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Why an Air Fryer is a Must-Have Appliance

This post goes through general information about air fryers, their operating mechanisms, the foods they cook, how they compare to traditional ovens, and tips on how to choose the best air fryer for your needs. 

“People with air fryers and  instant pots never shut up about them.” I feel very attacked because I have both. 

Both, are not like two separate appliances but a  2 in 1 combo unit that doubles as an air fryer and an  instant pot by just switching the lid. 

Also, it is not an ” instant pot”, it is an electric pressure cooker.  Instant Pot is just a brand of pressure cooker.

We just never silence until you buy one, because we have seen the light and wanna share. Also having these bad boys in your kitchen is the peak adulting, since you just ascended from being a stove-top normie

You know you getting old when you start getting obsessed with a kitchen appliance and I can already feel that.

To be honest, an air fryer is the best kitchen purchase you will ever make. They literally cook anything and everything.

No surprise that you will eventually try cooking everything in it because it just tastes better, and you will realize you have been missing out on specific flavor profiles and crunchiness levels.

Air fryers come in different shapes, sizes, brands, and budgets but the functionality and operation mechanism are just the same. 

Airfryer meme, my parents at age 29

1. How to operate an Air Fryer

They are simply fun and intuitive to use, ingredients in, slide tray in, set tempt and timer, or use pre-set buttons if you have a fancier one, start button, fan spinning, air goes brrr, and then beep-boop food’s ready! So simple they’re even kid-friendly. 

Some models have a preheat function. Preheating is basically bringing your air fryer to a desired temperature before food can be added and cooking starts. OK, now you know what pre-heating is and you’re wondering why it is important. Well, it ensures the consistency of food when cooked at a specified temperature and duration.

With preheating done, your food is now cooking. To ensure even cooking, we pause at mid the total cook time to shake our ingredients or flip them over so that all parts get even circulation of the hot air that cooks.

After cooking time is over the unit shuts down by itself. While that is convenient, it is advisable to always stay in the vicinity and watch your appliance in case anything goes south due to a faulty air-fryer.

Always read the manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. What to cook in an Air Fryer

Air Fryer French Fries
Air Fryer French Fries

Use it for cooking full recipes, sides or reheat leftovers. The units not only air fry but also bake, grill, roast, and dehydrate. 

a). Frozen Foods

The beautiful thing about using air fryers is, you don’t get to defrost first. You cook straight from the freezer and the results are good. Don’t try that on a stove. For extra frozen foods that cook within less than 10 minutes then you might wanna microwave them before proceeding to air fry so that the insides don’t remain cold upon cooking completion. I have tried sausages and bacon from frozen and they came out fine and evenly cooked

b). Leftovers

We can all agree that microwaved pizza is worse than cold pizza, the result is just a floppy rubbery mess. Well, that is not the case with reheating leftover pizza in an air fryer. Just sprinkle some water droplets on your pizza slices to rehydrate the crust and air fry. The resulting pizza is so good it tastes the same as when you initially got it.

You are not limited to reheating pizza only, fries, and chicken work too. I tried reheating chicken pieces and I can’t believe I’m saying this but, they turned out even better than when I initially got them hot. The air fryer not only warms up leftovers but also crisps them further than they were originally, (which is a good thing). 

Reheating in an air fryer will make you throw out the microwave.

c). Sides

Almost every side dish can be cooked in an air fryer from meats, veggies, pastries, and even desserts. Here are the 10 common sides you can cook in an air fryer

  1. French Fries(Chips): These are the crispiest fries you will ever have, not deep-fried or oven fries but air-fried. Cut your potatoes to fries, oil then with a tsp or two of oil, spice as desired, and air-fry for 180°C(355°F) for 10-15 minutes, shake at half-time
  2. Chicken Nuggets: Combine cubed chicken breasts or thighs with bread crumbs and spices, you will dip the pieces in a butter mixture of milk and eggs first before coating the crumbs and spices. Air-fry for 10-12 minutes at 200°C(400°F)
  3. Onion Rings: Preheat your air fryer to 200°C (400°F). Slice Onions to 1/2 in thick rings, coat them in flour and spice mix using an egg wash, oil spray them to prevent sticking, and air-fry for 8-12 minutes at 200°C (400°F)
  4. Spring Rolls: Prepare the fillings, wrap and fold the edges, preheat at 180°C(355°F), oil spray the rolls for extra crunch, and air fry for 8 to 10 minutes at 180°C(355°F). Cool before serving
  5. Garlic Bread: Slice your bread and spread softened butter mixed with minced garlic and parsley onto each slice. Preheat the air fryer to 190°C (370°F) and place bread slices in a single layer in the basket. Cook for 3-5 minutes at the same temperature.
  6. Mozzarella Sticks: Slice mozzarella cheese into sticks. Dip each in egg wash, then coat with breadcrumbs mixed with seasoning. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C (400°F)  and place the coated sticks in a single layer in the basket. Cook for 6-8 minutes until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  7. Chicken Wings: Season the wings with salt, pepper, and desired spices. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C (400°F). Line the wings in a single layer in the basket, without overlapping or crowding, Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the wings are crispy and cooked through. You can coat your wings in buffalo sauce after they are done and toss them.
  8. Potato Cubes: Peel and cube potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Toss with oil, salt, pepper, and preferred seasonings. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C (400°F). Line potato cubes in a single layer in the basket. Cook for 15-20  minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy. Optional: Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh herbs before serving.
  9. Potato Wedges: Peel or scrub and cut potatoes into wedges. Toss them with oil, salt, pepper, and your preferred seasonings. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C (400°F)  and place the wedges in a single layer, ensuring they’re not overcrowded. Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy. Serve the potato wedges hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
  10. Roasted Veggies: Chop your favorite veggies into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with oil, salt, pepper, and any desired seasonings. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C (400°F)  and spread the veggies in a single layer in the basket. Cook for 12-15  minutes, shaking halfway through, until they are tender and nicely browned. Serve these as a side or use them in salads.

d). Main Course

Whole Chicken, Salmon, Pork Chops, Shrimp, Pizza, Meat Balls, Lobster, Steak, and more

e). Pastry & Dessert

Pies, Donuts, Muffins, Banana Bread, Brownies, Cookies, Pudding, Cinnamon Rolls, Lava Cake, Cheese Cake, and more 

3. Why Air fryers are just better

Air Fryer Roasted Orange
Air Fryer Roasted Orange

If you were planning to buy a microwave, a toaster oven, or both, I’m gonna stop you right there. Get an air fryer instead. It does both and is better. They’re the best invention in the home cooking scene. You don’t need to be a skilled cook to get good and consistent food, it handles it all.

Why You Need One

  •  Healthier Cooking: You get to cook fried food with just tablespoons of oil instead of liters in deep frying. This reduces your calorie intake if you want to focus on diet, and reduces cooking oil usage too. The circulation of air attains an even better crisp than deep frying
  •  Versatile: Can cook a wide range of foods as discussed above. Not just air frying the units come with additional functions like roasting, grilling, baking, broiling, and dehydrating 
  •  Efficiency: They cook food over a short duration saving on energy. This is possible due to their small and compact size, and the air circulation mechanism.
  •  Ease of use: Ease of operation as minimal inputs are required, presets are ready for most models so it is a press of a button or two to cook your food. Also, clean-up is easy as trays are both non-stick and removable. Cleaning toaster ovens could be a hassle, especially with the accumulation and sticking of crumbs. That is not a problem here.
  •  Consistency: Unlike traditional ovens, air fryers circulate air all around ensuring even cooking and crisping no matter the location of your food.

Airfyring makes it so convenient to recreate your fast food cravings instead of ordering takeout, plus you have quality control of your food here. Tired of the inconsistent and overpriced delivery Pizza? Make your own with personal touches to your liking.

5. Choosing the Suitable Air Fryer for You

Once you feel convinced enough to get an air fryer, you just don’t go out and buy any. Different people have different use cases and preferences; that is why we have multiple types, brands, sizes, and feature offerings in the market. Here is the basic guideline

Budget: Budget is the governing factor for all of the other features here. A higher budget generally means getting more and a low budget means you get basic functionality. A mid-range is the sweet spot where you will get the best value for each coin you spend in terms of features, build quality, and performance.

Size& Capacity: You don’t want a very big unit if you are limited in kitchen space and you don’t want a small one that will make you cook in batches. A 3.5L should be good enough for one person. Getting an overly large one will mean you need to cook more food amounts thus more leftovers. An optimum size is ideal.

Power & Efficiency: A higher wattage means it cooks faster saving you on time but more energy use and vice versa. Establish your compromise.

Brand Reputation: Go for well-established and mainstream brands, also check on model reviews from consumers before committing to buy

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