Lately, you may have seen the hype of air fryers everywhere on the Internet and may have even seen them in the houses of people you know. You may have even considered buying one for yourself, be it for your home or dorm room.
So, what is an air fryer? How does it work? Would it be worth it to buy one? Let’s find out how an air fryer makes food crispy and why you should use one.
As a bonus, we have also mentioned the best foods to cook in an air fryer and what you should avoid cooking.
An air fryer is a countertop convection oven that mimics deep-fried food using air circulation without actually frying food. Confused? I was too. But after using one, I was convinced that it’s better than deep frying or frying in a pan.
An air fryer consists of a drawer that holds the basket – a perforated basket where you put the food – a heating element, a fan above the drawer section, and controls that are on the outside of the appliance.
The air fryer doesn’t actually ‘fry’ food. After the temperature and time have been selected, the heating element reaches that temperature, heating up the air. The fan circulates the hot air rapidly, creating a convection effect that cooks and crisps the exterior of the food in the basket.
The basket is perforated to allow the air to cook the food from everywhere evenly when the fan pushes the hot air down and all around.
Some of the easiest and best foods to try out in an air fryer are French fries. Try the best frozen French fries for air fryer from your nearest supermarket with a few different recipes. You can also play around a little to see how you can achieve and retain the best crispiness on your French fries.
Here are some tips you can use to make your food crispy in an air fryer:
- Preheat your air fryer.
- Make sure your food is dry. If it’s not, then pat it dry.
- Spray the basket and the food with cooking spray, which is basically a cooking oil.
- Toss your food in between cooking.
- Don’t season your food too much beforehand.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket.
If you’re confused about whether or not you should get an air fryer for yourself, read along to find the six reasons why you should consider buying one.
Air fryers need little to no oil to ‘fry’ your food. Without oil, if you coat your food with breadcrumbs, it will cook and brown the food as if you fried it in oil. With a little bit of oil, the fryer will make your food crispy and delicious without adding too many extra calories.
With an air fryer, you’re getting the same fried foods in a lot lower calorie count, making it a very healthy alternative!
With an air fryer, you are essentially heating the air inside, which takes less time to heat up and circulate around. The space is also smaller, which means it heats up quicker than a conventional oven. This helps the food to cook quicker, more evenly, and all the way through.
Have you fried frozen food in the oven or deep-fried in oil? It can turn out somewhat dry and rubbery, right? The air fryer doesn’t do that. It thaws the frozen food properly, cooks it evenly, crisps it up, and retains the moisture and taste of the food.
You can preheat your air fryer in no time compared to a pan, a deep fryer, or your conventional oven. They reduce the cooking time by almost half, which is a huge time saver.
Air fryers are easy to use. You just put your food in the basket and close it, input the temperature and cooking time in the control panel, and you’re good to go! You just need to toss the food once or twice halfway through.
Air fryers are also easy to clean as the space is small, and there are not too many nooks and crannies to worry about. Many models are also dishwasher-safe.
Because air fryers use air to create a convection effect to cook your food, it saves a lot of energy. It also reduces cooking time, which means you can save a lot on your electricity bills.
You don’t need to use air fryers only for frying food. They are very versatile. You can thaw food in it, make roasts in small sizes, bake delicious cranberry oatmeal cookies, make pasta, cook a steak, bake desserts, and even make curry in it.
What Can You Fry in It?
Perhaps you’re feeling a little skeptical that you may not be able to cook that many food items in it. Let me assure you—you can. Here are the things that you can fry in an air fryer.
As mentioned earlier, French fries are some of the easiest foods to fry in an air fryer. They will be nicely golden, crispy, and delicious! Just preheat the fryer, spray some cooking oil on the French fries, and fry them!
You can easily bake or roast vegetables in your air fryer. Just salt them, brush them very lightly with oil if you want to, place them in the preheated air fryer, and you will have beautifully cooked vegetables!
You can cook florets of cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, onions, bell peppers, chips from kale, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, potatoes, etc. You can play around with so many options when it comes to vegetables!
Cooking nuggets without oil? Sounds interesting! Yet, you can achieve the perfect fried texture on nuggets in an air fryer without any oil. They will be perfectly crispy and golden without extra calories and oiliness.
You can spray a little bit of cooking oil on them if you want your nuggets to be extra crispy.
There are so many ways you can cook chicken in an air fryer. You can make breaded chicken bites, breaded chicken fries, sweet and tangy orange chicken, Korean-style chicken fries, Buffalo chicken wings, and even chicken breasts. You name it! (Except for whole chicken, of course.) They will be extra delicious and very healthy.
Try cooking a chicken breast in your air fryer. You’ll be surprised by how juicy that white meat stays.
Fish is something that you can easily overcook and burn. That’s why using an air fryer is the best option. You can achieve the perfect texture with very little oil and less time.
Try making fish cakes and fish fingers in your air fryer. They taste absolutely delicious!
Bacon is something that everyone loves. Whether you prefer it crispy or chewy, you can achieve the perfect texture with an air fryer. It will be delicious and perfect!
Although it’s a little risky and takes some practice, you can cook a steak in your air fryer. You just need to use lesser seasonings and herbs and way less oil and drain out the fat that drips from the steak.
There are some things that you should always avoid cooking in the air fryer. So, what are they?
Batter is always wet, and you should always avoid frying wet food. Air fryers work best with dry foods. Anything wet will only create a soggy, unsatisfactory mess.
You shouldn’t cook large or whole food in air fryers. They take up a lot of room. As a result, air can’t circulate properly, and the food will take longer to cook.
Some examples are whole chicken, whole fish, and big cuts of steak.
Dry rub and extra seasonings will burn very quickly in the air fryer, which will leave a bitter taste on your food. So it’s a good idea to avoid any food that requires a dry rub.
Although there are quite a few precautions that you should take while using an air fryer, it’s a handy and versatile appliance for you. Once you know how an air fryer can make food crispy, you’ll be able to create tasty and healthy food for yourself effortlessly.
After reading all the reasons to consider buying an air fryer, I hope that you buy one and fry foods in it to your heart’s content!