Air Fryer Basics

WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

An air fryer is essentially a countertop oven, that uses the power of convection to cook your food more quickly and often more evenly. Air fryers have fans that circulate the hot air around your food resulting in even cooking and that almost ‘deep-fried’ texture that makes this appliance so popular.

WHAT STYLE IS BEST?

Air fryers come in several sizes and shapes, the two most popular styles are the tower and the oven. Tower-style air fryers are probably the most common as it’s the main style that was popularized on TV infomercials. Our food team affectionately calls these the egg-shaped air fryers. These are known for having a pull-out drawer and usually a metal basket to place your food in. The other common style is the oven-style, which like an oven, has a door that opens from the front with perforated shelves to place your food. Our team has used both styles and has found little difference in the results of the food cooking, but they all agreed that the oven style made flipping and removing the food after cooking much easier.

WHAT SIZE AIR FRYER DO I NEED?

Picking the right size air fryer can be a little tricky but don’t worry, we have a few pointers that make choosing the right one a little easier! As a general rule of thumb, we recommend 2-quarts for every person you’re cooking for, so if you have a family of four, an 8-quart air fryer is a great option. If you think 2-quarts sounds small, you’re not wrong! Even if you’re cooking for just yourself or for two people, if you have the space available for a larger air fryer, we’d still recommend it.

WHAT MAKES IT HEALTHIER?

It’s the need for less oil that really makes cooking in the air fryer healthier. For the best control of oil usage, we recommend using a sprayer designed for oil. This allows you to evenly coat your food in a thin layer, only requiring enough oil to get the job done. (Read More: Are Air Fryers Healthy?)

WHAT CAN I MAKE IN IT?

Besides making healthier versions of your favorite fried foods, as we mentioned earlier, the air fryer is really a small convection oven. That means you can cook, bake, and roast in it, as well. Not to mention, it’s great for reheating leftovers. (Read More: What Kind of Food Can I Make in My Air Fryer?)

Do I Need to Preheat My Air Fryer? The answer may surprise you…

DOES IT WORK WITHOUT USING OIL?

Technically speaking, you can cook with no added fat in your air fryer but doing so can mean the sacrifice of texture and flavor by doing so. Not to mention, taking the risk of your food getting stuck in it (Read More: Avoiding Sticky Situations in Your Air Fryer.) To really get the most out of your air-fried foods, a light mist of oil is recommended and really all you need.

HOW DO I CLEAN IT?

Luckily, cleaning your air fryer is quite straightforward. Many of the versions with baskets are dishwasher-safe but also very easy to wash with soap and water. The outside of the unit can be cleaned with a damp cloth. The same goes for the interior. Occasionally the heating element may need to be cleaned, to do this, carefully flip the unit upside down and use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe it clean.

DO I NEED ANY ACCESSORIES?

Your air fryer comes with everything you need to use it. That said, some of the available accessories for them certainly can make cooking with your air fryer even easier. What’s not to love about that? While it’s not required, we strongly encourage you to get an accessory kit that includes wire racks, baking pans, and metal skewers. They’ll all come in handy.

Get The Book

We love the air fryer so much, we even wrote a book about it! Loaded with 75 great recipes all made in the air fryer and all make enough to serve two! Get Cooking for Two with Your Air Fryer by Drew Maresco and BestRecipes.co today!

Get The Book on Amazon!

Cooking for Two with Your Air Fryer by Drew Maresco and BestRecipes.co

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