What Is an Air Fryer and Why Do You Need One?
The Air fryer has become a popular kitchen commodity recently, but what are they? And, why have they become a popular alternative to the conventional oven or fryer?
The answer is simple: air-frying is a way to fry food without the added oil.
These handy household appliances are powerful in the way they cook food. And, they add crunch to the foods that an oven notoriously leaves soggy. With intense heat and smaller space, air-frying cooks food faster and more evenly than a conventional oven.
The food from an air fryer will have the same quality as fried food but without the greasy disaster.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
Despite the captivating concept of frying foods without oil, this device is incredibly simple to use. The process can be summed up in three steps:
1. Load the Basket with Food
Put your favorite food in the fryer basket and secure it in the machine. These baskets are often small, so cooking in batches is the only option. For extra crunch, add a teaspoon of oil!
2. Choose the Temperature and Time
Depending on the food, the temperature will vary. Cooking hamburger patties requires about 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is better for frozen fries. Different foods require different treatments.
3. Wait for the Food to Finish Cooking
There’s only one last thing to do: wait for your food. Since most of these fryer baskets are dishwasher safe, cleaning them is just as simple as using them. It’s that easy!
What Can You Cook with an Air Fryer?
A better question is what can’t be cooked.
Since hitting the market, customers have been experimenting and finding that the options are endless. Also, some of them may surprise you.
Traditionally Fried Foods
This appliance was created for traditionally fried foods like French fries, fried ravioli, and cheese sticks. These foods are the trademark of the air fryer, and there’s a reason for that. It eliminates the greasy mess, extra calories, and unnecessary fats associated with all of these fried foods. Despite reducing the mess, the most important part remains: the crunch.
Have your oven-roasted vegetables even been less than satisfying? Using this fryer is the perfect alternative to using the conventional oven. A few delicious options are roasted carrots, brussels sprouts, or cauliflower bites. Try a unique and delicious holiday favorite next fall: roasted pumpkin seeds with cinnamon and sugar!
Who would have thought that you can “boil” eggs without the water? The fryer doesn’t “boil” the egg, but the appliance allows for a similar result. Taking the water out of the egg preparation entirely yields shockingly tasty results.
Meats, Poultry, and Fish
Do you have some homemade chicken fingers you want to cook? What about salmon or steak? Good news: all of these things can be made easily and quickly. Meat, poultry, and fish may seem too hardy for air-frying, but users have found great success in this method of cooking.
Bagels and Donuts
A new and viral recipe is homemade, air-fried bagels and donuts. Add some powdered sugar, icing, or cream cheese upon serving, and they’ll taste just like (if not better than) their traditionally fried counterparts.
Mac and Cheese
A lesser-known recipe that has grown in popularity is air-fried mac and cheese. Just as easy as the boxed mac and cheese, this will add a unique and scrumptious twist to any meal.
Are They Really That Much Healthier?
Compared to the traditional fryer, this appliance provides a much healthier option. On the other hand, compared to a conventional oven, air-fried food isn’t healthier. Here’s why.
Air-frying doesn’t add nutritional value to food. It’s appealing to most people for this specific reason. While a traditional fryer saturates food with fatty oil, the air-fried foods have nothing but a quality crunch. This method of cooking is very similar to that of a conventional oven. Users have noted many similarities between air-frying and baking foods, but the primary difference is the reason this household appliance has gained so much popularity. Also, Air-frying gives foods a crunch that a conventional oven can’t match..
The final question remains: is this new appliance worth buying?
These portable household appliances are especially helpful if fried foods have found a permanent place in your meal plans. If you cook regularly, this appliance is a great option. Plus, the health benefits outweigh those of a traditional fryer.
If cooking for large numbers of people regularly, the limited space may prove more problematic than helpful. This has been a pitfall for many customers, but the pros far outweigh the cons.
With the health benefits, unlimited recipe options, and easy usability, this appliance is worth every penny.