What Is An Air Fryer? Do I Need One? We Find Out
First off….what is it…
An air fryer is a modern appliance designed to let you fry foods by using heated air. Air frying is similar to deep frying, but it requires little or no oil.
The best feature of an air fryer is that it makes food crispy on the outside and moist on the inside without all of the added fat and calories that come from traditional frying.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
An air fryer works by circulating super-heated air around food with a fan. The hot air surrounds the food and cooks it from all sides at once, distributing heat evenly throughout, for fast, crispy results.
Heat is produced either by an electric heating element or by using the hot air that is already inside the appliance. The internal temperature of your air fryer can be adjusted to accurately reflect conventional deep frying temperatures (around 350°F) or higher oven-style cooking temperatures (up to 400°F).
An air fryer provides the same cooking experience as deep frying, but with less hassle and mess. Also, oil splatters are minimized as an air fryer uses little or no oil.
7 Air Fryer Tips To Know Before Using
No matter what type of air fryer you have, using it properly will give you the best results.
1. Since most air fryers don’t require oil to cook food, I recommend investing in a cooking spray with olive oil so that your food doesn’t stick to the basket.
2. Cut food into consistent sizes so they are cooked evenly and at the same time.
3. If you’re cooking greasy or fried foods in an air fryer, make sure that they don’t come into contact with other types of food. This will help prevent contamination from oil and grease splatters.
4. Some foods cook faster than others, so be sure to check the cooking time and modify accordingly.
5. Drier items such as fries and nuggets cook well without any oil, but foods with a higher moisture content such as fish and meat should be cooked using cooking spray for best results.
6. Make sure that your food is completely defrosted before putting it into the air fryer. You can thaw frozen foods by placing them in the refrigerator overnight. If you don’t have time to thaw your food, run it under cold water until it is no longer frozen.
7. Make sure that non-stick cookware is safe for air fryers before using them to cook with. Since most non-stick cookware has a temperature limit of around 400°F, some non-stick cookware might not be recommended for use with your air fryer.
Is Air-Fried Food Healthy?
Air-fried food is healthier than deep fried food, but it’s not classified as healthy.
An air fryer uses less oil than deep frying, so it can help you transition from deep fried food to a healthier alternative.
Replacing deep fried foods with air fryer cooked foods reduces your intake of calories, saturated fat and other unhealthy ingredients. However, some air fryer recipes require the use of cooking spray, which contains calories and fat. It’s important to read food labels on ingredients before you buy them to make sure the product won’t add too much fat and calories to your dish.
What’s The Difference Between An Air Fryer And Deep Fryer?
The main difference between the two appliances is that an air fryer uses little or no oil to prepare food. Most models use a closed-loop circulation system that rapidly circulates superheated air around the food, giving it a similar taste and texture to deep fried food.
An air fryer is also easier to clean up than a deep fryer, since it uses little or no oil. It’s really just a simple matter of draining away any excess water once the appliance has cooled down. Deep fryers require that you use cooking oil before using them, which can be messy and leave your cooking area in a state of disarray.
What Can You Cook With An Air Fryer?
Air fryers are powerful appliances that allow you to prepare meals and snacks for your entire family. Here’s a list of common items that can be prepared in an air fryer:
- Chips, including potato chips
- Chicken wings
- Cauliflower, broccoli or fish
- Fries and potato wedges
- Nuggets and strips of meat, fish or poultry.
For best results, use cooking spray to coat the food before putting it in the air fryer. This will prevent your food from sticking to the basket while also ensuring that oil isn’t introduced into the food during cooking.
5 Easy Meals That You Can Cook In An Air Fryer
Frozen vegetables can be cooked with little to no added oil. Just pour in your veggies of choice, add some salt and pepper for flavor, and push start on your air fryer! Tasty vegetables in under 10 minutes.
If you enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches, you’ll love cooking them in your air fryer. Make sure that your bread slices are not too big or else they won’t fit in your air fryer. It takes only a few minutes to cook, and tastes great!
Some sandwiches, like barbecue chicken sandwiches, are cooked more efficiently using an air fryer. To make the best-tasting grilled sandwich that is also healthy for you, use whole grain bread with added cheese or vegetables on it!
Nothing beats a plate of hot, crispy fries, and air fryers make them easier to make. Cut them up to the size you want, add a tiny amount of oil or cooking spray (for that healthier option) and push start – your air fryer will take care of the rest! Crispy golden chips in a matter of minutes – what more can you ask for?
Combine one mashed avocado with a pinch of salt and pepper, spread the mixture on two slices of bread, then bake in your air fryer for 10 minutes at 230°C. This is an easy breakfast dish that’s suitable for busy mornings when you need to eat something fast.
What Should I Look For In An Air Fryer?
Look for an air fryer that has a large cooking capacity, so you can fit in more food at once.
An adjustable temperature control is also advisable, since it allows you to cook different types of foods at the right temperature.
A timer helps prevent overcooking food, while automatic shut-off ensures your safety by switching off the appliance once it has finished cooking.
Don’t forget to read customer reviews to get an idea of how other people’s experience with the air fryer. Most models come with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you receive your air fryer and don’t like it for any reason, you can always return it.
2 Air Fryers That Are Always Popular
COSORI 5.8-Quart Air Fryer
Its air fryer basket is made of stainless steel with non-stick coating, so food slides out effortlessly after cooking. It also has a larger capacity, making it suitable for big families or those who love to cook for parties.
COSORI air fryer includes two silicone mitts and tongs which are heat resistant up to 480°F.
Capacity: 5.8 quarts, can cook two whole chickens or for a family of 5 approx.
Philips 2.75-Quart TurboStar Airfryer
This air fryer has a unique touch screen interface, which makes it very easy to use.
The digital timer lets you choose your cooking time up to 60 minutes, while its LCD display is easy on the eyes.
Capacity: 2.75 quarts – ideal for cooking snacks or other small foods
3 Delicious And Easy To Make Air Fryer Recipes To Try
Crispy Air Fryer Fries With Cheese
- 1 Medium yukon gold potato, cut into small sticks
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Sprinkle salt on potatoes and cook in air fryer for 10 minutes at 200°C. 5 minutes before fries are done add grated parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 3 minutes.
Air Fryer Breaded Shrimp
- 1 Pound (16/20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Peel the shrimp so that it is still intact at its tail end. Mix together 1 tbsp. of flour with 1 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper, dip the shrimp in the mix and air fry for 3-5 minutes at 200°C until golden brown and crispy on all sides.
Meatballs With Marinara Sauce And Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 tbsp. marinara sauce (you can also use any other kind of pasta sauce)
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Mix together marinara sauce and cheese. Put meatballs (homemade or store-bought) in a tray and spoon sauce with cheese on top of them. Air fry for 10 minutes at 200°C. Serve immediately.
How To Clean Your Air Fryer
1. Unplug the air fryer
2. Fill a large bowl with water and add half of a lemon’s juice. Dip your sponge and start scrubbing off any remains on the surface. Rinse with clean water.
3. Remove the oil tray from the appliance, then wipe its sides down using a sponge dipped in warm soapy water. Thoroughly rinse with clean water and let dry.
4. Wash air fryer accessories such as the basket, paddle, and mesh tray in hot soapy water first or use a dishwasher to clean them. Let dry before using again. Rinse all removable parts before putting them back on the appliance.
- Never use harsh, abrasive chemicals to clean your air fryer.
- Never leave food residue on the inside of the cooking pot or tray. These can be hard to scrub off and will cause unpleasant odors.
- If necessary, clean the mesh tray with a sponge dipped in lemon juice mixed with baking soda or vinegar instead of dishwashing liquid
An air fryer is a healthy alternative to traditional deep frying methods. It cooks food using very little or no oil at all, making it ideal for those who are health-conscious. With no oil also comes minimal smells and splatters, so you can enjoy your delicious food guilt-free.
With its large capacity and different settings for different food types, air fryers are worth considering if you are a busy individual who loves cooking at home.
So do you really need one? That really all depends on you and what you like to cook. Are they handy? Oh yes! Is the food tasty? For sure. But are they worth the money? That’s ultimately up to you.