What are the Uses of Air Fryers?

uses of air fryers

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone is looking for ways to make life a little easier, especially when it comes to preparing delicious and healthy meals. One of the recent additions to kitchen appliances that make cooking easy is the air fryer.

An air fryer is a versatile kitchen appliance and can be used in diverse ways. The appliance offers a healthier alternative to deep frying, thus reducing the fat and calorie content of your favourite dishes while preserving their delicious flavours and textures. Contrary to its name, you can use an air fryer to not just fry, but also bake, roast, grill and do more. It is the perfect tool for meeting all your culinary preferences and dietary needs.

In this blog, let us explore the world of air fryers and its uses.

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a countertop kitchen appliance that cooks food by using convection heat, i.e., by circulating hot air around the food at high speed. It offers a healthier take on your favourite fried foods. You can fry your favourite foods to crispy perfection without submerging them in a pool of hot oil. And the purpose of an air fryer does not end there. You also have options to bake, roast, grill and more as well.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

Air fryers are a modern version of a convection oven that uses a fan that circulates hot air within the oven and around the food so that it is cooked quickly and consistently.

Air fryers come in different shapes and sizes, but they all work in a similar way. They have a tray or a basket where you put your food.

The heating element in the air fryer heats up the air inside the cooking chamber and a fan – similar to the one in a convection oven, but more powerful, moves the hot air around. This hot air makes your food turn brown and crispy like it was fried in oil. This combination of heating element and fan is called Rapid Air Technology and it is used in all air fryers.

The best feature of air fryers is convenience.  With the cooking settings and presets, cooking is simplified. You can control the temperature and cooking time easily and you have your favourite dishes ready in half the time spent on traditional cooking.

Types of Air Fryers

Air fryers come in various shapes and sizes, each with its own set of features. Here are the most common types:

  • Countertop air fryers

These are the most common kinds of air fryers that you can place on your kitchen counter. They come in different sizes and are great for cooking a lot of food at once. They also come with different settings to cook a variety of dishes, including chicken, fish, vegetables and more. The accessories that come with it, like racks and trays help enhance your cooking.

  • Basket-style air fryers

Basket-Style Air Fryers are compact and portable. This type of air fryer is convenient, especially when you have a small kitchen. Their capacity would be lesser than the traditional air fryers, but they can still cook different kinds of food. They are also easy to clean as you can take out the basket and tray, and wash them separately.

  • Toaster oven air fryers

Toaster oven air fryers are quite similar to countertop air fryers, but with additional features like toasting and baking. They are therefore versatile, providing you with a number of cooking options to choose from. Toaster oven air fryers are available in different sizes and come with a range of settings to cook different types of food.

  • Multi-purpose air fryers

Multi-purpose air fryers are different kitchen gadgets all combined into one. Some of these air fryers can also act like slow cookers and pressure cookers. There are even models that work like microwaves and steamers as well. In short, these air fryers can be used for baking, roasting, air frying, broiling, sautéing, and even dehydrating. They are big compared to their counterparts and take up space. The air frying feature of multi-purpose air fryers is usually in the lid, while the rest works like a regular slow cooker.

Benefits of Air Fryers

Air fryers offer an array of benefits that traditional methods of cooking cannot. They include the following:

  • Healthy food

One of the biggest advantages of using an air fryer is how it helps turn foods, generally considered unhealthy – especially fried ones, healthy. Since it requires significantly less oil than traditional frying methods, you can enjoy your favourite fried foods with the fat and calories cut down. And the best part? You do not have to compromise on the taste. It tastes the same as when deep fried, but with less oil.

  • Saves time

Another benefit of air fryers is convenience. They preheat quickly and cook food faster than ovens. Plus, you do not have to wait for oil to heat up, making it a time-efficient option for busy households.

  • Versatile

Though it is called an air “fryer,” the appliance is incredibly versatile. You can use them to fry, roast, grill, bake and even reheat leftovers. From crispy French fries to grilled chicken or roasted vegetables, air fryers offer you endless culinary possibilities to explore.

  • Easy to clean

Most air fryers come with removable, dishwasher-safe parts. This makes cleaning up easy. You won’t have to deal with the mess and hassle of trying to remove the oil and grease off the dishes after cooking.

  • Safety

With an air fryer, there is no risk of kitchen accidents, like hot oil splattering. The cooking chamber of the air fryer is enclosed and keeps everything contained, making it a safer option for cooking.

Uses of Air Fryers

To put it in simple words, air fryers are a healthier alternative to traditional deep frying. You can cook almost all your favourite dishes – be it fried, baked, roasted or reheated using it.

Air fryers use up to 80% less oil than deep frying, reducing the fat and calorie content of your meals. Air frying retains more nutrients in food compared to deep frying.

However, air fryers are not designed for boiling food. They use hot air to cook, so they won’t bring liquids to a boil. However, you can use an air fryer for recipes that require a small amount of liquid.

What is the Difference Between Air Fryers and an Oven?

Air fryers use a similar principle as a convection oven. But there are obvious differences between both appliances.

  • Speed

Air fryers preheat faster and cook food quicker than convection ovens.

  • Size

Air fryers are compact and take up less space on your countertop.

  • Efficiency

Air fryers are more energy-efficient since they require less time and power to cook.

  • Crispiness

Air fryers excel at creating crispy textures, which can be challenging to achieve in a regular oven.

How to Use an Air Fryer?

If you are a first-time user, you might need some guidance on using an air fryer.

  • Preheat the air fryer

Before using an air fryer, it is important to preheat it. This step helps cook food faster and turn crispy on the outside. Most air fryers come with a preheat button for easy use. However, small air fryers require manual preheating. All you have to do is simply start the air fryer at 204°C (400°F) for five minutes.

  • Prepare the food

After preheating, take out the air fryer’s basket and place your food inside. Make sure that you do not overcrowd the basket, as this can hinder proper cooking. Also, if you are using toaster oven air fryers, you can put foil on the drip tray to avoid major cleanups.

  • Set time and temperature

Place the filled basket back into the air fryer and set the recommended time and temperature for your recipe. You can adjust the time and temperature during the cooking process.

  • Start cooking

Once the basket is in place, press the start button to begin cooking with the air fryer.

  • Monitor and adjust

Keep a close eye on your dish during cooking to prevent overcooking or burning. Consider mixing the ingredients or turning them over to ensure even cooking. The air fryer will alert you when the cooking time is complete.

  • Remove and serve

After the cooking is complete, remove the basket from the air fryer. Be careful about the hot steam. You can separate the inner and outer baskets and serve your meal.

  • Safety and cleaning

Ensure the basket has completely cooled down before cleaning it. You can refer to the air fryer’s instructions for more cleaning instructions and safety guidelines.

How to Clean an Air Fryer?

Cleaning and maintaining your air fryer are important to keep it in top shape. Before you start, go through the instruction manual as different models may have slightly different cleaning requirements.

  • Make sure that the air fryer is unplugged and cooled down completely before you start cleaning it.
  • Take out the basket, tray and any other removable parts. Then, wipe off the excess oil or food residue using a paper towel.
  • Soak the removable parts in warm, soapy water for easier cleaning. You can scrub them gently with a non-abrasive sponge or brush or wash them in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher-safe.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe the exterior as well as the interior of the air fryer but avoid the heating element.
  • Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble the air fryer.

Where to Buy Air Fryers?

You can purchase an air fryer from a physical store or online. Check out appliance stores or department stores to choose the air fryer that meets your expectations or go for ecommerce platforms like Amazon or brand websites.

Set a budget, go through customer reviews and do extensive research regarding specifications and more to ensure that the air fryer of your choice meets your requirements.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy an Air Fryer?

The cost of an air fryer can vary depending on the brand, size, and features. Consider your cooking needs and budget when choosing the right air fryer for you.

In India, you can find budget-friendly models starting at around ₹1800, while larger and more feature-rich air fryers can cost between ₹10,000 and ₹15,000.

What are the Best Brands for Air Fryers?

When it comes to air fryers, several brands have earned a reputation for quality and innovation. Some of the top brands to consider include:

  • Morphy Richards
  • Bergner
  • Wonderchef
  • Philips
  • Solara
  • Inalsa
  • Pigeon
  • Borosil

Air fryers offer a healthier way to enjoy your favourite fried foods. With their convenience, versatility, ease of use and quick cooking times, air fryers have gained the interest of people since their introduction in the market. It is the perfect appliance for you if you love your food, but not the calories!

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