What Is An Air Fryer?
May 20, 2023
Air frying certainly sounds like a miracle. The name itself implies that you get to fry foods without using fat. It is normal to feel skeptical since this seems impossible but the truth is there is a very simple explanation: air frying is not actually frying. It is just promoted under this name.
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that utilizes hot air to “fry” foods. The smaller design of an air fryer compared to an oven allows better circulation of hot air around the foods. This allows you to get crispy, delicious foods without all the oil you would use if you were deep frying.
In order to fry something, you have to submerge it in oil. There is no way to move around it.
Even so, air fryers offer you the crunch and crisp fried foods that people love.
How is that possible?
This is exactly what we will cover in the following paragraphs.
What Does An Air Fryer Do?
The air fryer is similar to a best countertop convection oven but it is much more compact and you can use it on your kitchen countertop. This is an electric appliance that includes a heating element. Through the use of a fan, super-heated air is blown around the cooking chamber.
This system is similar to the convection oven but the big difference is that air is moved around quickly and in a circular pattern. Due to this, it reaches all food surfaces and manages to create the crisp crust.
Simply put, air fryers circulate very hot air around the foods that are covered with only a little bit of oil. In fact, some recipes require zero use of oil.
Essentially, you only need to use around 20% of the fat you use with regular deep frying.
The basket inside the air fryer helps cook food faster.
There is not much space between the fryer’s chamber wall and the basket. This makes air move faster and the basket helps intensify the temperature of the heated air.
Using an air fryer is convenient and much safer than dealing with a lot of hot oil that can easily burn you or that can catch fire.
You also do not have to remove a lot of used cooking grease after you cook.
Can I Buy Any Air Fryer?
No. There are many differences between air fryers and you need to look for a really good one.
This is why reading air fryer reviews and top 10 air fryer lists is important.
Some of the appliances are simply a lot better than others when it comes to cooking evenly. All will crisp and brown food at the bottom and the top. However, not all of them do it evenly.
The best air fryers work better and guarantee that food placed in the middle of the basket is also fried.
Usually, the big difference is the design but many other things can influence how well the appliance cooks.
Like with many other kitchen appliances, the best air fryers tend to be more expensive.
What Is Inside An Air Fryer?
The air fryer has a very simple layout that is very easy to understand. Inside any appliance you will find the following:
- A cooking chamber
- The heating element
- A fan – responsible for blowing air inside the cooking chamber
- A basket – to hold the food
- The heating element inside of an air fryer
Most air fryers include timer and temperature adjustments. This is helpful because it allows for a more precise cooking experience.
In order to achieve even cooking, the content of the basket has to be shaken.
In the high-end models, there is an extra food agitator that keeps shaking food as cooking happens.
Even so, for the best foods, you need to manually perform this task at specific intervals.
As we already mentioned, air fryers work similarly to convection ovens.
While convection ovens have a heating element that blows hot air inside the cooking chamber, air fryers swirl air in a circular motion. By doing so, they reach all the surfaces of the food, allowing for even cooking.
The way the air moves also enables you to cook crispier foods than with convection ovens.
Air Frying Benefits
There are many benefits that are offered by air fryers such as air fryers being healthy compared to deep fryers. Some other benefits include:
- Very low-fat meals
- Cooking uses hot-air circulation so oil use is highly limited
- Very easy to clean
- Healthier foods
- Cooking multiple dishes at the same time if you have a food separator
- Convenient to use
- Fast cooking performance
- No greasy stains
- Delicious, crispy foods that taste just like oiled fried foods
- Cost effective because they are versatile and you can use them for many types of food
- Keep in mind that many of the top-of-the-line air fryers include a recipe book.
This includes numerous recipes you can try. It is a certainty that many will surprise you as they are tasty and healthy at the same time.
You can make anything you want with an air fryer including French fries, chicken tenders, and even muffins.
How To Cook With An Air Fryer
Air fryers allow you to cook much healthier versions of very popular foods, ranging from egg rolls and chicken nuggets to French fries and potato chips.
The ingredients can be fresh but you can also cook from frozen.
Air fryers utilize hot air to cook your food so there is no need for oil submersion.
Cooking is really simple because you put the food in and you hit some buttons to start.
Alternatively, you also choose some extra features that the machine has.
However, there are some things that you can do in order to make the most of the appliance.