Is there anything that’s more “Spring” than grilled food and outdoor activities? The return of Spring also means the return of warmer weather and delicious, seasonal food to enjoy with good people. But why rely solely on a grill when you you can make crispy, fried food without all the guilt of deep-frying? An air fryer just may be the cooking tool you’ve been looking for to enjoy seemingly indulgent foods without the fat and calories of traditional fried food. At-home air fryers are becoming the go-to appliance for cooking connoisseurs and you just may be the next consumer doling out cash for the latest model.
Why Use An Air Fryer?
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to cooking with an air fryer are the health benefits. If you enjoy fried food, an air fryer is an easy way to cut back on the amount of fatty oils that get into your food. Because air fryers require very little, if any, oil to cook food, you can still enjoy your favorite crispy and crunchy foods without the guilt. Additionally, because there’s no need for oil, there’s no grease leftover to make a mess. An air fryer uses hot air to cook the ingredients inside of it, while still giving them the same great flavor of traditional fried food.
Other benefits to using an air fryer include its size and usability. Because a large amount of oil isn’t required for cooking, air fryers are conveniently-sized appliances with the ability to cook a large amount of food. If you’re looking for healthy and delicious food made in a convenient and quick way, an air fryer is the perfect appliance for you.
As for the cons to using an air fryer, you may be pleased to hear there aren’t many. An air fryer can tend to get very hot, but with proper safety precautions, its heat shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Similarly, the air fryer itself can be a bit heavy, but once it finds a place on your countertop, you shouldn’t need to move it much further than that.
Shopping for Air Fryers
When it comes time to shop for an air fryer, would you know what to look for? To be sure you find the best air fryer for you and your family, you’ll want to shop around and compare. models. One important feature to pay attention to is temperature ranges. Depending on what you’re wanting to cook in the fryer, you may be okay with one that can only reach up to 400 degrees. But there are some models capable of hitting a maximum temperature of 400 degrees which may be ideal for others.
Another feature that may be of great importance when shopping for air fryers is a timer. An adjustable timer and an automatic set-off may be important for some who like the ability to prepare and leave their food to cook while they prepare other ingredients. An additional appealing feature may be a food separator that allows you to make different kinds of food at the same time. It’s certainly not essential but a nice feature to have, especially when cooking for multiple people.
Cooking With An Air Fryer
What an unfortunate number of people don’t realize is that an air fryer can actually do a lot more than just fry. You can use an air fryer to grill, roast, and bake some of your favorite foods. Think about any food that may have a bread crumb or flour coating and they’re perfect for finishing in an air fryer! Most air fryers will also allow you to cook frozen food without having to thaw it first, which is great for busy families.
You’ll likely want to avoid trying to cook vegetables that are better when steamed. However, you can still enjoy everything from fish and chicken to muffins and potatoes. Whether you’re experienced in the kitchen or not, an air fryer is likely the perfect appliance for you. Make sure you get a good knife grinder to slice up your potatoes into fries and you're good to go.
Spring Meal Ideas Using An Air Fryer
So now that you know a little more about air fryers and why you’ll want to pick one up next time you’re out shopping, why not get some ideas about fun and tasty ways to use one? You’d be surprised all the unique ways you can put your new air fryer to good use and anyone lucky enough to enjoy your cooking will love the new appliance!
One great meal idea perfect for a get-together with friends and family is fish and chips. Believe it or not, you can cook both right in your air fryer. If you have an air fryer with a food separator, you can even cook them both at the same time. Now how’s that for an easy and tasty meal? One reviewer said she was able to cook both foods in less than 20 minutes!
Another fantastic meal idea is drumsticks, made two different ways. If you have a group of people who can’t seem to decide between grilled and fried, why not make both? That’s right, you can make both grilled and fried chicken in the same appliance! The only difference is the breading. You may have to cook them separately if you don’t have a food separator, but that’s still an absolute breeze compared to having to use two different appliances entirely. An air fryer can guarantee delicious chicken that is crunchy on the outside yet juicy on the inside. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Finally, something that you’ll certainly want to try in your air fryer is vegetable chips. Whether you’re using sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, Brussels sprouts, beets, or more, you can make the perfect homemade veggie chips in no time. If you’ve ever tried making them in the oven, there’s a good chance you didn’t get the results you were looking for. Fortunately, an air fryer can allow you to enjoy homemade chips that taste just as good, if not better, than store-bought ones!