You’ve just received your first air fryer, which has become the talk of the town. All you have to do now is find out how to use the appliance and what you’ll use it for. When you understand what not to cook with it, it would be the least of your concerns.
What cannot be cooked in an air fryer? Just like other appliances, you cannot use an air fryer for everything. Never cook the fried dough, leafy greens, stir-fries, and wet battered in an air fryer. Bacon, especially should not be cooked using an air fryer.
An air fryer will appeal to your every need, regardless of your culinary skills. Allow me to give a step-by-step guide and a few pointers to help you get the most out of your air fryer.
An air fryer is a common kitchen appliance for frying foods like meat, pastries, and potato chips. It produces a crunchy, crispy exterior by circulating hot air around the product.
It also triggers the Maillard reaction. It happens when an amino acid and a reducing sugar come into contact with each other in the presence of heat. Foods lose their color and taste as a result of it.
Due to their lower fat and calorie content, air-fried foods promote a healthier alternative to deep-fried foods. Air-frying uses just a tablespoon to obtain a taste and feels that is comparable to deep-fried foods.
How To Use An Air Fryer
The fryer comes with a step-by-step guide to help you perfect your cooking, and it’s simple to use and put together.
The basket fits perfectly in the tub, which you can put inside the appliance. Cooking with the fryer is simple for novice and professional chefs, thanks to the hot-air circulation and timer.
You put your ingredients in the basket and set your timer once you’ve decided what you want to make. The hot air then gets to work. You’ll hear a ding from the ready sound indicator when your food is ready.
The best thing about grilling with an air fryer is that you don’t have to keep tossing your food. All you should do is shake the pan halfway through the cooking time.
Most air fryers come with a grilled layer or a handle-equipped grill pan. The hot air circulates the interior of the appliance, evenly heating your food on all sides.
It makes it easy to put food in and take food out of the fryer. The grill’s surface will absorb any excess fat that drips from the ingredients, leaving you with balanced, perfectly grilled meals.
Bake Your Favorite Muffins
Is it possible to bake in a fryer? It’s not every day that you learn anything like that. Many air fryers come with a baking pan that can make muffins, brownies, cupcakes, and bread.
The air fryer can handle it if you want to bake pre-heated foods or make a homemade treat. The time it takes to bake something in an air fryer varies between 15 and 30 minutes.
Roast Meats And Vegetables
Are you too preoccupied to prepare dinner for your date? Worry no more! You can roast your meats and vegetables in your air fryer for a romantic meal. The fryer can not only produce high-quality roasted food, but it will do so 20 percent faster than your oven.
Foods You Can Cook In An Air Fryer
Many people have a million-dollar query before buying an air fryer: What foods can be cooked in an air fryer?
It is an understandable question. Before investing one’s hard-earned money in a product, one needs to know if the product would be useful.
Fortunately, the air fryer can cook almost any food. It would usually take 40 minutes or less to cook on a stovetop, in an oven, or a deep fryer.
Foods that you can fry, grill, roast, or bake perform well in an air fryer. In an air fryer, you can cook something that needs a bread crumb or light flour coating.
You can use an air fryer for cooking certain vegetables. Home-prepared meals and frozen foods can also be cooked in an air fryer.
Foods You Should Not Cook In An Airfryer
The humble air fryer has become the talk of kitchens everywhere this year. It helps cook your favorite fried dishes with 90% less oil and in nearly half the time. In other words, the air fryer easily turns unhealthy foods into healthier alternatives.
Below are the foods you shouldn’t cook using an air fryer:
Wet Battered Food
Wet battered foods are best deep-fried in oil to produce the irresistible crispy shell. If you cook them in an air fryer, the coating can spill as the food cooks, making a huge mess. Coat your food in flour, egg wash, and panko bread crumbs to achieve the perfect crunch.
Examples of wet battered food:
- Beer battered fish,
- Dark ale-battered catfish
- Chips recipe
Stir-fries, oh how I love them. An air fryer cannot replicate the same crunch, texture, and flavors of the difference. The complementary ingredients without constant stirring and heat adjustment are nearly impossible.
Try this quick beef stir-fry with chow mein noodles on a day when you’re not using your air fryer. This simple dish only needs one wok or pan.
Rice Or Pasta
Air fryers are not like pressure cookers and slow cookers. They do not have the same heating technology that allows water to boil and cook fluffy rice and pasta to perfection. However, you can also use an air fryer instead of a microwave to reheat leftover rice and pasta dishes.
When fried in the air fryer, greens like spinach and arugula will crisp up like kale chips (not ideal). Stick to the stove or the oven to sauté these greens and make this delicious butternut squash and arugula pizza. Air fryers, on the other hand, are ideal for roasting vegetables such as:
- Brussels sprouts
Advantages Of Using An Airfryer
Help Cut The Fat Content
Foods prepared by deep-frying have a higher fat content than foods prepared by other methods. A fried chicken breast, for example, contains more fat than roasted chicken of the same size. Some companies say that using an air fryer will reduce fried foods’ fat content by 75%.
It is because air fryers use a lot less fat than conventional deep fryers. Many deep-fried recipes call for up to 3 cups, or 750 ml) of oil. However, air-fried foods only need around 1 tablespoon (15 mL).
Air fryers use up to 50 times the amount of oil as deep fryers. Food does not consume all of that oil, but an air fryer will considerably reduce its total fat content.
Researchers compared the properties of deep-fried and air-fried french fries. They discovered that air-frying produced a product with significantly less fat but a similar color and moisture content.
It could impact your well-being greatly. Eating more fat from vegetable oils can increase the risk of heart disease and inflammation.
May Aid In Weight Loss
Deep-fried foods are high in fat, but they’re also high in calories, leading to weight gain. A survey of 33,542 Spanish adults discovered that eating more fried foods can lead to a higher risk of obesity.
Swapping deep-fried foods for air-fried foods might be a good place to start if you’re trying to lose weight. Dietary fat has about twice the number of calories per gram as other macronutrients. It includes protein and carbohydrates, with 9 calories per gram.
Switching to an air fryer can be a simple way to reduce calories. It will also help you control your weight because air-fried foods have less fat than deep-fried foods.
Decrease The Formation Of Harmful Compounds
Frying food can produce potentially harmful compounds like acrylamide and be higher in fat and calories. Acrylamide is a carbohydrate-rich food compound produced during high-heat cooking methods such as frying.
Acrylamide is a possible human carcinogen. It means that some evidence suggests it could be related to the development of cancer. Acrylamide is also likely to be carcinogenic to humans, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Using an air fryer instead of a deep fryer will help reduce the amount of acrylamide in your fried foods. When compared to conventional deep-frying, one study found that air-frying reduced acrylamide by up to 90%.
But, bear in mind that other potentially harmful compounds can develop during the air-frying process.
Here are other potentially harmful chemicals produced by high-heat cooking, which have been related to an increased risk of cancer:
- Heterocyclic amines
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
To find out how air-frying affects the formation of these compounds, further research is required.
No Oil Needed With An Air Fryer
When using your air fryer, no oil is needed. Even though many people choose to use an air fryer without oil, you can still use it with the fryer. However, before placing your ingredients in the fryer, you must combine them with oil.
The fryer pan cannot be filled with oil. Adding cooking oil to your food before air-frying will give it an extra crunchy layer. You can use almost any oil in an air fryer. Canola, sunflower, olive, and peanut oils are all popular oils.
Disadvantages Of Using An Airfryer
Air-fried foods are healthier than deep-fried foods. However, it’s important to note that they’re similar to fried or roasted foods when cooking with oil. Eating fried foods has been linked to a variety of negative health effects in various studies.
For example, consuming more fried foods was linked to a higher risk of heart failure in a study of 15,362 people. Other studies have linked eating deep-fried foods regularly increases the risk of cancers, such as prostate, lung, and oral cancers.
Eating fried foods frequently have been linked to other health problems, including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Research on the effects of air-fried food is minimal. But limiting your intake of fried foods will help you live a healthier life.
Instead, use safe cooking methods like boiling, steaming, or stewing to prevent the harmful effects of fried foods. You may use dried or new herbs to enhance flavor.
Tips For Using An Air Fryer
1. Read The Manual
There’s much useful information here about protection and how to make the most of your air fryer. Those manuals can also contain a hotline number and social media pages where you can request assistance.
We’ve included some safety tips below based on our own experiences. However, always refer to your manual and the experts who built your air fryer for the most up-to-date information.
2. When You’re Not Using Your Air Fryer, Unplug It
When you’re not using your air fryer, make sure it’s unplugged. It’s a good habit to get into. You never know when a button on your air fryer would be mistakenly pressed when you didn’t mean to.
3. Make Sure You Don’t Burn Yourself Or Your Counters
The air fryer’s internal and external components become extremely hot during cooking. It’s possible to burn yourself if you touch any hot elements with your bare hands, so be careful.
Using a silicone glove or oven mitts to avoid burns. Place the hot air fryer baskets and lids on a silicone trivet or a heat-safe board/mat.
Open the air fryer and shake the foods around as they fry in the basket. Smaller foods, such as French fries and chips, will compress. Rotate them every 5-10 minutes for the best performance.
5. Don’t Overload
Leave plenty of room between foods so that air may circulate freely. It is what gives you a crispy performance. For snacks and small batches, our test kitchen chefs swear by the air fryer.
6. Spray The Food With A Mist
To keep foods from sticking to the basket, lightly brush them with cooking spray. You can also drizzle a little oil on them.
7. Keep It As Dry As Possible
To prevent splattering and excess smoke, pat foods dry before cooking (if they have been marinated, for example). When cooking high-fat foods like chicken wings, empty the fat from the bottom machine regularly.
8. Other Cooking Techniques Should Be Perfected
The air fryer isn’t just for frying; it’s also perfect for baking, roasting, and grilling, among other safe cooking methods. Our test kitchen also enjoys using the unit to prepare salmon!
9. Cooking In A Small Closed-off Corner Or A Non-ventilated Room Is Not A Good Idea
Turn on vent hoods and put your air fryer near them. If required, shift the air fryer away from the wall and open windows.
10. Allowing Hot Air From The Air Fryer To Reach Electrical Outlets Is Not A Good Idea
Make sure there’s enough room around the air fryer for the vent to circulate.
11. Do Not Use The Air Fryer On The Burner
You can unintentionally turn on the burner, causing your air fryer to melt and catch fire.
12. If You’re Going To Use Perforated Parchment Paper In A High-heat Environment, Make Sure You Have Food On Top Of It
The parchment paper will flap around if there isn’t enough food to weigh it down. As a result, the food can cook unevenly. If the parchment is flying around and collides with the hot heating element, it will burn.
13. Avoid Cooking Wet Batters And Coatings
The rotating fan would splatter the coating all over the place. Using a bread crumb crust by dredging the food in flour, a raw beaten egg, and finally bread crumbs.
Afterward, liberally spray oil on the bread crumbs to prevent them from floating around and weighing down the meal.
Dry bread crumbs can cause smoking if they come into contact with the heating element. So that it can cook crispy, you’ll need a good spray of oil.
Enough oil spray will cover all of the dry breading spots. Otherwise, it tends to dry out and become hard to eat. More information on smoking air fryers can be found here.
14. Don’t Forget To Watch The Food To Ensure It Doesn’t Burn
Not all air fryers have the same features. Some cook at a higher temperature, while others cook at a lower temperature. Some have compelling fans, while others have only a mild fan strength. To remind you to flip, check on the food, shake, or set a timer.
15. When The Food Is In The Air Fryer, Don’t Season It With Salt
The basket coating will break down and peel if dry salt is strewn across non-stick interiors. Season the food in a bowl or on a cutting board before placing it in the air fryer—alternatively, season after cooking.
16. Using Only Parts And Inserts Explicitly Designed For Your Air Fryer
These are useful things that fit in the air fryer and increase the amount of cooking space available.
Your air fryer should be one of your go-to appliances if you want to reduce your calorie intake. There are, however, certain foods that should not be cooked in an air fryer.
Never cook food that should be boiled and steamed. Also, foods which ingredients need to be fried in a batter.