Before one can begin the understand how to use an appliance or a piece of equipment, he/she must first understand what exactly the appliance is and what it can do.
So What then is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a modern kitchen appliance that you could use to cook your meals in a healthier manner. This is because cooking with an air fryer requires little or no oil. So that when cooking with an air fryer, you could use 80% less oil than what you would use when you use the traditional method of cooking.
The air fryer works by circulating hot air all over the food using a mechanism scientifically referred to as the convection mechanism, hence cooking the food from the outside to the inside. This mechanism allows the cooking to reach completion in a very short period of time – usually 20% less the time you would spend using the traditional method of cooking.
This has made the appliance a highly desirable addition to every kitchen. Usually for the sake of making fries. And although making French fries faster and in a more convenient manner was the major idea behind the creation of the appliance, frying is definitely not the only thing this piece of wonder can do for you.
Different manufacturers have built and designed their models differently, but most of the models out there can support a couple of other forms of cooking except frying, including baking, grilling, and roasting.
How to Cook in an Air Fryer
The procedure for cooking in an air fryer stays the same for all the best air fryer brands on the market.
1. Preheat Your Air Fryer: This is usually the first step when using an air fryer and possibly the best way to get the best out of the air fryer every time. Preheating the appliance ensures that your food would begin to cook right at its cooking temperature making the cooking process a lot faster. Most air fryers are designed to preheat after 3 minutes. This means you can set the temperature you intend to use for cooking and wait for exactly 3 minutes before loading your food into the basket or rack.
2. Adjust Temperature and Time: Both the cooking temperature and time have to be set and adjusted right before you can begin to cook. This is because foods usually require lower temperatures to cook in an air fryer just like the cooking reaches completion faster. You would, therefore, need to reduce the cooking temperature for whatever recipe you intend to make as well as reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes when using the air fryer.
3. Use Oil: You can always use oil but it is not entirely important because the hot air with which the appliance cooks the food makes the use of oil unnecessary. However, you are allowed to rub some drop of oil to coat your food, especially when your palate is happier when there is oil in the food. More so, meats and other frozen foods do not require oil to cook.
To make your food taste even better, it is usually at this junction you unleash whatever spice or seasoning you intend to use on the food; salt, chili powder etc.
4. Fill Up The Basket: This is generally the last step involved in cooking with an air fryer. As soon as you are satisfied with the seasoning or mixing or whatever you do to get your food ready to cook, you can go ahead and load the food into the basket. After you have returned the filled basket to the air fryer, you can sit back and watch your food cook.
Some brands of air fryer may however that you interrupt the cooking mid-way, pull out the basket, shake the basket properly before returning it a second time into the air fryer. This is to ensure that all the food receive the same share of hot air to cook properly. Whatever the case, your food should be ready to serve in a matter of minutes.
Even though different foods require different methods of cooking, the above steps are the basic ones for cooking with an air fryer.
What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer
From baking to grilling, from frying to roasting, the range of things you can do with an air fryer is pleasantly wide.
Bread, lasagna, muffins, meats, vegetables, fish, meat chips, nuggets, and French fries. All of these have one thing in common; they can all be cooked using an air fryer. And at a very healthy standard too!
1. Meat and Fish: Whether frozen or raw, whether chicken or pork, cooking meat with the air fryer can be an excellent experience. Not only does the food turn out tasty and healthier, but it can also be done in a very short time. Meats usually take 15 to 30 minutes to be properly cooked in an air fryer.
Also cooking fish with an air fryer can be very delightful as they turn out crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
2. Frozen Foods: This may very well be the easiest and simplest things to cook with an air fryer because they usually go directly from the bag into the air fryer and are cooked in less than 15 minutes. French fries, potato chips, vegetables, fish sticks, and all frozen foods can be cooked in an air fryer in no time.
3. Baked Foods: Baking foods with air fryers is also becoming increasingly popular as some manufacturers of air fryers and now making it possible to bake with your air fryer. If you have an air fryer that has accessories for baking, you can conveniently prepare your bread, muffins, lasagna, and small cakes in less time than what it would take you with an oven.
4. Nuts: A healthy quick and easy way to prepare your nuts such as almonds, peanuts and walnuts would be by roasting them in an air fryer. Most of these nuts take only about 8 or 10 minutes to roast properly in an air fryer.
You could also roast or grill vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts to get a better taste.
Cooking with an air fryer is a straight forward, simple technique that basically anyone can do and if you follow the general procedures and steps, you should encounter no challenge cooking your first food.
Moreover, do not be afraid to experiment with different recipes and cooking style until you find the one that best suits you.
Also, you can cook virtually anything you can think of with an air fryer. Do not let anyone tell you can’t. Just be sure that your air fryer is the right size and it supports what you intend to cook as well.