The air fryer certainly had a dramatic, messy year, but it’s not her fault. All she wanted to do was serve up hot and crispy food in record time, but all the pedants of the world wanted to talk about was how she was “just a small convection oven” that “didn’t really fry anything.”
That may be true, but a small convection oven that heats super quickly and turbo-crisps your food is very valuable, especially if your oven doesn’t have a dang convection setting. (Also, my oven does have a convection setting, and it takes twice as long to get those same, gloriously crispy results). If you end up being the proud owner of a new air fryer this holiday season, you should christen it with one of the following.
Whether you are roasting wedges or fingerlings, heating up frozen tots, or making potato pancakes (with far less oil), the air fryer cuts down spud cooking time to a remarkable degree. (Read our full air fried potato guide here.) Just last night, I used mine to make two small baked potatoes in about 15 minutes, and it made me glad. (To cut down the time even further, do five minutes in the microwave, then brush on some sort of grease and air fry it for 10-15 minutes at 380℉ (193C)).
Gnocchi (and maybe some meatballs)
Air fried gnocchi was, quite honestly, a game changer for me this year. It’s a great base for a meal of gnocchi and meatballs, but it’s a terrific snack. Just toss some shelf-stable gnocchi in a little oil, sprinkle on your favourite seasonings, then cook in your air fryer at 385℉ (196C) or 8-11 minutes, until the gnocchi is crispy on the outside. Serve with sour cream for dipping.
The pedantic criticism of appliances with devoted followings is not something I consider worthwhile. While I understand that it is human nature to want to push back against anything that achieves sudden and ubiquitous popularity, it’s helpful to stop and consider why things become popular, generally. Whether a collection of...Read more
Air fried toast is good (and very fast), but fried bread is even better. To make air fried bread, just smear some fat on there (I like bacon fat), and pop it in a 400℉ (204C) air fryer for a few minutes. Your bread will come out uniformly golden and crispy (and infused with fatty flavour).
Most bread is good, but not all bread is good breakfast bread. Though toast is the standard — and biscuits and English muffins are both exemplary — fried bread might be the best bread for breakfasting, particularly hungover breakfasting, both in terms of taste and ease.Read more
Having to stay inside means that almost every french fry I’ve eaten this year has been delivered to my home, which means they have not been as hot and fresh as they would be if I had ordered them at the restaurant. Luckily, just a minute or so in 400-degree air fryer is all it takes to perk up slightly cold fries. Even completely cold fries are restored to their former glory. The hot, circulating air drives off moisture and gets any dormant fry grease movin’ and groovin’, re-crisping the potato’s crust. And while the insides aren’t quite as tender and fluffy as they are when you first take them out of a deep fryer, they are pretty damn close.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that I bought an air fryer simply to reheat chips, but it would be disingenuous to claim that my desire to reheat chips had nothing to do with the purchase. Back at the beginning of this year — when we were young and the...Read more
Any leftover fried thing
In addition to french fried potatoes, pretty much any fried takeout thing can be re-heated and re-crisped in a matter of minutes in the air fryer. Crab rangoon, egg rolls, and chicken wings are just a few of the leftover take-out morsels I’ve revived with mine. I just set it at 400℉ (204C), plop my leftovers in the basket, and cook until everything is hot and crisp (start checking two or three minutes in — it can go very quickly).
There is no better appliance for roasting a single pepper or two. Just lightly coat ‘em in some oil, set your air fryer to 380℉ (193C) or so, and let ‘em go until they are charred to your liking.
Air fryer hot dogs are the platonic ideal of a gas station hot dog. You get the blistered, snappy casing, all taut and shiny from cooking in its own grease. It also toasts the bun to perfection, especially if you brush a little mayo on there first.
When I first heard someone rave about their “air fryer” and touting its calorie-cutting abilities, I lost interest almost immediately. I simply do not care about things like that. The second time I heard someone discussing an air fryer, they explained that it is merely a small, powerful convection oven,...Read more
Despite what the marketers and advertisers will tell you, the air fryer was not made for people who are trying to “cut their calories” or “use less oil.” It was made for stoners, dirt bags, and people who enjoy an even lower-effort pizza roll in the wee hours of the morning. Every single frozen snack I’ve put into this thing comes out crispier faster, all without turning the oven on. (Just set your air fryer to the temperature recommended by the packaging instructions, but start checking for doneness way sooner than you normally would. I’ve found it cuts the cook time down by at least 25%.)