Want to mix up the way you cook without spending extra time and effort in the kitchen? Of course you do – and this is where the best air fryers come in.
Air fryers provide an alternative way to rustle a meal and use (you guessed it) air to heat your food in a similar way to convection ovens. This means that hot air circulates around the food until it is cooked and has a crispy exterior.
Since the food is cooked with hot air instead of dissipating heat in a pan or direct heat from a grill, the cooking times are much faster than you would expect from a traditional gas or electric stove or hob, for example.
While it is possible to deep-fry food in minutes or even seconds, another benefit of air fryers is that they require very little oil at all, making them a healthier option than deep-frying or shallow frying.
If you are thinking about investing in an air fryer, you probably want to find the best option for your budget. Since these machines take up a lot of space on your countertop, it pays to research all the meals that could be made in one – and there are literally hundreds out there.
It’s probably fair to say that many people associate air fryers like the Tefal ActiFry Genius XL with making healthier french fries or perfectly crispy potatoes. But what else can these machines cook?
What can you cook in an air fryer?
Air fryers allow you to cook a whole range of dishes, from crispy fries to desserts, and make them quick too. When it comes to hearty meals, you can cook frozen fried foods straight from the freezer. When you choose an air fryer like the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone air fryer, you can use the two drawer design.
Since air fryers use intense heat and air circulation to cook your food, keep in mind that cooking times are likely to be much faster than a traditional oven. French fries, for example, can be cooked in just 15 minutes.
Other hearty dishes that are perfect for air frying include chicken wings, meat, root vegetables, and homemade potato chips. However, you will be surprised that gnocchi and ravioli can be cooked this way too, and even mini pizzas. If you’re looking for healthier snacks, chickpeas will crisp up nicely in an air fryer, while you can make your own vegetable chips with kale or zucchini / zucchini.
It’s not just side dishes that you can cook in an air fryer. Dishes like fajitas can be cooked entirely in an air fryer. However, as with anything you roast in the open air, be careful not to overfill the roasting basket or drawer, as this will lead to longer cooking times and food that is not cooked evenly.
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Can you cook raw meat in an air fryer?
You can use an air fryer to cook raw meat like a stove or stovetop. Steak is very easy to cook in an air fryer – all you have to do is turn it halfway through cooking. Frozen chicken nuggets as well as fresh, raw chicken can also be cooked with an air fryer.
Sausages are also suitable for air frying and, depending on the size and number of sausages prepared, can be prepared in around 10 minutes. If you’re cooking particularly fatty cuts of meat like bacon, air frying won’t boil off the fat, but you won’t get fatty slices of bacon either, as you don’t need to use extra oil.
It’s not just pieces of meat that you can cook in your air fryer – dishes like meatballs are great for cooking this way and they are given a deliciously crispy outer coating. Note, however, that at such high cooking temperatures it is very easy to burn your food. So keep an eye on it.
(Image credit: Instant Pot)
What desserts can you make in an air fryer?
It is easy to assume that air fryers are only intended for cooking savory dishes, but these handy devices can also be used for sweet foods.
Churros and donuts are great desserts to make in an air fryer, and you won’t get a greasy finish like you can expect from deep-frying. Small cakes work well in air fryers, and you can also make s’mores (marshmallows and chocolate between two pieces of graham crackers if you didn’t grow up in the US) and fritters (deep-fried pastries). .
Another thing that might surprise you: Because air fryers mimic the way convection ovens work, they’re also a fantastic way to bake cakes. The hot air circulation ensures that your cake is baked evenly throughout.
If you’ve sworn off the donuts and are looking for a healthier selection of desserts to make in your air fryer, fruit works surprisingly well. Apple slices turn into crispy, tasty snacks, and even softer fruits like peaches are delicious if you sprinkle them with a little cinnamon and sugar before cooking.
If you want even more options for making desserts, consider a model like the Ninja Foodi Multi-Cooker, which combines air frying functions with other convenient functions like baking, searing, slow cooking and grilling.
What can’t you cook in an air fryer?
Unsurprisingly, there are some foods that cannot be cooked in an air fryer. In general, dishes with a damp batter are not suitable for air frying – the batter does not set properly and it is very difficult to clean the machine afterwards – so it is better to stick to a deep fryer.
Other foods that don’t work as well include raw greens like broccoli and dishes that require water like rice. If you’re a big cheese fanatic, air-frying foods with cheese isn’t the best idea – you’re going to have a whole lot of mess rather than a tasty treat.
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Bacon In The Ninja Foodi 2 Basket Air Fryer
Bacon in the Ninja Foodi 2 basket air fryer. This air fryer is effective. I can make a great deal of bacon on one side, so if you made use of both sides of the Ninja Foodi 2 basket air fryer, you would certainly have a great deal of food and also rapidly. #BaconInTheNinjaFoodi2BasketAirFryer #NinjaDoubleAirFryer #StephaniesKitchen
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