Easy Air Fryer Meatballs turn out as crispy as you remember your Grandmother’s fried meatballs! The sheer beauty of this recipe is that they are done in about 10 minutes and are so tasty!
If you have been keeping up with my air fryer education, you know that I have been trying all kinds of delicious foods in my air fryer, since Christmas! So far, I have made, Air Fyrer Chicken Wings, Air Fryer Pork Loin, Air Fryer Doughnuts, Air Fryer Chicken Tenders and now these Air Fryer Meatballs!
How long to cook meatballs in the air fryer?
If you make cocktail sized meatballs, they will take about 10 minutes. Full sized meatballs will take approximately 20 minutes. Air fryers are different wattages so they may take more in less time in different machines.
I have made these air fryer meatballs with this Sweet and Sour Sauce and my old favorite, one of my most requested appetizers, this Cranberry Orange Sauce! These meatballs are the first thing that disappear when I take them to a potluck! No one can resist them!
The air fryer is, without a doubt, one of the best kitchen tools I have added in decades! So, I will take you along on this journey to perfect cooking in the air fryer.
Tips for cooking in your air fryer
A few things I have learned about cooking in the air fryer are;
- **IMPORTANT!** Air Fryers cook at varying degrees and have different wattages, so always consult your owner’s manual, before using any of the below tips! Some Air Fryers recommend not using cooking sprays.
- Preheating the air fryer gives you a crispier outside with little, or no added oil.
- Use no stick spray, instead of oil, so that you can control the amount of fat in your food.
- Spray the inside of your air fryer with no stick, or wipe it with oil on paper towel, for easy cleanup.
- Some foods need no added oil, such as; Air Fryer Doughnuts and these Air Fryer Meatballs.
- Line tray with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- Always spray rack with non stick spray, for easy cleanup.
- Use higher temperatures for quick cooking foods and lower temperatures for slower food.
- Cut foods in uniform sizes for more even cooking.
Are air fried foods healthier for you?
Air Fried Foods contain less fat than traditionally fried foods. In this fact alone, air fried foods contain less fat and calories, than traditionally fried foods.
Air fried foods can also aid in weight loss! Here is an interesting article that will walk you through the science of air frying foods!
How to make them
- Mix ground venison (or ground beef) and pork in a large bowl.
- Grate onion directly over meat to capture the juices.
- About 2 tablespoons.
- Grate garlic too.
- Whisk eggs in bowl.
- Add eggs, breadcrumbs and spices to meat. If making meatballs for Italian sauce, add Parmesan cheese.
- Mix the mixture gently, but well by hand.
- Form into balls. An ice cream scoop or cookie scoop works well to portion meat. (Meatballs can be frozen at this point for easy meal prep later.) Place on air fryer rack or basket in a single layer.
- Air Fry at 350°F 5 minutes, until golden on one side. Carefully remove from air fryer, flip meatballs over. Continue to air fry another 5 minutes, until browned and internal temperature is over 165°F. If cooking the meatballs from frozen, air fry on the first side for 8-10 minutes. Then flip and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.
You can use homemade or store bought frozen meatballs to make this recipe. Cook frozen meatballs a bit longer than thawed meatballs.
If you are cooking large meatballs, such as for spaghetti and meatballs, increase air frying time by about 5 minutes per side, so they are done in the middle.
Take frozen meatballs directly from the freezer and place them on the rack or basket of your air fryer.
You can add the cooked meatballs to a simple marinara sauce and have dinner ready in under 30 minutes! Make a quick meatball sub by topping the meatballs and marinara with some sliced mozzarella cheese on a good sub roll and watch the kids’ faces light up.
This sauce is a delicious sweet and sour sauce that utilizes apricot preserves. Just add all of the ingredients to a saucepan, bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until thickened!
Air frying meatballs has become my favorite way to cook meatballs! Years ago I switched from pan frying meatballs to baking meatballs.
I appreciated the fact the baked meatballs turned out more round than pan frying, but I did sacrifice a bit on flavor and crispiness.
No longer, my friends! These air fryer meatballs are so much crispier than baked! I am now doing a happy dance in the kitchen! 🙂 ! I even make my meatballs for this yummy Oven Baked Meatball Stew in the air fryer now.
Thanks for stopping by to check out this tasty recipe! Whichever sauce you pick, you will not be sorry that you tried these!
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Tools I Use to Make This
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Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
Air Fryer Meatballs
- Grate onion and garlic right over bowl with the meat in it.
- Whisk eggs. Add the rest of ingredients to bowl and mix, gently, but well by hand.
- Form meatballs. For dinner meatballs, portion meat with ice cream scoop. For appetizer meatballs, portion with cookie scoop.
- Place on air fryer basket, so the meatballs are not touching.
- Air Fry at 400°F for about 5-6 minutes, until browned. Carefully remove from air fryer and flip with tongs. Continue to air fry about 5-6 more minutes, until browned and temperature is over 165°F.
For Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Grate onion and garlic directly over small pot. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to very low. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour, until sauce is thickened.
Air Fryers vary in wattage, and therefore in cooking times. This recipe is based using my Cuisinart TOA60. If your air fryer is different, carefully watch food the first time you make it, so that it doesn’t burn.
Preheating your air fryer will give you the best, crispiest result. Check your brand of air fryer user manual to see if preheating is recommended.
Air fryers preheat in about 3-4 minutes.
Use cooking spray or a fine mist sprayer to spray food prior to cooking, with the exception of baked goods.
Don’t overcrowd foods so air can circulate all around.
Flip foods over half way through cooking.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click the link and purchase something, at no additional cost to you. See FTC Disclosure, here.