The air fryer may be one of the best household appliances ever made. The small convection oven can cook food with less oil – which can be a healthier alternative to the traditional way of frying food. Frozen goods like chicken nuggets and french fries are best for the air fryer.
Product designer and engineer Fred van der Weij invented the innovative, trendy kitchen tool. The Dutch entrepreneur is a foodie at heart and the inspiration for the air fryer came from using a fat-free fryer from an infomercial and not receiving desirable results, per Exnovate. From there, he began the process of making his own version that required less oil and had a faster cooking time. Genius!
As mentioned in the Washington Post, he noted that small ovens he tried in the past “couldn’t make french fries of very good quality.”
“They were dry and not very crispy at all,” Weij recalled. “They needed a long time for preparation. French fries were the first thing we tried, because they’re very sensitive to heating: too much, too long, too short.”
The air fryer took the world by storm with almost 10 million pieces sold in the U.S. between 2017 and 2019, as per Joe Derochowski, an adviser at the NPD Group (via New York Times).
That said, people have experimented with various food using the device. Let’s find out the things that are not suitable for the air fryer.
Some vegetables will not work in the air fryer
For vegetable lovers, not being able to cook various types of plant-based foods in the convection oven can be a bummer. The air fryer is famous for its high heat and oil-less cooking style – and those two factors are not suitable for broccoli florets. Don’t even try it. The green vegetable will just completely dry out -or might even turn to dust. Poof! All gone.
Stephanie Pixley, the deputy food editor of America’s Test Kitchen, tried cooking the healthy vegetables with no such luck. She told Insider that she had “high hopes that broccoli florets would get super crispy and delicious. Unfortunately, they just got very dry and dusty.” She even noted that the “experience was like chewing on sandpaper.”
Raw vegetables are also not suitable for the air fryer as they are soggy and can come out “really chewy and tasteless.” Meanwhile, frozen veggies are a better fit as they are full of moisture – perfect under the heat (per Air Fryer Reviewed).
A whole chicken or battered foods in the air fryer?
Roasting a whole chicken in the air fryer can lead to failure. The chicken can take up the entire space inside the small oven – causing some unevenly cooked parts. The areas exposed to the heat source can be overcooked or even burnt (via Insider).
The hot air needs to circulate inside the fryer to cook the food properly. Eating a hard-roasted chicken is far from delicious, eh? An alternative would be cutting the whole chicken into small parts and cooking them in batches to have a better outcome.
Wet batters like corn dogs and coated chicken wings are also not ideal foods to cook in an air fryer. The coating will just drip and make a mess inside the fryer. Instead, you can opt for a three-step breading procedure (think of schnitzel or breaded fried chicken) that works best with the small convection oven (via Kitchn).
Yes, it’s impossible to cook all meals with an air fryer, but that doesn’t mean the home appliance is not a good kitchen tool. Be creative. There are tons of air fryer recipes on the internet that you can follow. You can even try this donut trick or these sinfully delicious chicken wings!
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