Looking to get the most of an air fryer? The only trick here is to learn how to use air fryer accordingly. Explore that in this article.
So, now you are the proud owner of a high-quality air fryer. You are ready to start air frying with your new appliance. But do you know how to go about it? Above all, do you know how an air fryer works?
How an Air Fryer Works? – How to use Air Fryer
Before we can explore all the tips to help you use an air fryer accordingly, let’s see how these appliances work.
First off, they are not deep fryers and do not work the same. Typically, the air fryer is like a mini yet advanced convection oven. These appliances work by circulating hot air in and around the food inside it. The food will be placed in a basket-like that in a deep fryer. So that’s pretty much all the information you need to know about the working mechanism of an air fryer.
Now, let’s explore how you can use an air fryer accordingly.
Getting Crunchier Coating – How To Use Air Fryer
One way to use an air fryer is to achieve crunchier coating on the food you are preparing. There are two approaches to this;
Spraying vegetable oil on the basket
You can spray the base of the air fryer lightly with some vegetable oil to keep the crust attached to the food. A vegetable oil spray can help you with that.
Pretoast the crumbs
Panko bread crumbs will offer an amazing crunchy coating to most food you prepare in the air fryer. Whether you are preparing zucchini fries or chicken nuggets, panko bread crumbs can help to keep them extra crunchy. You can pre-toast them quickly in the microwave with some oil to give them the irresistible golden brown.
Achieving Even Cooking with the Air Fryer
Even though an air fryer is one cooking appliance that cooks with an advanced mechanism, some food may come out unevenly cooked. To ensure that all the food is evenly cooked, here are some tips to apply;
Flip and rotate protein-based foods
Even though it might seem daunting to flip and rotate meat halfway as you are cooking in the air fryer, it proves to be very much helpful. It helps the hot air to reach every part of the food as it cooks. Even with a pair of the regular kitchen tongs that you have can help you in flipping and rotating the proteins.
Do not overfill the air fryer
Too many people make the mistake of filling too much food in the air fryer basket. When you overfill the food basket inside the air fryer, it will prevent hot air from circulating evenly inside the cooker. Instead of the hot air circulating, the food will steam up. In the long run, it will not cook evenly and will not come out crispy.
To arrange food, you can use a jigsaw puzzle approach. In this case, you can simply cut large proteins in half and place smaller pieces between them. All in all, you should not overfill the air fryer.
Stock your skewers perpendicularly
Arranging four or more skewers perpendicularly or in a log cabin style can help to promote enough air circulation. When the hot air circulates properly around the air fryer, it will help to promote even cooking.
Cooking Juice Steaks in the Air Fryer
As you already know, an air fryer can do more than just frying food. If you want to cook juice steaks in the air fryer, here are some tips to help you out;
Cut them in smaller sizes
You can cut the large steaks and half those pork tenderloins so that they can perfectly fit into the air fryer. This also helps to prevent overcrowding.
Add a spice rub
Even though chops and steaks can come out juicy and evenly cooked, the surface might need some extra flavor touch. Here, you can add some spice rub that will give the meat a better color and an appetizing flavor.
Cooking Chicken in the Air Fryer
Poke some holes in the skin
If you are cooking fat chicken drumsticks and thighs, you might want to poke some holes in the skin to render the fat. A skewer can be used to make the holes.
Keep the skin side up
Did you know that air fryers heat food from above? I thought you should. So, if you are cooking chicken with the skin on, make sure that the skin side faces up to keep it crispy enough. Remember that flipping the food is one trick of making it cook evenly. When cooking chicken, you can start with the thick breasts with bone facing down and flip them later.
How To Achieve Brown Finish on Food
Add some oil
You can add a small amount of oil to offer you the best results. Even though you can still cook without oil for a healthy meal, oil does help to promote browning of the food. Plus, it helps to give the food a crispy coating. When adding the oil, do not put it in excess.
Remove the Excess Moisture from the Surface
Ideally, pat the excess moisture from the surface of veggies and meat to prevent steaming. In turn, this will help to give you crispier foods.
Use egg wash to brush pastry dough
If you are cooking some pastry, you can brush the surface with egg wash. As it cooks, the egg wash will help to offer you glossy browning.
Cooking Fish in an Air Fryer
Use a foil sling
When preparing delicate fish, it can break or get sticky. In this case, a foil sling will help you to handle the delicate fish without getting sticky or breaking.
If you are cooking scallops wrapped in bacon, you can skewer the seafood. This will help to make the small and delicate pieces of fish easier to remove from the cooker once they are fully cooked.
Lower the temperature in the air fryer
Air fryers are known to produce extremely hot air to cook food. However, not every food is best cooked with intense heat. When cooking fish, you might want to dial back the temperature so that it can cook for a longer time. This way, the fish will cook gently and also have a better chance to have a brown and crusty finish.
So, now you have an idea of how to use an air fryer. All in all, make sure that you follow the user guide properly.