There’s a good chance you’ve heard about air fryers at this point and how they cook delicious fried foods with minimal oil or fat. However, even if you’ve seen an air fryer at your friend’s house or for sale online, you might not know much about how this product works or precisely what is an air fryer.
An air fryer isn’t just an alternative to a standard oven or a way to get deep-fried foods similar to those you’d get from takeaway shops. Air fryers use specific technology to cook all kinds of foods to perfection, and they’re often a great addition to any kitchen. The best air fryer can be a powerful way to make delicious food and even lose some weight.
Here’s everything you need to know about the air fryer and why it’s such a popular countertop kitchen appliance for lovers of fried food.
What Is an Air Fryer?
On the surface, an air fryer is what you’d expect exactly. It is a device designed for air frying food, which means that your French fries and onion rings cook in the air rather than canola oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil. Although air fryers are quite compact devices, they’re very similar to small ovens because they use heating elements to create a convection effect in a small space.
The cooking chamber or air fryer basket in your device circulates air around your food until it’s cooked to the perfect temperature. Air fryers are sometimes even more popular to use than an oven because they don’t take up much space and heat up very quickly.
Air fryers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Different products also offer unique features, like the ability to use pre-set cooking settings when you’re making certain foods. It can save you a lot of time and effort when you’re cooking, as you need to press a button, and your device will do the rest for you. The best air fryers will even alert you when you need to turn items over in the basket.
However, it’s worth noting that air fryer products aren’t the perfect solution for all kinds of cooking. Because the heat source relies heavily on air, these items aren’t ideal for those who want to cook foods that contain a lot of moisture. You could use pre-battered chicken breasts, for instance, but vegetables or items dipped in the wet batter wouldn’t work as well.
Air fryer Cornish hen 🍗 pic.twitter.com/EzTez4N0RZ
— Bria Celest (@55mmbae) March 22, 2021
How Is an Air Fryer Different to a Deep Fryer?
Although both an air fryer and a deep fryer can be used to cook foods, they’re not as similar as they appear. Deep frying products use oil for cooking food. You submerge your chips or vegetables in the oil, and it cooks based on the temperature of the oil, rather than relying on fans or air.
For an air fryer to work, it needs to create high-pressure air within the frying compartment. This air is excellent for cooking all kinds of foods with a convection effect, making air fryers very appealing for a lot of home cooking recipes. These tools require much less heat-up time than a standard deep-frying system. Additionally, unlike toaster ovens, or your standard oven, the best part about having an air fryer is that you can cook crispy foods with little oil.
You don’t need to fill a vat with boiling oil for these products to work. All you need to do is flip the switch on your device, throw in your food, and you can have delicious air fryer chicken and other meals in no time.
Is Air-Fried Food Healthy?
Often, when people ask, ‘what is an air fryer?’ it’s because they’ve heard that air fryers can help them to make their favourite foods without the fatty side effects of eating deep-fried ingredients. Fried food made in any kitchen appliance isn’t the healthiest food you can eat. However, some people believe that air frying their chips and chicken will be healthier than submerging them in oil.
Air fried food can taste and feel similar to the deep-fried items you love. The hot air can make the food crispy on the outside, and it’s also great for maintaining a juicy centre. Air fried food also requires virtually no oil at all. There are some meals that you can cook in the best air fryer without using any oil.
Since you’re exposing yourself to less oil in your foods, you could say that the meals you cook in an air fryer are healthier than deep-fried meals. While you’ll still need to watch your consumption of calories and dangerous foods, air frying can cut the calorie count in certain products by up to 70 or 80%. Air fryer products also have the added benefit of being a lot easier to use and somewhat less expensive to run than deep fryers.
When you’re cooking with hot air, you don’t have to spend as much money on huge vats of oil. Just remember that an air fryer won’t make your diet guilt-free. You’ll still need to eat plenty of vegetables and avoid frying all your meals.
Not to be dramatic but the air fryer truly changed my life
— virgo ☼ mami (@karinaa_ortega) March 22, 2021
Are Air Fryers a Good Investment?
If you love fried foods, but you’re trying to watch your weight and stay healthy, then an air fryer could be the ideal kitchen gadget for you. Air fryer products are excellent for cooking all kinds of recipes. Many experts say that the convection cooking method of this home appliance can significantly reduce fat content compared to using a deep fryer.
Of course, you can’t necessarily use your air fryer for everything. Just because it’s healthier than deep-frying doesn’t mean that air frying is the best way to cook your food. You can still cook vegetables and brussels sprouts by steaming them to make them healthier.
The good news is that an air fryer makes home cooking easy, and it’s one of the best ways to recreate your favourite meals if you don’t have space for a full fryer. Swapping deep-fried foods for their air-fried counterparts is one of the ways you can manage your weight. In some cases, air fryers can also help you save energy on cooking because they’re quick and efficient. The energy you use will depend on the strength of the fryer heating element and its features.
It is worth noting that although air fryers are one of the most popular kitchen appliances right now, there are some risks to be aware of. The components of an air fryer work to make a difference in the amount of fat you’d consume from deep-fried products. However, eating too many fried foods in the first place can lead to an increased risk of heart failure and other medical products.
Don’t just invest in the best air fryer and use it for everything—experiment with using pressure cookers and steaming for different meals. When you look for air fryer recipes, keep your eye out for low-fat and low-calorie options too.
Late dinner, made some old bay wings in the air fryer pic.twitter.com/sQ0kjahxy3
— Will (@VMwareGinger) March 23, 2021
What Can an Air Fryer Cook?
The main difference between air fryers and deep-frying products, or your standard oven, is that air fryers work best with dry products. Air fryers work fast, using hot air for cooking your food on the inside and outside quickly. You can’t cook foods with wet batter in an air fryer most of the time because the batter may spill through the frying basket.
If you need your products to stay moist, you might need to use an oven instead. Air fryers can cook a wide range of foods, however, and in many cases, they’re even faster than your standard oven. You can cook frozen foods like chicken, steak, and even vegetables in your air fryer. But make sure that you stick to dry seasonings if you’re going to be seasoning your meals for the best results.
Foods that you want to be crispy on the outside and well-cooked on the inside are a good choice for an air fryer, as are lean cuts of meat with very little fat. In some cases, your air fryer instruction guide will suggest using a slight spray or drizzle of oil on things like chicken breasts and pork chops to help the meat stay as juicy as possible.
Vegetables will often need to be tossed in a light amount of oil before frying them, too, as it’s very easy for vegetables to lose a lot of their moisture and become too crispy or tough when you use an air fryer. The best oil for your air fryer will often be something with a high smoke temperature, such as canola oil, avocado oil, or peanut oil.
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Should You Buy an Air Fryer?
Many people say that they couldn’t imagine their life without an air fryer when they start using these products. An air fryer takes up a lot less counter space than your oven, and it can be a great way to cook meals fast when you’re in a rush. One of these products could be a great purchase for someone who wants to use their oven less or avoid a deep fryer appliance for crispy food.
One of the best reasons to invest in an air fryer is to try to stay healthy, but you still want to eat products like French fries.
Just remember to follow the instructions provided by the air fryer manufacturer before you jump in. Test out one or two recipes slowly to see how each part of your new oven alternative works, then consider experimenting with more complex meals over time.
Start Cooking Healthy Food
Cooking food by using an air fryer for our family would be great for their health. Moreover, air fryers can make delicious food and help us to lose weight. With all those benefits, you must want to have one in your kitchen.
Do you already have your air fryer and would like to add some valuable tips based on your experience? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Let us know in the comment box below!