Everywhere you turn, you’ve probably had an air fryer add shoved up your face. And you’re probably wondering what the fuss is all about. And since the appliance is fast becoming a popular kitchen favorite among celebrity chefs and bloggers, you feel you’re missing out. But you’ve also wondered how it works and if it’s good for you. Well, why don’t we find out together?
What Makes Air Fryers Tick?
An air fryer is considered a small frying appliance for foods and vegetables by simple definition. But is that all it is? Not really. To fully understand what air fryers are, we must talk about what makes them tick.
For starters, an air fryer isn’t even a fryer at all. Instead, it cooks food by circulating hot air, using a convectional effect to bring the food to doneness. The hot air operates at a minimum temperature of 320F, enough to heat any food surface. And it operates using the following parts;
- A chamber or drawer, where the cooking takes place,
- A basket, for holding and lowering the food,
- A heating element,
- A fan that passes the heated air through the food, and
- A dial for controlling the temperature ranges and cooking time.
How the Air Fryer Cooks Food
The air fryer functions like a convection oven but on a smaller scale. Once the desired temperature is set, the heating element works and generates hotness around the chamber. Then, the fan blows the hot air around the chamber evenly, rotating throughout. The food is then placed in the basket, lowered into the hot chamber. And, as it sits, the hot air exposes the food surface to rapid cooking, causing it to turn brown and crispy.
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Cooking in an Air Fryer
One main perk of using an air fryer is it requires little or no oil. It’s why the appliance has fast become a favorite for crispy recipes like chips and French fries. It’s also regular for making fried chicken, fish, prawns, shrimp, and even thin steaks. You can also cook breaded foods in it and expect a gloriously rich browning. As a rule, an air fryer works for it so long as the food is dry and not dripping.
Air fryers are also perfect for reheating food and do this quite fast. Compared to the microwave, the appliance blasts heat onto the food without making it soggy or soaked. Its convectional principle also makes it ideal for cooking frozen foods, as even air circulation promotes fast defrosting and complete cooking.
Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Recipes
Air fryers make great year-round equipment for making some of our favorite dishes. But there still subjected to a few general guidelines, and if you want the best from them, you’ll have to follow them.
- Always season foods generously before air frying. If possible, consider letting the food sit in a dry rub for a while beforehand, and this works best for meats, fish, and thick vegetables.
- Ensure the food isn’t moist by patting the surface dry. Air fryers work best with dry foods and aren’t ideal for liquid batter.
- If the recipe calls for oil, never exceed one-and-a-half tablespoons. The oil aids in browning the food and gives it a feel of frying.
- Never fill the air fryer basket being halfway. The food needs enough space for the hot air to circulate, so do it in batches if you must cook a lot.
- Clean the drip pan by emptying it every time you use the air fryer. Leaving residue or oil deposits unattended will cause clogs in the filters and interrupt the air circulation.
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Recipes for Air Fryers
- Crispy chicken
- Baked potatoes
- French fries
- Breaded chicken breasts
- Air Fryer Steaks
- Sweet potato wedges
- Veggie tots
- Air-fried shrimp
- Air-fried tofu
- Egg rolls
- Bacon-wrapped avocado
The possibilities are endless with air fryers, and it’s a kitchen item you’d be glad to have. And if you already own one, then give it a go with this tasty recipe below;Print
- Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Then, combine egg and butter until even, and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir and mix until the batter is even.
- Grease a small round cake pan with non-stick spray, and turn the batter into it. Then, smoothen the top and cook in the air fryer for 18 minutes at 350F. Then, take the pan out, and leave it cool for 10 minutes before slicing it into square pieces.
You can also view this clip for more ideas on air fryers.