After many experiments and lots of testing, I’ve worked out How to Air Fry Sliced Mushrooms to perfection. They’re buttery but not greasy, fully cooked through and a little crispy but not at all dry. They’re ideal as a tasty side for breakfasts, steaks and for stuffing into sandwiches or adding to other dishes.
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Mushrooms have felt like something that should be ideal to just throw into the air fryer just like I do for many other veg from the moment I got one. But every time I tried, I ended up with little rubber bullets that had no business being on my plate.
Because I refuse to be beaten, I started a mission to work out how to cook them properly. You may or may not be surprised how many different variables there are to such a simple recipe. The combination of cooking dish (or none), how thick to cut the mushrooms, how much butter and/or oil to add and the cooking time and temperature all have an effect.
But the good news is that I got there. And you can just follow my instructions rather than wasting any food.
How to Serve
I am not a fan of cold mushrooms at all and I really do think that serving mushrooms nice and hot is important. Like eggs, they cool very quickly so its best to bear this in mind when working out your timings.
I mostly add this kind of sliced fried mushrooms to an English breakfast or any kind of variation or breakfast sandwich. Try mixing and matching with some of these breakfast foods:
- Air fried mushrooms are an easy option for adding a delicious garnish to Creamy Garlic Mushroom Soup.
- Add an extra layer to an Egg & Bacon Pie or use the air fryer method to cook the mushrooms to add to a Quiche or Baked Macaroni Cheese.
- Use the sliced mushrooms in a sandwich, toastie or even to serve with or in this Eggy Fried Cheese Sandwich.
- Use as a topping for ramen – they’re a delicious way to pimp up some instant noodles.
Nigel Slater once said or wrote that mushrooms that have aged and are starting to look a bit gnarly are his favourite because they develop more flavour (paraphrased obviously). And I’ve mostly taken this to heart and agreed with him when cooking.
But I do find when slicing and frying mushrooms that the younger, fresher, more recently bought options both slice and cook up better. The gnarly mushrooms can squish rather than slice and are harder to add flavour too.
I’ve used what I would consider to be regular everyday mushrooms in the UK. But the brown ones rather than white. This is simply what I had to hand and am often drawn towards.
Both white and chestnut mushrooms are exactly the same mushroom but the brown ones are picked when they’re a bit older. I do think they have slightly more flavour. Chestnut mushrooms are called cremini mushrooms in the US.
I look for mushrooms on the larger side – they’re easier to slice and they hold their shape better when cooking. You can also use portobello mushrooms which are incidentally also exactly the same mushroom but picked even later in their lifecycle.
I only use salted butter (indeed I only make salted Homemade Butter) and that is what I recommend using here. Whilst we will add additional salt, mushrooms are flavour sponges and having the salt already in the fat will help that salt to be absorbed.
Please don’t be shy with the salt, it enhances the natural flavour of the mushrooms and they are quite frankly barely worth eating unless properly salted.
I use Maldon sea salt flakes, if you only have table salt, reduce the amount by half.
This recipe is free from egg, gluten and nuts.
Dairy Free Air Fried Sliced Mushrooms: To make a dairy free and indeed therefore vegan version of this recipe, use a dairy free butter substitute or olive oil. Make sure to add a little extra salt if using oil.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
How Long to Air Fry Sliced Mushrooms
The buttery sliced mushrooms take 8 minutes to cook in a pre-heated air fryer. They’re given a quick turn/stir around 3/4 of the way through the cooking time.
Pre-heating the air fryer is essential in very short cooks like this so please don’t skip this step unless you are extra confident that you have the quickest of quick heating air fryers. The immediate blast of heat and starting to cook at a high temp is essential to keeping these mushrooms crispy and juicy instead of dry.
Why Cook on Foil?
Cooking the mushrooms directly on a crisper rack results in dry mushrooms. There is simply a little too much air flow and it is impossible to keep the butter from dripping straight away.
Cooking the mushrooms in a cake pan, silicone liner or other tin or tray doesn’t seem to conduct the heat to the mushrooms enough and the results just aren’t great.
So a square of tin foil/aluminium foil/aluminum foil, whatever you want to call it, is the Goldilock’s approved option. Placed on top of the crisper rack, it is thin enough that the heat can easily penetrate from underneath.
Make sure to fold up the edges of the foil to create a little dish that will stop the butter falling out. Also make sure to make it big enough to contain the sliced mushrooms in roughly one layer but also small enough to ensure that there is a gap around the edge for the air to flow.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
You can cook the mushrooms in advance and keep them stored in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days in an airtight container. Make sure that they’re properly cold before closing the container.
I would only recommend doing this if you are planning to add them to another dish such as a quiche.
If you are planning on eating them just as they are, I would highly recommend trying to cook them fresh and only as many as you will realistically eat.
If you are juggling air fryer space with other parts of you meal, you could cook them up to the 3/4 mark, take them out the fryer and then finish them off for the final couple of minutes just before serving. You may need to add a minute or two to the cooking time.
Common Air Fryer Questions – A Brief Guide to Air Frying
- What exactly is an air fryer?
- What are the benefits of using an air fryer?
- Are all air fryers the same?
- Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
- Do air fryers need to be pre-heated?
- What is the best temperature to air fry at?
- Can food be cooked from frozen in an air fryer?
- Can I reheat food in an air fryer?
- Are air fryer liners a good idea?
The Air Fried Feast Community
Come on over to Facebook and join my community discussing all things air fryer. Get involved in sharing your experiences and trials, help out others and find out what wonderful things everyone is cooking in their air fryers!
What Exactly is an Air Fryer?
Very simply, an air fryer is a small convection (fan) oven. The benefit is that the hot air is circulated all around the food being cooked which speeds up the cooking time and cooks the food more evenly.
What are the Benefits of Using an Air Fryer?
Size, time and energy usage. Air fryers are ideal for cooking smaller quantities. Heating up a space that the food just fits into requires less energy and means that the heat source is much closer to the food. Combining these two things can speed up the cooking time.
Are all air fryers the same?
Nope! The term air fryer is now used very broadly. I consider there to be 4 main types:
Basket Air Fryers
These are what I would consider to be the most common, especially in the UK. A boxy type unit has a pull out drawer/basket. Food isn’t usually visible whilst cooking.
Some larger models have two drawers so different items can be cooked at different temperatures or for different times.
This is the type that you’ll see in the images in this recipe. I mostly use a Cosori Lite 3.8L (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal. It isn’t an overly expensive or fancy model.
I’ve also recommended to several friends and family the model with a slightly larger basket. This is the Cosori 4.7L (CAF-L501) with a 4.7 litre basket. The unit is no larger than the 3.8 litre model on the outside but does have a larger internal basket capacity. I’ve since bought this version to use for some recipes where my smaller model was just too small. I’ll always note this in the recipe.
Rotary Air Fryers
Round air fryers with a paddle in the centre that rotates to move the food. This is the type I used for years – the most common is a Tefal Actifry.
Rotary types are not usually good for recipes where the food is breaded, glazed, likely to break up or in a tray/container. They do however make the best chips and roasted veg.
My 2 in 1 version like the one I’ve linked also has a rotating tray for things that could be broken up by a paddle, but the height clearance with the lid isn’t deep enough to use it to cook some items like sausage rolls. I’ve now actually retired by Actifry in favour of having my two basket type fryers.
Mini Oven Air Fryers
These usually have a glass door, shelves and overall are really quite large. You can cook quite a decent quantity of food in them so are best if regularly cooking for multiple people. They often come with extra features like a rotisserie spit or kebab skewers.
Multicookers with Air Fryer Functions
Some like Ninja 11 in 1 and some of the earlier versions with a few less functions, have an air fryer option. They mostly operate the same as a basket fryer but the basket drops in the top rather than sliding in like a drawer.
Some electric pressure cookers like Instant Pots can also air fry when used with a specific lid.
Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
As much as I do love air frying, the honest answer to this is no. And the more detailed answer is that it will always depend on what you’re cooking, how much of it you’re cooking and what type and size of air fryer you have.
Once you need to cook in more than 2 batches, it often makes more sense to use an oven. If you already have the oven on to cook other items, it may make more sense to throw one more item in rather than using an additional appliance.
I don’t think either method is often necessarily better than the other. The important point to note is that there is absolutely no difference in the finished product.
Do Air Fryers Need to Be Pre-Heated?
The answer to this is rather annoying – it depends. It depends entirely on your model and type of air fryer. The best advice I can offer is to check your manual and follow their guidance. My Cosori models have a preheat function. I press a button and it heats at 205c/400f for 4 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of whether you are supposed to pre-heat or not, if you are cooking in batches, it is quite likely that anything after the first batch will cook a little quicker because of the retained heat. It is best to check on them before the cooking time is completed.
What is the best temperature to Air Fry at?
It will always depend on what you are cooking and from what state. All of my air fryer recipes don’t use temperatures above 200c/390f because many of the most common fryers in the UK don’t go above this. Mine goes to 230c/450f and I use this temperature a lot but it is no help for me to share recipes which many people can’t use.
Can Food Be Cooked From Frozen In An Air Fryer?
Absolutely! To cook from frozen you usually will need to reduce the cooking temperature and increase the time to make sure your food is cooked right through to the middle.
It is best to check my individual recipes for cooking from frozen advice as some items are a little different. And there are occasionally exceptions to the rule.
Can I Reheat Food In An Air Fryer?
Yes. As a general rule I reheat food for roughly 1/3 of the original cooking time at the same temperature. Or at 10 degrees lower for half the time for larger items.
Are Air Fryer Liners a Good Idea?
Unless otherwise stated, I do not use liners when air frying. Basket and rotary type air fryers are designed to be used without liners. Mini oven types will generally require some kind of tray like with a regular large oven although most come with crisper racks to use.
There are many air fryer liners available including quite thick silicone ones. These will affect the cooking times and possibly temperatures of your cooking/baking. I also don’t like how cooking juices are prevented from dripping through the basket rack. This can stop food from crisping all the way around.
When I do want to collect the juices, I mostly use some foil, or occasionally a foil tray which can be washed and reused.
If you do prefer to use them, once you have got a feel for how they affect your cooking and baking, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe accordingly.
More Air Fryer Recipes
All my recipes with instructions for how to cook or bake them in the air fryer can be found in my Air Fryer Recipe Index.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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How to Air Fry Sliced Mushrooms
- 200 g Mushrooms
- 20 g Salted Butter
- ⅛ tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- Run the preheat setting on your air fryer if you have one. Otherwise run your air fryer for 4 minutes at 200c.
- Prepare your dish for in the air fryer. I prefer to use aluminium foil to create a tray just slightly smaller than my basket. Whatever you use, it should be thin so heat is easily conducted and it should have low sides to contain the butter.
- Slice 200g Muchrooms into thick slices, around ½cm or ¼".
- Once heated, add the tray and the sliced mushroom to the air fryer.
- Cut up and dot 20g Salted Butter over the mushrooms along with ⅛ tsp Sea Salt Flakes.
- Cook for 6 minutes at 200c/390f.
- Give the mushrooms a quick toss and cook for a further 2 minutes at 200c/390f.
- This recipe is tested in a Cosori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal.
- Not all models advise preheating is required. Please follow the recommended instructions for your model. Mine has a specific preheat setting which is 4 minutes at 205c.
- For this recipe, I can comfortably cook 200g of mushrooms in the basket at one time. More mushrooms will fit but they may need to be turned more often and the cooking time may increase slightly.
- As all air fryer models are a little different, you may find that you can fit more or less in at a time. Some models include stacking shelves which will increase capacity.
- Required cooking times and temperatures can also vary between models and brands. If you know that your air fryer runs a little hotter than most recipes suggest, use a lower temperature. And vice versa. Equally if you find that food cooks more quickly in your machine than instructions usually state, reduce the cooking time (or check it earlier) and vice versa.