Air fryers have become increasingly popular, offering a healthier alternative to traditional deep frying. However, since air fryers are still relatively new in some households, many still question these nifty devices. And as is with all technology, new updates are always available.
The most recent updates to these devices are connected air fryers, meaning they are wifi enabled and can be controlled via phone or tablet!
Already sold on an air fryer? Check out this post on choosing the best air fryer for your lifestyle.
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7 Common Air Fryer Questions - Answered!
1. Is an Air Fryer Worth Buying?
Can I get a "hell yeah!"
An air fryer uses hot air to cook food instead of oil. It works by circulating hot air around the food, creating a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside moist and tender.
Air fryers are an excellent option for those looking to reduce their oil intake and create healthier versions of their favorite fried foods.
You need an air fryer if you:
Are a single-person or small household
Don't cook big meals or often
Enjoy frozen or pre-cooked foods
Live in a caravan, campervan, or a home with no oven
Enjoy crispy foods
Try to use less oil while cooking
Want a faster cooking time
2. Do Air Fryers Use a Lot of Electricity?
Nah. It's small, and its cooking time is quicker than an oven; therefore, it's more energy efficient.
If you think about it, an air fryer isn't even half the size of an oven; it has a much smaller space to heat up and keep warm.
(Most) air fryers also don't need to preheat, saving you energy.
3. Air Fryer vs. Oven?
This depends on your lifestyle and the size of your household.
If you cook big meals most of the time - an oven will still be your best bet...with an air fryer on the side for added efficiency.
Also, if you love baking, you'll still need your oven. Sure, you can bake some things in an air fryer, but it definitely has its limitations.
But for those that mostly only cook for themselves - air fry all the way!
Quicker cooking times, less oil, less space, less electricity - what's not to love?
4. Air Fryer vs. Microwave?
Choosing between an air fryer and a microwave depends on your needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:
Air fryers are great for achieving crispy and evenly cooked results, particularly for foods like french fries, chicken wings, and breaded items.
Microwaves, on the other hand, are more suitable for reheating leftovers, defrosting food, and quickly cooking or heating simple dishes.
Texture and taste
If you prefer crispiness and a more "fried" texture, an air fryer is a better choice.
Air fryers offer a wider range of cooking options compared to microwaves. In addition to frying, they can also grill, roast, bake, and even dehydrate food.
Microwaves are primarily designed for reheating and simple cooking tasks.
Air fryers typically cook food faster than microwaves. This is because the hot circulating air in an air fryer helps to cook food more quickly.
While microwaves can heat food rapidly, they may not provide the same level of browning or crisping.
Space and capacity
Air fryers require more counter space due to their size and the need for proper air circulation.
Microwaves, especially countertop models, are generally more compact and can fit into smaller spaces.
My honest opinion? Have both.
5. Air Fryer vs. Frozen Food?
Yah. Air fryers are known for their ability to cook frozen foods quickly and with crispy results.
Place the frozen food in a single layer in the air fryer basket or tray.
Avoid overcrowding the basket, as it can hinder proper air circulation and result in uneven cooking.
Consult the packaging or recipe guidelines for the recommended cooking time and temperature for the frozen food you're preparing.
Cook in batches if necessary.
If you have a large quantity of frozen food, it may be necessary to cook it in batches to ensure even cooking and optimal results.
Shake or flip halfway through.
Depending on the type of frozen food, it's often recommended to shake the basket or flip the food halfway through the cooking time. This helps to ensure even browning and crispiness.
It's worth noting that cooking times can vary depending on the specific air fryer model and the thickness of the frozen food. Therefore, monitoring the food closely is always a good idea, especially when cooking it for the first time in your specific air fryer.
6. What Can I NOT Cook in an Air Fryer?
Yo mama...just kidding! These days you get such practical air fryer accessories that there's not much you can't cook.
Obviously, if something is too big and doesn't fit - don't force it.
If something is very thick, you'll have some trouble cooking it evenly, like thick cuts of meat.
Very delicate foods like flaky fish or thin slices of vegetables may not be ideal for air frying. This is because the strong air circulation can potentially blow them around or break them apart.
Foods that release a lot of liquid during cooking, such as soups, stews, or dishes with high liquid content, should not be cooked in an air fryer. The limited space and the air circulation can lead to messy spills or uneven cooking.
Air fryers work best when the food is arranged in a single layer, which means foods that require constant stirring or tossing, like risotto or stir-fry dishes, may not cook well in an air fryer. Using a stovetop or skillet for these types of recipes is more convenient.
7. Is an Air Fryer Easy to Clean?
Can I get a..." hell yeah!"
Empty the air fryer in the bin (for any crumbs or oil left after cooking).
Add detergent and warm water to the air fryer.
Use a sponge or brush with soft-ish bristles to scrub all the removable parts of the air fryer.
Rinse and dry with a cloth.
Tip: For very stubborn stains, add warm water, lemon juice, and detergent to the basket and switch it on for a few minutes. The added heat and lemon juice will soften any stuck food, so you can swoop in and wipe all the gunk away. Easy peasy.
Or, put it in the dishwasher (it should be safe but check the manual to be sure).
It's essential to clean the air fryer after each use to prevent the buildup of grease and food particles.
Additionally, it's recommended to regularly check the air fryer's heating element and fan for any debris or damage and to replace any worn-out parts as needed.
The Bottom Line
An air fryer cooks food quickly and deliciously, takes up little space on your counter, is electricity efficient, and is easy to clean. Even though I use mine only a few times per week, I can't imagine my life without it. For someone who doesn't love cooking, it's truly made my life easier.