Monday, April 26, 2021

The Humble Air Fryer

There are many tools that can make our lives easier in all sorts of ways and places, such as in the kitchen. For example, a good quality and well-sharpened knife makes food preparation considerably easier. In this post I’m going to talk about one of my favorite new kitchen tools, the humble Air Fryer.

There are two main types of Air Fryer: those with baskets and those with racks. The basket type is basically a specialized deep fryer that can cook foods with a fraction of the oil, while the rack type is a fancy version of a toaster oven with a convection fan and often a rotisserie.

Both styles have a variety of settings and features, which is good. I agree with Alton Brown that there should only be one unitasker in your kitchen: a fire extinguisher. My wife and I own the rack type with rotisserie, and we couldn’t be happier. Some of our friends have the basket type, and they’re quite satisfied as well. Obviously both have pros and cons, but I’m going to focus on the rack type as that’s the one with which I’m more familiar.

Air Fryers, as referenced in the Sam's links above

These devices offer a number of benefits, especially in the warmer months: they take up little counter space, use less electricity, and don’t heat up the house nearly as much as a standard oven. These qualities can make them particularly useful for people in RVs or small apartments, or who don’t have air conditioning. In case of power limitations, loss of natural gas, or similar, an Air Fryer can still be used to prepare food by being run off a 12 or 24 volt battery with an inverter such. In addition, since they are convection ovens (meaning heated air is circulated by a fan) they tend to cook faster as well.

While I haven’t tried all the different settings, I have used all of the accessories that came with our Air Fryer, which include the mesh racks, the rotisserie bar, the rotisserie basket, and the rotisserie skewers.

Kabobs in the author's AirFryer, from prep to cooked

Just the other night we made chicken kabobs using the rotisserie skewers. They came out perfectly, and were delicious served over rice. I’ve only used the rotisserie basket a couple of times, once to try making honey roasted almonds, and I need to work on my process more with that one. We generally use the mesh racks for things like French fries, pork chops, dehydrating herbs from the garden, and so on, I’ve cooked many chickens and roasts on the rotisserie bar.

Garlic crusted roast made in the author's Air Fryer

In addition to the accessories, our Air Fryer came with several booklets containing usage tips and recipes, and additional recipes can be found online. Furthermore, most recipes cooked in a traditional oven can be converted for use in the Air Fryer with minor adjustments.

Cleanup is also much easier than with a conventional oven. On ours, the door comes off for washing in the sink if needed, and the interior can be wiped out with a damp sponge.

The main limiting factor of the Air Fryer is capacity. For example, ours can handle up to a four pound roast or chicken on the rotisserie bar. This is fine for a couple or a small family, but likely not for preparing a full Thanksgiving dinner.

The Air Fryer is a compact, versatile kitchen appliance that is at home not just in your kitchen, but also in your Bug-Out Location or Vehicle. It has its limitations, but within its capabilities it’s a very useful addition to the kitchen toolbox.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to