What Is An Air Fryer And How Does It Work?

By Consumer Advise Team
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Today, the lifestyle has changed a lot, and that has affected the food habit. While some people are getting obese only because of junk foods, many are inclined to eat healthy foods. But, both of you need healthy foods that are tasty too. If you find something that can make healthy foods for you which are yummy, you can stay fit and fine. 

Remembering such requirements, the manufacturers are designing certain types of kitchen appliances that can be used for healthy and tasty cooking. Air fryers are one of those. If you wish to have French Fries, instead of preparing those in too much oil, use an air fryer where you can use a minimum amount of oil and get crispy and tasty fries within minutes. In this article you will know the does an air fryer work and how can you use it properly to make the most out of it.

an air fryer with fries

What Is an Air Fryer?

The use of air fryers is increasing nationwide, and people are pretty satisfied with this appliance. Why is this appliance so popular? The primary reason is you can use this appliance for frying different food elements without using much oil. But, to understand the mechanism, you need to know what an air fryer is and how an air fryer work.

The air fryer is kind of a convection microwave oven that can be used for frying, roasting, baking, etc. But, there are specific differences between a microwave oven and an air fryer. In the latter, the heating elements are placed on the top of the appliance and a powerful and large fan produces hot air inside the air fryer to prepare crispy and tasty fries within a minimum time. You don’t need to use much oil and get fries exactly like deep-fried objects.

Using the best air fryer is very beneficial as it can save you time cooking extensively. It comes with a large and perfectly placed fan along with a concentrated heat source, cooking food quickly and evenly in just a matter of time.

Besides the ease of cooking, the air fryer is also used in many households because it is straightforward to clean. Usually, the baskets and racks of the air fryers are dishwasher-safe. If you buy one that is not dishwasher-safe, you can use a top-quality dish brush that can clean dirt and grime from every corner perfectly.

how air fryer works

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

The mechanism of an air fryer is designed for healthy cooking. You get the result of deep-frying without using much oil. The fan and the concentrated heating elements result in perfect frying, roasting, and baking. 

The appliance comes with a fryer-style basket. When you turn on the appliance, hot air rushes from the fan, and your food gets cooked in that heat. As the air circulation is rapid, it can provide you with crispy food, just like deep-frying, without much oil.

Here, we have elaborated the working method of an air fryer-

how does an air fryer work
  • The cooking mechanism runs in an air fryer through Rapid Air Technology (for Philips, different brands come up with different names). It is an advanced cooking technology that makes your foods get crispier and tastier. 
  • In this unique technology, a heating element (the heating coil) is placed on the top of the machine, associated with a fan. When you put on the electric switch, the heating coil gets hot, and the fan radiates the heat throughout the food basket of the air fryer.
  • The fan radiates the hot air downward rapidly. Due to the air circulation, the food is cooked faster, and you also require lesser oil. It is also because of the compactly designed food chamber that helps to cook intensely. The heat transfer method known as convection distributes energy through a gas or liquid medium.
  • Apart from the Rapid Air Technology, specific air fryers use infrared radiation techniques to cook food. In this system, the electromagnetic waves create a vibration in the food molecules and produce thermal energy. This system accelerates internal cooking. In this method of air fryer cooking, the excess fat and oil are drained into a compartment below the food basket. Thus, healthy eating is effortless with this air fryer.

So, here you get to know how an air fryer works and the science behind it. Almost all types of air fryers work like this. You can cook varieties of food items with this appliance and enjoy your mealtime.

how to use an air fryer

How to Use an Air Fryer Easily at your home?

Are you new to air frying? We will share every detail of working with the appliance so that you can use it easily. Have a look.

Using for the First Time? What to Expect? 

If you are using the air fryer for the first time, you need to wash the basket and the tray thoroughly and dry those well. While operating, put it around 8 inches away from the wall and place it on a heat-resistant surface. 

Some manufacturers recommend to pre-heat the appliance for 10 minutes before using it to let it off-gas. Once you are pre-heating the appliance, there might be a chemical smell. So, keep the windows and the vents open. Remember, pre-heat is only for the first time.

  • Open the basket and place the vegetables, chicken, or anything that you want to fry. Make sure the food elements are not wet at all. Those have to be completely dry. Don’t put too many objects at one time into the basket.
  • Use an oil brush to apply a minimal amount of oil to the food elements. If you are cooking non-veg items, you don’t even require using any oil. The appliance will use the fatty oil in the non-veg things to cook it.
  • Depending on the food, you need to set the timer and the temperature of the appliance. Usually, veg items take 10 minutes to get cooked, while non-veg items require 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Once the time is over, open the basket of the air fryer and shake it well. When you shake it thoroughly, the hot air reaches every part of the food and keeps it cooked well.
  • You can season your food with varieties of seasonings and serve it hot!

Essential Tips to Remember While Using Air Fryer

  • It would help if you always had the grate in the basket. Thus, the hot air will circulate the food well, and your food won’t soak the excess oil.
  • The sound of a whirring fan will notify you that the air fryer is working well.
  • You can stop the appliance halfway from cooking to turn the food. While doing browning, you can do this too. You don’t need to shut off the machine completely. While the basket is removed, it gets shut off automatically.
  • While pushing the basket again, make sure it is done perfectly, or else the machine won’t run.
  • The main advantage of using an air fryer is that it works pretty faster. It depends on the quantity of food in it. It will take minimum time for a lesser amount of food; for more food, it takes more time.
  • You can start by keeping the temperature lower than recommended. The appliance is quite fast in cooking; it can cause crispier objects or dark-colored foods that many don’t prefer. So, keep the temperature low and increase it when necessary.
  • It would be best if you washed the basket and the grate thoroughly after every use. Make sure leftovers and oil never get stuck to the bottom of the grate.
Tips To Get Better Browning On The Food In Air Fryer

Tips to Get Better Browning on the Food in Air Fryer

  • Always pat dry meat and vegetables so that you get a crisper result without any steaming.
  • You can add a tiny amount of oil if you want perfect browning. Else, the fat in the food is also enough for ideal browning.
  • You can use honey to brush on the objects to get perfect browning. The sugar in honey gives you the desired result.
  • If you are cooking pastry dough in an air fryer, brush it with egg to get glossy browning.
crunchy coating on air fried food

Get Crunchy and Crispy Coating on Food Items

  • Usually, you use bread crumbs for crispy coating, but they may absorb the fat from the food and get extra dry if you directly use those in the air fryer. So, pre-roast the breadcrumb in little oil and then use it for coating.
  • You can also spray the base of the air fryer with a little bit of oil. It will ensure that the crust remains attached to the food.
Cook Juicy Steaks In Air Fryer

Cook Juicy Steaks in Air Fryer

  • To get juicy and tasty steaks, you need to concentrate on the cuts. Pork tenderloins or the more enormous steaks are perfect to fit into the air fryer without overcrowding it.
  • Cooking steak in an air fryer is easy, and you will get a juicy result, but the surface has to be flavorful. Rub it with the perfect spice mixture and get the delicious steak on your plate.
How To Cook Fish In Air Fryer

How to Cook Fish in Air Fryer?

  • We are talking about meat and vegetables cooking in an air fryer, but you can also cook fish in it. As fish is more delicate than other objects, you should keep the temperature low and set the timer perfectly as it takes a longer time to cook.
  • If you are cooking delicate fish, those may result in breaking and sticking. You can use foil for easy removal of fish from the basket. Take time and cook gently to make it a perfect brown.

Cooking Chicken in Air Fryer

While cooking chicken in an air fryer, make sure you put the with-skin area above to get direct heat. Thus, the surface will be crispier, and the inside portion will be soft and juicy. You can poke the chicken with a toothpick so that it cooks evenly.

FAQ about Air Fryers

Is air fryer food healthy?

An air fryer is getting highly appealing to many households because it can cook healthy food where you need to use minimum oil or no oil at all. In this appliance, you just need to toss the ingredients in less oil, and the heat cooks it thoroughly to create a delectable meal.

Do you put oil in an air fryer?

An air fryer is popular as you don’t need oil for frying as you did in deep frying. If you are cooking vegetables, you can brush the foods with minimum oil and cook them. For non-veg foods, you don’t need to use oil at all. It is the fatty oil of non-veg elements that is enough for cooking those.

What can you not cook in an air fryer?

It would be best if you never put anything wet in the air fryer. While cooking vegetables or meat, you should pat dry those and cook. Never use any wet batter, like tempura shrimp or corndogs, etc., in air fryers. Cheese can be hugely messy if you put it in an air fryer. It would help if you also stayed away from putting fresh greens, like kale or spinach, into the air fryer as those may scatter inside and won’t get cooked well. Never put meat or vegetables with lots of seasoning into the air fryer.

What are the best foods to cook in an air fryer?

You can cook lots of items in an air fryer like bacon, bananas, etc. To prepare a flavorful steak, you can use your air fryer too. Want to prepare a delicious savory with seasoned chickpeas? Use an air fryer for the perfect crispiness. Donuts prepared in the air fryer are fluffy and light. To make crispy chicken nuggets and make gnocchi golden from being gummy, an air fryer is the best appliance. Wholesome dishes like kale chips, stir-fried baby carrots, stuffed bell peppers, etc., can be cooked in air fryers.

So, here we have discussed how an air fryer work and how you can make the most benefits out of it. We cleared any doubt regarding the machine by describing its mechanism and working style. Also, we have mentioned how to use the air fryer ideally. Also, know the advantages and disadvantages of an air fryer. There are lots of essential tips that will help you to prepare unique dishes in an air fryer.

If you still have any confusion about the appliance, you can check out the FAQ section, where we have answered some of the common questions. Hopefully, your doubts are cleared. There are varieties of brands available in the market. Check out the reviews and choose the most suitable one for you. Staying healthy always start with eating healthy, and your air fryer will help you with that.

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