Air Frying 101: How Does An Air Fryer Work
With modern cooking, air frying is the new in-thing. It is one of the most contemporary methods of cooking that has gained a lot of approval because of its efficiency and multiple benefits above conventional cooking methods, especially in terms of health, since more and more people are conscious of their health in terms of their diet.
By the name itself, an air fryer fries using air. This is achieved by the use of hot air that is circulated within the appliance, which is usually cylindrical or round in order to allow air to circulate freely and evenly around the food which is usually placed in the center and coated with a very minimal amount of cooking oil.
If you are still wondering “how does an air fryer work?” you should know that a heating element is placed near the food chamber to better cook it with more efficiency. Above this chamber is an exhaust fan to circulate the air for more even cooking on all sides. The fan blasts the hot air sufficiently to achieve this while maintaining the nutritional value of the food being cooked.
To better understand how does an air fryer works, it does so by using what is called rapid air technology in circulating air that is heated up to 200° Celsius.
The super heated air acts as a substitute for hot oil in deep frying. This oil substitution results in fried food that has up to 80% less oil than conventional deep-fried foods. The results will be a crisp and crunchy exterior with a juicy interior, similar to that of deep fried food.
If the idea of super heated air is intimidating for some, there is nothing to worry about with an air fryer because each unit is built with its own cooling system that aims to keep temperatures under control all the time.
A fan ensures this as well as guaranteeing that the air that is circulated internally is clean and healthy as well. The air flow is directed from top to bottom, which allows the fryer to cool down more easily.
Now that you have an idea on how does an air fryer work, here are a few tips on how to use it properly in order to achieve your desired results:
1. Make sure that the foods you cook in the air fryer are dry. Give each piece a bit of a pat down before they go into the cooking chamber. This especially holds true for saucy foods such as marinated meats.
Patting the foods dry before air frying them ensures that excessive smoking due to a heated sauce, as well as splattering will be avoided, resulting in a cleaner cooking area, with ultimately less cleanup needed afterward
2. Grease your foods lightly with a brush or with cooking spray, or do a quick oil massage. Although the air fryer’s ultimate goal is to fry without the use of oil, you may still want to do this if you do not want your food sticking to the tray when it is being cooked.
3. Space your foods adequately in the cooking tray so that they cook evenly. Since foods are cooked with the circulating hot air, it only makes sense that they should not be overcrowded so that most of their surfaces are exposed to the circulating hot air. Spacing your foods adequately gives you better chances of coming up with crisper and better results
4. Rotate your foods as they cook. Smaller foods such as French fries may tend to compress as they cook; this may potentially cause them to cook unevenly. To avoid this, give them a bit of a shake every five minutes and they should come out nice and crisp.
Above all: practice, practice, practice! Even if you get to the point where you’ve finally found the best air fryer for your needs, you can expect that things will not go as smoothly since you are transitioning to a new cooking method. Food tends to cook faster with air frying and thus tends to dry out faster and harden too.
Getting the right balance between the timing and the temperature, as well as a bit of shaking, produces the best results with air fried food. This could take some practice and a lot of getting used to. So don’t get frustrated too easily. Take your time and learn one dish after another.