How To Use an Air Fryer
By now you have most likely heard of and experienced cooking or food from an air fryer. f you have not, then let this be an introduction for one of the most amazing countertop kitchen appliances available today.
One of the beautiful things about air fryers is that they have awesome cooking times and are simple to use. From the first time you turn it on, you will get mouth watering air fried foods with air fryer recipes that even beginners would think are easy to make. Air fryers also make a variety of foods besides fried chicken, like veggies, pizza, all your frozen foods such as french fries, even different breakfasts and desserts.
Air fryers also can have a variety of cooking methods. Some may consider the best air fryer to have combo functions that alleviate the need for multiple countertop appliances in your kitchen thus saving you counter space. Many combo air fryers can act as a toaster oven or even broil your food.
People love cooking food in their air fryers, and for very good reason. Not only does cooking with an air fryer produce delicious food that perfectly replicates deep fried foods, giving it that iconic crunchy exterior while maintaining a juicy tender core, but the food cooked is also so much healthier than other deep fryer options. Food cooked in an air fryer has up to 90% less carcinogens than deep fried foods along with a reduction of calories of 50% or more. One of the main reasons for that is the method of which air fryers cook the food which allows you to make whatever you want with little oil or none at all. the bottom line is that air frying is better than deep frying in almost every way. So, how do air fryers work? Let’s find out.
How Exactly an Air Fryer Works
Air fryers are comprised of several components that allow the appliance to cook your food evenly, conveniently, and to perfection. The components of an air fryer are the heating element with its own chamber, a blowing fan to circulate the air, an inner and outer air fryer basket within the cooking chamber to house your food and collect any dripping juices and fats, a control display, and the power supply which plugs into your kitchen power outlet.
Like convection ovens, air fryers will heat up air within the heating chamber and then uses a fan to circulate that hot air evenly throughout the cooking chamber. This cooks your food evenly with precise temperatures. This allows the air fryer to preheat quickly and cook evenly.
The difference between an air fryer and a convection oven is the cooking chamber is much smaller on an air fryer. This allows the air fryer to get to those precise temperatures quickly and rapidly cook your food within a much smaller timeframe than a convection oven. Additionally, because the cooking chamber is spherical and the non stick inner basket has specifically designed perforations to allow air flow from every direction, your food does not need to be flipped, rotated, or turned over while it is being cooked.
How To Use an Air Fryer
Now that you have a good understanding exactly how an air fryer works, the relevant question now is, how do you use an air fryer? The cooking process is simple.
- Prepare your food
- Program the temperature and timer per instructions from the recipe you’re using
- Place the food in the inner basket (single layer, never stuff the basket, and cook in batches if cooking more than your air fryer recommends)
- Turn it on
- Wait until the air fryer notifies you that your food is ready
- Take your food out and plate it for delicious consumption
- Remove the inner and outer basket for cleaning and wipe down the air fryer itself with a paper towel (this takes 3 to 5 minutes at most)
Begin by preparing your food to be placed in the inner basket of the cooking chamber. Add whatever seasoning your recipe or heart desires. One of the main benefits of cooking with an air fryer is that is doesn’t require much preparation. You don’t need to use oil, but it’s ok to spray a little amount of oil on if you want to add even more crispiness to your food. Ideally, you should only use certain healthy oils with a good burn rate. The best are avocado, coconut, and olive oil. You should always refrain from using vegetable and canola oils as they are unhealthy and can create acrylamides in foods under certain heating conditions. Less oil is always better. Your air fryer won’t need it or a cooking spray to make your crispy foods.
There has been some uncertainty whether it is safe to use aluminum foil in your air fryer, but it is a 100% safe thing to do. Air fryers are not microwaves and do not use microwave frequencies to heat up your food. Unlike microwaves which uses microwave frequencies to heat up the molecular structure of your food, air fryers simply use hot air.
Many people like to line the inner basket with aluminum foil to make things easier to clean. This is not necessary and, in many ways, can even block the air flow from reaching areas of your food. If you insist on using aluminum foil in your air fryer, you want to ensure to puncture holes in the tin foil or position it in a way that it does not block any of the perforated holes of the inner basket. Air fryers are designed this way, so the food cooks perfectly even. There are air fryer products sold separately like perforated parchment paper, which is a good alternative to replace DIY aluminum foil liners.
Once your food is ready and in the cooking chamber, enter the temperature and timer then let the air fryer do its job and take care of the rest. The air fryer will let you know when the food is done. Remember it’s hot, so use tongs to retrieve your food.
Cleaning an air fryer is a breeze. They’re designed with an inner and outer basket specifically so they’re easy to clean with no splatter. In almost all cases, you will only need to rinse out the two baskets with soapy water, and sometimes wipe down the machine itself. The components that store food are typically dishwasher safe as well, but please check your air fryers manual for complete instructions and details.
Air fryers come in a variety of forms. Some of you may want to keep on your kitchen counter as they don’t require much counter space and can add to the overall décor of your kitchen. For others who like everything clean and tidy, air fryers are typically compact in size allowing for easy storage when not in use.
Highlighted and labeled for its ability to replicate deep fried foods so well, you may think that’s all it does. That is far from accurate because an air fryer can do so much more. When you’re considering what to make in an air fryer, know that it grills, toasts, roasts, and bakes, in addition to its iconic air frying method. It also does a great job reheating foods like pizza or whatever leftovers you want to eat.
Foods like chicken breasts and chicken wings are the top things to cook in an air fryer. Whether from your preparing a rotisserie from scratch, baking a potato, or air frying your favorite frozen chicken nuggets and fries, the air fryer will cook it to perfection. People love the fact that their favorite frozen foods come out crispy like they were made in a deep fryer vs baking them in the oven which can leave them dry and chewy.
Air fryers can cook pretty much anything. From breakfast to dinner to snacks and side dishes, you can cook your favorite proteins, green, and desserts. Even stubborn to cook vegetables like brussels sprouts will be as easy as cooking a zucchini. Youtubers have been flaunting their air fryer cookie and lava cake recipes for a long time already. Between everything that you can cook with an air fryer, the question really should be, what can’t you make in an air fryer?
What Cannot Be Cooked in an Air Fryer
Air fryers can cook almost anything, but what should you refrain from cooking in one?
- Heavy liquids or battered foods – Too much liquid can make a huge mess in an air fryer and potentially damage the components.
- Vegetables you would typically steam – Air fryers are great for almost all greens, but specific ones that you would generally steam should not be cooked in an air fryer.
- Foods that need to absorb liquid to cook – It may be difficult to cook foods like rice and pasta since they require liquid to absorb for a proper cook.
- Caution using fresh cheeses – Frozen foods like mozzarella sticks are great, but if you use fresh cheeses, you may want to consider an extra step and adding at the very end, otherwise it can melt right off your dish and congeal inside the air fryers components.