5 ways an air fryer can help you in the kitchen

Air fryers are for way more than healthy chips! Check out these top tips and recipes…

10 Jun 2020

Air fryers – what’s all the fuss? And why bother if you’re not that into fried food anyway? Well, there are a few reasons. Air fryers do a whole lot more than just make healthier chips! We’ll dive more into that later. But let’s start with the basics…

 

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is basically a mini convection oven. Like a convection oven, it uses a fan to circulate heat around food so it cooks evenly. Unlike a standard convection oven, it does this really quickly because it’s so much smaller. And that speed is what gets your food crispy in all the right places.

So, what can you do with an air fryer?

 

1. Get into healthier eating

Deep frying, while delicious, is obviously not great for you. Submerging something in hot oil seriously brings up the fat count - doing nothing for your heart or your waistline. So why not use something that gets the same crunch and flavour of a deep fryer but with a fraction of the fat?

Air fryers only need a little oil - usually just a tablespoon. That’s because the hot air inside the air fryer does all the cooking. The oil’s just there to stop your food from burning.

To give you an idea of the difference that makes – chips made in a deep fryer have almost quadruple the fat of those made in an air fryer!

 

2. Make frozen food way better

No doubt about it, frozen food is a life saver when you need a quick dinner. But even oven cooking takes time. So, what to do if you want to speed things up?

An air fryer gets it done much faster than an oven. For example, a frozen chicken breast might normally take between 30-45 minutes. In an air fryer, that times cuts down to 20 minutes. Plus, with breaded items like onion rings, you’ll get a much crispier result.

If you want to give it a try, this site has a really helpful guide to cooking frozen food with an air fryer.

 

3. Cut down your clean-up time

Frying is messy, especially at high heats with oil jumping all over the place. Then you have to dispose of the waste and scrub the pan to get rid of the fat.

In an air fryer: a) you’ve got less oil, which means less washing up liquid. b) most air fryers’ baskets are dishwasher safe, so you can quickly pop them in there.

4. Brush up on your baking

Despite the name, air fryers are not just for frying. Like we said, they’re actually mini convection ovens. That means you can bake rolls, pastry and even cakes in an air fryer.

Of course, you don’t want to be putting any batter straight in there. Liquids are going to gunk up your air fryer. A pain to clean and not very good for the machine itself.

So, remember to line your air fryer with baking parchment if you’re making rolls. Or pour your cake batter into a cake tin before putting it in the air fryer.

Here are some air fryer dessert recipes to get you started. Please try the churros - they look delicious!

5. Get creative in the kitchen

Baking and frying are just the start. There are so many things you can make – big and small. Hard or soft boiled eggs. Mussels. Mac and cheese. Corn on the cob. The list is pretty exhaustive.

But we’re not chefs ourselves, so take it from someone who is. Mike Greenfield (Mike G) is the creator of the Pro Home Cook videos. From his kitchen in New York, he makes super easy-to-follow, inventive recipes- including air fryer pizza! You can check out his awesome recipes here and here.

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