Make a Complete Breakfast for One in Your Air Fryer

Make a Complete Breakfast for One in Your Air Fryer
Photo: Claire Lower
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Serving a good multi-component breakfast hinges on timing: The goal is to have everything on the plate at the same time and at the same temperature. This can become slightly challenging when there are several prep methods in play. Eggs in the frying pan, bacon in the oven, hash browns in another frying pan or alongside the bacon in the oven — orchestrating it all can be mildly annoying, if not downright frustrating. And then there are the multiple dishes to wash.

This is one of the reasons I rarely make myself a classic breakfast any time other than the weekend. There are just too many things to keep track of on a Wednesday morning, and I’m usually perfectly happy with something like cottage cheese or tomato toast. My standards might change, however. Because I have figured out a way to make a complete breakfast with crisp bacon, a tender baked egg, and a crunchy hash brown patty right in the little basket of my air fryer.

Originally, I just wanted to use the table-top convection oven to make baked eggs. I love baked eggs, but recently gave my toaster oven to my boyfriend, and the toaster oven is what I had always used to bake my eggs in. Luckily, baking eggs in the air fryer worked beautifully, in spite of “air fried baked eggs” sounding absolutely absurd. I cracked an egg in a greased ramekin, splashed a little half & half on the white, and cooked it in the air fryer at 200 degrees Celsius for 5-7 minutes, until the white was set (time can vary with egg size). The white was soft, the yolk runny, and the half & half was ever so slightly browned.

But even though my little two-litre air fryer doesn’t use as much energy as my oven, I’m still always looking for ways to get as much out of it as I can each time I turn it on, so I added some bacon and a hash brown patty to the basket, along with my egg to maximise its breakfast output. (I think you could even add some mushrooms and/or tomatoes if you wanted to get British about it, but I haven’t tried that out yet.)

If you’ve cooked a fair amount of bacon and eggs (and hash brown patties), you know that these things all cook at different rates, so some staggering is involved, but it all works out quite elegantly. The bacon initially takes up too much room to allow an egg-filled ramekin and a hash brown patty, but after five minutes it loses a good bit of fat, allowing the little basket to accommodate everyone with ease, and five minutes in happens to be the exact moment you’ll want to add the egg.

For bacon, I used a thicker cut, so you may have to adjust your cooking time if you use a thinner slice, but one of the great things about the air fryer is how easy it is to take a peek and check on your food’s progress. Times may also be affected by the size of your air fryer, so keep a close eye the first time you make your breakfast, and adjust as needed. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, no matter which model you have.

To make a complete breakfast that’s hot and ready all at the same time, you will need:

  • 1 frozen hash brown patty
  • 2 slices of bacon, cut if needed to fit into your basket
  • 1 egg
  • Butter or bacon grease for ramekin
  • 1 teaspoon half & half or cream

Heat your air fryer to 200 degrees Celsius, and place your hash brown and bacon slices in the basket, spreading out the bacon as much as you can. Cook for five minutes. While the first two components of your breakfast are revving up, grease your ramekin, gently crack an egg inside of it, and float a teaspoon of half & half on top of the white portion of the egg.

Once five minutes of initial cook time has elapsed, open the air fryer, flip the hash brown, and flip and scoot the bacon around to make room for the ramekin. Set the ramekin in the basket, close it up, and cook for another six minutes. After that portion of cooking time has elapsed, slide the basket out and take a look at the state of things.

If your egg is done but other components need a bit more time, don’t worry, just take it out — it will stay quite warm in its piping hot ramekin if either the bacon or browns need a few for minutes. (If that’s the case, make a note of the temporal discrepancy and front load those extra minutes next time.)

Transfer your breakfast to a plate (use tongs for the ramekin), season your egg with salt and pepper, and get some ketchup for the hash brown. Consume, then strain the bacon grease from the basket of your air fryer into a little jar (for future eggs). Repeat as often as needed.

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