The Ultimate Guide To Candy Yams In The Air Fryer

candy yams air fryer recipe

Are you craving a sweet and delicious side dish that will have your taste buds dancing with joy? Look no further because candy yams made in the air fryer are the answer to your cravings. This comprehensive guide will take you on a culinary journey, discussing the food science, culinary details, selection, cleaning, preparation, tips, variations, doneness checks, and of course, the mouthwatering recipe. So, let’s dive in and discover everything you need to know to make perfect candy yams in the air fryer!

Understanding the Food Science Behind Candy Yams

To truly appreciate the art of making candy yams in the air fryer, it’s important to understand the food science behind it. Yams, which are root vegetables, contain high levels of starch and natural sugars. When exposed to heat, these sugars begin to caramelize, enhancing the natural sweetness and creating a luscious caramelized glaze on the yams.

Furthermore, air frying allows for quick and even cooking, ensuring that the yams become tender while retaining their natural flavors and textures. The hot circulating air in the air fryer causes the sugars to caramelize rapidly, achieving that desirable golden glaze that make candy yams a beloved dish.

Selecting the Perfect Yams

Selecting the right yams is crucial for a successful candy yam recipe. Look for yams that are firm, smooth, and free from blemishes or soft spots. The skin should be vibrant and without wrinkles. It’s best to choose medium-sized yams as they tend to cook more evenly compared to larger ones.

Cleaning the Yams

candy yams

Before preparing the yams for air frying, it’s important to clean them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Rinse the yams under cool running water.
  2. Use a vegetable brush to scrub off any stubborn dirt.
  3. Pat the yams dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

Ensuring clean yams will result in a tastier final dish.

Preparation and Cooking Tips

Now that your yams are clean, it’s time to prepare and cook them to perfection. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

Peeling and Cutting the Yams

  1. Using a sharp knife, carefully peel the yams to remove the skin. This step is optional, as some prefer leaving the skin for added texture and nutrients.
  2. Once peeled, cut the yams into uniform slices or wedges. This allows for even cooking and ensures that all pieces are ready at the same time.

Soaking in Water

Before cooking the yams, you can choose to soak them in water for about 15-20 minutes. This step helps to remove excess starch from the yams and prevents them from becoming mushy when air fried.

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Coating with Sweet Syrup

To further enhance the sweetness of the yams and create that delicious caramelized glaze, coat them with a sweet syrup. You can use a simple syrup made of equal parts water and sugar, or opt for natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup for added complexity. Gently toss the yam slices in the syrup, ensuring they are evenly coated.

Preheating the Air Fryer

Preheating the air fryer is a crucial step to achieving the perfect texture and caramelization. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 3-5 minutes. This allows for a quick initial burst of heat when the yams are added, ensuring they cook evenly and retain their natural flavors.

Arranging the Yams in the Air Fryer Basket

To allow for optimal air circulation and even cooking, arrange the coated yams in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding the basket, as this can result in uneven cooking and hinder caramelization. If necessary, cook in batches to ensure each piece gets enough space to cook to perfection.

Shaking and Flipping

During the cooking process, it’s important to shake or flip the yams at least once. This ensures that all sides are evenly exposed to the hot air, resulting in a uniform caramelized glaze. Additionally, it prevents any sticking and allows for better airflow, enabling the yams to cook thoroughly.

Doneness Checks

To ensure your candy yams are perfectly cooked, you can perform a simple doneness check. Carefully insert a fork or toothpick into the thickest part of a yam slice. If it slides in easily and the yam feels tender, they are ready. If not, give them a few additional minutes until desired tenderness is achieved.

Variations and Flavor Enhancements

close up view of air fried candy yams

While the classic candy yams recipe is delightful on its own, you can infuse your personal touch and experiment with various flavor enhancements. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Add warmth and depth to your candy yams by including spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or a pinch of cloves. These aromatic spices complement the natural sweetness of the yams and create a flavor sensation.

Citrus Zest

Brighten up the flavors of your yams by adding a touch of citrus zest. Grate some orange or lemon zest over the yams before air frying for a refreshing twist.

Vanilla Extract

For an extra layer of sweetness and depth, add a splash of vanilla extract to your sweet syrup coating. The vanilla flavor will infuse into the yams, creating a heavenly aroma.

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Nuts and Seeds

For added crunch and texture, sprinkle some chopped nuts or seeds over the yams before air frying. Pecans, walnuts, or sesame seeds are excellent choices that complement the sweet caramelization perfectly.

The Ultimate Candy Yams Air Fryer Recipe

Now that we have covered the food science, preparation tips, and flavor variations, it’s time to unveil the ultimate candy yams air fryer recipe. Get ready to indulge in a delightful gastronomic experience!


  • 4 medium-sized yams
  • 1/2 cup of sweet syrup (water and sugar, maple syrup, or honey)
  • Optional flavor enhancements (cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus zest, vanilla extract, nuts, seeds)


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Peel the yams (optional) and cut them into uniform slices or wedges.
  3. Soak the sliced yams in water for 15-20 minutes (optional).
  4. Drain the yams and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the yam slices with the sweet syrup until evenly coated. Add any desired flavor enhancements at this stage.
  6. Place the coated yams in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  7. Cook for 12-15 minutes, shaking or flipping the yams once during cooking to ensure even caramelization.
  8. Check for doneness by inserting a fork or toothpick into the thickest part of a yam slice. If it slides in easily and the yam feels tender, they are ready.
  9. Carefully remove the cooked yams from the air fryer and let them cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy these heavenly candy yams straight from the air fryer, and savor every caramelized bite!


Candy yams made in the air fryer bring together the best of sweet and savory flavors, creating a side dish that is bound to impress. By understanding the food science behind caramelization, selecting the perfect yams, following proper cleaning and preparation techniques, and adding your personal flavor enhancements, you can achieve candy yams that are nothing short of extraordinary.

So why wait? Fire up your air fryer, gather your ingredients, and embark on this culinary journey to create the most delightful candy yams in the air fryer. Let the natural sweetness of the yams shine through, while the caramelization creates a sticky glaze that will make your taste buds sing. Enjoy every luscious bite and savor the satisfaction of creating a truly incredible dish right in your own kitchen.

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  • FAQS On Candy Yams Air Fryer Recipe

    Can I Use Canned Yams For This Recipe?

    Yes, you can use canned yams for this air fryer recipe. Just make sure to drain and rinse the yams before using them.

    How Long Do I Need To Cook The Candy Yams In The Air Fryer?

    The cooking time may vary depending on the size of the yams and the air fryer model you are using. Generally, it takes around 25-35 minutes at 380°F for the candy yams to become tender and slightly caramelized.

    Do I Need To Peel The Yams Before Cooking Them In The Air Fryer?

    It’s a personal preference. You can either peel the yams or leave the skin on. However, if you decide to keep the skin, make sure to wash and scrub the yams thoroughly before cooking.

    Can I Add Marshmallows To The Candy Yams In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can add marshmallows for a sweet and gooey topping. Simply sprinkle them over the yams during the last 5 minutes of cooking and let them melt and brown slightly.

    Can I Use Other Types Of Sweet Potatoes Instead Of Yams For This Recipe?

    Absolutely! You can substitute yams with other varieties of sweet potatoes, such as garnet or jewel sweet potatoes. Just keep in mind that different types may vary slightly in taste and texture.

    Can I Make This Candy Yams Recipe Ahead Of Time And Reheat In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can prepare the candy yams ahead of time and reheat them in the air fryer. Place the cooked yams in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, preheat the air fryer and cook the yams for a few minutes until heated through.

    Can I Use Other Seasonings Or Spices To Enhance The Flavor Of The Candy Yams?

    Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different seasonings like cinnamon, nutmeg, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for a touch of heat. You can also add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey for extra sweetness. Adjust the seasonings to your taste preference.