Honestly, I love most fried foods, but can’t I bring myself to make something at home that is fried. There’s just something about using a lot of oil that makes me feel guilty about eating it. Well, that’s where an air fryer can come in handy.
Air fryers aren’t new to the market, but they are suddenly in the spotlight. One of my best friends bought one a few months ago, and I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from her trying new recipes. For this edition of TRIO, I talked with her about what she loves about cooking with air.
Imagine eating your favorite fried foods without heating your entire kitchen! For my friend, this is the beauty of using an air fryer. Air fryers are essentially self-contained, countertop versions of a convection oven. Unlike traditional ovens that use a heating element in the bottom of the oven to provide heat, a convection oven uses a fan to circulate the heat. Why does this matter? Rotating hot air helps food cook more evenly and even quicker since the oven’s temperature stays more consistent. You get the benefits of a convection oven on a smaller, more compact scale. The one downside my friend has found is that since air fryers are small appliances, they don’t hold a lot of food. For her, it’s not an issue, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Air fryers can help you make healthier versions of some of your favorite fried foods. That’s what piqued my friend’s interest. She did make sure to stress that when you’re using an air fryer, you really aren’t frying – you’re baking. Frying requires a lot of oil. Air frying doesn’t.
As mentioned, air fryers use high levels of heat to cook food rather than using a lot of oil or fat. The high temperature is what allows an air fryer to emulate crispiness that is associated with traditional frying. This translates to French fries and chicken wings still having the same crunch that you’ve grown to love from conventional frying. Some recipes may call for oil, but you might find that foods taste great without adding any. Some oils work better with high-temperature settings, so be sure to keep that in mind. It might take a little bit of trial and error to find a balance that works for your taste buds, but even your mistakes will be full of flavor!
There’s more to an air fryer than creating healthier versions of fried foods. My friend uses her air fryer to roast Brussels sprouts and root vegetables. Another friend’s favorite find is using store-bought ravioli to create a homemade toasted version of the classic Italian appetizer. You might even try using it to reheat pizza or bake a potato. The instructor in Meridian’s Homemade Pies short course even included fruit turnovers in her most recent class!
This the beginning of what you can do in an air fryer. If you’d like to know more, sign up for our upcoming Air Fryer 101 short course. This class will help you unlock the full potential of your air fryer. Click here to register or call 405.377.3333. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.
Cara Adney is the Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator at Meridian Technology Center.