Fries! Chicken fries, fish fries, french-fries, tell me who doesn’t like to eat fried foods. Just imagine you’re having a bite of crispy chicken fry or those yummy french-fries. Umm hum it feels good ha? But wait waiiitttt. Did you forget that you are consuming a lots of extra calories and fats with those deep-fried foods? Won’t you reconsider about eating those oily foods to maintain your diet?
Look, I am not here to advise you to avoid fried foods. Because I myself love to eat fries. Rather I am telling to avoid as much oil as you can, because the oil is actually causing the problem. So is it possible to fry things without or with a very little oil? The answer for this question is yes! Air fryers can!
In September 2010, IFA consumer electronic fair was happening in Berlin. Famous Tech Giant Philips introduced a brand new technology in that fair which is called rapid air technology. With this technology air fryer brand was launched in market. So, now let’s talk about –
What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is like an oven more specifically a compact countertop convection oven. It can simulate the result of deep frying without oil or with a very little oil. The hot airworks instead of submerging the food in oil and it also produce a crispy layer over the food.
Air frying and baking are not the same. Normal ovens use gas or electricity to produce heat and the heatspreadsinto the oven slowly. But air fryers use rapid air technology to create heat and the heat spreads faster.
Deep fryer and air fryer has significant difference in term of oil usage. Deep fryer needs a lot of oil and needs to be pre-heated before cooking. So, cooking in air fryer is faster. Air fryer is ahead of deep fryer in all these criteria as it doesn’t need these things.
How an Air Fryer work?
As we already know an air fryer works differently from ovens or deep fryers, so let’s discuss about how the food is cooked in an air fryer. The rapid air technology is the main key of an air fryer. It produces hot air in the fryer to cook food. In the cooking chamber heat is produced and that heat is spread by a fan throughout the chamber.
Compared to ovens, cooking time is way shorter in air fryers. The temperature in cooking chamber can rise up to around 250°c which is enough to cook any kind of food. Though the temperature varies from model to model.
Unlike the deep fryer, a thin layer of oil coating is given on the food and the fryer’s 200°c hot air starts the work of cooking and reaction on the food. Thus various foods like chicken, fish, steak, chips etc. are cooked with almost 80% less oil.
Pizza, cake, grill making equipmentare availablewith some models of air fryers. Alongside cooking and frying, roasting, drying foods, steaming etc. can also be done in air fryers.
Adjusting temperature and time of cooking is available for cooking different type of foods. As air fryer is small in size, electric energy waste is significantly less than other fryers.
How to cook or use an Air Fryer?
Using an air fryer is very easy, simple and hassle-free.
Firstly, you will have to put the food in the basket or rack of the fryer. The basket size will differ from model to model around 3 to 10 quart. You might need 1/2 spoon of oil to coat the food.
Secondly, you will just need to set the temperature and time of cooking. The cooking time can take up to 20-25 minute at most. The max temperature can rise up to around 250°c.
Thirdly, you just need to wait for the food to be ready. In some case you will need to flip the food to be cooked on both sides or stir the food time to time.
And after cooking you can just wash the basket or food tray with any dishwasher.
What can be cooked in an Air Fryer?
Air fryer is fast and handy equipment to use in everyday life. When we think about fryer, the only idea that comes to our mind is it’s only for cooking deep frying foods. But with an air fryer, you can roast, grill, bake or cook other foods too. So, let’s crack the list of what you can cook in an air fryer.
Frozen foods: Frozen foods can be easily cooked in a fryer. Chicken nuggets, frozen french-fries etc. frozen foods’ recipes are very famous.
Meat: You can try any kind of meat recipe like chicken, beef, pork, turkey in air fryer. Most kind of meat doesn’t need extra oil. But you can use some for lean meat.
Fish: Fish grills, fish chips, fish rolls. Who doesn’t like these? You can prepare your favorite fish dish in air fryer.
Roasted vegetables: As air fryer gives the feel of deep frying, roasting vegetables is one of the best option to cook. You should definitely try if you are aveggie tertian.
Baking food: If you thought you can’t bake in air fryers, then you are definitely wrong. With special equipment given with the fryer, you can bake pizza, doughnuts, cakes and other desserts too.
Is Air Fryer Healthy?
If you go to buy an air fryer, most of the salesman will give you a diplomatic answer and will make you confused. I’m going to give you an honest answer and crack the mystery about air fryer. Air fryer gives the taste of deep frying food with crispy layer on the top from a very little or no oil.
So, definitely air fried foods are much healthier than deep fried foods. Because you don’t need to consume those extra harmful oils. But we all know that fast foods aren’t totally healthy. So, you must maintain the limit of having fast foods. But if you are okay with fast foods, then my recommendation will obviously to buy an air fryer.
Types of Air Fryer
In term of working process, purpose and operating process air fryers can be of different types. But all the air fryers can be categorized in two basic categories: basket type and convection oven type air fryers. Basket fryer has a basket for cooking and convection oven air fryers are more like convection ovens which have racks for cooking food. But here we will discuss about the details categories of air fryers. So let’s dig it in.
Paddle Type Air Fryers
Paddle type air fryers are a bit expensive than others. But it provide an automatic service. If you look at any deep fried food, you will see all parts of the food is equally fried. But when frying in an air fryer, it is sometimes hard for hot air to reach the cracks or covered places. So, what we need to do is to stir the food. In normal air fryers you will have to pull out the basket and stir or flip the food manually to cook each and every sides equally.
If this stirring or shaking bothers you too much, paddle type air fryers can save you from this. In paddle type air fryers, a paddle machine moves through the chamber to provide heat all around the basket. The rotating blades do the work of stirring the food. You won’t need to pull out the basket or tray to flip or stir the food and your food will be cooked equally from all sides.
Another feature of paddle type air fryer is that you can remove the paddle while cooking as per as your need.
You can cook french-fries to roasted vegetables and all things in this type of fryers. So, it is a good idea to buy this if you want a trouble free air fryer.
Basket type Air Fryer
Basket type air fryer is comparatively less expensive than paddle type air fryers.
The name says it all for basket type fryers.You have to put your food in a basket to be cooked. When you put the basket in the cooking chamber, a fan circulate heat from the top. As the basket has so many holes, the hot air canreach all over the food through those holes.
But in every basket type air fryer you will need to shake or stir the food at least once. Depending on the food you are cooking, you might need to stir the food twice or thrice.
The demerit of basket type fryer is that you can’t cook so soupy items in the basket. Because the liquids will drop through the holes of the basket. Again you will need to clean up the chamber more often depending on the food you are cooking. Because the drops from the basket will stick to the bottom of the cooking chamber.
You will be able to cook comparatively dry items in this fryer easily like vegetables and meat. It might have the disadvantages like shaking and cleaning but it is a very budget friendly and affordable piece of item in the market.
Countertop convection oven type Fryer
This type of fryers are large in size and can do multiple tasks. If we talk about countertop convection ovens, they are not technically air fryer. But they act similarly to an air fryer. Somecountertop convection ovens have air fryer feature integrated in them. These ovens act like a fryer and an oven too when necessary.
Normal oven type or countertop type air fryers has multiple layers or rack to cook different items at the same time.
These fryers look like a regular oven and have work versatility than regular air fryers.
As the heat comes from the top, the upper rack gets more heat than lower rack. So, you might need to exchange the foods from upper rack to lower rack when cooking two things together. But you can’t shake the foods as there is no such feature. The only option is to pull out the racks and flip the food with your hand.
These air fryers are perfect for you if you need to do more than one items at a time. And you have the scope to try more recipes in countertop type ovens.
Halogen type Air Fryer
You have already understood by the name that this type of air fryer uses halogen light to cook food. Halogen air fryers are cheap in price. These fryer’s heating machine is on the top part of the fryer. Halogen light is used as the heating light. The heat produces from halogen light cook the food inside the cooking chamber. The rapid air technology helps to cook the food faster. These type of fryers don’t have shaking feature. So, you have to pull out the food and flip it with your hand. You can fry, roast, bake, defrost, steam, and grill etc. in this air fryer. Even a whole chicken or turkey can be roasted in this fryer. So, it’s a good choice in a cheap price.
Combo type Air Fryer
Air fryer’s combination with pressure cooker makes a great combo type air fryer. Combo type air fryers are large in size. And it’s capability to cook food in pressure cooker and then air frying makes it a unique product. Foods cooked with pressure cooker aren’t crispy, so if you want to cook in pressure cooker and also want to make them crispy, then you must have to buy this combo fryer. The pressure cooker locks the juiciness of the food and air fryer feature puts a crispy layer on that food. Thus the food become unbelievably tasty. This type of fryers are also very easy to use.
Oil less Fryer
Oil less fryers are basically used for cooking whole turkey or larger amount of meat without oil. These fryers are also known as oil less turkey fryers. These fryers are very large and looks like deep fryers. Like other air fryers, it doesn’t provide extra force of air into the cooking drums. It just circulates hot air throughout the cooking drum from up to down. Cooked foods are juicy inside and crispy outside. So, you will definitely get the best result out of it.
So, if you want to catch fish and don’t even want to touch the water, you might not be successful. But frying or cooking without oil is possible with all these air fryers. Then why are you risking your health by eating those oily foods when you can have the same without oil. So my friend, don’t be late to grab your preferred air fryer and start the journey towards a healthier life.