The cost-of-living crisis has brought our attention to all thing’s electric blankets, heated laundry airers and air fryers. In fact, over the past year, Curry’s have reported a 500% surge in sales of air fryers, while Asda reported a 320% surge!
How does an air fryer work?
Air fryers use hot air to cook food, which can result in food that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This method of cooking can help reduce the amount of oil needed to cook food, making it a healthier option compared to deep-frying.
Air fryers also offer faster cooking, cooking food quickly and evenly, which can save time in the kitchen. Air fryers are generally more energy efficient than traditional ovens, as they use less energy to heat up and cook food.
What can I cook in an air fryer?
Air fryers can be used to cook a wide variety of foods, from chips and chicken wings to fish, vegetables, and even desserts. They can create crispy food that is similar to deep-fryer taste, but without the added fat.
It’s important to note that air fryers are not a magic solution for all your cooking needs and not all recipes will come out as good as deep-fryer taste, however, it’s a healthier alternative. And it’s always a good idea to compare different models and features before purchasing an air fryer to ensure it fits your needs.
Air fryers can be set to a specific temperature and time and will shut off automatically once the food is cooked. This allows you to multitask or do other things while the food is cooking.
Some popular cooking options include:
Fried Foods: Air fryers can be used to make crispy, deep-fried foods without the use of oil. This includes French fries, chicken wings, onion rings, and more.
Meats: Air fryers can be used to cook meats such as chicken, pork, fish, and even steak. The hot air circulates around the food, cooking it quickly and evenly.
Vegetables: Air fryers can be used to roast or bake vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and more. The hot air helps to caramelize the vegetables, giving them a crispy texture.
Seafood: Air fryers can be used to cook seafood such as shrimp, fish, and scallops. The hot air helps to cook the seafood quickly and evenly, resulting in a crispy texture.
Desserts: Air fryers can also be used to make desserts such as cakes, cookies, and even fried ice cream.
Breaded Foods: Foods like mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, and even sandwiches can be cooked in an air fryer.
Frozen Foods: Frozen foods like chicken nuggets, French fries, and even frozen vegetables can be cooked in an air fryer, saving time and effort.
Air fryers can be used for a variety of cooking methods, and some models come with additional features such as a steamer and grill. These models are often referred to as multi-cookers or multi-functional air fryers.
A steamer function allows you to steam food in the air fryer, which can be a healthier way to cook food as it helps to retain nutrients and moisture. Vegetables, fish, and dumplings are some examples of food that can be steamed in an air fryer.
A grill function allows you to grill food in the air fryer, which can be a healthier way to cook food as it allows the fat to drip away. Meats, seafood, vegetables, and even sandwiches can be grilled in an air fryer.
Having both the steamer and grill function in the same appliance can make cooking more convenient, as it eliminates the need for multiple kitchen appliances. It also saves space in the kitchen.
Are air fryers easy to use and maintain?
Consult the manual or check the recipe booklet that comes with the air fryer for more information on what foods can be cooked and for recommended cooking times and temperatures. The more you use it, the easier it becomes and the more you’ll discover the versatility of the air fryer.
Air fryers typically have a non-stick coating and are easy to clean, making them more convenient than traditional ovens. They are also smaller than traditional ovens and can be stored easily in a kitchen. They are also a good option for people who have limited space for cooking equipment.
Are air fryers energy efficient?
Air fryers are generally considered to be more energy efficient than traditional ovens, as they use less energy to heat up and cook food. This is because air fryers use hot air to cook food, which means that they don’t require preheating like an oven does. Instead, the hot air is circulated around the food in the fryer, cooking it quickly and evenly.
Additionally, air fryers are smaller than traditional ovens, which means they use less energy to heat up and maintain their temperature. Air fryers also use less energy than deep fryers, which require a lot of oil to be heated up to a high temperature.
However, the energy efficiency of an air fryer may vary based on its size, brand, and the features it has. It’s always a good idea to check the appliance’s energy efficiency rating (usually found on the box or manual) before purchasing, and also to compare it to other models or traditional ovens.
It’s also worth noting that the energy efficiency of air fryers increases when used for smaller items and portions, as the air fryer won’t need to heat as much air to cook the food.
Which is the best air fryer?
There are many different air fryers available in the UK, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, some popular and highly rated options include:
Tefal ActiFry Genius XL: This air fryer has a large capacity and can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including air frying, roasting, and baking. It also has a digital display and a variety of preset programs for easy use.
Philips HD9653/90 Air Fryer: This air fryer is known for its large capacity and ability to cook food evenly. It also has a digital display and a variety of preset programs for easy use.
Ninja Foodi OP300UK Air Fryer: This air fryer has a large capacity and can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including air frying, roasting, dehydrating, and more. It also has a pressure cooker function which can save time when cooking.
Russell Hobbs Digital Air Fryer: This air fryer has a large capacity and a variety of preset programs for easy use. It also has a digital display and a non-stick coating for easy cleaning.
Morphy Richards 480005 Air Fryer: This air fryer has a large capacity and a variety of preset programs for easy use. It also has a digital display and a non-stick coating for easy cleaning.
Andrew James Digital Air Fryer: This air fryer has a large capacity and a variety of preset programs for easy use. It also has a digital display and a non-stick coating for easy cleaning.
It’s always a good idea to read reviews and compare different models and features before purchasing an air fryer to ensure it fits your needs. Additionally, considering your budget and the size of your household can also be helpful when choosing the best air fryer for you.
It’s always a good idea to check the product’s manual or specifications before buying to see if the air fryer has the steamer and grill function, as not all air fryers have these features.