Air fryers have been steadily climbing in popularity, especially over the past 3-4 years. This time last year, searches for air fryers skyrocketed and were one of the most popular Christmas gadgets. It is becoming more mainstream for a kitchen to contain this appliance, but why?

Whether you own one or not, there’ll be something in the blog for you! Including recipes, cleaning tips, and pros/cons of owning an air fryer.

a white air fryer in a kitchen

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is essentially a mini convection oven. It circulates heated air around the tray in order to cook, whilst using as little oil as possible. Cooking in this way can be quicker and healthier than other cooking methods.

Air Fryer Pros

The pros of cooking with an air fryer are as follows:

  • Crispy food without excessive oil
  • Quicker cooking times
  • No hot oil splashes
  • More consistent browning

Air Fryer Cons

The cons of cooking with an air fryer are as follows:

  • Hard to clean
  • Not much capacity (primarily suitable for 1-2 people)
  • Can overcook or dry out food
  • Still may have to use other appliances for a complete meal

How to Clean an Air Fryer

Most importantly, turn off and unplug your air fryer before cleaning. Make sure it’s cool. Depending on some brands/models of air fryer, you may even be able to put it into the dishwasher. However, if this isn’t an option for you, Good Housekeeping recommends using a soft-bristled brush to get into all the hard-to-reach areas in the basket.

If you overfill your air fryer, there’s a chance that the heating element itself will also need to be cleaned. To avoid this, make sure to monitor the amount of food you cook at once. Make sure not to scrub the air fryer basket with brillo pads, wire scrubbers or anything similar, as the non-stick coating may start to come off, and this can potentially continue to come off onto your food in the future.

You can make it easier to clean by using foil or baking paper over your food to stop any splatter onto the heating element, and you can buy large cake tin liners to cook your food in. Simply throw away the liner when you’re done.

Bonus: 2 Air Fryer Recipes to Get You Started

Fish and Chips

60g cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 Large egg beaten
60g cup panko bread crumbs
450g pound cod fillet cut into strips
Cooking oil spray

Set up your dredging station by adding three bowls. In one, mix your flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Beat your egg and put it into the second bowl. Put your panko breadcrumbs in the last bowl.

Cut your fish into small strips, about an inch wide, and pat dry with a paper towel. Next, dredge your fish in the flour, then dip the fish into the beaten egg, making sure it’s entirely covered. Then dip your fish into the panko breadcrumbs. Gently pat the fish into the breadcrumbs to make sure they stick. Once done, gently spray your fish with oil on both sides.

Air fry the fish at 200°C. Air fry until golden brown. Open the air fryer basket and check if your fish is done with a fork to see if it flakes easily. You can pop the basket back in the air fryer for another 1 or 2 minutes if necessary. When done to your liking, remove the basket and serve immediately.

If you have two baskets or a big enough basket, you can also do your chips in the air fryer by following the instructions of your favourite frozen chips, or by making your own and cooking until crispy and golden brown.

Chicken Legs

4 Chicken Legs
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper

Dry your chicken legs with paper towels, then place them into a bowl. (Keep the skin on!) Sprinkle on your dry ingredients and toss to combine. Arrange the chicken in your air fryer basket and cook for 35-40 minutes at 210°C. Make sure to shake the basket every 10-15 minutes.

Prick the thickest part of the chicken with a skewer and if the juices run clear (not pink) your chicken should be ready. The baking powder (not baking soda!) helps to keep the chicken skin crispy. You can serve with your favourite side dish, including tender stem broccoli, sweet potato fries and more!

chicken thighs in an air fryer basket

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