Thinking about purchasing an air fryer, or using the one that has been in the box in your pantry for a few months now? Check out these frequently asked questions about air fryers and all the beginner basics for using an air fryer.
In recent years, air fryers have taken the cooking world by storm, becoming one of the most popular kitchen appliances. If you are new to air frying, you may be wondering what it is, why it is popular, and what are the most popular things to air fry.
I was actually really late to the air fryer game, the first thing I made in the air fryer were these Sweetpotato Taquitos. Then I slowly started using it for veggies…I love roasted vegetables! Then my son started using it to warm up his lunch…and just like that it’s now a staple in our kitchen. So, if you are kinda new to the world of air fryers too, I thought I would share some basics and more about this amazing and versatile small kitchen appliance.
What Is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks food by using hot air instead of lots of oil. It is considered a healthier alternative to deep-frying. IT also acts as a small and more time-effective oven for baking.
Instead of submerging food in oil, an air fryer uses a fan to circulate hot air around the food, creating that familiar crispy, golden-brown exterior. Air fryers come in various sizes and shapes, from small countertop models to larger ones that can cook a whole chicken.
Why Use an Air Fryer?
- Healthier cooking: As mentioned earlier, air frying uses little to no oil, making it a healthier alternative to deep-frying. It is a great way to enjoy your favorite fried foods without the guilt. Like our favorite air fryer french fries!
- Time-saving: Air fryers cook food faster than traditional methods, such as baking or frying. They also require less cleanup.
- Versatile: Air fryers can cook a wide variety of foods, from vegetables to meats to desserts. They are also great for reheating leftovers, as they can revive the crispiness of fried foods.
Why an Air Fryer So Popular?
The popularity of air fryers can be attributed to several factors:
- Health consciousness: As more people become health-conscious, air fryers provide a way to enjoy fried foods without the added calories and fat.
- Convenience: Air fryers are easy to use, cook fast and require minimal cleanup.
- Social media influence: The rise of social media influencers and their endorsement of air fryers has contributed to its popularity. Many influencers share recipes and cooking tips, showcasing the versatility of air fryers.
Most Popular Things to Air Fry
Everything! Ok, maybe that’s a bit too generic 😉 Here are some of the most popular things we cook in the air fryer:
- French fries: Crispy, golden-brown fries are a classic air fryer recipe. Try these butternut squash fries too.
- Chicken wings: Air fryer chicken wings are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Coat the wings with your favorite sauce, and air fry until crispy. Kiddos also love chicken nuggets.
- Vegetables: Air fryers are great for roasting vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, sweetpotatoes and cauliflower. Simply spray with a little olive oil and seasoning, and air fry until tender.
- Fish: Air fryers can cook fish filets, such as salmon or tilapia, to perfection. Coat the fish with breadcrumbs or a seasoning blend, and air fry until crispy.
- Desserts: Air fryers can even be used to make desserts, such as churros, doughnuts, maple cinnamon apples and more!
FAQs about Air Fryers
Is air frying healthier than deep frying?
Yes, air frying is generally considered healthier than deep frying, as it uses little to no oil.
Do I need to preheat the air fryer?
Yes, it is recommended to preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before cooking. This ensures that the air fryer is at the optimal temperature for cooking and helps to prevent uneven cooking. My air fryer has a preheat button right on it!
How much can an air fryer hold?
The answer to this really depends on the model you purchase. Some smaller air fryers can hold up to 2 quarts, while larger ones can hold up to 8 quarts. It is important to check the capacity of your air fryer before cooking to ensure that you do not overcrowd the basket. For your air fryer to cook properly, you will want a single layer of food.
Do I need to purchase extras and attachments for my air fryer?
It is not necessary to purchase extras or attachments for your air fryer, but they can be useful. Some popular accessories include baking pans, grilling racks, and skewers.
How do I prevent food from sticking to my air fryer?
To prevent food from sticking to your air fryer, lightly coat it with cooking spray or oil before cooking. You can also coat the food with a thin layer of oil or use a non-stick cooking spray.
How do I clean my air fryer?
To clean your air fryer, follow these steps:
- Unplug it and let it cool completely.
- Remove the basket and any of the other removable parts.
- Wash the removable parts in warm soapy water.
Pro Tip: Be sure you’re using a sponge that is not abrasive. Otherwise you could scratch the non-stick coating.
- Finally, wipe the inside of your appliance with a damp cloth or sponge. Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your air fryer.
- Let it dry completely before using it again.