh Strawberry Jam
Now For Cook Time...
If you’re curious about how to get your bread YOUR specific way, then it's all about fine-tuning. Think about the dial (or touch screen) on your toaster, how every time you use it you have to set it back to your preferred heat time. The air fryer works no differently.
Scroll down to find exactly how which heat times will work for you.
To be clear, the type of bread you use doesn’t make a difference. Multigrain, White, Wheat, and all the other fun types available. If you’re using a bread with sesame seeds on the top, beware that if you’re an, “I like my toast like I like my coffee… black,” type of toast eater, then you might get some burnt sesame seeds.
The 3 Main Shades of Toast
There are 3 basic camps for toast – I’ll let you decide which you fall into. Lightly toasted, Firmly toasted, and Burnt. Obviously most of us fall somewhere between these, so use each as a reference point, and add/subtract time accordingly.
Regardless of what camp you fall into, we’ve done the calculations – pulled out the proverbial test tubes, and figured it out. In the rest of this How-To, we will cover exactly how to get the type of toast you’re craving.IMPORTANT: Something to note is that bread is obviously quite lightweight and will inevitably move around while using any run-of-the-mill air fryer. This isn’t anything to be alarmed of, we simply don’t recommend using any types of inserts, as raising the bread can cause it to make contact with the inner heating element.
1) Lightly Toasted
This is a slightly moist toast that the butter kind of just melts into. It’s not super crunchy – but it isn’t soft like bread. Somewhere right in between. It’s perfect for a light buttering and maybe even dipped in some Sunny-Side-Up Eggs. If you follow the directions above, you’ll wind up with toast that’s much darker than this. If you want this, then:
4 Minutes @ 400°F (No preheat needed)
2) Firmly Toasted
Notably a darker, less moist toasted bread – this is the more traditional definition of toasted bread. The kind you’d get by default at one of those adorable southern-style diners. A favorite option of many, this is a far more crunchy bread with very little moisture left inside – providing a more brittle consistency with some charring along the way – for that little burst of flavor.
This is the kind of toast you use to pile things on top of. Butter it – Jelly it – Egg it – bacon, sausage, anything really! It’ll stand up to the challenge. Until it doesn’t… even then it’s still delicious. This is the direct result of the original method used at the start of the article.
6-7 Minutes @ 400°F (No preheat needed)
Well, here we are. Some people thrive in Chaos. Some people are born and they spend their entire lives living in it too. That kind of person is truly emanated in this doneness of toast.Believe it or not… some people like it even more toasted than this. This, to them, is lightly toasted. Upon a taste test, we were subjected to what we can only describe as being akin to eating weirdly-tasty sand. If you’re interested in knowing what it’s like to eat the Sahara – follow these directions:
9-10 Minutes @ 400°F (No preheat needed)
Putting this to Bread
Alright, alright, alright. To sum things up, there’s more than one way to toast your bread. Hopefully, we’ve covered you or at least pointed you in the right direction.
Also, please don’t set bread on fire. We shouldn’t have to say this… but you know we do. It will also create e huge pain when cleaning the air fryer. Also, even though we picked on burnt-toast lovers… it’s really actually pretty tasty in its own chaotic way.
It turns out when you cook bread in an air fryer you get a more evenly toasted experience. Surprisingly, it’s even moister when you follow the Lightly Toasted instructions above. On the other hand, it does take a little bit longer.
Maybe we aren’t at “throw your toaster away” just yet… we haven’t tested waffles, toaster pastries, or some other fun toaster-friendly food.
Either way, enjoy the toast!
Founder of Robust Kitchen