How Long Does an Air Fryer Take to Preheat?

When it comes to using an air fryer, preheating is an essential step that helps ensure your food comes out deliciously crispy.

If you’re wondering how long it takes to preheat an air fryer, allow me to clarify the process so you become a pro in no time.

How Long Does an Air Fryer Take to Preheat?

The time it takes to preheat an air fryer varies depending on the size of the appliance and the cooking temperature.

Generally, an air fryer takes between 3 to 5 minutes to reach 400° F. 

It’s important to note that a smaller air fryer may get to the desired temperature quicker, while a larger one may take a bit longer. 

When using your air fryer, remember to adjust the preheating time according to the recipe you follow, as each dish may require slightly different settings.

Also read: How Long Can an Oven Stay On?

Understanding Air Fryer Preheating

Three things need to be understood. The built-in preheat function, manual preheat, and the preheat time duration.

Preheat Function

I came across a discussion where a consumer wanted to know if preheating is important. When using your air fryer, the preheat function is an important step for achieving perfect crispy results. 

Not all air fryers come with a preheat button or preheat setting, but some advanced models, such as the Cosori air fryer Pro LE, might have a feature built-in that makes the process easier.

Watch the video below for a visual demonstration of how to operate the preheat function button.

Manual Preheat

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat function, don’t worry! You can still manually preheat by following these simple steps:

  • Turn on your air fryer and set it to the desired temperature. Most of the manufacturers recommend setting the temperature to 350-400°F (176-204°C) 
  • Let the air fryer run for 3-5 minutes, depending on its size and power.
  • Once the preheating time is up, carefully insert your food and begin cooking.

Manually preheating will help mimic an oven-style air fryer’s hot air circulation, making sure your kitchen appliance is ready to go.

Preheat Time

The time it takes to preheat an air fryer can vary based on size, wattage, and the desired temperature. 

Here’s a general rule of thumb for preheating times, keeping in mind that a higher temperature might require a longer preheat time:

  • Small air fryers: 2-3 minutes
  • Medium air fryers: 3-4 minutes
  • Large air fryers: 4-5 minutes

You should also be aware that a larger air fryer may take a bit longer to heat up, so be patient when preheating your kitchen appliance. 

Watch the visual demonstration below to get a clear picture of how to preheat in both digital and analog air fryer models.

Factors Affecting Preheating Time

Let us discuss the factors that affect the preheating time of an air fryer. 

Model and Manufacturer

Different air fryer models and manufacturers may have varying preheating times.

Depending on the technology and components used, some may heat up faster than others. 

It’s important to read the manual that comes with your air fryer to understand the recommended preheating time for your specific model.

Size and Wattage

Air fryers come in various sizes and wattages, which also affect the preheating time. 

Generally, smaller air fryers (around 2-3 quarts) take about 2-3 minutes to preheat, while larger models (5 quarts or more) can take up to 5 minutes.

Wattage also plays a role in preheating times, as higher-wattage models usually heat up faster.

  • Smaller air fryers: 2-3 minutes
  • Larger air fryers: up to 5 minutes

Food Type and Amount

The type and amount of food you’re cooking in your air fryer can also influence preheating times. Foods that require a good sear or extra crispiness benefit from preheating. 

If you’re cooking a large batch, or the food has a higher moisture content, you may need to preheat your air fryer for a longer time to achieve the desired results.

 Summing up:

  • Read the manual for your specific model
  • Adjust preheating times based on size and wattage
  • Consider the type and amount of food being cooked

Comparing Preheating of Air Fryers to Traditional Ovens

Let us compare air fryers to traditional ovens keeping preheating in mind.

Time and Energy Efficiency

When it comes to preheating, air fryers outshine traditional ovens in both efficiency and speed.

While an oven may take 10-15 minutes to preheat, an air fryer only needs about 1-3 minutes to reach the desired temperature.

This difference not only saves you time but also conserves energy.

Additionally, cooking in an air fryer is generally faster due to its compact design and heat circulation. 

For instance, french fries cook in around 15-20 minutes in an air fryer, whereas they may take 25-30 minutes in an oven.

Temperature Accuracy

Air fryers are known for their precise temperature control compared to traditional ovens. 

While oven temperatures can fluctuate, leading to uneven cooking, air fryers maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process.

This ensures that your food is cooked evenly and produces perfect results every time.

Air Fryer Cooking Tips

Now that you understand the advantages of using an air fryer for preheating, follow the tips below for an excellent cooking result.

  • When converting oven recipes, remember to generally reduce the oven temperature by 25°F when using an air fryer.
  • Reduce the cooking time by around 20% compared to the original oven recipe.
  • To achieve even cooking, it’s important not to overcrowd the food in the air fryer basket. This allows for proper air circulation and prevents undercooked or unevenly cooked dishes.
  • When using oil, moderation is the key. Lightly coat your food or use an oil spray for optimal results.
  • When cooking large quantities or different types of food, it’s better to cook them in separate batches. This prevents uneven cooking and allows the air fryer to maintain the desired temperature.
  • To prevent food from sticking, shake the basket every few minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions: 

Do I Need to Preheat My Air Fryer?

Yes, preheating your air fryer is important for the best cooking results. Preheating helps the air fryer reach the desired temperature before cooking.

This ensures even cooking and optimum texture for your food.

How Long Does it Take to Preheat a Ninja Air Fryer?

Although specific preheat times may vary, most Ninja air fryers fall within the average preheating time of 3-5 minutes.

How Long Does it Take to Preheat a NuWave Air Fryer?

NuWave air fryers also generally take between 3-5 minutes to preheat.

However, the exact time may depend on the model and the temperature you’re aiming for.

How Long Does it Take to Preheat a Gourmia Air Fryer?

Like the Ninja and NuWave air fryers, Gourmia air fryers typically take 3-5 minutes to preheat.

Always check the user manual to ensure accurate preheating times for your specific model.

Does the Preheating Time Change with Different Cooking Temperatures?

Yes, preheating time may vary with the cooking temperature.

Higher cooking temperatures may require longer preheating times to ensure the air fryer reaches the desired heat.

Is There an Automatic Preheat Function in Air Fryers?

Some air fryer models have an automatic preheat function, while others require a manual preheat. 

For manual preheating, choose the air fry setting and select the temperature specified in your recipe.

Aim for a 3-minute preheat for most models, and a 5-minute preheat for larger, oven-style air fryers.


In the end, the amount of time your air fryer takes to preheat depends on two main factors: the size of your specific model and the temperature you’re cooking at. 

Generally speaking, most air fryers preheat in about 3 to 10 minutes, with an average of 5 minutes. Always consult your air fryer’s manual for the specifics regarding your device. 

Over time, you’ll get a better sense of how long your air fryer needs to preheat for optimal results.

The goal is to make sure your air fryer reaches the ideal temperature before adding your food for perfectly crispy results.

So keep experimenting with different cooking times and enjoy the delicious meals created in your air fryer!

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I’m Jueria and I am a regular contributor on In my articles, I share time-saving techniques, appliance wizardry, and health-friendly recipes to bring taste and wellness to your table. So raise a glass (or a spatula) with me, to good health and good food, made easy!