There is no universally applicable air fryer pizza recipe due to the wide variety of air fryer models on the market, each of which has its own unique set of features, configuration, and capacity. Instead, let’s figure out how to make pizza in an air fryer.
What’s your crust preference, thick or thin?
Is the crust in your go-to pizza recipe thin, or does it have more of a Sicilian-style thickness? Not that it matters. The crust can be as thin or as thick as you like in the air fryer. To accommodate the convection-style cooking of the fryer, you need just add the toppings a little later in the baking process: The toppings on a pizza will brown and cook more quickly than the pizza’s inner crust since they are closer to the oven’s heat source.
The air fryer will not get hot enough to produce the charred, “leopard spot,” pizza crust that can be achieved in an oven preheated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and equipped with a pizza stone. However, if a golden brown, uniformly baked crust is all you’re after, your fryer will do the trick.
In what sizes do you prepare pizzas?
Make that the air fryer’s baking area (bucket, drawer, or shelf) is large enough. If your air fryer can accommodate pans of a common size, you can use it. However, you’ll need to do some elementary geometry (calculate surface area) to figure out how much dough to use for each pizza if the largest circular pan your air fryer can accommodate is 8 inches in diameter (like my Gourmia air fryer). (Warning: Here at King Arthur, we only promote goods that our in-house bakers genuinely enjoy using and recommending. We may receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links and leaving the site.
If you’re looking to make two medium-thick 12″ round pizzas or one half-sheet rectangular pizza, a pizza crust recipe calling for 3 cups (approximately 360g) of flour will do the trick. Using the formula r2 (pi times the radius of the circle squared), we get that this quantity of dough is sufficient to make four pizzas with a diameter of 8 inches.
So, let’s do the sums:
- A half-sheet pan has a total of 194 square inches of surface area, as measured along the bottom (not the sides) of the pan.
- The square of the radius, r, multiplied by the diameter, 8, is 50 square inches (3.14 x 42).
- You can easily fit 194 square inches of dough into four 8-inch round pans (four 50-inch pans).
- So, the largest pan size that would fit in your air fryer is 8 inches? You can either cut the recipe in half or refrigerate the extra dough until the next day if you want to bake more than two pizzas at once.
- This is a hint: I really enjoy making our Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza since the dough makes enough for two 8-inch pizzas, one with a thicker crust and one with a thinner one. I make a thick-crust pizza with two-thirds of the dough (approximately 270g) in an 8″ round cake pan and a thin-crust pie with one-third of the dough (135g) on a parchment-lined 8″ round.
Taking form and climbing
Making pizza in an air fryer is simple once you figure out how much dough to use. Thinner crust pizzas can be baked directly on parchment, much like in a regular oven, while pizzas with a thicker crust will need to be supported by a pan.
If using a pan, drizzle it with olive oil, but if using paper, you can skip the oil. Shape your dough and set it in the pan or on the parchment, depending on the thickness.
Wait for the crust to rise as directed by the recipe (you can do this immediately in the cold fryer). Set the oven temperature when the dough has doubled in size. A temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal since it thoroughly bakes both thin- and thick-crust pies without scorching the fillings. You may bake with it or air fry with it.
Pizza toppings should be reserved for after the crust has been partially prebaked. The untopped crust has to bake for 8-10 minutes to reach a golden brown color.
Why not just pile on the toppings from the get-go, like a conventional pizza? Since air fryers brown from the top down, prebaking the crust ensures even browning and prevents the toppings from burning before the crust is fully baked.
If your air fryer doesn’t have a bottom heating element, you can still make thin crust pizza by using tongs to flip the pie over once it’s browned. The crust that was on top is now on the bottom. After adding the toppings, bake for another 7 to 8 minutes, or until they reach the desired doneness. Take the pizza out of the air fryer and serve. To remove the pizza from the fryer and place it on a cooling rack, you may need two sets of tongs or a fork and tongs if your fryer is of the bucket variety.
Allow the untopped pizza to bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden brown, for a thick crust. Toss on the toppings and keep the pizza in the oven for another 15 minutes, tenting it with foil if the cheese and meat are browning too quickly. Tongs can once again be used to take the pan out of the fryer. Slide the pizza onto a rack (or onto a frying pan; see below) to prevent the dreaded soggy bottom.
Creating a golden brown crust
Your pizza’s bottom crust will require some assistance browning if your air fryer doesn’t have a bottom heating element.
The difficulty with thin-crust pizzas is easily remedied by flipping them over before adding toppings (as described above).
Prep a lightly greased frying pan over medium heat until water droplets sizzle and evaporate immediately; this is the ideal temperature for browning the bottom crust of a pizza with a thicker crust. Cast iron, nonstick, stainless steel, aluminum, and other frying pan variations all require different heating methods, so please use your best judgment when deciding how to heat your pan.
Toss the finished pizza into a frying pan with care. Pizzas can be fried for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes, depending on the temperature of the pan and how brown you like the bottom crust.
Warming up leftovers
Don’t forget that the air fryer makes quick work of reheating cold pizza, whether you originally baked it in the air fryer or some other method. Throw a couple of slices in the fryer, set the temperature to maximum, and let them cook all the way through; it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes (maybe less if you keep an eye on them) to do so.
Want to give air-fried pizza a shot?
Although most recipes may be scaled to fit an air fryer, you should avoid those that call for too high of an oven temperature or too short of a bake time. For instance, a thin-crust pizza that bakes at 550°F for 8 minutes isn’t a good candidate for an air fryer.
Here are a few starter recipes; keep in mind that you’ll need to adjust the quantities to suit your fryer (rough yield estimates are provided in parentheses):
- Pan Pizza With A Crumbly, Melty Crust (either two medium-thick pizzas or one thick and one thin pizza, each 8 inches in diameter)
- Easy, No-Knead Crust Pizza (3 8-inch pizzas of average thickness)
- Crust made from sourdough starter (enough for three to four 8-inch pizzas, depending on crust thickness).
- Beer Crust Pizza in a Hurry (this recipe makes enough for three to four 8-inch pizzas, depending on the thickness of the crust).
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Using an air fryer to prepare pizza is not only a time and resource-saving alternative but also an efficient method that yields delicious meals. With a few simple steps, you can achieve a flawlessly crispy crust and perfectly melted toppings. However, it is important to note that when using an air fryer, it is recommended to opt for an air fryer without teflon coating to avoid potential health risks associated with its use.
So, go ahead and explore the world of air fryer pizza-making, making sure to prioritize models without teflon coating for a healthier cooking experience. Get ready to enjoy homemade pizzas with exceptional flavor and texture that rival those from your favorite restaurant!