Air fryers are big news on the cooking scene right now. This is because they enable a healthier lifestyle whilst still allowing you to enjoy the delicious taste of fried food!
Fried food tastes great but it’s difficult not to have a pang of guilt when you eat it. Deep down you know that fried foods aren’t healthy and you should be eating something better for you.
An Air Fryer lets you enjoy that lovely crisp fried taste, happy in the knowledge that you’ve chosen a more healthy option! Unlike a traditional fryer which uses high amounts of far, air fryers cook food using hot air and a small amount of fat.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
An air fryer cooks good with hot air that is circulated at high speed by a fan. The small amount of fat that is used is 75% less than in a traditionally fried meal. All it needs is a couple of squirts from an oil spray. This small amount of oil produces the lovely crispy fried coating – without being unhealthy to eat.
Food cooks in less than half the time in an air fryer which is great news too as we all lead busy lives. The choice of food that you can cook in an air fryer is endless: beef, chicken fish, vegetables and frozen foods – amongst many others. One of the best tasting foods of all is a portion of frozen chips cooked in an air fryer – have the salt and vinegar at the ready!
What Can you Cook in An Air Fryer?
The range of food that you can cook in an air fryer is huge. It is best to preheat the fryer for 2-3 minutes before you start. The ‘rule of thumb’ is that you need to reduce suggested temperatures on packets by 25-50º F and to reduce the cooking time by 25% – 30%, although it is ‘trial and error to begin with! It is a good idea to turn the food half way through the cooking time to ensure it is evenly cooked.
Air Frying Vegetables
Amongst the vegetables that can be cooked in an air fryer are asparagus (5 minutes), Broccoli (6 minutes), cauliflower florets (12 minutes), sliced mushrooms (8 minutes) and chunks of parsnip (15 minutes).
Air Frying Meat
Dinner can definitely be speedy with beef burgers taking only 16 minutes, a fillet steaks 12 minutes and a pork chop also 12 minutes! If your children love chicken nuggets, they are ready to serve in 10 minutes. If you are a fish fan, a salmon fillet takes just 12 minutes, a fish fillet, 10 minutes and a tuna steak 7-10 minutes. To cook tasty breaded meat, the secret is to dust the meat all over with seasoned flour, then brush it with beaten egg on both sides, before dipping it into fresh breadcrumbs – the results are truly delicious!
Cooking Frozen Food in an Air Fryer
Frozen foods cook really well in the air fryer – and speedily too! Frozen onion rings are ready to eat in 8 minutes, thin French Fries in 14 minutes and chunky steak chips in just 18 minutes.
You can cook creatively and recipes include impressive looking Hasselback potatoes, pork satay and Tuscan fried bananas – amongst many others! There are various accessories you can buy to use with your air fryer including a pizza pan for cooking pizzas to perfection and a multi purpose rack with skewers if you enjoy kebabs! You can even make delicious cakes in your air fryer using a special ‘cake barrel’.
Advantages of Cooking With an Air Fryer
Cooking foods in a healthier way is the biggest bonus from using an air fryer, but there are many other really good advantages too….
- Food is cooked in less cooking time – 25% at least and sometimes even more!
- Cleaning the cooking pan afterwards couldn’t be easier.
- The air fryer is really quiet to use.
- The air fryer generates no heat in the kitchen like an oven does, so it can even be used on the hottest summer days!
There are a number of different air fryers on the market and they all work using the same principle and a fraction of the amount of cooking oil. Some models are available that can also bake and roast which makes them really versatile.