The air fryer is becoming an increasingly popular kitchen appliance in recent times. Almost every kitchen whether small or large has an air fryer partly due to its small size characteristic and partly due to its smart operation.
But, before we can get deeper into details, I feel we need to clear some air for customers who don’t know much about this small kitchen appliance. I believe most people are asking themselves what really an air fryer is and whether it’s worth their hard earned money.
In definition, an air fryer is a small countertop appliance that works more like a convection oven. This appliance comes with a heat source and a powerful fan that lets hot air circulate evenly around the food at high speed. This results in evenly cooked crispy food that’s delicious for French fry maniacs.
Although most people see it as just a fryer, an air fryer is not a single-serve appliance but rather a multi-purpose dinner efficiency machine that’s capable of accomplishing multiple cooking tasks.
How do I use my air fryer?
So, for customers who practice healthy eating, one way of getting rid of belly fat foods with dangerously high cholesterol is by adding an air fryer in your kitchen arsenal. Designed to work more like a countertop convention oven, this appliance will not only fry your favorite foods in a cool healthy fashion but will also cook anything that can be roasted in a conventional oven.
With that being said, let’s now discuss some essential tips on how to use your air fryer.
When preparing to air-fry
Choose the right air fryer size
The first step which is arguably the most critical is choosing the right air fryer size. Air fryers come in different sizes ranging from as small as 2.75-quart to 6-quart models. Depending on the size of your family, always but what will suit all your frying needs.
Still, on the size, make sure that the air fryer you choose fits perfectly on your kitchen countertop. Make sure its level and that there’s enough space at the back where the exhaust fan is located.
Get the right accessories
Next, you need to think of the accessories. You see, once you start air frying, there are some accessories you’ll need to invest in such as a French fry cutter, baking dishes and cake pans among others. When choosing the best cake pans and baking dishes, always go for those models that are air-fryer safe. Make sure that they don’t get into contact with the heating element and, of course, make sure they fit perfectly in the air fryer basket.
Another accessory you’ll need to invest in is a kitchen spray bottle. This appliance ensures that oil is sprayed uniformly throughout the air fryer for consistent frying results. Note that spraying oil on your food is much easier than dazzling or brushing as it allows you to use less oil overall.
Another benefit of spraying oil is that it doesn’t damage the non-stick properties of your fryer’s basket like most other methods do.
First, preheat the air fryer before adding anything
This is pretty easy. Simply turn the fryer on and set the timer to any temperature for about 2 to 3 minutes. When the timer goes off, then you’re certain the air fryer has totally pre-heated and that it’s ready to go.
Don’t forget to adjust the cooking temperature
An air fryer is entirely different as compared to traditional ovens. When converting a recipe from a traditional cooking method to an air fryer, you need to adjust to cooking temperature to a lower temperature to achieve similar results.
What do I mean? For instance, let’s assume a recipe calls for a deep-frying chicken in oil heated to 350°F. To achieve the same results in an air fryer, you’ll have to lower the temperature by about 25°F to fry with a temperature of 325°F. Now, adjusting the temperature is required as the hot circulating air is enough to allow consistent and even cooking of your food.
Add water to the drawer of your air fryer when cooking fatty foods
In case you’re cooking fatty foods such as sausages, bacon and burger, make sure to add water to the drawer underneath the basket to prevent the grease from getting too hot.
In addition to that, remember to toss ingredients with oil before frying. Simply add one to two tablespoons of your favorite oil (pure olive oil or coconut oil). For fattier foods such as meatballs or frozen foods such as fish sticks and chicken strips, you don’t need to add any oils to them.
For recipes that have already been battered or dredged in the flour, it’s highly recommended that you spray the air fryer basket or rack before laying your battered or dredged foods on the basket. Also, remember to coat them with a light spritz of cooking oil before frying.
Don’t overload the fryer’s basket
Although it’s tempting to try and cook more all at the same time, it’s not really advisable especially if you’re looking to achieve perfect results. You see, an air fryer is just like a small conventional oven. If you’re cooking chicken breasts in a regular oven, would you stack them on top of each other just to cook more?
Well, the same applies here. If you wish to get the best out of your fryer, you need to space out your food to allow it to crisp and brown evenly.
Shake the basket
Shaking the basket several times throughout the cooking process is highly advised as it allows air to circulate evenly to every piece of food. This also permits even distribution of ingredients throughout the food and helps them to brown and crisp more uniformly.
Open the fryer severally to check for doneness
This is one of the most amazing features of air fryers. Since the cooking mechanism is quite different from deep-fryers and conventional ovens, you can always open the drawer to check how the cooking process is coming along as air fryers are faster than most traditional cooking methods.
The best thing about opening the drawer to check for doneness is that it doesn’t interfere with the cooking process nor interrupt the timing.
After air frying
First, detach the fryer basket from the drawer
This is one critical step most people tend to forget especially beginners in the air frying space. If you’re a beginner, I bet you’ll make this error at least once before you can master the entire process. Now, once your French fries or chicken strips are cooked, don’t forget to detach the fryer basket from the drawer when turning your food on a plate.
In case you fail to do this; you’ll end up dumping the excess oils, greases and ingredient juices onto your food making it quite messy.
Don’t pour away the excess greases and juices
The drawer located beneath the fryer basket is responsible for collecting excess greases, oil, ingredients and all sorts of flavors added to the foods. Now, instead of pouring it all away, why not use it as a flavored liquid or a source to pour over your food to make it more delicious?
Clean the accessories immediately
The accessories of your air fryer such as the drawer and the basket are very easy to clean. Instead of leaving them unwashed (which could expose you to food poisoning), why not clean them immediately? Once you’re through washing the accessories, simply pop them back into the air fryer and turn the appliance on for two to three minutes. This will allow the basket and the drawer to self-dry easily without any hassle.
Surprising recipes you can cook with an air fryer
Air frying has been touted as one of the healthiest cooking methods mostly because hot air is what is used to cook your food instead of hot oil. The finished food is crisp, fresh and very delicious and is free from harmful cholesterol.
Now, the best air fryers can accomplish a wide range of cooking projects such as grilling, roasting, baking and frying. Whether you wish to cook chips, French fries, nuggets or fish, this appliance will prepare your food just like an oven or a deep fryer only that the process is much shorter and the results are much better.
With that being said, let’s look at some recipes you can prepare with an air fryer and those that will not work quite well with this ingenious kitchen appliance.
Frozen foods such as veggies, meats, and fish can easily be fried with an air fryer within no time. The best thing about this appliance is that it’s small and takes less time to pre-heat. So, if you have some fish sticks, French fries, nuggets or meat over the fridge, don’t hesitate to add them in your air fryer. Also, don’t forget to shake the basket halfway during the cooking process as this will allow your food to get crispier and browner.
Apart from frying frozen foods, an air fryer can be your best companion when roasting whole chicken, roasting pork or chicken wings. In less than 30 minutes, this appliance can cook raw meat making it crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.
Do you have kids around and would like to surprise them with some baked goodies? Well, the air fryer will let you accomplish that thanks to the addition of special cooking accessories such as baking pans and trays. You can easily bake sugar cookies, chocolate oatmeal cookies, muffins and bread with just a simple procedure.
Are you craving for some crunchy foods? Why not use your air fryer to roast some peanuts, walnuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds? You see, with an air fryer, you can easily fry any types of nuts quickly and more efficiently.
What doesn’t work well with air fryers?
Raw vegetables such as spinach, kales, carrots, ginger, and onions among others don’t tend to work well with air fryers. Actually, if you try to cook such meals with this appliance, it will merely fry around and make a terrible mess.
Unless you start with something frozen, adding fresh cheese into your air fryer will just cause it to melt then stick to the sides creating even more mess.
In conclusion, an air fryer is generally a crucial countertop appliance you can’t miss to add in your kitchen arsenal. Not only does it cook crisp, tasty and crunchy foods, this appliance also offers you an innovative way of preparing healthy meals free from too much oils and cholesterol.
Finally, I believe this article was helpful. In case there’s a delicious recipe you’d like to prepare with an air fryer or maybe you’d like to share your experience with an air fryer, please don’t hesitate to share your experience in the comments section below.