How To Use an Air Fryer
You may be looking to buy an air fryer, or maybe you already have one but don’t know too much about it. You may be wondering how an air fryer works and what kinds of food you can cook in one. Here is everything you need to know about a basic basket-type air fryer.
Air Fryer 101
First of all, an air fryer is much different than a deep fryer. A deep fryer, as you may know, uses oil to cook food. Like in its name, an air fryer uses hot air to cook food.
The best thing about an air fryer is that it uses air, instead of oil, to cook food, which is so much healthier. They are basically small, powerful ovens.
Food that you cook in an air fryer will not look like food that is deep-fried, as an air fryer is actually an oven…not a fryer. With that being said, your food will still be just as delicious but much healthier, which is a great advantage.
Another great advantage to airy frying is that it is much less messy than using a deep fryer. No oil to clean up. Another great thing as air fryers can cook a lot more stuff than you would usually deep fry. Things like nicely browned vegetables, crispy chicken wings, and fluffy cakes as well.
Different Types of Air Fryers
The most common air fryer you will see is the type with a basket. It looks a bit like an instant pot or a large coffee maker. This type of air fryer does only one thing: fry things with hot air. This article goes over this basic type of air fryer.
You can also find other types such as multi-function air fryers, like the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven, the Beville Smart-Oven, and the June Oven. These multi-function air fryers look like big toaster ovens and can do other things than just air frying, like slow cooking, dehydrating, and toasting. You can also put more food into a multi-function air fryer.
How do Air Fryers Work?
An air fryer is like a little convection oven, moving hot air around the food. You can roast, broil and bake in it. You don’t actually fry in it, even though it is called a fryer.
However, in a convection oven, fans blow hot air around, so the temperature is equalized throughout the oven.
Air fryers aren’t precisely like convection ovens; the airflow inside an air fryer is designed to replicate the heat distribution of deep-frying in hot fat more closely.
Air Fryer First Time Use
When you buy a new air fryer, you need to wash all of the parts and components before using it.
Make sure the basket is in the air fryer and place it on a heat-resistant surface. Make sure it is not too close to the wall or anything else.
Some air fryers suggest that you run them empty for 10 minutes or so before cooking anything in them. There may be a chemical smell while doing this, so make sure you have a window open or other adequate ventilation. You will only need to do this once.
Now, you should be all set to cook in your air fryer.
Tips for Using an Air Fryer
Make sure to have the grate in the basket. This allows hot air to circulate around the food and keeps the food from soaking up any excess oil.
When cooking in the air fryer, you need to check the food every few minutes to make sure it is cooking evenly. You may need to move the food around a bit now and then.
It’s okay to pull the basket out when the food is cooking. The fryer will shut off automatically while the basket is out. It will then turn back on when you put the basket back in.
The cook time will be shorter with less food and longer with more food, so be mindful of the cooking time depending on how much food you are cooking. Also, remember that air fryers cook fast. Much faster than an oven. If you are using a recipe for the oven, you will need to reduce the cooking time significantly, the temperature as well.
How Big an Air Fryer Do You Need?
Air Fryers come in different sizes. The most common air fryers can hold enough food for one or two people. If you have more people that you intend to cook for regularly, you should think about buying a larger air fryer or plan on cooking your foods in several batches. Remember that air fryers cook much faster than conventional ovens, so cooking in batches is not that inconvenient.