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Air fryers are everywhere, but what does an air fryer do? If you’re wondering if an air fryer is right for you, this blog post will explain the basics of how it works and why it might be a good investment for your kitchen.
Air frying uses hot air to cook food. It’s kind of like deep frying without all the oil! So if you’re trying to cut back on calories or get healthier then this may be perfect for you.
If you’re looking for a new way to cook your favorite foods, then look no further than an air fryer. It’s like cooking with the power and function of a convection oven without the long cooking times. They are safe, easy to use, and make crispy food that has amazing flavor! Read on to find out more about what this kitchen appliance can do for you.
What Is An Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a countertop appliance that cooks with hot air instead of oil. It’s similar to a convection oven but it is more portable than one.
You place your food inside the air fryer basket and it cooks using hot air circulating around it. This ensures your food is cooked all the way through and there’s no need for additional oil to get a nice crisp surface on it.
Many air fryers have multiple settings, so you can use them to bake, broil or roast. You can prepare French fries, chicken wings, pork chops and other deep-fried foods in it rather than frying them in a vat of oil.
This appliance is relatively new but the technology has been around for years. It’s still unclear who invented it or when that occurred so your best bet is to look online for more information about when they first appeared on store shelves as part of an entire collection.
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
What does it do exactly? Simply put, it blows hot air around really fast and forcefully through a heating element in order to cook and “fry” your food with far less oil or fat. This cooking process leads to crispy, crunchy and definitely healthier versions of your favorite fried foods, without the use of a deep fryer.
The key here is the force of the hot air. Not high temperatures. In fact, most air fryers won’t go higher than about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Where temperature is concerned, they cook very much like an oven. The different again, is in the high speed of the air being blown around the air fryer.
The circulating air blows hot air all around the food, which is why it’s important to never over fill your air fryer basket or tray. You need that air circulation. With proper circulation, the air will cook all sides of the food without an issue.
In addition, many have found that the food tastes better than when prepared by deep frying with copious amounts of oil. The portions are also smaller so you eat less.
Because so many people love fried foods but don’t want to deal with the mess or excess fat of their deep fried counterparts, this appliance is perfect for your kitchen.
The following information will describe what an air fryer does and how it works before you decide if it’s right for your needs.
What Are The Health Benefits?
The main benefit is being able to eat all your favorite deep-fried foods, but with far less fat! Air fryers are fantastic for healthier cooking. You can make anything from chicken breasts to cheese sticks in an air fryer. You can even bake in an air fryer! And whatever you make will still taste just as delicious as any deep-fried counterparts. Just with less fat!
You can also make small batches of your favorite junk foods. This helps with portion control!
What Food Can You Cook In An Air Fryer?
A shorter list would be what you can’t make in an air fryer! But here’s a short list to give you an idea.
- Chicken wings
- Sweet potato fries
- Baked sweet potatoes
- Chicken nuggets
- Chicken breast
- Cheese sticks / Mozzarella sticks
- Tater tots
- Zucchini sticks
- Breakfast potatoes
- Whole chicken
- Mexican Pizzas
- Onion rings
- Churro bites
- Chicken tenders
- Toaster strudel
- Pork chops
- French bread pizza
- Hot turkey sandwich
- Chicken breasts
- Ranch chicken thighs
- Fish fillets
- Brussels Sprouts
- Fish sticks
- French fries
- Breakfast potatoes
- Turkey burgers
- Monte Cristo sandwiches
- Beef gyros
- Apple fries
How Do I Clean My Air Fryer?
The main thing to avoid is getting the heating element soaked. Never submerge your air fryer in water! Use a damp sponge and wipe it down after every use on the inside and outside. If you find any stubborn, greasy spots, you can use a little bit of soap on the sponge. Then rinse out the sponge and wipe out any soap left behind.
While some air fryers are easier than others to clean, most of them are pretty low maintenance and don’t require a ton fo cleaning. Particularly if you clean it after every use. Doing so avoids a big clean up down the road.
Where To Buy
Most home stores will carry some version of an air fryer. That being said, we find that Amazon is the best place to get the biggest variety of air fryers. These two are our favorites.
Recipes For An Air Fryer
We have lots of air fryer recipes and are constantly adding more. You can find all our air fryer recipes here!
What You Cannot Cook In An Air Fryer
Truly, there are only three types of food you cannot cook in an air fryer.
- Anything with a liquid batter, also known as a “wet batter”.
- Anything very light in weight that the air fryer will blow around instead of cooking.
- Anything with leafy greens.
Should You Get An Air Fryer?
Well, we are biased. But we’d have to say yes. This type of countertop kitchen appliance can be a fun and efficient addition to your kitchen. Air fryers have been a wonderful addition to our little family. And barring a complete lack of counter space, we’d be willing to bet you’ll love having an air fryer once you get used to using it.
Like any appliance, they can have a small learning curve. But you’ll get passed it pretty quickly. This site has all the information you’ll need to get started. And if you have a question we haven’t covered, feel free to reach out and ask! We are happy to help!
Air frying is also faster than cooking or baking in a conventional oven or countertop convection oven (though these function very much like convection ovens). Regular ovens just take longer, so an air fryer will save you time!
There is no dealing with hot oil either. In fact, an oil sprayer is your best bet because you won’t be using much oil at all. A little goes a long way with an air fryer!
The type of air fryer you get will totally depend on how you function in your kitchen and what you need from an air fryer. Here are the different types to help you decide.
- Best Toaster Oven Air Fryers
- Best Basket Air Fryers
- Best Paddle Type Air Fryers
- The Best Air Fryers By Brand
Best Air Fryer Tip?
Get the biggest air fryer you have room for! You’ll never go wrong with a larger air fryer. This is one case where the bigger it is, the better it is. Small air fryers have a place, but they are pretty limiting in how much and in what you can cook in them. So get the biggest one you have space for. You will never regret going bigger on an air fryer. The only regret is getting one that’s too small for your needs. Even a single person will benefit from choosing a larger air fryer over smaller air fryers. Promise!
Best Air Fryers
In addition to the lists above, new models come out all the time. And while the tried and true models are usually a safe bet, we like to evaluate new air fryers as they come out. So if you are doing research on which air fryer to buy, these guides can help you.
- Best air fryers of 2021
- Best air fryers of 2020
- Best air fryers for beginners
- Check out even more buying guides here
Air Fryer Accessories
If you really enjoy air frying, you may want to consider purchasing some air fryer accessories that are appropriate for your particular air fryer. The right accessories really expand what you can do with your air fryer. Check out our favorite air fryer accessories here.