Air Fryer 101
Studies show that eating fried food increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease, which isn’t great news if you’re a fan of favorites like French fries and fried pickles.
What if there was a way to make those greasy treats a little healthier? The answer is air fryers.
Air fryers are a recent trend in the cooking world that circulate hot air to cook foods. This convection-type baking machine uses only small amounts of oil, making it a healthier alternative to deep frying food. Try using avocado or olive oil to cook a delicious, “fried” treat.
You are probably wondering what delicious things you can make in an air fryer. Here are some great ways to use your frying device:
- Heat up most frozen foods (Note: many processed frozen foods have been pre-cooked and may have been fried before, but there are healthier options available.)
- Make chicken or fish.
- Make French fries, sweet potato fries or fried pickles.
- Turn leftover pizza crispy and warm.
- Make homemade empanadas.
The options are endless when it comes to air fryers. Before you purchase one, here are some things you should consider:
- Many air fryers are quite large (bigger than a toaster), so make sure you have somewhere to store one before purchasing or find a smaller model.
- They come in a range of quality and prices – from around $40 to up to $400 – so do your research beforehand and read reviews online and buy one that suits your price range. More expensive does not always mean better.
- Some air fryers can cook more types of foods than others, such as poultry or fish, so make sure you are buying one that is right for your cooking needs.
- To use most air fryers, simply plug it in and set to a correct temperature and time.
- Some devices require preheating before use.
- Don’t overcrowd food in the air fryer.
- Shake whatever you are cooking halfway through cook time. Click here for a chart on air fryer cook times for different products.
- If you are frying something covered with a liquid batter, freeze the item before so it doesn’t make a mess in the air fryer and so that the batter stays on the food.
- Be careful when taking food out of an air fryer – it gets hot.
- Make sure you properly wash your machine after using – read the manual for information on your air fryer.
There are many ways to incorporate air-fried foods into your diet for a healthier version of your favorite fried foods. Avoid feeling sluggish after eating fast food French fries and try an air fryer instead.
For more healthy recipes, check out these posts:
Photo credit: Lauri Patterson