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elbanditoroso's avatar

Can you give me the layman's understanding of air fryers?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33228points) February 16th, 2021

- how do they work? What does air frying entail that oil frying doesn’t? Is air frying a real substitute?

- is cleanup really as simple and easy as advertised?

- does the food taste like it’s really fried? Or is sort of an ersatz semi-edible substitute?

For example: I bought some felafel mix at the local Syrian food store. The box says “fry….until golden brown”. I assume they mean in oil.

Would an air fryer do an acceptable job?

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9 Answers

cookieman's avatar

It is not really “frying”, per se. more like, “rapid hot air vortex”.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Small convection oven !

doyendroll's avatar

@elbanditoroso “Can you give me the layman’s understanding of air fryers?”

Most assuredly, I’d be delighted to:

Heat cooks.

JLeslie's avatar

From what I understand it’s an intense convection oven. I’m not even sure it’s actually more “intense” than a regular convection oven.

Here’s a Wikipedia.

If you are on Facebook you might want to join an air fryer group, even if just fit a few days, to see what people try and what’s successful.

I hear French fries work well. I make chicken on convection setting in my oven and it’s great. I actually start it on top of the stove and then transfer it to the oven. I use chicken parts, not a whole chicken. My guess is chicken is great in the air fryer.

I think you can try the falafel. I would. Maybe spread/brush a touch of oil on them. I bet the Facebook groups have opinions about it.

I personally wouldn’t bother buying one, I like my toaster oven. I bought an InstaPot and I regret it. Another appliance to deal with. Although, I think there are pressure cookers that are also air fryers? So, one appliance for both.

kritiper's avatar

Best thing for you to do is to get an air fryer and try it out. If you don’t like it, stash it away in case a cold snap comes up and you need a small space heater.

Cupcake's avatar

It works really well for us. I particularly like bacon cooked in the air fryer. We have the kind that you can also use as a rotisserie, but I don’t think we’ll do that again since we don’t rotisserie much.

It cooks food quickly and makes it very crispy.

We toast bread, heat up frozen meatballs, heat/cook sausage and hot dogs, bacon… it makes the crispiest tater tots.

The natural oils in the food rise to the surface, so you do get a slightly oily surface for the first few seconds out of the air fryer, which is the idea time to salt your food.

Highly worth it, in my opinion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can you fry chicken in it @Cupcake?

Cupcake's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m sure you could. I don’t eat grains, so I haven’t done that. The batter (if wet) could get stuck somewhat in the basket. But I’ve seen people do it in videos.

dabbler's avatar

A local vegan fast-food offers air-fries… to my taste they are not at all as satisfying as regular fries. They are not oily at all, which may be good, but they also don’t have much of that ‘toasty’ layer that regular fries have.

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