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How Do Air Fryers Work?

an Air Fryer Work?

You may have heard about air fryers and marveled at manufacturers’ claims that they produce crispy foods with less fat than deep-frying and faster than a conventional oven. Is such a thing possible? We take a look at how the trendy appliance works to help you figure out if they’re worth the money (and space on your already-packed countertop).

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

First of all, air fryers don’t actually fry. Instead, the food goes into a perforated basket and the machine cooks the food by blowing hot air around it. The force of the air produces a convection effect that cooks and browns the exterior of the food in the basket. As long as the temperature of the air reaches more than around 320 F, breaded foods like frozen chicken tenders or unbreaded starchy items like french fries or tater tots, will in fact turn brown. 

What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

One drawback to the air fryer is that you can’t cook foods dipped in liquid batter, such as onion rings or fried chicken. The batter will simply drip through the holes in the basket and make a big mess, nor can you cook doughy foods like doughnuts or beignets. So you’re limited to breaded or dry-seasoned items.

You’re also limited in terms of portion sizes, but we’ll get into that a bit later. Towards the end of this article we’ll also discuss one particular task that air fryers do exceptionally well. But first, let’s examine the purported health benefits of air fryers.

Are Air Fryers More Healthy?

One of the main selling points of air fryers is that foods cooked in them are healthier than foods cooked in a deep-fryer, because an air fryer uses less oil. 

So let’s look at that. For starters, we know that all cooking oils are pretty healthy. As long as you’re not frying your foods in vegetable shortening or lard, there’s nothing particularly unhealthy about the oil that goes in a deep-fryer.

Of course, oil has calories and while calories themselves are not unhealthy, if you’re looking to cut calories, using less oil might be a good idea. Right? 

Well, that depends. When cooked at the proper temperature (between 350 and 375 F), deep-fried foods actually absorb very little oil. In fact, a comparative study found that french fries cooked in oil had between 14 and 40 more calories per 4-ounce serving than baked fries, depending on the type of oil that was used and whether or not the fries had a seasoned coating. For reference, 40 calories is about half a banana.

In other words, the amount of added calories from deep-frying is negligible. French fries are just a high-calorie food, whether they’re cooked in oil or not.

Not only that, but the instructions for the air fryer call for tossing the uncooked fries in 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil before cooking. That’s 120 to 180 calories worth of extra oil. Even divided into two servings, which is a typical batch for an air fryer, there’s still just as much oil on your air fryer french fries as there are in your conventional deep-fryer french fries.

In any case, no one can plausibly claim that french fries are health food, no matter how they’re cooked. So in a sense, touting the health benefits of an appliance designed to cook french fries (or chicken wings or tater tots) might not be all that meaningful.

Do Air Fryers Make Tasty Food?

What’s more meaningful is whether the food cooked in an air fryer tastes good. The answer? It depends. If the food that goes in is tasty, it’ll be tasty. But again, the issue with foods like french fries, chicken wings, and tater tots is never that they don’t taste good enough. 

The issue with those foods, to the extent there is an issue, has more to do with health, as well as convenience. Deep-frying might be the best way to cook conventional fried foods, but mucking about with oil isn’t all that convenient.

Are Air Fryers Convenient?

So, let’s look at the convenience. One issue with air fryers is their capacity. Because they work via the principle of convection, there has to be adequate space between the individual items for the hot air to flow evenly around them. Therefore, to get nicely browned food, you won’t be able to fill up the basket. And that means cooking small batches at a time.

That’s not necessarily a problem, unless you need to feed more than two people at a time. Also, depending on the food, cooking time can approach 30 minutes per batch (with frequent shaking of the basket to ensure even cooking), so hopefully those two people aren’t super hungry (or at least have something else to snack on while they wait).

One task that air fryers seem to be well-suited for is reheating previously fried foods. Unlike the oven or the microwave, which will turn crispy things soggy, the hot, convection effect of an air fryer is just the thing to reheat crispy foods so that they stay crispy. Is that reason enough to own one? That’s up to you. Even if its actual cooking capabilities might not amaze you, it’s reassuring to know that there is at least one thing that an air fryer does well.

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Extra Information About how air fryers work That You May Find Interested

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How Does an Air Fryer Work? - The Spruce Eats

How Does an Air Fryer Work? – The Spruce Eats

  • Author: thespruceeats.com

  • Rating: 5⭐ (935479 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 3⭐

  • Sumary: Air fryers are designed to cook foods just as crispy as a deep-fryer without a lot of added fat. Here’s the low-down on the trendy appliance.

  • Matching Result: First of all, air fryers don’t actually fry. Instead, the food goes into a perforated basket and the machine cooks the food by blowing hot air around it. The …

  • Intro: How Does an Air Fryer Work? You may have heard about air fryers and marveled at manufacturers’ claims that they produce crispy foods with less fat than deep-frying and faster than a conventional oven. Is such a thing possible? We take a look at how the trendy appliance works to help you figure out if they’re worth the money (and space on your already-packed countertop). How Does an Air Fryer Work? First of all, air fryers don’t actually fry. Instead, the food goes into a perforated basket and the machine cooks the food by blowing hot air around it. The…
  • Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-does-an-air-fryer-work-4693673

How Does an Air Fryer Work, Exactly? - Reader's Digest

How Does an Air Fryer Work, Exactly? – Reader's Digest

  • Author: rd.com

  • Rating: 5⭐ (935479 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 3⭐

  • Sumary: Your guide to the trendy kitchen appliance.

  • Matching Result: How does an air fryer work? … The machine relies on a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon) and circulating hot air to help cook and crisp up …

  • Intro: How Does an Air Fryer Work, Exactly?Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication. Your guide to the trendy kitchen appliance. Imagine a world in which crispy fries, chicken, and onion rings are healthier but just as tasty. No, that’s not the promise of a too-good-to-be-true kitchen hack. It’s reality when using an air fryer. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to air-frying foods, like the difference between air…
  • Source: https://www.rd.com/article/how-air-fryer-works/

How an air fryer uses convection to create that crispy crunch

How an air fryer uses convection to create that crispy crunch

  • Author: insider.com

  • Rating: 5⭐ (935479 rating)

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  • Lowest Rate: 3⭐

  • Sumary: An air fryer doesn’t actually fry. Instead, hot air circulates around the food to create a crispy exterior in a fraction of the time of a regular oven.

  • Matching Result: Air fryers use convection heat — hot air quickly circulated by a fan — to achieve crisp food quickly and with very little oil. They’re most well …

  • Intro: How an air fryer uses convection to create that crispy crunch An air fryer is actually a mini convection oven that mimics the effect of frying without tons of oil. You can cook almost anything in an air fryer like steaks, cookies, pizza, and french fries. Less oil means fewer calories, but that doesn’t mean everything made in an air fryer is low-calorie. You’ve probably heard of an air fryer. In fact, you probably have friends who are obsessed with theirs. The air fryer has exploded in popularity in the last few years with the promise of perfectly fried food…
  • Source: https://www.insider.com/guides/kitchen/how-does-an-air-fryer-work

What is an air fryer? Everything you need to know about ...

What is an air fryer? Everything you need to know about …

  • Author: expertreviews.co.uk

  • Rating: 5⭐ (935479 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 3⭐

  • Sumary: Not sure what an air fryer is or if you should buy one? Read our guide for the complete lowdown on these compact kitchen appliances

  • Matching Result: How do air fryers work? … Unlike a deep fat fryer, where food is submerged in hot oil, an air fryer uses convection heat. It circulates hot air …

  • Intro: What is an air fryer? Everything you need to know about buying an air fryer If you’ve seen air fryers in the shops, you might be wondering what exactly an air fryer is. The term air fryer is confusing; frying foods with air doesn’t make much sense and this means many people are uncertain about what air fryers are, how they work and whether they’re a useful kitchen appliance.In essence, air fryers allow you to cook foods that would typically be deep fried – such as chips – with a very small amount of oil. And while there’s no denying…
  • Source: https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/kitchen/1415078/what-is-an-air-fryer

How does an air fryer work? - Mashable

How does an air fryer work? – Mashable

  • Author: mashable.com

  • Rating: 5⭐ (935479 rating)

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  • Sumary: It’s actually pretty simple.

  • Matching Result: The air fryer functions like a convection oven. You set the temperature and put the food in the cooking drawer. The heating element creates hot …

  • Intro: How does an air fryer work? Air fryers are pretty neat. If you blast the heat, you can create crisp, crunchy food in no time flat. Or you can reheat leftovers evenly on a lower setting. Or, if you’re really wise, you roast vegetables to perfection. But, let’s say you’re new to air fryers, or you’re just curious: How do air fryers actually work? Well, that’s a question with a couple different answers. The first answer is simple: You toss food in the basket of the air fryer, turn it on, and come back to a quickly cooked meal. Technically,…
  • Source: https://mashable.com/article/how-does-air-fryer-work

Frequently Asked Questions About how air fryers work

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how air fryers work, then this section may help you solve it.

What are the disadvantages of air fryers?

10 Downsides of Air Fryers

  • Limited capacity.
  • Easy to burn food.
  • Food dries out.
  • Some foods don’t work.
  • Difficult to clean.
  • Less affordable.
  • Requires learning.
  • Noisy.

Is air fried food healthy?

Are Air-Fried Foods Better for You? By most measures, air frying is healthier than frying in oil. It cuts calories by 70% to 80% and has a lot less fat. This cooking method might also cut down on some of the other harmful effects of oil frying

Can you put raw meat in Airfryer?

Though you likely feel comfortable cooking pre-cooked meats that just need to be heated in an air fryer, it’s always a good idea to double-check safety guidelines for cooking raw meat. According to Kitchen Snitches, the good news is that it is absolutely safe to cook raw meat in an air fryer

Are air fryers actually useful?

Air fryers use significantly less oil than deep fat fryers, and a 2015 study demonstrated that food cooked using an air fryer were as a result substantially lower in fat. An air fryer does this by heating the food in hot air which contains fine oil droplets

Why are air fryers unhealthy?

Not only does air frying still run the risk of creating acrylamides, but polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines can result from all high-heat cooking with meat. These compounds have associations with cancer risk, according to the National Cancer Institute .

Is air fryer better than microwave?

Are air fryers healthier than microwaves? As a general rule, air fryers are much healthier than microwaves. Air fryers work like a convection oven and allow food to get crispy with a very small amount of oil and the food is heated by a fan blowing hot air. Microwave ovens, by comparison, use radiation for cooking food.

What’s the best thing to cook in an air fryer?

Veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms & onions, and cauliflower all turn out incredible in the air fryer. You can also make your main dish IN the air fryer. It works magic with proteins like tofu, chicken drumsticks, meatballs, pork chops, fried chicken? even steak.

Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

It is absolutely safe to use aluminum foil in your air fryer. In fact, it can make cooking with the air fryer easier.

Why is my chicken not crispy in the air fryer?

Dry the outside of the food properly before you add oil. Do not use too much oil, as this will make the food less crispy and more fattening. Meat or poultry can be lightly brushed with oil or marinated to get the crispiest results.

Can you make eggs in an air fryer?

Crack 2 eggs into an air fryer safe pan and season with salt and pepper. Set the pan into the air fryer basket and place the basket back into the air fryer. Set the temperature to 375 degrees and the timer for 5 minutes.

Why is everyone buying an air fryer?

Air fryers are affordable, quick and use less oil

Air fryers are popular because they are affordable, don’t use as much oil as a traditional fryer, and heat food evenly and quickly. These appliances are much healthier than deep fryers and work more rapidly than a standard convection oven.

What are the pros and cons of an air fryer?

They’re versatile, easy to use, and promise deep-fried flavor without the oil. But, like any product, they have downsides. They’re bulky, difficult to clean, and have limited cooking capacity.

What is the first thing I should cook in my air fryer?

Whenever we test out a new air fryer, French fries are the very first recipe we make. Homemade French fries won’t feel like so much of a chore with this machine and might actually become a regular occurance once you get the hang of it.

Can you put glass in air fryer?

Depending upon the sturdiness of the glass dish, you can decide whether Glass Pyrex can be used in an air fryer. If the dish is oven-safe, made of borosilicate or tempered glass, it can work in an air fryer. However, if the dish is made of soda-lime glass, it can’t withstand high temperatures in an air fryer.

Can I cook eggs in an air fryer?

Preheat the air fryer at 400°F (204 °C) for 5 minutes. Add the wire rack to the basket and place the eggs on top with some space between. Air fryer at 280°F (138°C) for 9 to 10 minutes for soft egg yolk center | 10-11 minutes for medium egg yolk.

Video About how air fryers work

How Do Air Fryers Work?