Air fryers are all the rage these days — and for a good reason; exactly why we are diving into air fryer benefits today.
After all, they’re the next best thing to people who love fried food’s taste, texture, and golden crunchy exterior without the fat and calories that come with deep frying in oil or other cooking methods.
Air fryers, in turn, produce healthier meals for those looking to eat healthy, and they make for easy cooking. Just plug it in, stash your food inside the slide-out drawer, turn the heat up, and leave it alone to fry!
How Do Air Fryers Work?
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Air fryers distribute warm air and heat around food to mimic the same crunchy texture found in deep fryers but cook foods with significantly less fat and oil.
They are usually about the size of a square-ish or egg-shaped coffee maker.
You put the food items inside a slide-out drawer at the bottom of the gadget, turn the knob to adjust the timer and heat (depending on the food you’re cooking), and leave it alone until it signals it’s done.
You can toss in a little bit of oil, but it’s unnecessary, and any grease that your food secretes will drip off the grates in the drawer and pool under a small container.
What Can I Cook in an Air Fryer?
Air fryers are a healthier cooking method and incredibly versatile kitchen appliances that can handle a wide variety of dishes.
From classic favorites to unique creations, the possibilities are endless. Here are some common and uncommon foods you can make in an air fryer:
Everyday foods you can cook in an air fryer:
- French Fries: French fries from air fryers have a crispy, golden-brown finish with a fraction of the oil.
- Chicken Wings: Get that irresistible fried chicken crispy skin while keeping the meat juicy inside.
- Fish Fillets: Enjoy perfectly cooked fish with a crispy coating.
- Chicken Tenders: Make tender, flavorful chicken strips with a delightful crunch.
- Whole Chicken: You can cook a whole chicken in an air fryer to save time and hassle than when oven roasting. Please check my recipe on Air Fryer Whole Chicken as a guide!
- Onion Rings: Create crispy, savory onion rings with less grease.
- Vegetables: Air fryers can roast vegetables like Brussels sprouts and carrots to perfection, bringing out their natural flavors and textures.
- Fried Potatoes: Get crispy and seasoned potato wedges without deep-frying. You can also try these delicious Sweet Potato Cubes!
Uncommon foods you can cook in an air fryer:
- Donuts: Yes, you can make homemade donuts in an air fryer! They come out light, fluffy, and perfectly glazed. Try this Air Fryer Homer Simpson Donut Recipe!
- Stuffed Peppers: Cook stuffed peppers for that melted and bubbly cheese.
- Egg Rolls: Achieve a crispy and delicious egg roll with minimal oil.
- Falafel: Make crispy, flavorful falafel with a soft interior.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: Get that perfect golden crust with melted cheese inside, like the ones you get when using a toaster oven.
- Cinnamon Rolls: Enjoy warm and gooey cinnamon rolls with a crispy outer layer.
The hot air circulating inside ensures even cooking and gives your dishes a satisfying crispness.
But don’t let this list be your limitation! There are hundreds of numerous recipes to suit the air fryer to help you expand your culinary repertoire.
5 Benefits of Buying an Air Fryer
Air fryers are fairly inexpensive, and if you’ve been contemplating whether or not air fryers are worth the expense, here are a few air fryer benefits that may just give you the push you need to proceed with that purchase.
1. Promote Weight Loss
One fact remains the same: eating too many fried foods leads to weight gain and obesity, making air fryers healthy for those who want to lose extra pounds.
By using significantly less oil compared to using a traditional deep fryer, which includes deep fat frying, air-fried food is a healthier alternative without compromising on taste or texture, and you still get the same health benefits.
The hot air used in an air fryer gives you a crispy exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender. This means you can enjoy your favorite air-fried foods with up to 80% less fat.
By reducing your overall calorie intake, air fryers can contribute to weight loss goals while still satisfying your cravings for fried indulgences.
2. Air Fryers are “Safer.”
While both conventional and air fryer methods use high temperatures, deep frying, and other traditional cooking methods can be risky due to the use of hot oil, which can lead to accidents such as burns or splatters.
Air fryers provide a safer alternative by eliminating the need for large quantities of cooking oil.
Instead, they use circulating heated air to cook the food. This significantly reduces the risk of burns and minimizes the potential hazards associated with handling hot oil.
There’s no need for that fretting and hassle when cooking with an air fryer. Plus, we think that air fryers are kid and pet friendly, as in you don’t have to worry about them being nearby when you’re cooking.
Of course, it’s still best to supervise when the air fryer’s plugged in as they’re still not exempt from electrical accidents. Also, have a look at can you put wax paper in an air fryer?.
3. Cut Back on Cooking Time
Air fryers excel by significantly reducing cooking time compared to conventional cooking methods.
The powerful hot air circulation allows for faster and more even cooking, cutting down on preparation and waiting time.
Whether you’re up for a quick snack or preparing a full meal, air fryers can have your food ready in a fraction of the time. No more waiting for oil to heat up or dealing with long preheating times.
With an air fryer, you can enjoy deliciously crispy results in minutes, helping you make the most of your busy schedule.
Here’s a quick comparison of the time it takes to cook air-fried foods vs. oil-fried foods:
- French Fries:
Air Fryer: 15-20 minutes
Conventional Oven: 30-40 minutes
- Chicken Wings:
Air Fryer: 20-25 minutes
Deep Frying: 30-35 minutes
- Fish Fillets:
Air Fryer: 10-15 minutes
Pan-Frying: 15-20 minutes
- Chicken Tenders and Chicken Nuggets:
Air Fryer: 12-15 minutes
Baking in the Oven: 18-20 minutes
- Onion Rings:
Air Fryer: 10-12 minutes
Deep Frying: 15-18 minutes
- Vegetables (e.g., Brussels sprouts, carrots):
Air Fryer: 12-15 minutes
Roasting in the Oven: 18-20 minutes
Here you can get some free Printables with the most useful Air Fryer Cooking Times Charts!
Cooking with air-fryers is hassle-free. You don’t have to bother yourself with cleaning up many kitchen tools and utensils, not to mention all those heavy pots and pans that you will need with traditional cooking.
Most air fryers, if not all, are designed for comfort and convenience. You can always purchase a large or smaller air fryer to fit your needs!
All you have to do is stash food inside the slide-out drawer and leave it alone and hear an alarm sound when the food cooks.
Once the timer signals that you’re done, you can already enjoy your meal! No more messy splatterings of oils and sauces that, quite frankly, all of us can do without.
Easy, breezy, and hassle-free! All you’ll have to clean, really, is the slide-out drawer, which is made from non-stick material.
So you don’t have to scribble the hardened food at the bottom of your pots and pans. Cleaning the drawer will take about five to ten minutes, tops, if you’re really thorough.
5. Don’t Heat Up Your Whole House
One of the drawbacks of traditional cooking methods, intense frying, is that they generate a significant amount of heat. This can make your kitchen and the rest of your home uncomfortably hot, especially during warm weather.
Air fryers offer a solution by producing minimal heat. Their compact size and efficient design ensure they don’t heat up your whole house. You can peacefully enjoy your favorite fried foods without sweating out so much!
This makes air fryers a perfect choice for the days when you want to indulge in crispy delights without turning your home into a sauna.
Best Tips for Using Air Fryers
To make the most of your time when you air fry foods, here are some useful tips:
- Preheat your air fryer before adding your food to ensure even cooking.
- Avoid overcrowding the basket to allow proper air circulation and achieve optimal results.
- Flip and mix the food halfway through the process to ensure uniform crispness.
- Experiment with different seasonings and marinades to enhance the flavors of your dishes.
- Set the right time and temperature. Follow the recipe instructions to avoid burning your food.
With these tips and the myriad benefits of air fryers, you can embark on a culinary adventure and enjoy delicious, healthier versions of your favorite fried foods.
Air fryers are all the rage and for a good reason. Although we agree that they are healthier than the traditional deep-fried foods which are cooked in oil, it’s still best for your health to limit eating fried food in general.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may need a little oil to achieve that crispy finish depending on what you wish to cook. You may use an oil spray containing avocado, olive, or other oils with health benefits.
The lack of space is the main disadvantage of an air fryer, which may be a bummer to those who have a lot of food to deep fry.