If you have just purchased an air fryer or if you are still considering it, here are the most frequently asked questions about this fascinating kitchen equipment:
Which types of food can be cooked using an air fryer?
The air fryer is capable of cooking or baking almost any type of food. It is not limited to just frying, despite its name. Depending on the model you have, an air fryer can be used to roast and grill meats and vegetables, as well bake certain types of breads and pastries.
For vegetables, there are some types that would yield better results when cooked with an air fryer. These include potatoes, corn, mushrooms, and zucchini. Natural vegetable chips are also great with air fryers. On the other hand, vegetables that are best served steamed or boiled are not suitable for air fryers.
Items that have been frozen may be cooked in an air fryer without having to thaw them out first. In fact, anything that can be cooked using an oven might be fried, grilled, roasted, or baked with the use of an air fryer.
How much food can be cooked per batch?
This depends on the size and capacity of the air fryer. However, it is not recommended to fill up the air fryer basket to its full capacity since this will restrict the movement of hot air inside. This can then result to unevenly cooked food.
At most, the basket should only be half-filled per batch. Given this, an average sized air fryer can accommodate around two to three servings. You should also refer to the manual and the accompanying recipe book of the model that you have. These usually indicate the recommended batch sizes for each type of food that you can cook or bake.
It might be better as well to go for smaller batches while you are still trying to get acquainted with your air fryer. Observe how fast and how well the food has been cooked. If you were successful, then you can try going for bigger batches the next time you decide to cook that dish again.
Does air fried food taste differently from pan-fried or deep-fried food?
Ideally, there should be no noticeable difference in texture and taste between air-fried food and traditionally fried food. The outer part is brown and crispy while the inside can be soft or tender.
At most, air-fried food should be lighter since less oil has been used to cook it. The differences, however, would be highlighted depending on the cooking technique, such the usage of oil sprayers instead of a brush and the type of breading used to coat the food.
Where can I buy an air fryer?
Due to its growing popularity in recent years, you can now purchase an air fryer from any major appliance store. There are dozens of brands and hundreds of models to choose from, so you should do careful research on the reviews from customers who already own the said air fryer. Take note of the special features, available accessories, and service warranty for each model that you are interested in.
There are also online shops that offer air fryers, but you have to be careful if you decide to go this way. Some offer relatively cheap models from unknown brands. Similarly, you should carefully evaluate a second-hand air fryer, and check for any existing issues or damages. Opting to save money instead of going for quality can cause you headaches later on, and in some cases, may even be a fire hazard in your home.
Do I need accessories to cook or bake using the air fryer?
It is not required, but making use of certain accessories can improve the results or quicken the cooking time. Before even buying such accessories, check first if they are compatible with a particular model of the air fryer. Typically, the manufacturer offers accessories that may only be used for the brands that they carry. Common examples of the air fryer accessories include a grill mat, which can keep the basket free from charred food particles, and the baking dish, which is mainly used to cook saucy dishes.