It’s Meals Monday here, and today I’m going to tell you about one of the greatest kitchen small appliances ever; Air Fryers.
I’d wager half of you have one already anyway, but for those who don’t, here’s the deal: An “Air Fryer” is actually a high air flow convection oven. It cooks by moving hot air around the food. The effect really is like the food had been cooked in an oil fryer.
The big difference though is that you eliminate all the grease and a ton of the carbs and calories via eliminating the oil. French fries supposedly see a 70% reduction there. I have no way to test that, BUT, I can tell you that they come out every bit as crispy as with an oil fryer, taste lighter, and you actually get more potato flavor using an air fryer.
Chicken strips or nuggets also turn out amazing. Just about anything you toast, bake or fry can be done in an air fryer.
Time wise they’re slower than a microwave, but faster than an oven. The above mentioned fries or chicken strips will take about 10 minutes, as an example. And without any oil to clean up and throw out, which is the worst part of owning an oil fryer.
I was an early adaptor here (yay hipster, LOL). I saw one of the first late night infomercials on them and had to have one. 😀 We’ve bought three at this point, only because we keep looking for bigger ones. Our current one is the newer Air Fryer Oven:
Now we finally have one that can cook the chicken and the fries at the same time. 😀 That’s the exact model we have also. One of these days I have to try the rotisserie for it and see what I can do.
The Couple of Negatives:
There are only a couple here. First is that the infomercials will show you how you can even cook steaks and other cuts of meat. True, BUT as it’s cooking with hot air, you don’t get any of that extra flavor that you would cooking on a real grill.
The second is that of you’re cooking something fairly thick, you’ll have to go for a lower temperature and cook slowly so that the heat makes it to the center without drying out the surface, OR get creative. With Brats or Italian Sausage, for example, I microwave them for 1 minute first to help cook the center, then air fry them till they’ve got a nice moderate char on the casing.
Air circulation is the last thing. With a standard air fryer, you’ll have to toss the fries, onion rings, or what ever once or twice during cooking to keep them cooking evenly. Just pretend you’re a TV chef flipping an egg with the pan. 😀
The air fryer oven does fairly well with circulation unless you have all the racks full, then the top will cook much faster than the bottom rack, and you’ll want to rotate the racks. The company doesn’t give you any kind of a handle for that either. I just grab the hot rack with a pair of tongs. Works fine.
Overall, these things are a wonderful invention. The only kitchen gadget I love more is my KitchenAid stand mixer. They speed up dinner, get food nice and crispy, and can really cut back on carbs and calories. You can almost pretend french fries and tater tots are healthy food. LOL. Fish sticks and breaded fillets really do become healthy, with less grease and more natural flavor, but the same crispy breading as if they were fried. If you can afford the $75 or so, it’s worth picking one up… unless you’re on a raw food diet. 😀
As always, this review is totally my own honest opinion also. I get NO incentives of any kind from anyone when I occasionally discuss a product here.