Whoa! I didn’t know Brussels sprouts could be THIS good! If you have been waiting to pull the trigger on buying an air fryer, stop, go to the store, buy one and cook this now! These air fryer Brussels sprouts with bacon are my new go-to vegetables to serve alongside some BBQ. When the grill is jam-packed with meat and other sides, the air fryer comes in clutch to bring more food to the party! If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, then you need to try them cooked to a crisp!
The air fryer renders the fat from the bacon and sweats the sugary juices from the onions in order to provide the Brussels sprouts with the perfect foundation for a flavorful, crunchy roast in the air fryer. The bacon fat will coat the Brussels sprouts and fry them to a crisp while infusing them with a sweetness from the onions and final sweetness comes to the party with the dried cranberries. My mouth is watering!
Brussels sprouts are a winter superfood!
Brussels sprouts are available year-round, however, their peak season is during the winter time making these a winter superfood! Usually, Brussels sprouts can be a tad bitter, but as the days get cooler towards the end of their peak season, the sprouts will begin to get sweeter. The starches in the Brussels sprouts begin to convert to sugars as the weather becomes cooler so you may get a sweeter, less bitter sprout.
Brussels sprouts are incredibly healthy, too! There are loads of vitamin C to help your immune system get a boost and even cancer-fighting glucosinolates.
Air Fryer tips and tricks
Can you put foil in the air fryer?
Yes, you can put tin foil or parchment paper in the air fryer to keep your food from sticking to the bottom. I recommend only using parchment paper, or tin foil, for particularly tricky foods since it is counteractive to how an air fryer works. We want the air fryer to be able to circulate the air inside of the device and as soon as we block the holes at the bottom of the air fryer, it will begin to suffocate the air circulation and your food won’t get as crispy on the bottom.
Help, why is my air fryer smoking?
When cooking high-fat foods in the air fryer, you may experience a cloud of white smoke develop in the device. Don’t panic, this can be managed. And there are even some tips which can help prevent this from happening.
To prevent smoke in your air fryer you can add a couple of tablespoons of water to the bottom of the basket. If you are cooking especially greasy foods, like bacon, you can also put a piece of bread in the bottom of the basket, just take out the removable rack at the bottom of the basket and place a piece of bread down there and replace the rack. The bread will soak up the excess grease and prevent the air fryer from smoking.
Evenly cook your food by preheating the air fryer
The air fryer can cook quickly, but you also want even and thoroughly cooked food. I would suggest preheating your air fryer for the best results. Some air fryers do not have a preheat setting. If yours doesn’t have a preheat setting then you can set your temperature and run the air fryer for 2-5 minutes to bring it up to temperature before adding your food to the basket. The smaller your air fryer, the less time you will need to preheat it.
Should you use oil in your air fryer?
I almost always use oil in my air fryer, but you don’t have to! Oil coats your food and allows the seasoning to stick to it. It also prevents your food from sticking to your air fryer basket. However, if you want to cook low fat and leave the oil out of the recipe you can always use parchment paper to prevent sticking. And, if you are cooking high-fat foods, like bacon, you will not need to include oil in your air fryer.
Leave space in your air fryer basket. Space it out, man!
Air fryers work by circulating air around the basket and as it circulates, oils and fats are also circulated and deposited onto the food. If you overcrowd your basket then you will have disappointingly un-crispy food. Space everything out in your air fryer basket and you will have a much crispier result.
Flip and shake the air fryer basket
Similar to the tip for leaving plenty of space for your food to achieve a good crisp, you will also want to shake the basket periodically or flip the food halfway through cooking. This will allow the food to cook well on both sides and you will have a crispy result.
How to modify a recipe for an air fryer
Air fryers are often much more efficient at cooking foods. Since the air is circulating air, similar to a convection oven, I always recommend setting your air fryer to a lower temperature and monitoring the cooking progress throughout the cooking time. Even at lower temperatures, your items may finish cooking sooner than expected. As a rule of thumb, adjust the cooking temperature about 10% lower and the cooking time about 25% shorter.
Some other recipes you will dig!
These air fryer brussels sprouts could be a full meal all on their own! But if you plan to cook these up as a side then check out these other delicious recipes for some great accompaniments to your veggies.
These grilled bacon wrapped scallops need to have some delicious, crispy air fryer brussels sprouts with bacon to go along with them. Scallops might be my favorite treat from the ocean, they are so tender! Plus wrapped in bacon and flavored from the smoke on the BBQ, YUM!
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- 8 slices of thick-cut bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries.
- Remove the air fryer basket from the basket holder and pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the basket drawer then replace the basket.
- Add the bacon and onion slices to the air fryer and cook for 7 minutes at 390°F. Stir the bacon and onions after 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and stir them around to coat them with a little of the bacon fat.
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the Brussels and cook for 15 more minutes. Stop and stir the Brussels sprouts every 5 minutes.
- If the bacon and Brussels are not as crispy as you like then air fry them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with dried cranberries.
- This recipe is written for a larger 6-quart air fryer basket. If your air fryer is smaller then cut the recipe in half or cook in batches.
- Since the ingredients are stacked on top of each other you will need to stop and stir everything every 5 minutes as the Brussels sprouts cook.
- Adding water to the bottom of the air fryer basket holder is optional but will reduce smoke as the bacon cooks. It will also make the air fryer easier to clean the bacon grease when you finish cooking.
- Choose Brussels sprouts that are similar in size to ensure even cooking. If you have some Brussels sprouts that are a lot bigger than others, cut them in quarters.
- Start the bacon and onions 7 minutes in advance so the bacon has time to get crisp and the onions get more caramelized.
- To cook this in a regular oven, toss the bacon and onions in a rimmed baking sheet and cook at 425°F for 7 minutes. Then add the Brussels sprouts and roast for 25 minutes. Add the cranberries at the end of roasting time.
Amount Per Serving Calories 221Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 24mgSodium 694mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 4gSugar 17gProtein 11g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.