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A Straightforward Guide to Using the Air Fryer
We all love good food and most of us love cooking as well. And so, when a new innovative cooking appliance comes out, expect a lot of people to order one. When they get delivered, they’d unpack the new air fryer, set it up, and carefully read the guide to using the air fryer.
On the other hand, a lot of you may already have bought an air fryer. Yet, you still might need some help and ideas to tie up loose ends for a better experience with the air fryer that you bought. Or you may be thinking of getting one for your kitchen. Either way, we thought of sharing with you some insights and practical guides for capitalizing on the usage of such a wonderful kitchen and cooking aid. Let’s start.
There’s got to be a better term for Air Fryers
That’s honestly what we think, and some things somehow get mislabeled unintentionally. We know the distinction between air fryers and deep fryers. But it’s more than that. Technically, air fryers are not fryers. Sounds confusing, we know. But listen. It’s a huge advantage that it generates lots of hot air, just like an oven. So, then it’s more like a smaller version of an oven. Still with us, so far. Now, an oven and an air fryer harness air as the medium for heat. And understanding now that air fryers are somehow like small ovens, the food that comes out after cooking in the air fryer is much less oily and messy than from a deep fryer.
In a single lengthy statement, then, so unlike the deep-fryers, air fryers are more like small convection ovens in which you can cook light and fluffy cakes, browned vegetables, crispy chicken wings, and other delightful oven-baked goodies, without using too much oil. The smaller air fryer has the warm air move downwards to the food. The bigger convection oven has warm air circulating uniformly in and around the food.
How an air fryer cooks food
The air fryer’s top part is where the heating mechanism and fan are installed. Below that is a basket container where the food or ingredients are placed. When the air fryer is activated, hot air flows down and circulates the food, making it crispy without oil, or with just a little of it. Delicious, nice-looking, and much more healthful.
Step 1 | Set the food or ingredients in the basket holder
Air fryers may differ in size with the basket’s capacity of about 2 quarts to 10 quarts. Depending on your preference and the recipe, you could use 1 to 2 teaspoons of the oil for yummy and crispy food. Or if you want it healthful, skip the oil.
Step 2 | Dial in the required time and temperature for the food
There’s no set time. The cooking time depends on the food or recipe. For the majority of air fryers, a cooking time of 5 to 25 minutes is typical with temperatures at 350° to 400°Fahrentheit.
Step 3 | Cooking the food or recipe
It’s pretty straightforward. Again, the recipe or how you prefer the food cooked may vary from day today. And flipping and turning the food over could be the most called for maneuvers to achieve the desired crispiness and texture.
Step 4 | Occasionally check the cooking
This step is done whenever you think the food has to be checked for its “doneness.” Or additional ingredients need to be added.
Step 5 | Cleaning up
Not part of the cooking process, but still an important step for taking care of the air fryer and a necessary part in any kind of cooking.
Following and internalizing these five simple steps could make your air fryer the most used, or the more frequently preferred cooker in your household. And it may be helpful and interesting to know the other types of air fryers available. You know, you may just find yourself needing to get a gift idea for a friend or a relative who loves experimenting with cooking.
How an Air Fryer works
Though it’s impossible to do deep-frying in the air fryer, it does an incredibly great job when it comes to baking, broiling, or roasting. And you don’t contribute to the rising incidence of fatal heart attacks and clogged arteries.
So, let’s take a little refresher on understanding how convection cooking works. Regular ovens have the top rack as the hottest tier. Cookies, for example, baked goodies here would not be baked to the desired degree, or in baking lingo, “doneness.”
In contrast, in a convection oven, the fans blow warmed or hot air around equally or uniformly, so the temperature is stable throughout.
Now, with the air fryer, though it does not operate exactly like the convection oven, it somehow resembles the deep fryer’s heat distribution more. That analogy may help us understand and imagine how it works.
Things that you need to do or adjust that the air fryer can’t
- Pulling out the basket to check progress: Doing this while the cooking is in progress will automatically shut off the fryer. So, shutting it yourself is not necessary.
- Two things you need to do yourself: There may be steps required in the recipe that you yourself must carry out. Shuffling the ingredients periodically and taking out the basket to check uniform browning are two examples.
- Adjusting the temperature: Air fryers tend to build up temperature really quick and move around the hot air. Which calls for you to lower the temperature, lest the food can look charred, or appears done, but still raw or not yet fully cooked inside. Compared with other similar cookers, lower temperature settings are required for many recipes to be cooked in the air fryer.
- The grate should always be placed in the basket: Aside from preventing the food from drowning in too much oil, it also helps in circulating hot air around the food.
- When the drawer is opened or pulled out, don’t forget to push it back in properly. It automatically shuts off for safety when that happens. And you’ll notice the absence of the sound the fryer makes when it’s working.
Singular thing the air fryer really excels in doing
That’s a no-brainer. The air fryer cooks real fast, and for many, it might take some getting used to. It’s one of its marked advantages, and it opens the door for exploring ways to prepare your favorite meal. And for experimenting and trying out new recipes, though confined to air frying or convection cooking, it still is a huge benefit. We have different tastes in food, and trying out your own cooking is best done in an air fryer.
Settling on the right air fryer size for you
For some, the available sizes of air fryers available leave something to be desired. Mostly, the typical air fryers can only hold enough for one or two people. But maybe doing a second batch is acceptable, and definitely doable. It could be a nice way to check out slightly different ways of cooking a recipe or style of cooking. Looking at the sizes of air fryers, most can hold 1.75 to 3 quarts which would be enough for two people.
Knowing when to preheat, and when not to
Air fryer is smaller than an oven, or a range, preheating may be skipped altogether, or done in just a few minutes. Half an hour may not be necessary. Nice feature in some models is an indicator light to signal that it is preheated. However, you as the cook, or a budding chef, would know when it’s needed or could be ignored. Sometimes, the recipe can also give you a clue. Savvy and professional cooks would even advise us to do each one and see how it turns out.
Here are three of the many good-looking and interesting air fryers, all available on Amazon. Check them out.
BLACK+DECKER Purify 2-Liter Stainless Steel Air Fryer
Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart 6-in-1 Air Fryer
We’re prone to judge the worth of a product, like the air fryer, and unreasonably tend to expect many capabilities it should provide. But for its reasonable price, features, advantages, and benefits of having an air fryer, it’s a worthy purchase for cooking. Consider the price in relation to the ability to cook fast, eat healthily, and do playful experimentation with different ingredients and tastes. It may not be perfect, but we think perfection is a myth. And that the guide to using the air fryer will make that exploration an easier, worthy, and pleasurable one.