Air fryers are popular products in the modern world, offering an easy way to make a huge selection of meals. They can make delicious fried foods while reducing the unhealthy side effects. Manufacturers claim that air fryers can produce crispy, delicious dishes with less fat than your standard deep-frying solution.
How does an air fryer work? While many people know all about air fryers, they don’t know how the appliance works. Here’s everything you need to know.
What an Air Fryer Does
The first thing you should know is that air fryers aren’t frying your food at all. Instead, you place your food into a basket, and the machine blows hot air around to cook it. The hot air blows with enough force that it creates a convection effect. This convection effect is similar to what you’d get in a fan oven.
Your air fryer will both make sure the inside of your foods are thoroughly warmed and help the outside become crispy and golden throughout your food cooking time. As long as the temperature in your air fryer reaches the right level, all kinds of foods will get that crispy effect, from fried chicken to onion rings, chicken nuggets, and tater tots.
Notably, not all foods will work well in an air fryer. You can cook pre-made chicken tenders, onion rings, and similar items, so you cannot cook foods dipped in liquid batter. That’s because the batter would drip through the basket part of the air fryer and make a mess.
You’re limited to dry-seasoned and breaded items with your air fryer. You may also find that vegetables don’t cook because they may need to retain some moisture like they would when cooked in a pan in your oven.
How Is an Air Fryer Different Than a Deep Fryer?
So, what makes the best air fryers different from cooking with a deep fryer? Air fryers cook food with hot air at high temperatures. On the other hand, deep fryers cook your food in a vat of oil that has been heated to frying temperature. Both tools are great for cooking food quickly, but each has different benefits.
i made BLTs with air fryer potato chips 🙂 pic.twitter.com/nGQRzwb8It
— small mal (@malodramatics) March 16, 2021
Use of Oil
You can cook almost everything in a deep fryer, but it’s not the healthiest option because you’re coating the product in fat. On the other hand, air fryers require virtually no olive oil or vegetable oil, so you don’t have to invest as much in supplies.
Flavour and Texture
Each kitchen gadget uses various heating elements to make delicious food. However, you don’t get the same taste from each food. Battered food often works best with a deep fryer, and people often experiment with different types of oil, like canola oil or peanut oil.
Flour-based batters will work well for deep-fried foods, but they probably won’t come out well in an air fryer.
Is Air Frying Healthier?
Perhaps the biggest selling point of air fryers is that you can usually cook a range of foods, from French fries to chicken, without exposing that food to a lot of oil. Most cooking oils are generally healthy when used sparingly. Just don’t use things like lard.
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Oil has calories that you should be aware of, but it’s worth noting that deep-fried foods don’t absorb very much oil when cooked at the right temperature. Studies show that French fries cooked in oil generally only have up to 40 more calories per serving.
The number of calories you add to your chips and other food from a deep fryer may be negligible for some but significant for others. When using air fryers, you may find that you need to use a little oil to ensure it has the right finish and flavour, just as you would with a countertop convection oven.
Air fryer recipes you make can be healthier than the ones made from your deep fryer. It’s also worth noting that some people find air fried food easier to make, just because you don’t have to submerge a basket of chips in oil and clean the oil regularly like you would with deep frying.
Do Air Fryers Make Good Food?
If you’re thinking of switching your deep fryer with an air fryer, remember that air fryers will only cook certain foods well. You can cook many items in an air fryer, such as chips, chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, and so on. However, you might not be able to cook everything, such as vegetables or items covered in wet batter.
Some people worry that food in an air fryer won’t taste good because it’s cooked with fans and air. However, if you can cook delicious foods in a regular oven or toaster oven, you should be able to cook the same food in your air fryer. It’s an extremely convenient way to make some great food fast.
Are Air Fryers a Good Home Appliance?
Air frying is pretty popular these days. People use their air fryer to make everything from air-fried doughnuts to French fries. There are various things you can cook with the power of hot air. You also get the benefit of preparing meals quickly since your air fryer can generally cook faster.
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The biggest issue with air frying from a convenience perspective is that they might not have as much capacity as some of your other appliances. You only get limited basket space because the cooking chamber needs to remain compact to create the browning effect.
There’s no study to tell you whether an air fryer is one of the best investments you can make in your cooking. If you want an alternative to an oven with plenty of fast recipes, then an air fryer might be one of your favourite appliances. On the other hand, it may take time to get the hang of frying with it for some people.
One fun thing to note is that aside from cooking food with an air fryer, you could also potentially use it to reheat previously fried foods without turning those items soggy like you would with a microwave or standard oven. However, you will need to keep a close eye on the appliance and how long it generally takes for each item to cook.
Do You Put Oil in an Air Fryer?
Most people focus on when they’re buying air fryers because they can create a range of recipes without having to use a lot of oil. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t use oil for your meals.
If I’m cooking there’s a 99% chance I’m throwing some garlic powder and onion powder on there. Like today I put some chicken and zucchini in the air fryer with both of those (and a bit of olive oil) and it’s *chefs kiss*
— Jojo (@jordanbutwithay) March 22, 2021
Unlike a deep fryer, which submerges your entire food item into a vat of oil, an air fryer uses air for cooking, so it doesn’t require nearly as much oil. However, just like you would with your pressure cookers and microwaves, it’s worth reading the instructions provided when cooking to see whether a little oil is recommended.
Certain foods can cook a little better with an air fryer if they’re sprayed with a bit of oil. The extra oil will add a crunchier finish to the food. However, there are many meals where you can use no oil at all. If you use cooking oil with your air fryer, make sure that you don’t add too much. You’re not supposed to fill the entire cooking area.
Start Air Frying
How does an air fryer work? It uses hot air and sometimes a bit of oil to make delicious food. By now, you should feel confident in your decision as to whether or not you want to add one to your kitchen. In recent years, the art of air frying has become more and more popular, so why not look up some air fryer recipes and join the trend?
Let us know what you cook in your air fryer.