An air fryer is not only jack of all trades but also master of all. Well, I am not overstating. As you know air fryer is countertop convection oven, it can do the same job as some other kitchen gadgets. Frying, roasting, baking, toasting, broiling, reheating all type of jobs can be done in one air fryer.
Air fryers are fast and easy to operate. So, if you are a new user, this article is for you. I will discuss ins and outs of cooking in an air fryer that you need to know.
How this air fryer actually work?
So, before learning to cook in an air fryer, you should know how this wonder machine works. As mentioned earlier that an air fryer is a kind of convection oven. An air fryer can deliver a similar result of deep frying with a little or no oil. Moreover, you will get to see a crispy layer over the food.
An air fryer’s main difference from a normal oven is the rapid air technology. This technology is built to duplicate the result of deep frying food. Air fryer has fans inside its cooking chamber. These fans circulate the hot air throughout the chamber to cook food. Hot air reaches all over the food, then cook it and add a crispy layer over it. The temperature can rise very high. So, it cooks faster than any ovens or fryers.
How to set up an air fryer for the first time?
If you are planning to buy an air fryer soon, then you should know what you will get inside the box and how to set it up. Inside the box, you will get a machine and some components. The removable components vary from model to model. Generally, you will get a basket, trays, wire rack, rotisserie handle, etc.
Wash the components with a dishwasher and dry them.
Then keep the air fryer in a dry and heat resistant place. Make sure that there is enough space for airflow. So, keep the machine at least 8 to 10 inches away from the wall. Then place the component inside the fryer that you need.
You should run the fryer empty for a few minutes to let the machine smell and gas getaway.
Now you are ready for cooking.
How to cook any dish with an air fryer?
As you have already set up your air fryer, now it’s time to cook. So, let’s start the process.
- Test run: Before your first cooking, perform a test run to check everything. You don’t need to do this before every cooking session. Just do it for the first time.
- Preheat: Most of the air fryer doesn’t need to be pre-heated. If preheat is available in your air fryer, then you can use it. Though it is only necessary for specific recipes.
- Follow the recipe: There are special recipes for air fryers. You can cook fries, roasts, grills, cookies, cakes, etc. by following the correct recipe. The recipe has the total instruction for cooking in an air fryer.
- Choosing equipment: Air fryer has different equipment for cooking different recipes. For example, basket is for frying, rotisserie handle for making rotisseries, tray is for baking, rack is for pizza making. So, according to your recipe, choose the correct equipment for the air fryer.
- Spraying: After keeping the food on a basket or tray, you need to spray a little oil over the food. This little oil will make your food even crispier. For applying oil, the food will not get stuck to the basket or tray. Applying too much oil will cause smoke. So, spray oil carefully with a spraying bottle.
- Overcrowding: Most important thing to do is placing food in a single layer inside the basket. You may ask why? Because overcrowding the basket with food will not give you a crispy result. Imagine you want to cook french fries, but you get steamed potato. It will be a mess. So, when cooking anything don’t overcrowd the basket or rack, if you want to get a crispy result.
- Preset features: So, you have already selected your recipe, sprayed oil on the food, and did all other things. Now it’s time to put the tray or basket inside the air fryer. After placing the food inside, close the door of the fryer. Almost every air fryer has preset features for cooking different recipes. So, just press the button and your cooking will start.
- Temperature and time: If your fryer doesn’t have a preset feature or you want to customize the cooking time or temperature. Then you will have to set the temperature and time manually. Follow the recipe and set the temperature and time that is needed.
- Shaking: This is the thing you need to do while cooking. Air fryer circulates air to cook food. So, to reach the air all over the food and to cook evenly, you need to shake the basket or tray time to time. If your air fryer has automatic shaking or stirring option, then you might not need to do this. But for most of the air fryers and recipes, you need to shake or stir the food to get the best result.
- Get the basket out: Within the time period you set, the air fryer will finish cooking. Then open the door of the fryer and get the basket out. Now serve the food in a dish and enjoy your perfectly cooked delicious meal.
What are the best foods to cook in an air fryer?
Hmm…Is this what you are thinking about? Don’t worry my friend, an air fryer is not like a typical oven. You can fry, bake, roast, and grill almost everything. It can do a lot more than you thought.
Frozen foods are a good option to cook in an air fryer. Chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, tater tots, fish sticks, pizza rolls, etc. can be cooked in an air fryer.
Oh, roasting vegetables are another great option for an air fryer. Just spray a little oil over it and roast the vegetables. You will definitely like the result.
Did I forget to say french-fries? French fries, potato wedges, etc. crispy foods are the magic of air fryer.
Stakes are a must-try item of air fryer. Even a whole chicken or turkey can be cooked.
Baking foods are also cooked perfectly. Cake to pizza, what actually do you need?
An air fryer has got it all.
Aftercare and quick tips
Your air fryer should be taken care of after every use. Air fryers can get dirty very quickly. If you cook something soupy, droplets from the basket can create a mess inside the cooking chamber. So, you need to clean it. You can use a paper towel to clean the air fryer. If something sticky is dropped on, then wash it with your hand. Most of the air fryers are dishwasher safe. So, you can just pull out the baskets or equipment to wash them with dishwasher.
If you are experiencing smoke problem while cooking, just add two spoons of water in the drawer, or if possible place a slice of bread for the best result. This will prevent smoking issues while cooking.
Now I can say that you know everything about how to cook with an air fryer. Follow the instructions and keep the tips in mind. And for cooking, do what your recipe demands. You will get a recipe book with your air fryer and you can search for new recipes on the internet. Advance congratulations to you, for being able to make healthy and tasty foods with your air fryer.