So I had started to hear rumours, whisperings…musings if you will, about some new gadgets on the market called Air Fryers, and my curiosity led me to research more!
Many comments mentioned fries with only a small amount of oil required… and quite frankly, I was not too impressed with either buying a bag of frozen fries, with all the chemicals and preservatives these entail, as convenient as they are/were… and the other alternative I would do as an infrequent ‘treat’ was the good ol’ fashioned high amount of oil in pan and ease the fries in with a great amount of trepidation – it seriously felt like I was putting mine and my family’s life at risk each and every time I did this! Then there was the issue of whether to re-use the oil… reports of it being bad to use oil already heated to a high temp previously, etc. So all in all; I wasn’t that keen on the whole fries scenario full stop.
Enter the Air Fryer (trumpets sounding)! I am pretty much controlled by colour and matching things, so of course, I had to locate an aqua (light blue/green for those poor souls like my husband, who have tonal deficiency!).
And here it is in glorious technicolour: I chose the Dash Family Size fryer, but there are currently many options out on the market.
The cost was around C$150-ish I think… took about a month to get here (pandemic postal delays), but is so simple to use and quite honestly: a godsend! I chose the family size one, as you can get smaller ones, but I would expect they would only cover a single person with small portions.
Warning: Air Fryers are BIG! They do require room and ventilation around them… I call mine R2D2 (nerd!) and sit it on the island/counter top.
Warning #2: Just because the fryers are big, this does not necessarily mean you can fit a family portion of food in one go! Do not be fooled with the pic above, showing fries overflowing out of the pan: With fries still as the example, you can only have one layer covering in the pan – you cannot have fries on top of each other or they simply will not cook well. So you have the space of the surface of the pan, that is all, really, unless you plan to spend your time taking the pan out and shaking them every few minutes.
So again, with the fries example: I make 2 x portions/loads for my family. The fries take around 15 mins to cook, but I do soak them for approx. 20 mins in water before draining, drying off, and adding a small amount of olive oil and seasoning. You can use an oil spray to make sure you cover all the fries but only lightly. I add some seasoning herbs and then pour into the air fryer pan.
So what else have I made with it? Well it is still new/early days, but so far I have explored:
- Tofu (really great for crispy cubes !) – remember to sit in spices/herbs, etc. for a while before adding to fryer
- Breaded vegan mozzarella sticks (a work in progress re the breaded part!)
- Breaded Zucchini sticks (see above)
- Mini pizzas… and other things that are not coming to my mind at this minute.
So would I advocate purchasing an Air Fryer? Yes I would – especially if you or your family like comfort foods, and for me, getting the crispy restaurant-like tofu is really worth it!
Oh, and we haven’t bought a bag of frozen fries since! 🙂