What is an air fryer?
Have you ever heard about a new technology, which revolutionizes the kitchen? A new way of cooking healthy food that is fast and delicious? Yes, I’m talking about an air fryer. Today, I’m going to give you a closer look on how this awesome product works, and advantages of this new cooking method.
Simply put, an air fryer uses heated air to cook food. It circulates the air up to 200 degree Celsius, and uses this to cook food evenly. Air fryers often come with a drip tray in the bottom and a basket on top of it, where you can fry food such as potatoes chips, chicken and fish.
In addition, air fryer only needs minimal or no oil to cook food, while still create crispy browned texture that you can see on deep fried food. Many brands have claimed that fried food cooked by air fryers is healthier due to 80% less oil needed. I can assure you that you will not be left with a quarter or two of used oil to throw away if you use an air fryer to cook deep-fried food. For any fan of fried food (everyone), an air fryer is practically a holy grail of the kitchen.
How does an air fryer work?
In an interview, Caitlin Bart, the senior marketing manager of kitchen appliance at Philips described how an air fryer functions. Each air fryer has a heating part atop of the unit that force super hot air down. This highly concentrated and hot air will cover and crisp the food in the basket quickly, without having to immerse the food in oil, she explained.
Bart emphasized that food cooked by air fryers is healthier than conventional fried food. He showed us a research conducted in Philips’ lab, in which they examined both homemade French fries and frozen fries cooked by their devices. The result is that, in both cases, the food had significantly less fat.
At the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, researchers from Miami University introduced a study comparing deep-fried French fries to fries cooked by air fryer (convection-fried) and oven-baked. Both the air fryer fries and oven-baked fries used much less oil than the deep-fried fries. To my surprise, air fryer used only 1 tablespoon per batch, which is just half as much oil as oven-baked method.
In another interview, Alissa Rumsey, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, supported air fryers by saying “they offer a healthy alternative to deep frying, as you end up consume much less oil and calories”. It is undeniable that air fryers will be greatly beneficial to those who want to reduce fat content in their meals without having to totally give up on deep-fried cuisines.
– Fast and convenient
According to Bart, the senior marketing manager at Philips, air fryer’s cooking time is as fast as deep fryer’s and much faster than oven’s cooking time. This is because of the highly concentrated air flowing constantly inside the air fryer, and speeding up cooking time. Besides, it takes only 3 minutes to heat up an air fryer, which is much faster than heating up oil or setting up an oven.
Since an air fryer contains only a few separated parts, and it does not need much oil to cook, it is easy to set up, cook, and clean. This is absolutely a great advantage for us in this fast modern life. Can you imagine that with an air fryer you can prepare a pound of chicken for your family in less than 1 hour including cleaning and preparation time? Many people have been taking advantages of air fryers, and showing their own style of cooking. Here is an example for you: Air fryer chicken breast recipe [hyperlink].
How to use air fryers appropriately?
There are only four simple steps that you should pay attention to:
- Food preparation
- Air fryer preparation
- Cooking in air fryers
- Cleaning air fryers
- Food preparation:
– Add a little bit of oil to prevent the food from sticking to the basket.
– Give space between food in the basket to allow the hot air to pass through and cook all sides. We can use aluminum foil paper to separate food.
– Pat the food dry before cooking to avoid splattering or excess smoke.
– If there is fat in the bottom of the air fryer, make sure to empty it before cooking
- Air fryer preparation:
– Plug the air fryer in, and pre heat 3-5 minutes until it reach your desired temperature
– Make sure that the air fryer is hot enough before you place the food in the basket.
Air fryers can cook pre-made food too! You just need to lower the conventional temperature, and reduce the cooking time by half. Time and temperature are different for different types of food.
- Cooking in Air Fryer:
– Shake the cooking basket a couple of times, and rotate items every five to 10 minutes to get the food cooked equally
– Check the bottom of the machine and empty fat to avoid excess smoke, especially when you cook naturally high fat food.
Avoid cooking too large food, cut them into small pieces.
- Cleaning air fryers
– For the basket and the pan, add hot water and soak for 10 minutes.
– Use non-abrasive sponge or brush to scrub the bottom.
– Clean the heating element with soft to medium brush, and with a paper towel after it is dry. Avoid using steel wire or hard brush to scrub it, as it could be damaged.
– Clean the outside with moist cloth and a soft sponge.
Food can be cooked by Air Fryers
- Frozen food
- Raw meat
- Roasting nuts
- Baked foods