What to Cook in an Air Fryer
Feeding a family can be quite a challenge, especially with busy lifestyles. At the end of a long workday, many face the dilemma of picking something up on the way home or coming home to whip up a quick, and hopefully nutritious, meal. The homewares department of any store features appliances designed to make preparing meals easier. The air fryer is one such kitchen gadget.
The air fryer cooks meals by surrounding them with superheated air for a beautifully quick and efficient finish. Your food comes out of the air fryer deliciously crispy, without the calories and mess that come with plunging it in a vat of oil.
Once you have an air fryer in your kitchen, you’ll want to experiment with cooking different foods. And while the sky is your proverbial limit, we’ve done some groundwork to help you zero-in and whip-up some of the best things to cook in an air fryer.
1. French Fries
One of the first things most people try cooking in their air fryer is french fries. Traditionally, french fries are deep-fried. Deep-fried fries are…delicious? Definitely. Healthy? Not so much. Hard to turn down? Oi vey, tell us about it.
But when you air fry up a batch of french fries, you’ll never look back. French fries cooked in an air fry need nothing more than a light spray of oil. Yep, just a quick spritz, and you’ll have fries that are crispy-crunchy on the outside and delectably fluffy on the inside. The absence of all that frying oil makes them healthier and if you really want to have some fun, try sweet potato fries.
2. Breaded and Battered Food
Picky eaters will be easy to please when you cook their favorite bread-crumbed and battered foods in the air fryer. Foods like fish sticks and chicken nuggets come up golden brown and crispy in an air fryer without the copious amounts of oil needed in a deep fryer. While this will be a hit with kids and those picky eaters, you may want something with a little more finesse.
Get your favorite pickles or make onion rings and bread them yourself with a light spray of cooking oil to crisp ’em up. What do we really love about breading and battering our own air fryer confections? Going to town with all of the herbs and spices in the pantry.
3. Meat and Fish
You don’t need to bread your favorite proteins to enjoy them straight out of the air fryer. Steak, poultry, and a variety of seafood cook up beautifully in an air fryer. Experiment with your favorite spices and sauces for a dish that is truly mouthwatering. While your favorite meat or seafood is cooking, make yourself a nice salad for a healthy and fast dinner.
If you’re tired of looking at bland, overcooked vegetables that are neither appetizing nor palatable, the result is often no better when you fry them in a frying pan. In an air fryer, you can cook those vegetables al dente. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and toss in some herbs for amazing flavors and perfect textures.
5. Roasted Nuts
Expecting your buddies over to watch a big game on your oversized flatscreen TV? You’re going to want to put out some nibbles, but you may also want to combine the traditional potato chips with additional snacks. Roasted nuts are a healthier alternative, and they taste great. All you need to do is place a single layer in the chamber of your air fryer and roast them for a few minutes (check instructions for time and temperature). When they come out of the air fryer, sprinkle with salt and ground chili flakes for an extra kick that will go down well with a strong beer.
6. Baked Goods
If you love baking, you’re going to love making your favorite cakes, muffins, and pastries in your air fryer. In most cases, you will only need to tweak your recipes a little to get the same perfect results in less than half the cooking time.
If you love the smell of fresh bread permeating through your home, you can make impressive bread rolls and small buns. Don’t stop there. Many air fryers come with cake tins, so next time you’re entertaining, make a cake for your guests or try a batch of cookies that you can have with coffee or wrap them up and give as food gifts.
7. Frozen Foods
There’s no denying the convenience of the frozen food section in your supermarket. The choices of ready to cook items are endless. From sweet treats to various pies and dozens of snack options, the air fryer can cook almost anything you find in the freezer. Keep a stash in your freezer, and you’ll always be able to whip up some of these delicacies in your air fryer.
Don’t limit yourself to french fries. With a high-quality air fryer in your kitchen, you can cook the main part of your meal, all the sides, and enjoy a full plate of delicious, fresh food. And why not throw dessert on while you chow down on dinner? Yes. Please.
So, like, whatcha waiting for? It’s time to get creating in the kitchen.
- General Tips for Air Frying – Blue Jean Chef