First things first… What is an air fryer? And why are celebrities like Oprah recommending them to their millions of followers? Here’s why:
An air fryer, like the GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer is a programmable, very-easy-to-clean convection oven appliance that uses a fan to blow hot air around food evenly, which helps you quickly make food very crispy, without using tons of oil (hence the name air fryer).
In other words: An air fryer is an appliance the size of a rice cooker that lets you make perfect fries, tater tots, and hash browns faster than you can drive to Sonic or McDonalds.
What is an air fryer good for?
Besides fries and tater tots, any food want to make uniformly crispy on the outside is a perfect candidate for air frying. For example, I’ve air fried chicken, steaks, and lamb shanks and even kale chips with great success. Any foods you would normally bake such as fish, veggies, fish sticks, or even sausages are a good candidate for the air fryer as well.
How does an air fryer work?
The secret to air frying is in the design of the interior, which contains a heating element that looks a lot like an electric stove’s heating coil, and a powerful fan, like the ones you find in a ventilation hood.
When the air fryer is on, it blows hot air around the cooking chamber, which speeds up the cooking process compared to a standard oven. But wait, there’s more! The food you cook in an air fryer sits in a non-stick basket with holes in the bottom and the sides, which allows hot air pass through, resulting in more even browning on all sides when compared to cooking with a regular oven. And because of the basket has a non-stick surface, you don’t need to add as much oil (if any at all) like you would when baking the traditional way.
Underneath the basket is a non-stick pot that catches the grease that comes off of your food, which makes cleanup much easier than with a regular oven. Instead of having to scrub baking pans or worry about laying down aluminum foil, you just hose off the non-stick surfaces then wipe them down with a paper towel.
What’s the difference between air frying and deep frying?
Both an air fryer and a deep frier can help you cook crave-worthy foods, but the biggest difference is the fact that you don’t need a ton of oil with an air fryer.
That means that air fried foods are much healthier, but you might find that air fried chicken and deep fried chicken taste different because deep fried chicken is completely submerged in oil while it cooks, so it soaks in a lot of tasty but very unhealthy grease. Some air fryer enthusiasts like to spray their foods with a bit of olive oil before they cook so it more closely approximates the deep fried version.
Is an air fryer worth it?
I’m a big fan of cooking gadgets from sous vide machines to induction burners to Instant Pot pressure cookers. The biggest reason I think they’re great? They all save time and take a little bit of the hassle out of cooking, so you can get amazing results at home without spending too much time in the kitchen.
It’s awesome having an air fryer, a small oven that’s completely programmable and cooks crispy foods — and fast. No more wondering worrying about leaving something in the stove too long, no more waiting 10 minutes for the oven to warm up, and no big hassle when it comes to cleanup. With an air fryer, you simply pop your food in, program the machine, and let it do it’s thing.
Also, because an air fryer is very portable, it’s easy to cook anywhere, inside or out, even if you don’t even need a proper kitchen. And it’s cool being able to “fry” foods that would have previously required lots of oil, and you can achieve the crisp on the outside of your food without the mess, hassle, or danger of using a vat of oil.
For fries alone, and air fryer is worth it. And for fans of sausages, it’s very convenient too. no more worrying about undercooking sausage or about grease shooting up from a pan (I got nailed in the face by some flying hot grease before). With an air fryer, you get consistent results.
What is the best air fryer for the money?
While I haven’t used every single model out there, I really like the the GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer. For under $90, and it’s more than paid for itself in the amount of time it’s saved me. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve eaten more tater tots and hash browns in the last few months than I have in my whole life… but I’m not actually frying them, so hey! At least least I’ve been somewhat healthy.
What are things you can cook in the air fryer?
Below are sample timings for things you can cook in your air fryer:
Frozen tater tots, hash browns, or fries
400°F for 13 min – shake the basket once after 8 minutes.
Sweet potatoes (cubed)
400°F for 15 min – shake the basket once after 10 minutes.
Toss in olive oil, cook 360°F for 7 mins, flip and shake after 4 minutes
Steak (the thicker the better)
400°F for 10 min for medium rare, flip after 6 minutes
25 minutes in pressure cooker, 8 minutes at 400°F in air fryer
360°F for 8 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes
Thanks for reading! Happy air frying and tasting,