Maybe it’s time to finally add to cart!
Almost a year has passed since the first lockdown. You're probably asking: is it safe to eat out again? After months of self-quarantine, it's only understandable to feel restless at home and to miss going out to eat at your favorite restaurant.
Thankfully, there are precautionary measures you can follow to stay safe when dining out. Of course, staying safe at home is still the one to beat, but if you're bored of home-cooked meals, why not explore ways to make your homemade dishes more interesting instead?
Air-frying is certainly a way to mix things up in the kitchen. In case you missed it, social media has been abuzz about the air fryer in the past months. People can't seem to get enough of how fantastic and convenient this trendy kitchen appliance is.
However, is it really worth the hype? Here's what you need to know before you add to cart.
What is an air fryer?
Think of an air fryer as a convection oven that's small enough to place on your kitchen's countertop. The air fryer's main selling point is how it cooks food quickly with little to no oil involved.
Philips Electronics Company patented the air fryer in 2010, but this did not dissuade entrepreneurs from coming up with their own iteration of the product. Today, the air fryer has reached a new level of fame. It's so popular that if you search ”air fryer” on Lazada, you'll find lots of options and more than enough customer reviews to go on.
How does an air fryer work?
An air fryer's heating mechanism is located at the top. It's also where the air circulation fan is. When you turn it on, the heat is accumulated and evenly circulated within the device. The result is food cooked to crispy perfection.
However, you can also roast, broil or bake in an air fryer. Although you can't deep-fry in it, its airflow is designed to replicate deep-frying heat distribution.
How to use an air fryer?
Air fryers come with a grate-and-fry basket where you place the food you want to cook. If you want your food to have that golden brown look, spritz a little oil on the food before air-frying, but no need if you're cooking naturally fatty food.
Before you put the food in, make sure the grate is in place. This allows hot air to circulate around the food and keeps it from sitting in excess oil. Since cooking time varies, you may have to wait for five to 25 minutes. If you're going for even browning, you will have to remove the basket and move the food around every few minutes.
There's a tray at the bottom of the equipment to catch drips from the food you're cooking. As a bonus, most air fryers are easy to clean because they're dishwasher-ready.
Is air-frying healthy?
Let's get real; fried food is unhealthy no matter how you prepare it. However, since air-frying uses less oil, it is arguably healthier, making it a better option to deep-frying in oil. Deep-frying at high temperatures may also lead to the formation of harmful compounds like acrylamide, which is linked to endometrial, pancreatic, esophageal, ovarian and breast cancer.
Other than its potential health risks, deep-frying can be scary if you're clumsy. How many times have you run for cover when you heard the oil pop as your deep-frying? Meanwhile, even the world's biggest klutz can safely operate an air fryer.
What can you cook with an air fryer?
Meat slices like fish fillet, chicken wings, pork chops and steak are just a few of the things you can cook in an air fryer. You can also cook vegetables such as brussels sprouts, squash, eggplants and sweet potatoes.
For a quick snack, air fry frozen products like french fries, onion rings, chicken nuggets and mozzarella sticks. You can even use it for homemade pizza and donuts. Be as creative and imaginative as you want to maximize your air fryer!
Just (air) fry already!
Whether you're on a weight loss journey or just being more health-conscious, air-frying is an excellent way to satisfy your cravings for fried food. It's not as unhealthy as deep-frying, it can cook faster, and it looks cute on your kitchen countertop. Getting an air fryer is also a good place to start if you want to mix things up in the kitchen. It can inspire you to experiment and makes staying indoors more interesting.
If your kitchen has yet to welcome an air fryer, you might want to hop on to your favorite online shop and grab one for yourself. If you have one in the kitchen you've yet to unbox, what are you waiting for? Air-fry already!