Most people that I know love crispy Totino's pizza rolls that have been cooked in the oven. But you have to preheat the oven and then the cooking time is 10 to 15 minutes. We all know that the best way to cook them is by deep-frying them. But that also takes time to heat the oil, fry then clean up the mess.
Normally when I want frozen pizza rolls, it's for a quick snack and I wind-up microwaving them. They turn out ok but definitely on the soggy side.
My favorite new kitchen gadget the air fryer oven to the rescue. In less time than it takes to preheat the oven and less oil than deep frying. With a few more minutes than using the microwave. We can have crispy pizza rolls that your whole family will love.
I set out to find the best way to air fry these little pizza bites. I do not want to admit how much time was spent on Reddit researching cooking times and temperatures. But that gave me a baseline of where to start. The consensus was that higher air frying temperatures caused the pizza rolls to blow out.
Next, I went to Totino's website. They recommend cooking on a baking sheet in a single layer at 425F for 10 to 15 minutes for the oven method. The website does say, "Filling will be very hot." That is an understatement; molten cheese lava is in an extraordinary class of hot.
Now that it was time for my very scientific experiment to find the best way to air fry pizza rolls, I needed some pizza rolls. I went to the local grocery store, and in the frozen pizza aisle located the familiar bags. My flavor choice, as always, was pepperoni. Something about the combination of pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese pepperoni with the crunchy crust is hard to resist.
I am not sure if I have ever tried any of the other flavors of pizza rolls.
The air fryer that I will use for the experiment is an Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven. When I use the middle rack, everything cooks evenly, and I do not need to move things around. I also have a basket-type air fryer, but it does not cook evenly. It requires that I give everything a good shake about half the way through the cooking time.
Unlike a baking sheet used in the oven, this rack has holes in it so that hot air can circulate and do cook the bottom of what I am cooking. My air fryer oven gives an alarm close to then of cooking to flip things, but we decided not to flip for this experiment.
My air fryer is also set to preheat then alarm for you to add the food. For consistency, we did let the oven preheat before cooking each batch of pizza rolls.
One of the big problems talked about on Reddit was blowout. Blowout happens when the water inside the rolls turns to steam and causes the sides to blow out. The pizza sauce escapes and makes a mess inside the air fryer. Since the pizza rolls come with the perfect sauce ratio to the crispy crust, we want to eat it, not clean it up.
This was my first batch. The air fryer was preheated to 390F then the frozen pizza rolls were added in a single layer in the middle of the oven. The oven timer was set to six minutes. When it beeped for me to flip, I opened the door and quickly closed it again to turn off the alarm. When the timer counted down to zero, the pizza rolls were removed. This is what they looked like.
Most of the rolls had blown out, some more severe than others. None of them exploded, but the drip tray in the bottom of the oven had sauce everywhere. For the taste test, these were the crispiest. But Some of them had almost no sauce inside. It was a good thing we had some marinara sauce on the side.
After cleaning up the oven, we moved on to the second batch. The same process was used for cooking them. The oven temp was 375 F, and the timer was set to six minutes. This is what they looked like.
This batch looks close to the first batch. But the drip tray in the bottom of the oven only had two drops of sauce. They were crunch and had molting hot sauce and cheese oozing out of them. This was my favorite batch.
For the third batch using the same process. The oven temp was 350 F, and the timer was set to six minutes. This is what they looked like. They were crispy but not as crispy as the first two batches. Most of them were still closed but full of super hot filling. A few of them were starting to leak, but no blowouts.
Hopefully, this experiment helps you find the perfect cooking time and temperature for your air fryer.
To help your pizza rolls crisp up, even more, spray a neutral flavor oil, something like vegetable oil. Olive oil has a strong flavor that may not go with the sophisticated flavor of pizza rolls. If you do add some oil, also try adding some garlic powder.
Or, to really bump up the flavor when they are done, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese.
Of course, I always dip mine in a marinara sauce, but one of my daughters drizzles on maple syrup. Please do not knock it until you try it.
But please never forget that fresh out of the oven, they are full of cheesy lava.
- 12 Pizza rolls
- Preheat the air fryer to 350F
- In a single layer, place the pizza rolls into the air fryer, ensure that they do not touch.
- Cook for 6 minutes. For even cooking, turn halfway thru the cooking time.