What is the Air Fryer? How Does an Air Fryer Work?
Nowadays, air fryers have become the most popular appliances, you can enjoy a healthier breakfast at the beginning of the day. But have you ever wondered what is an air fryer and how it works? Now we will end the confusion immediately.
An air fryer is a kitchen countertop appliance that allows you to cook food to crispy. The appliance is like the convection oven but has a heating element at the top with a powerful fan.
The amazing thing is the appliance uses no oil but takes less time to cook, making it a healthy option. This article will take you through the types of air fryers, their benefits, and how it works.
Also, we will show you an ultimate guide about what to cook, how to use it, and how to clean the air fryer. Toward the end, you can use an air fryer easily and no need to google anything!
Types of Air Fryer
Dual basket air fryers are worth investing in if you want to add one to your countertop kitchen. It features two independent baskets allowing you to cook two foods two ways.
Unlike traditional one-basket air fryers, dual-basket fryers do not allow back-to-back cooking. And the good thing is that the two foods will end at the same time since they feature a smart finish technology.
A dual-basket air fryer is ideal for a person who cooks two meals for dinner. It will save time and energy to cook one meal.
Ceramics is environment-friendly and free from PTFE and PFOA. In other words, ceramic air fryers are the best options to have.
The ceramic-coated air fryers are usually designed with aluminum in the interior. Even if the aluminum isn’t encoded with strong polymer, the coating creates a good nonstick lair.
The ceramic coating raises resistance to scratches and shocks. Also, ceramic has no harmful effects that may reach your food as it is chemical resistant. And ceramic air fryers are durable and solid; you only need to give them extra care to add to their lifespan.
Due to advanced technology, you can find smart air fryers on the market. These air fryer models allow you to connect them to your wifi to sync with smart systems. You can control the appliances from your comfort zone using a remote.
These smart appliances have more advanced temperature and time control with customizable presets. So, nothing should stop you from preparing your favorite meals anytime you want to.
Most glass air fryers feature a cylindrical shape with a powerful fan to heat your food. Unlike standard air fryers, they use a halogen-quartz invisible heating mechanism for cooking.
The thing about cooking in glass air fryers is that you can watch your food cook. The process helps in cooking foods in less time than other traditional air fryer models. Also, it ensures that heat circulates evenly and complements your kitchen design well.
Cleaning the glass air fryer is also easy since it does not have a complex setting. And it is more affordable than other traditional appliances.
Microwave Air Fryer Combo
A microwave air fryer combo is a machine that combines the great features of an air fryer with that of a microwave. A microwave uses electromagnetic waves to cook, while air uses heated air. So think of combining the two; you will receive your food cooked thoroughly and evenly.
Owning a microwave combo reduces the cost of having a separate microwave and fryer. Also, it saves on space and is a good appliance for a large and busy family. So if you are looking for the most convenient and versatile appliance, it is all you need to invest in.
Pressure Cooker Air Fryer Combo
The pressure cooker air fryer has the best features of an air fryer and pressure cooker. The appliance has multipurpose abilities apart from pressure cooking and air frying.
This multifunctional pressure cooker air fryer saves energy and space. Also, the appliance retains most of your food’s nutrients and tastes.
How Does an Air Fryer Work
You have your favorite air fryer model on your countertop and want to know how it works. According to research by okitchendaily.com, an air fryer has powerful fans that circulate hot air around the food giving it a crispy outside. The air force gives a convection effect which cooks your meal without oil or with a sprinkle of oil.
Also, when using an air fryer, you make fewer messes and take less time than a convection oven to prepare meals. And you are sure of a tender and moist inside that you will love.
An air fryer has a perforated basket that allows above air to maneuver well around the food. And the process happens at temperatures of about 400 degrees.
Also, most air fryers feature preset programs for extra convenience when cooking. Please remember that for proper air circulation, ensure enough space between your meals.
8 Benefits of the Air Fryer
Here are 8 benefits of an air fryer you should know:
1. Healthier Option
Health is the main benefit of an air fryer. When using the air fryer, you need little to no oil to prepare your food. Most air fryer models promise to lower fat by 75%, hence fewer calories.
Unlike deep fryers that need you to submerge your foods into much oil, air fryers use a convection effect. The hot air circulates the food, taking less time to cook, and the food comes out dry without oil.
2. Takes Less Time to Cook
Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food. Due to the generation of the intense heat, your foods will take less time to cook.
Most models do not need the preheating process, and some have less preheating time. Unlike the standard oven, the air fryer cooks 50% faster and gives the best delicious result.
So whether you are home late and want a snack to keep you busy, you are sorted in less time.
3. Easy to Clean with Less Mess
Cleaning can be hectic sometimes, so getting a messy-free appliance is all we need. Unlike deep fryers, where you need to replace oil occasionally, air fryers do not need that. Also, air fryers do not reuse oil which causes unpleasant smells when cooking.
Air fryers have removable parts that are easy to clean by wiping or using clean and warm soapy water. And most of them are dishwasher safe, plus you can use your hand to increase their lifespan. In other words, cleaning an air fryer is a walkover.
4. It’s More Versatile
An air fryer allows you to cook anything, from desserts to fried chicken to curies. And it is also a perfect option for preparing frozen meals such as pizza and French fries.
Whether you want to bake, dehydrate, roast, reheat or broil, you always get all you want in less time. So you can upgrade your cooking skills and try all your favorite recipes.
5. It is Easy to Use
Cooking in your home is more tempting with an air fryer on your countertop. The appliance comes with custom presets, making it easy to maneuver around the LED panel. With just a single button press, you are good to go.
And you can adjust the temperature and time setting to match your food without struggles. It means even children can prepare dinner for you since everything is straightforward.
6. It is Safer
Air fryers are the safest kitchen appliances to have. The machines have an automatic shut-off timer to prevent food from overcooking.
Also, you will be less worried about the splashes that may burn you. With a single-touch set, you can continue with other chores without worrying about your food burning.
7. It is Readily Affordable
The good news is that air fryers are more multifunctional and affordable. You can find an air fryer at a lower price of about 50 dollars.
So whether you need an air fryer for a large or small family, you will get it at a friendly price. In all, even if it is of a high cost of 200 dollars or more, it’s worth the price compared to having many appliances.
8. Extra Crispier Foods
Air fryers use hot air instead of oil to give extra crispier foods. The convection-style heating mechanism enables them to make crispier foods.
Unlike a regular oven, the air fryer surrounds your meals, making them tender on the inside and crispier outside. And the perforated air fryer basket allows extra fat to drip for crispier and drier results.
How to Use the Air Fryer
Using an air fryer for the first time can be tricky, so we will make it easy. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use an air fryer and other pro tips.
Step One: Preheat it to temperature for about three to five minutes. Preheating an air fryer helps cook your food at high temperatures for a crisp outside.
Step Two: Take your air fryer basket and put your food into it. And please ensure that you leave room for air to circulate by keeping it manageable.
Step Three: Insert your air fryer basket back into the air fryer. And adjust temperature and time settings to match your food.
Step Four: Start the air frying process with a single touch button. Please keep an eye on your food to avoid overcooking or burning it.
Step Five: Your food is ready, and it’s time to take it out. And be careful to avoid causing accidents due to hot steam.
Step Six: Allow your air fryer to cool down for cleaning. After cleaning, allow it to dry out completely before storing.
Always read your air fryer manual before using an air fryer to beware of the precautions. And you can flip your meal halfway to ensure that it cooks evenly. Also, you can change the time and temperature while cooking.
What Can You Cook in the Air Fryer
Knowing what you should cook in the air fryer is always important. Check out some recipes below:
1. Chicken Breasts
Coat your chicken with oil, and put it in the bowl to mix with your ingredients like salt. And then, put the chicken on the plate.
Take your oiled chicken and roll each piece in the seasoning as you place them in the air fryer basket. And please ensure that the air fryer basket is clean and dry.
Set your temperature to 180C and 18 to 20 minutes to start cooking. After ten minutes of cooking, turn the chicken breasts to cook on both sides. And you can insert the thermometer to check if it reads 70C, then it’s ready.
Wash your zucchini and throw the ends. After that, slice your zucchini lengthwise and chop them into half. But always preheat your air fryer model to temperature for the best outcome.
Take an egg, coat the zucchini strips or slices, and roll them in bread crumbs. Put them into your air fryer basket to bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Your zucchini is ready to serve as a side dish or appetizer.
3. French Fries
Clean your potatoes and use cold water to soak them for 30 minutes. After that, drain them and chop them into fine pieces. Sprinkle some oil on it to avoid sticking to the air fryer basket.
Preheat your air fryer model for about three to five minutes if the brand says so. Put the sliced potatoes into the air fryer basket and push them into the air fryer.
Set temperature and time as 390 degrees and 25 minutes, respectively. And remember to flip the French fries in the hallway for even cooking. Check whether the French fries have acquired the crispiness you want to serve.
Take a big bowl and add your broccoli florets to season and coat it with oil. Put your broccoli florets into the fryer basket and place them in a single layer.
Switch your air fryer and preheat it for about three to five minutes. Adjust your temperature and time to 370 degrees and 8 to 10 minutes. Please flip the broccoli halfway to ensure it cooks properly. Serve it fresh to enjoy crispiness.
Have your steaks ready; start by preheating your air fryer model for three minutes. Take your air fryer basket and put your finely chopped medium steaks into it.
After that, insert the air fryer basket back into the air fryer to start air frying. Adjust your temperature and time to 400 degrees and 15 to 20 minutes. The time you set will depend on the crispiness you want to achieve.
How to Clean the Air Fryer
Cleaning an air fryer is a walk in the park since many have the basic cleaning manual and instructions. Also, these appliances feature removable and dishwasher-safe parts. And before cleaning, allow your air fryer to cool down to avoid burning yourself.
Here is a way of cleaning an air fryer to keep it in tip-top condition:
- Take out the removable parts of your air fryer.
- Use warm and clean soapy water to clean the parts.
- Soak the parts that are hard to clean for some time to soften the grease.
- Take a damp cloth and wipe the inside and outside of the air fryer, including the heating element.
- Allow the parts to dry completely before storing them for the next use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need to Preheat the Air Fryer?
For the longest time, people have debated whether to preheat the air fryer. The answer is yes; you need to preheat an air fryer. Preheating the air fryer aids your foods in acquiring a crispy signature you will love.
But in many situations, you only need to preheat it depending on the meal type you are cooking. So it’s good to read and understand what your recipe wants to avoid messing up.
Some brands do not need preheating because their heating elements are close to the food. So if you preheat the appliance, there are high chances of overheating as it cooks faster.
Can You Put Foil in the Air Fryer?
You may be wondering whether it is safe to use it. Yes, you can put foil in the air fryer; the foil minimizes the air frying messes and cleaning time. Unlike ovens that use electromagnetic radiation, they use hot air; hence safe to use foil.
All you need to do is to ensure that the foil goes into the air fryer basket. Also, ensure that it does not touch the heating element to avoid fire hazards.
Before using the foil, read your model’s manual booklet for more tips. Doing so will help you know what you should avoid.
Can You Put Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer?
You can use parchment paper in the air fryer, especially when preparing greasy items. The parchment paper helps in holding up the mess, making cleaning hassle-free. Just line it up on the air fryer basket, and you are good to go.
But as much as the answer is yes, you should remember that it can catch fire since it is lighter and may float.
Also, remember that air fryers were designed with a non-stick surface to hold up the drippings. And the thought of parchment is just to make work easier. So when using the parchment paper in the air fryer, ensure that you leave room for air to circulate freely.
Everywhere you walk, people are talking about an air fryer. Now that you know what an air fryer is and how it works, you are on your way to getting one.
Following the tips shared above, you will always go right, from types of air fryers to how to use and clean them.
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All the best!
About the Author
I have used air fryers for five years, and after enjoying thousands of recipes, I think each food lover should get this one!