Frozen Crispy Food
September 22, 2021
Cooking frozen crispy foods in your Anova Precision Oven is easy! We tested four different methods to see which ones produced the most consistently crisp, golden brown, and delicious results.
First, we modified the package directions. The best way to do so is to use the oven temperature listed on the package, but reduce the cooking time by about 20%. In this case, we didn’t use any steam.
Second, we tried using the oven’s air fryer-like settings: 400ºF (204ºC) with 0% steam and the rear fan on high. Cooking for 15 to 20 minutes using these settings worked for most foods, but the time needed will depended on what we were cooking, how big it was, and whether or not was raw or cooked to begin with. For example, a frozen breaded chicken breast that’s not fully cooked will need a full 20 minutes, while frozen fully-cooked chicken nuggets will be ready in 15.
Third, we added steam. While it sounds counterintuitive, you can actually cook some frozen crispy foods with 50% steam. Using steam in the Anova Precision Oven not only speeds up the cooking process even more than convection heat alone, but it can also keep certain crispy foods from becoming *too* crispy or overly dry. Using a high oven temperature (385ºF/196ºC) means the food won’t get too soggy, either.
Finally, we tried splitting the difference with a two-stage cook. We started at 385ºF (196ºC) with 50% steam then released the steam and adjusted the temperature to finish at 400ºF (204ºC).
In the end, we found the higher-heat, no-steam method works best for breaded (uncooked) chicken breasts, sweet potato fries, and buffalo wings while the lower-heat, half-steam method was perfect for crinkle fries, taquitos, and kid-friendly chicken nuggets.
It might take a few tries to land on the absolute best method for your favorite frozen crispy foods. If something isn’t crispy enough for you, release the steam and crank up the heat. And if you’re playing around with uncooked meats, use the probe to ensure that the meats reach a safe internal temperature before serving.
The good news is these items can always be cooked in the Anova Precision Oven — and they’re pretty hard to mess up!