You've probably heard of the air fryer, but what is it? Do you need one? (The answer is yes!)
If you’re a foodie like me, you’ve probably heard of the cool new kitchen trend - the Air Fryer! These awesome machines are taking the nation by storm as many people try to eat healthier. I recently read in “Housewares Executive” that these mini-convection ovens are projected to grow even more in popularity in coming years. Read on to find out more about these awesome machines.
How does it work?
Air fryers are basically mini convection ovens. They “fry” your favorite foods by circulating hot air. I was a little skeptical at first, but after seeing one in action and tasting the guilt-free, crispy foods an air fryer can produce, I was wowed.
Hot air rapidly circulates throughout the air fryer, evenly cooking your food.
Everything is better with a good visual, right? Well, this gif shows you how the air circulates. It goes a lot faster than this shows though. The air has to circulate super fast to be able to create the crispy texture we want. (Science time: Air fryers use something called the Maillard Reaction to make delicious, crispy food. The Maillard Reaction is what gives cooked foods their amazing flavor profiles due to a chemical reaction between reducing sugars and amino acids. The Maillard Reaction happens in fried foods when through their submersion in super hot oil, but for air fryers, it is done with rapidly moving hot air. Yay science!)
What can it make?
So you may be wondering, what can I cook in the air fryer? Air fryers are perfect for "frying" frozen foods like french fries, chicken nuggets, or mozzarella sticks (yum!), but you can also use your air fryer for fresh meats, potatoes, vegetables and more. Adding accessories to your air fryer lets you do things like grill, bake, and more! The possibilities are endless. Many air fryers come with recipe booklets and you can find a ton of recipes online. I found this awesome video of Gordon Ramsay using the air fryer to make a delicious ribeye!
Air Fryer vs. Traditional Oven
After seeing what an air fryer can do, I'd chose the air fryer over the oven for many recipes. I especially like that the air fryer preheats super quickly, the food cooks a bit faster than in the oven, and the air fryer doesn't heat up my kitchen like an oven can. (This is especially great news during the hundred-degree summer days up here in North Dakota.)
Air fryers are great for cooking frozen foods like french fries, but that's not all they can do.
Which brand should I get?
Phillips is a well-known appliance brand that has led the way in air fryers. They were the original makers of the air fryer and have truly perfected it. The Phillips line is the highest rated for a few reasons. A key area for the Phillips has been their Advance TurboStar technology, which evenly swirls hot air through the whole cooking chamber. Other brands have the same basic principle but lack the even distribution. Phillips has a few different styles of air fryers, but I've had the opportunity to use the Phillips Viva Black Air Fryer and the Philips Avance XL (which is a larger version for bigger meals!) The XL model is my favorite because it is bigger and features a digital touchscreen display.
Want to see one in action?
If you're in the Fargo area, stop by Creative Kitchen in the West Acres Mall for a demo anytime! We’d love to show you the air fryer in action, let you taste some deliciously crispy “fried” foods, and share our knowledge with you.
See you soon,
Have something about the air fryer you'd love to share? Leave us a comment below!