What’s the big deal with air fryers? This air fryer craze, we back it!
What does an air fryer actually do?
Instead of frying food in oil, the air fryer acts as a mini oven. It has a heating component and a fan that circulates the hot air around, the fast movement of the air causes the food to crisp and cook. This convection function allows hot air to surround the food, cooking it more evenly and quickly.
The craze of these mini conventional ovens has boomed over the past few years. The air fryer is known to be a healthier alternative to deep-frying your foods, it takes much less time to cook than in an oven and is very easy to use. It’s as simple as plugging the appliance in, setting the temperature, and turning the timer. The circulation of hot air crisps and cooks anything you put in it, you’ll be surprised by meals you can whip up in this witty kitchen appliance.
For those who have an air fryer (or want one), we’ve got some tips for you.
Foods you MUST cook in your air fryer:
- Our team highly recommends an air fryer for re-heating pastries, like pies, or cooking food frozen food, like samoosas, pies, sausage rolls, etc.
- One more thing it does…makes the best, crispiest potatoes! Try this crispy garlic potato recipe.
- Bacon! You won’t want it any other way! (*we recommend placing a baking sheet or tin foil underneath the basket if possible so that the bacon fat can drip onto that and it is easier to clean.)
- Crumbed fresh or frozen foods, like chicken schnitzel, crumbed hake or fish cakes.
Interesting things you can cook in your air fryer:
Cook chicken breasts in your air fryer.
It’s not only fried chicken that you can cook in your air fryer but did you know that you can perfectly cook a juicy tender chicken breast in an air fryer? Add your desired spices to the chicken; pop it in the air fryer, and viola!
Crispy Vegetable Chips in the air fryer
When you feel like a salty snack and you don’t have any chips in the house, the next thing is to make your own. Peel the veg (ie: potatoes), cut them into thin slices, toss them in a tiny bit of oil with salt & seasoning of choice, and cook them up in the air fryer until they are crispy. Give them a shake now and then so you do not burn them. You can make other types of chips such as beetroot, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato or even apples. Yes, you read right…we said apples. Slice the apples and air fry for about 10 minutes, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon over the chips before serving. Brussel sprouts are also awesome to crisp up in the air fryer…those brussel sprout haters might just change their mind about the cute miniature cabbages.
Roasted Seeds or Nuts
Quick and efficient, you can easily roast some seeds or nuts and add them to your salads, breakfasts, etc. Keep the air fryer at a lower temperature and be sure not to burn them.
Yes, you can cook cookies or biscuits in the air fryer.
Things you didn’t know you could cook in your air-fryer
Is it possible to make a boiled egg in an air fryer?
YES, it is possible and it’s crazy to think that you are able to make boiled eggs without the water. Here are some quick tips for getting it right:
- Check the wattage of your air fryer (1400 to 1700 watts),
- Put the temperature to 130℃ and set for about 15 minutes.
- Place 2-6 eggs in the basket.
- After the eggs are done in the air fryer take them out and put them in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Peel the eggs and enjoy!
A Cheesy toastie!
Air-fried toasted cheese sandwiches are soft & gooey on the inside and crispy golden perfection on the outside. Put your favorite cheese between two pieces of thick sandwich bread (we recommend the Food Lover’s Market OUma Bread or a ciabatta), then smear with butter. Bake at 180℃ for about 4 minutes, then flip and bake for another 3 minutes. (or until golden and crisp, and cheese has melted.)
Crunchy homemade croutons:
That day-old bread can get a gourmet makeover in the air fryer. Roughly cube bread and lightly brush with olive oil and toss with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes at 180℃ for extra-crunchy croutons.
Roast your muesli or granola in the air fryer. Mix up your muesli ingredients of choice, and roast in the air fryer at 160℃ for about 20 minutes. Toss now and then to ensure it roasts evenly and is golden brown. Allow the muesli or granola to cool completely.
Toasted Pasta or Ravioli:
According to Food Network, you can lightly fry ravioli to turn it into the ultimate snack for your family. Dip the pasta shells in buttermilk and coat in bread crumbs for that irresistible crispy exterior. When finished, serve with a warm tomato pasta sauce (for dipping).
What NOT to put in the air fryer?
Although an air fryer allows a healthier (lower fat), and more energy-efficient alternative for cooking foods that are normally fried (roasted or baked), we would not suggest putting a wet batter into the air fryer, it’s just messy. A crumbed coating is great, but something like a beer-batter…not so great! Overseasoning, your foods can encourage quicker burning and a mess, so be careful with that.
Should I get an air fryer? Is it worth it?
It gets the job done and it does it well. You are limited to the portion size however it saves a lot of cooking time and is a healthy way of cooking your food as a replacement for frying. When getting one, keep in mind the size of your household/amount of people you usually cook for. Another note to take in is the size of your household, an air fryer is not always the best option for cooking for a crowd. These days, you can get bigger air fryers, however, you’ll need to do batches if feeding a crowd.
This machine requires so little but provides so much room for experimenting with recipes and discovering new ways of cooking things. There are many more flavourful meals and recipes that can be made in the air fryer and we recommend them.
NOTE: Air fryers are like microwaves and all of them have different wattages. That means the time and temperature above might not work for your air fryer. If your eggs don’t turn out this might be why.
Simple Air Fryer Recipes
We have some simple recipes to get you started when cooking in an air fryer. Click here.