Air fryers are the home products that have people raving about their capabilities, especially since they’re designed to cook food quickly and easily. Some of the most popular things that people love to cook in an air fryer include chips, fried chicken, french fries, and even some steaks. But although the power of an air fryer seems able to cook just about anything, there are some things that are best left out of it because of some unfavorable results. But before we get into some of the best and worst things that you can make in an air fryer, let’s go over how the product actually works.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
An air fryer is a medium-sized appliance that you can place on any countertop in your kitchen. After you set your desired temperature, the air fryer circulates hot air at a very high speed so that the results are a crunchy, crispy exterior with little added fat. On the inside, all air fryers include a perforated tray or basket so that it promotes and allows for air circulation. Air fryers can be sold for $30 up to $250, depending on the brand and what features are included. Typically, air fryers can hold up to 3.5 quarts of content but larger models have a higher capacity of 6 quarts or more.
How to Use an Air Fryer
Here are few things that you should consider keeping in mind before you start using an air fryer:
Air fryers are good for reheating food
Instead of placing your leftovers in a microwave, you can also always try using your air fryer. The food will re-melt and re-crisp the cold food instead of turning it into an unappetizing chewy mess.
Don’t overfill the basket
Ensuring that there is enough room in the air fryer basket is important so that the heat can evenly distribute around the food, thus promoting an even cook all around. Even if you don’t overfill it, it’s also a good idea to give your food a little toss halfway through.
You may still have to use oil
Adding a spritz of nonstick cooking spray or little dabs of olive oil to any food before putting it into the air fryer will lend to a nicer browning and crisping effect compared to if you add no oil at all. The oil also aids in adhering seasoning to your food while also preventing anything from sticking to each other in the basket.
What Can I Air Fry
Before we get into the types of things that really don’t do well in an air fryer, let’s just talk about the things that cook wonderfully in the air fryer first.
After air frying this, they are a wonderfully crunchy and healthy snack that takes about an hour’s time to complete.
Some baked goods
Believe it or not, you won’t always have to use your oven to make cookies now that you have an air fryer. You can use it to make lava cakes, sugar cookies and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies! But before you make the mix and batter for these baked treats, be sure to follow a recipe specific for an air fryer because the traditional baking recipes may not be as well suited.
You can air fry all kinds of differently cooked chicken, including using the air fryer as a shortcut to defrost chicken wings or tenders. Note that it’s not great to put large pieces of chicken or other bone-in proteins in the air fryer because they will often cook unevenly, so try to cook smaller chickens that are around 3 pounds.
Homemade chips and french fries
Now that you have your own air fryer, you can make your own homemade chips and fries, and make them healthy. You can try sweet potato chips, beet chips, pickle chips and kale chips! Along with slicing your own potatoes for chips, you can also try your hand at air frying homemade fries. They require 75% less oil than a deep-fryer does so eating these after they’re done leaves you with less guilt!
Don’t worry, you don’t even need water to make boiled eggs in the air fryer. Once you put them in and take them out all you have to do is peel them and they’re ready to eat.
What Can’t You Air Fry
Now that we’ve gone over the kinds of foods that cook wonderfully in an air fryer, let’s consider the foods that really shouldn’t be cooked using the air fryer method.
These kinds of doughnuts do not fry very well in the air fryer mainly because of the dense batter that it uses. It’s much more preferable if you continue using the deep fryer so that these sweet treats continue to come out moist and fluffy.
There’s a misconception that bacon will come out of the air fryer crispy and without the grease that’s customary when cooking bacon. The air fryer is not the best for cooking bacon because the bacon fat sprays all over the inside of the machine so that when it’s done, there’s a greasy mess for cleanup. If you do decide to continue cooking bacon with an air fryer, know that there’s a cleanup job that comes along with it.
Lots of cheese
When you’re thinking about air frying dishes that have a lot of cheese, don’t do it. There’s a high chance that the cheese will ooze out so that there’s a crispy exterior that results in a basket full of drippy cheese.
Vegetables like kale will fly around the air fryer basket which will result in unevenly cooked greens for your meal. It’s better that you cook sturdier vegetables that can turn into crispy chips so that you’re sure that they can stand up to the windy conditions of an air fryer.
You have plenty of options to choose from so that you can find the best air fryer for you, and what features that you need so that you can cook your food for a delicious meal. Now that you know how this home product works and what it can and can’t cook very well, experiment with the things that you’d like to try so that you can make them into a healthier snack and meal!
Written by Julia Batista