I completely understand the basic principles behind cooking fried food. Heat up a large amount of a heat conductor – cooking oil – insert food and that heat conducting oil transfers the heat to your food, cooking the inside and perfectly browning the outer portion. You don’t really need to be a computer genius like me to get that concept, although it does help. What I didn’t get, and had to try for myself, was getting that same result without the oil as the conductor.
That is in reference to these newer kitchen appliances called “air fryers”. Even the name was confusing at first and caused me to have to go and check some review sites to find out what that meant. To save you that trouble I will tell you that an air fryer (sometimes referred to as an oil less fryer) uses convection heat technology to get the same cooking effect as deep frying does, without the fat and the mess.
What is Convection Heat?
In terms of cooking, convection usually means the distribution of hot hair using a fan so that the temperature is consistent during the cooking period. This tends to make the cooking vessel hotter, allowing the food inside to cook faster. The heat created can be intense, which is why it does such a good job of quickly sealing food the way a traditional deep fryer will do.
How to Use the Air Fryer
During my experiments with this new kitchen counter appliance I learned a few tricks. First of all, don’t take that oil less part too literally. A cut up potato will taste nothing like a French fry if you just throw it into the air oil less deep fryer. Why? Because it lacks the flavor that cooking oil brings to the table. So invest in a small cooking brush, and apply a light coat of oil to the food before putting it inside of the fryer. Add some spice to that oil to jazz it up. This was another trick I learned. Since I no longer had to care about making oil dirty as spices just flew off into it, I was able to jazz up the food more than normal.
The only downside was with batter fried recipes. It worked, just not close enough to the consistency of an oil fryer for me to get overly excited about it.
Why tech savvy review of this kitchen gadget? Well worth the small investment if you want fried food tasting food without the mess and the extra calories. If that doesn’t bother you, than stick with what you have.
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