More reliable results; better control over the toasting job. Plus, when you use an air fryer, you can toast your toppings while you toast your bread. Warm almond butter banana toast, anyone?
Most of us have to make some tough decisions when it comes to dedicating kitchen counter space to appliances. Unless you’re blessed with more room than you need (and clearly don’t live in a New York City apartment like myself), chances are you simply don’t have room for your coffee station, toaster oven, and Instant Pot.
Well, there’s some good news: that toaster you use every morning? There’s another more versatile appliance that’s even better at crisping up thick, golden slices of sourdough to try the next viral toast trend.
Whether you love them or haven’t yet given one a fair try, an air fryer is a form of do-it-all countertop oven that just so happens to make excellent (ne’er I say better?) toast than your trusty toaster. Why? Because not only do you get reliable results, but you also have more control over the toasting job. We’ve all experienced the disappointment of a toaster taking your fresh artisan bread from golden to setting off the smoke detector within minutes. But with an air fryer, you can pop open the drawer mid-cook for a progress report. What’s more, you can cook your toppings as you ‘cook’ your bread.
If you’re ready to part with that ubiquitous single-use appliance once and for all, here’s what to know about making excellent toast in an air fryer.
How to make toast in an air fryer
The first step to making toast in the air fryer is by far the most important: butter your bread. You should never put pre-buttered bread into a slot-style toaster at the risk of filling your kitchen with smoke or ruining your toaster. But the beauty of the basket (or rack, depending on what type of air fryer you own) is that you can slather one side of your bread with a luscious spread, place it dry side down in the air fryer, and cook away.
The dry convection heat will surround your bread, melting the butter deep into its nooks and crannies while simultaneously crisping up all of its delicious surface area. The result is a beautifully golden-brown slice of sourdough or a dark and toasty piece of pumpernickel that has buttery flavor in every bite.
The dry convection heat will surround your bread, melting the butter deep into its nooks and crannies while simultaneously crisping up all of its delicious surface area.
For further flavor, try air frying bread spread with a compound butter that’s herby, spicy, or speckled with everything bagel seasoning. You could even top your toast with shredded or sliced cheese for an instant cheese toasty, no broiling necessary. And if dairy’s not your favorite (in the morning or otherwise), you cannot beat a slice of air fryer toast shmeared with warmed almond butter and banana.
What’s the best temperature for making air fryer toast?
Air fryers are pretty forgiving when it comes to temperature, but I like to crank it all the way up for the fastest browning. My air fryer taps out at 400°F, but you could toast as low as 350°F if you have a few extra minutes or need to step away and are concerned about burning.
The cook time depends on the size and kind of bread you’re working with. Thicker, denser slices will need a few more minutes, while bread with ingredients that brown quickly like nuts, seeds, or sugars will take as little as four to five minutes.
Which is the best air fryer for making toast?
As a chef, food writer and product reviewer, I’ve tested many air fryers, and the one I’ve found is the most versatile (and aesthetically-pleasing) is the new Wonder Oven from Our Place. It’ll brown you the most delicious base for your next avocado toast, but you can also use it to roast veggies, crispy tofu, or bake chocolate chip cookies (just saying).
However, I’ve found that most basket-style air fryers do a great job with toast, so you can easily get away with a smaller model if space is at a premium.