All The Reasons You Should Get An Air Fryer Today
Quick, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the ongoing festive season? Parties? Bingo!
And what do parties translate into? Snacks and fried food. Lots and lots of it. Mouth-watering but unnecessarily unhealthy. So, what's the cure? An air fryer! Loads of recipes to try with a discount on calories... but here's the million-dollar question - does it taste good?
Watch Masterchef India runner-up, Neha Deepak Shah help us find out!
An air fryer can be used to air fry, obviously. But you can also use it to bake, grill & roast! The air fryer usage is not restricted to air frying. It even works like a mini convection oven that cooks your food faster and more uniformly without drying it out. If there's any food you can bake, grill or fry - you can just as easily air fry it.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
Air fryers cook food through the circulation of hot air at high speeds. While the heating element generates intense heat, the fan ensures that the hot air gets evenly distributed, and thus, the food gets cooked from all sides. The food chamber ensures you get a crispy exterior, which happens in traditional frying, but the air fryer does this without submerging the food in oil.
Air Fryer Benefits
Due to their many health advantages and easy operation, air fryers have become very popular in recent years. The following are only a few of its advantages:
Requires Less Oil
Air fryers have redefined cooking, and health-conscious people love them because they require minimal to no oil. The innovative technology of air fryers allows the food to cook from the inside while also creating a crispy outer layer. Thus it not only gives you a delightful crunch but also reduces the calorie content of the food while using only a fraction of the oil.
Besides the lower calorie intake, air fryer benefits include a cleaner cooking experience. In traditional cooking and frying, spilling and splattering of oil are common. You might have delicious dishes, but your stove top becomes a mess. The cooking chamber in an air fryer remains closed so you can have your favourite snacks without making a mess or having to do a cleaning session afterwards. Air fryers do not accumulate much grease or grime, so cleaning them is a breeze.
Crisp & Crunchy Food
Want to experience that delectable crunch? Air fryers are at your service! With Air fryers it is now possible to serve freshly cooked food with crunchy and golden exteriors, cooked finely to the core with perfection. Also, Air fryers work wonders with reheating. For instance, you can try reheating leftover pizza. The fryer will not only crisp up the bottom crust but will also heat the toppings in the most perfect way possible. When out of the basket, the pizza will taste as if it was freshly baked.
Air fryers also preserve the nutrients while the food gets cooked. While many important minerals and vitamins are lost due to the high oil temperature in traditional frying, air fryers help retain the nutritional value. The hot air in an air fryer is passed so fast that it locks in the goodness of the ingredients. Thus, what you get is delicious and nutritious food.
Faster Cooking Times
Moving ahead with air fryer uses and benefits, it is way faster than traditional appliances. The powerful heating element and the fan work together to ensure even cooking and browning. Thus, meals get ready faster than traditional methods. Therefore, air fryers are very useful for busy people who are always hurrying to prepare multiple dishes.
Easy To Clean
Cleaning up is a major chore! Most people eventually avoid cooking because they do not have time to clean up or wash utensils. However, an air fryer is completely different. You just need to add a soapy solution to the basket and use a non-abrasive sponge. And in quick five minutes, the cleaning will be done. There are multiple air fryers whose baskets are also dishwasher safe.
Versatile Uses of an Air Fryer
Even though it makes excellent french fries and chicken wings, the air fryer usage goes far beyond just creating crispy versions of your favourite fried foods. You can use it for various cooking methods and meet various culinary needs. Some of them are mentioned below:
The air fryer makes roasting much easier. Whether it's vegetables or meat, you can achieve a caramelised crunch that is tricky to get in the traditional cooking methods. Because of the even heat distribution, you can create several side dishes or standalone treats in a matter of minutes in an air fryer.
When it comes to baking, the air fryer brings a unique twist. While the heating element and fan make sure that cakes, muffins, pizzas, and even brownies get baked to perfection, you can try different baking possibilities.
Give a new life to your leftovers by reheating them in air fryers. While you can reheat food in an oven or a microwave, too, chances are it might become soggy. But one of the perks of air fryer usage is that it restores the crispiness and flavours of leftovers, making them as good as fresh.
Who does not love some delicious snacks? Much better if the snacks are also healthy! Using air fryers, you can transform vegetables into chips to create new versions of French fries or make some banana chips. Similarly, you can experiment with a lot more air fryer recipes.
Love the grilling marks the outdoor and indoor grills leave on the food? You can also get them in the air fryer without all the smoke. Use the grilling rack or other accessories with the air fryer to place your food closer to the heating element. They not only leave grill marks but also give a delicious smoky flavour.
Things To Consider Before Using An Air Fryer
Keep these 3 things in mind before using your air fryer:
1. Always wash your air fryer basket before use.
2. Run the air fryer without anything in it before using it with food. This will get rid of that 'newness' smell.
3. Never run the air fryer without its tray.
Too many settings can get confusing, so opting for an air fryer with just the temperature and timer settings will be your saving grace! Keep cooking straightforward and swift. If you want to get a little more creative, opt for an air fryer with more features.
Essential Tips Before You Start Cooking With An Air Fryer
2 tips before we get cooking (how else do we find out if it tastes good):
1. Use parchment paper to keep your air fryer clean and prevent food from sticking.
2. Make sure to preheat beforehand for faster cooking and a tastier end product!
Quick Airfryer Recipes
Now, everyone's favourite munchie. These will get ready quickly and help you win the hearts of your guests. All you have to do is get an Air Fryer ASAP!
You can slice potatoes yourself or opt for frozen french fries. Toss them in about a tablespoon of oil. Add it to the basket and fry it at 200°C for 15-18 minutes.
#BorosilTip: Shake the french fries at the halfway mark to ensure even cooking.
The fries should look perfectly golden and crunchy. You can even go ahead and dab it with tissue to test if there's excess oil like there would be if you'd regularly deep-fried them.
Frozen or Regular Samosas
You can make your own samosas or add frozen samosas in a single layer and brush them with some oil. And repeat, fry it at 200°C for 15-18 minutes.
Again, the samosas are sure to pass the tissue paper dab test. You can even tell the difference between air-fried samosas and deep-fried samosas just by holding them. The excess oil on your fingertips will help you identify which is which.
Cheesy Jalapeno Sticks
Add the frozen jalapeno sticks, brush them with little oil and air fry at 200°C for 10-12 minutes. Quickly and cleanly fry them without compromising on the cheese pull!
Everything tastes incredible, so you can satiate yourself without sacrificing your health!
If you're sick of frozen food, here's an additional recipe for you:
Chop up 250g of bhindi into fine strips.
Add 2 tbsp of besan, 1.5 tbsp of corn flour, and 1 tsp of rice flour to a big mixing bowl. Further add 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp coriander seed powder, 1 tsp green chilly ginger paste, salt as per taste, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1.5 tbsp of oil.
Mix everything well to form a thick paste. Add your strips of bhindi to this mixture. Use your hand to mix the bhindi, or else the mixture won't stick to the strips!
Then, you know the drill.
Wash the basket, set the tray in place, line the tray with parchment and preheat the air fryer. Add the strips of bhindi, lay it as flat as possible and brush it with some oil if needed. Cook it at 200°C for 15-18 minutes. Halfway through, give your bhindi a shake and then continue to air-fry it!
If you're looking to try other unique recipes, check out our beetroot tikkis!
Air fryers have become the new kitchen marvels that home cooks and professional chefs love. Its innovative approach to cooking and health advantages has made it easy for people to transform guilty pleasures into wholesome creations. Now that you know about the air fryer uses, you can also experience its convenience and culinary creativity.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I cook frozen food directly in an air fryer?
Yes. You can cook frozen items - potato fries, chicken nuggets, and sausages directly in an air fryer.
2. Does someone need to preheat an air fryer before using it?
While not always required, preheating can enhance cooking results for some dishes. You must always refer to your chosen recipe for more information.
3. Can I use aluminium foil in an air fryer?
Yes, you can use aluminium foil or parchment paper to line the air fryer basket. Remember to follow safety rules and allow proper air circulation.