Air fryers have come to change the idea of cooking. They're fun, healthier (depending on what you cook, of course!) and not too expensive when compared to other large electric cooking devices. They also save significantly on oil use, which is good for both your arteries and your wallet. Here are six tips that will help you to master using an air fryer better.
Shake & Mix
When you are using lots of oil, the liquid helps your food to mix properly. That does not happen in air fryers as air is not strong enough to move the separate particles. Therefore, make sure that you are opening up the machine and mixing your food at least once when you are cooking. A standard process that people use is rotating and mixing the food at the midway point. So for example, if you set your timer at ten minutes then you can pause the fryer at the fifth minute and mix the stuff around before you restart it again.
Keep It Light
A common mistake that many people go for is overcrowding the air fryer. Deep frying helps you to understand how much food can actually be cooked at one go via full submersion in the oil. When there is no oil, you might not leave enough space for your ingredients to be cooked properly. Make sure that you do not fall for that mistake. Did you ever hear people complaining that their air fryers cannot provide crispy results? This is usually the reason. They don’t leave enough space for the air flow and thus, half of their bowls don’t get properly cooked. Refer to your model's instruction manual and ensure you aren't overloading the fryer.
Use Cooking Spray
They say you don’t need oil but that is not the actual case. This is basically just a marketing strategy used to promote air fryers. In reality, you need to use a small amount of oil or cooking spray to make sure you are not losing taste. Plus, cooking completely dry can cause some foods to get stuck to the fryer's surface — only a spray or a bit of oil can save you from that. So make sure you have cooking spray in your kitchen, especially for battered food that didn't come pre-oiled.
Stick To Natural Temperature
When working with fresh food, it's usually not a great idea to start cooking straight out of the fridge. Take your time and make sure the food you are putting into the dryer is at room temperature (but still fresh, of course.) This will cut down on cooking time and should lead to crisper results.
Try Stuff Other Than Frying
Though the name says 'air fryer', you should know that these gadgets can do a lot more than just frying food; you can cook everything from noodles to lasagna and even pizza. Indeed, the concept of the air fryer has more in common with a fan-forced oven than a deep fryer. Have a quick search on Google for air fryer recipes. You will find a ton of options that are not remotely related to frying. We've even seen people cook soups using an air fryer. In other words, you should be experimental with it — just be sure to consult the manual before doing anything too adventurous.
Take Proper Care
Ultimately, make sure that you are taking good care of your air fryer. Air fryers do not need much love and attention but like an electronic appliance you do need to take care of it. If you are cooking regularly with your air fryer, try to clean it at least once every fifteen days to make sure it stays odor and smell free. You can also use dishwasher if your fryer is dishwasher safe or has a removable basket.
Pulak Fahidhasan is an associate of the Air Fryer Reviewed website.