Modern technology raises the need for convenience in almost anything we do these days. Product developers have the sole aim to make lives easier for their customers. The arrival of air fryers was meant for exactly that. Make no mistake: Air fryers and deep fryers are two separate equipment serving different purposes.
Air fryers are basically miniature convection ovens with the task of deep-frying the food. Unlike traditional deep fryers, the use of oil in an air fryer is relatively negligible. Hot air is circulated within the device at a blazing speed which creates a delicious-looking layer on top of the food, indicating the fry is complete. Most people tend to use an air fryer over a deep fryer in order to avoid ingesting extra oil for obvious health reasons.
Variety of Air Fryers
Table of Contents
- 1 Variety of Air Fryers
- 2 Pros and Cons of Using an Air Fryer
- 3 Ideal Food to Cook
- 4 Tips for Using an Air Fryer
- 5 Final Words
A host of air fryers are available on the market these days. These vary in size, shape, colors, application, and especially price. Customers choose one based on their necessity. Functional options may include a compact air fryer for solo use, oven and fryer combo, or even a large one for family use. Features may vary between devices of similar nature from different brands.
Many consumers tend to have selective eating habits, and if that includes eating food processed from air fryers, it is surely a match made in heaven. Online platforms like The Picky Eater contain ideas about various delicious dishes that can be cooked in air fryers. The specific flavor provided by them is almost unmatched by other sources, which ensures these consumers keep coming back for newer models of the device.
Pros and Cons of Using an Air Fryer
Similar to most other kitchen appliances, air fryers also have a set of advantages and disadvantages. It is of paramount importance to develop an understanding of these issues before attempting to purchase and start using an air fryer.
Easily the biggest benefit of using an air fryer is the drastically low level of oil in the food after cooking it. Patients who need to avoid the consumption of oil in their food have no option but to opt for cooking in air fryers. In fact, the design of some of these devices allows the absorption of oil that remains in some food in the first place, making the food even healthier than before.
Air fryers save a lot of time and space as well. Being compact devices, they can be tucked into small cabinets and completely forgotten before the need arises for them to be taken out for use. Once turned on, the process of cooking itself does not take long. These devices are fast and usually complete the cooking faster than most other devices doing similar tasks. An example is that it only takes minutes for an air fryer to heat and cook frozen food.
The cooking is also very efficient and wholesome. Manually cooking on a frypan leaves the possibility of the food being unevenly cooked. This is never the case with air fryers, as the air is evenly circulated throughout the container and ensures consistent texture and doneness. Hence, the taste remains consistent.
Perhaps the biggest concern regarding the use of air fryers is that they are generally not designed for cooking large quantities. Certainly, there are models offered by companies that can cook for a small family, but not more than that. Large gatherings of people can not be served simultaneously just by cooking in a single air fryer unless cooked in batches.
Furthermore, cleaning these devices after the cooking sessions is also slightly inconvenient. Due to the compact nature of the fryers, it is difficult to clean the deepest corners of the interior with minimal effort. This might lead to the possibility that it might not be cleaned well, which is unwanted as your foods might be contaminated by previous batches.
Even the build quality of most budget air fryers in the market is not worthy of a durability award! These devices are generally constructed with plastic or thin metal, both fragile substances for the long run. Users might come across external damage after a few months of usage. The electrical circuitry inside is also vulnerable to deterioration.
Ideal Food to Cook
Appliances like omelet makers, tamale streamers, waffle makers, and many more are examples of specialized kitchen appliances designed to perform a single task. These devices outperform general appliances used to cook the same food. Air fryers are different. They are seemingly glorified miniature ovens. Most food that can be cooked in an oven can also be attempted in an air fryer. However, the results might not be as satisfying.
Food items like french fries, chicken wings, potato wedges, shrimp fries, and bacon strips are perfect candidates for the air fryer. Along with these, any vegetables that can be grilled or roasted will also turn out very well.
Additionally, similar to microwave ovens, these devices can simply reheat the food as well, and in a better way. Ovens have the tendency to make the food soft and soggy after reheating. Air fryers do not interfere with the texture of the food and are excellent at maintaining crispiness.
Tips for Using an Air Fryer
Despite the simplicity and ease of using an air fryer, certain guidelines can not be ignored while attempting to use it. Following is a list of suggestions for you to start strong.
Read the Manual
Understanding the guidelines provided in the instruction manual is more important than a user might think. Whether you have just brought the device home or have been using it for some time, following the directions in the manual is crucial. Various air fryers may include a variety of functionalities and might need to be operated in particular ways.
Oil is Actually Needed
Yes, it is indeed true. Although the amount needed is extremely low and might depend on the dish being cooked, the need for oil is real. While the food can certainly be cooked without providing a single drop of oil in the mixture, the eventual outcome does not usually melt hearts. The food turns out to be hard and not crispy. Food containing fat or oil already does not require additional oil.
Please be advised that pouring excessive oil into the fryer can cause unwanted effects like smoking, or the food could be drenched with oil and be inedible.
Beware of the Heat
Just like any other heating appliance, air fryers also run the risk of overheating, potentially posing a fire hazard, unless operated with proper knowledge and caution. They are countertop equipment, meaning these are used side-by-side with multiple other kitchen appliances. It is unwise to keep a strong heat conductor near the air fryer as the heat generated is pretty high. Accidents may occur, resulting in a complete meltdown of the appliances kept close to it, along with the fryer itself.
Do Not Fill to the Brim
It is a customary inclination to feel the need to fill the air fryer baskets fully. While it does seem efficient to do so, the repercussions are not always pleasant. The fryer has a dedicated system of air circulation that consistently exposes the food to the hot air. A bigger portion of food simply means each piece is a little less exposed to the air due to the compactness created inside. This causes the food to be cooked with lesser intensity, resulting in, say, soggy potato wedges.
Avoiding Cooking Certain Food
Food that is generally very dry runs the risk of losing flavor and seasoning if processed in an air fryer. Leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach, and broccoli are examples of food that should not be cooked in this appliance due to them potentially turning out to be excessively dry or uncooked. Food that melts, like cheese, also poses a considerable risk as it might melt and seep into intricate gaps in the circuits within the device.
Shake the Basket Periodically
Unlike microwave ovens, air fryers are portable devices that can be handled with ease, after taking necessary precautions. Gently vibrating these appliances while cooking is the smart thing to do. This acts like stirring without the use of a stirrer, but with all the benefits, as it ensures a steady flow of heat to all parts of the food. It is to be noted that not all food requires this action for better results.
The introduction of an air fryer to a kitchen raises the standards of the food coming out of it. The utilities of these devices are impressive, as an array of delicious food items can be swiftly cooked in them, making life easier. With proper knowledge, which we believe you have attained after reading this article, an air fryer can be a huge benefit to your kitchen.