Air Fryers have been around for a while now, but they’re starting to gain attraction again with the growing popularity of fitness and wellness trends. And it makes sense — air fryers are the healthier alternative to deep-fryers, as they can fry up just about anything with minimal oil. For junk food junkies and casual home cooks, it can help make the healthy lifestyle feel less dull. So, what can you cook in an air fryer?
Before diving headfirst into that, let’s have a quick summary of what the air fryer can do:
An air fryer is somewhat like a cross between a deep-fryer and a convection oven. It aims to achieve the same kind of crispy and crunchy texture a deep-fry can deliver while using technology similar to that of a convection oven. It uses no more than a tablespoon of oil and a lot of hot air, which is circulated around the inside of the appliance in order to “fry” all ingredients. The result is an almost unmistakable golden fry.
What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?
As its name suggests, the air fryer is built to “fry.” That means that any food that can be prepared via frying can be cooked with an air fryer. Foods that are coated in flour or breadcrumbs, like tofu, fried chicken, pork chops, nuggets, cheese sticks, and foods that are wrapped, like egg rolls and dumplings, are some really good options.
Less experienced cooks and beginners can opt to go for something simpler. But what can you cook in an air fryer that doesn’t require a lot of preparation? Frozen food is one option. Supermarkets sell bags of all kinds of frozen foods, making meal preparation much easier.
Another popular food that can be cooked in the air fryer is the ubiquitous French fry. Everyone loves French fries, so having the means to cook your very own fries at home ought to be some kind of indication of how fun it is to own one of these babies. Other forms of potato snacks are also great, such as potato chips, wedges, and even hash browns.
What Kinds of Food Can’t You Cook with an Air Fryer?
Vegetables that are meant for steaming and boiling, like beans and carrots may prove to be too tough to get done right in an air fryer. Meanwhile, broccoli and similar greens might not achieve a desirable texture.
How to Use an Air Fryer?
Once you know what kinds of food work best with an air fryer, you need to know exactly how to use one to utilize it best. Of course, as with any kitchen appliance, the air fryer comes with all the instructions needed to get it up and running. But, for those who need a quick and easy recap to keep coming back to, here is a rundown:
- Preheat your fryer for about 3 minutes, or until it reaches your desired temperature.
- When preparing your ingredients, make sure they will fit well. Leave at least ½ inches of room around the edge of your basket. This reduces messes and allows the air to circulate around your food better, heating everything more evenly.
- Add no more than a tablespoon of oil. Your air fryer does not need any more than that amount to achieve a crispy and crunchy texture for your food.
- When cooking smaller ingredients, like nuggets, croquettes, or French fries, make sure to shake the basket a few times to move everything around and ensure that the hot air touches all the pieces.
- Another way to ensure an even cook is to rotate the basket every 10 minutes.
- After cooking, fat and oil may collect at the bottom of your basket. Empty this out before preparing your next dish.
What can you cook in an air fryer? The answer really is just about anything you can fry. If you’ve cooked before, air frying should be an absolute breeze. It takes away all the hassles of frying, from the pain of flying hot oil to the heat of it all. That’s what makes it so great.
And if you’re new to frying and cooking altogether, the air fryer does most of the work for you. All you need is to have those recipes on hand. For starters, here’s one recipe that is not only very easy to make but also super delicious.
1 lb chicken wings
⅔ cup hot sauce
1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
½ cup butter
¼ tsp worcestershire sauce
⅛ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Half your batch and place the first half of the basket.
- Spray or sprinkle a tablespoon of oil on your first batch.
- Let it cook for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until crispy and brown.
- Make sure you turn the wings a few times to get an even cook.
- When all batches are cooked, transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Combine all your sauce ingredients together in a saucepan and heat until it bubbles.
- Add the sauce to the bowl, and toss everything until all parts are coated.
If you’re craving for deep-fried meals, you no longer have to go to the nearest fast food restaurant to satisfy your cravings because you can already make tasty meals at home using the air fryer. And the best part is, you no longer have to be guilty about eating oily food because this machine allows you to cook healthier dishes.