Air fryers are becoming a very popular alternative to eating healthy deep fried foods with lower calories. They allow you to indulge in your favorite deep fried foods but avoid some of the risk factors that go along with fried foods.
My husband put an air fryer on his Christmas list. I figured it would be another gadget that went unused and just sat on the counter or in a cabinet. Little did I know it would become one of the most used appliances in our kitchen. The first week of having it we were air frying everything we could. We did panko crusted chicken, various frozen foods, chicken nuggets, and chicken thighs.
That’s when I started doing my research.
I knew what everyone was saying about air fryers being healthier. Less oil meant less calories and healthier for you altogether. I thought this is going to be great. I am all for eating healthier.
It also turned out to be a whole lot easier. Some meals were becoming so simple. The air fryer would preheat in minutes up to 400 degrees. As well as cooking food in about half the time. It was making food crispy and it was delicious. I was sold.
You can cook any kind of food in the air fryer that you could deep fry. This could include chicken, vegetables, onion rings, French fries, cheese sticks, fish, pizza, doughnuts.
One of the troubles we ran into when we started cooking some things was the size of our basket. Our air fryer is a six quart one. Which we found is very easy to overcrowd the basket. When you overcrowd the food doesn’t get enough air circulation around it, causing the foods to not be as crispy as they can be. It was also difficult with the panko crusted chicken we cooked because the breasts were so big that we had to cook them in batches. Same went for when we did frozen tater tots, or French fries, it was easy to dump the whole bag into the air fryer when really we needed to do a third of the bag at a time. It didn’t take long to see that it is easier to make food for two people as opposed for our family of three. Otherwise we were just having to make batches and put some in the oven on warm to keep warm until the other batch is done. This isn’t a terrible thing though since the food cooks in a must faster time, but sometimes it’s nice to not have to mess with the foods and cook for a longer time in the oven.
We tried to cook bacon in the air fryer. My husband had read that it was supposed to be easier and healthier. It was easier, and the clean up was so much easier than on the stove, or in the microwave. Bacon cooked in an air fryer is only healthier when it is cooked crispy. Cooking bacon to where it is crispy allows the fat to be rendered off making it less calories. Bacon cooked at 350 degrees for 11 minutes in the air fryer though came out crispy and delicious. The struggle with the bacon though was in our little basket I could only get four or five slices of bacon to fit across. So it took two batches to cook a half pound of bacon.
Bacon cooked in the air fryer isn’t automatically healthier (the more fat you render the better) made me look into a few other foods. We had been doing frozen French fries, and frozen tater tots as well in the air fryer. To my astonishment, frozen foods are not healthier even cooked in the air fryer. This is because these frozen foods have already been cooked in oil. So even cooking them in an air fryer doesn’t make them healthier.
Homemade foods are healthier, to where you can bread foods yourself, and then use a tiny bit of oil. Some recipes still call for a tiny bit of oil to be used in your air fryer. But the amount is so much less than normal deep fried foods that this is where the healthier factor comes in.
Eating fried foods even in an air fryer daily will not make you healthy and lose weight. Switching deep fried foods for air fried options and consuming in moderation will help you be healthier and can lead to weight loss.
Depending on what kind of air fryer you chose to get some come with a bake option, or even a toast option. The air fryer we purchased came with a recipe booklet that has a number of recipes. We have tried a few that have turned out delicious, and finding recipes online have been super quick and simple as well.
It also is a much safer option than trying to deep fry anything in my opinion. Popping hot oil can be very scary.
We have learned a lot through our trial and error of using our air fryer. It does get my husband to help with dinner some nights, which I am all for. The food has turned out great, and the preheating and cook times being so minimal is extremely a major plus.
Even though the basket sometimes is too tiny for what we want to cook I would not get a bigger size just because I would be afraid it would take up a whole bunch of counter space in the kitchen. If I needed to cook a huge batch of something for a party or gathering, I think I would just end up cooking that in my oven instead of doing a million tiny batches of something.
This kitchen gadget started off in my mind as silly and was never going to be used. My thoughts have changed, we use it at least twice a week if not more, and the food has all turned out to where the whole family is saying yes to cooking again.
Learn More: Healthy Eating During Quarantine
Air Fryers mean less oil and less calories for a healthier you! Find out the health benefits of Air Fryers here! #HealthStatus
Air Fryers can make your dinner life easier and healthier particularly now with restaurants still not back to normal!
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