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When it comes to adding new gadgets or appliances to my kitchen, kitchen storage is a major concern for me. I consider factors like utility, price, and whether it’s worth taking up precious space in my kitchen. For example, I don’t own a toaster because I don’t eat toast regularly and can find other ways to prepare it when I do. I also haven’t invested in a pressure cooker or multicooker because I prefer to keep an eye on my food while it’s cooking. So naturally, when the air fryer became popular, I was skeptical. I dismissed it as just a small convection oven and thought the hype around it was like a cult. But as the pandemic led to a surge in people needing to cook for themselves, I couldn’t ignore the air fryer any longer.
Thanks to the insistence of readers and the internet’s demand for air fryer recipes, I finally gave in and bought one for myself at the end of 2022. After months of experimenting and developing recipes, I am now ready to admit that I am an air fryer fan. Despite being “just a small convection oven,” its size makes it more efficient than a regular oven, resulting in browner and crisper food in less time. People rave about how good air fryer chicken wings are, and I doubt I’ll ever make them any other way. The air fryer is also great for quickly reheating leftovers, acting as a toaster, and cooking frozen prepared foods like tater tots in just minutes. Its small capacity also makes it more energy-efficient when cooking for one or two people, and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen as much as a standard oven during the summer months.
If you’re new to the world of air frying or need more ideas, here are some tips I’ve learned along the way to get the most out of your air fryer:
1. Avoid using nonstick cooking spray on nonstick cookware or air fryer baskets. It can burn and leave a sticky residue. Instead, use spray bottles filled with oil.
2. Preheating is not always necessary, but it may take a bit longer for food to cook if you skip this step.
3. Cook food in a single layer and in batches to allow for proper airflow and achieve the best results.
4. Shake or flip the food during cooking to ensure even heating, especially since the heat source is mainly from above.
5. Not all air fryers are the same, so you may need to adjust time or temperature from published recipes to achieve your desired results.
Now, let’s dive into some delicious air fryer recipes:
1. Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette:
– Trim and halve Brussels sprouts.
– Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
– Cook in the air fryer until browned and crisp.
– Drizzle with a honey-lemon vinaigrette.
2. Air Fryer Old Bay Chicken Wings:
– Toss chicken wings with baking powder for enhanced browning and crisping.
– Season with Old Bay seasoning.
– Cook in the air fryer until crispy and irresistible.
These recipes are just the beginning, so embrace the air fryer and discover the many possibilities it offers in your kitchen.