So my better 1/2 had some Sears rewards point to use before Sears goes completely out of business. Our Brick & Mortar store will cease to exist after March of this year. So she came home with a B&D Air Fryer. I have to admit I was always a bit skeptical of such devises and now that we had one my research mode went into full tilt. Now we all know by reading info on today's internet you can find anything you wanted to know didn't want to know or even some things you were completely unaware of. You can find those who like, dislike, love, hate or are indifferent to what ever subject you are researching. Sometimes too many opinions does more harm than good
So as I was in learning, I found out these gadgets are not "Fryers" at all! They use no oil (just what is on or in the food) which is why they are touted as a healthier way to cook. They are in essence counter top convection ovens that do not fry but with a small cook area and concentrated heat and forced air flow can emulate the effects of fried food to a degree. I saw plenty of recipe disasters where folks were trying to make Southern Buttermilk "fried" chicken and ended up with mealy mush over under-cooked chicken. There were those that complained that it actually took longer to prepare food than just using an oven or an actual deep fryer and so no benefit to what they called a waste of time and $$$. Then there were those that raved about these devices and if used properly and within their design parameters the results were amazing. I saw a middle ground developing so before counting this little oven out and decided I would try it out. 1st attempt was frozen french fries. now to the defense of the air fryer the 1st fries I used were "store brand" and may have been in the freezer for a little minute
However the fries were edible and I did some fine tuning on time & temp settings and the results improved. Next up cold pizza. Now i am sure everyone here has heated up pizza either by microwave (yuck) & ended up just rather eating it cold (which is cool sometimes too) or you have to heat the whole oven to rekindle the crispy melty quality that good pizza is supposed to have. Well let me tell Y'all a slice of pizza less that 5 minutes @ a temp of 400 degrees (f) and I had one of the best slices of reheated pizza ever. Next reheated chicken wings, same result as the pizza, reheated faster and actually better than if reheated in the oven. Are you starting to recognize a pattern here
Next adventure I some friends over for a hockey game and wanted to make some snack food for munching on. So I got some good quality frozen Fries, onion rings (Nathans frozen onion rings are incredible!!) and some good quality frozen chicken nuggets. Now the secret with the air fryer is small batch! You don't want to overload the basket (Which are not that big to begin with) because the airflow will be blocked and the food will not get crisp and just stick together. Another thing that I found helping with keeping food crispy is an occasional shake. Which is when you remove the cook basket and gently toss the food. This method provides excellent results. Any way no batch took over 10 minutes for hot crispy yummy finger food. Everyone complimented and made comment on getting an air fryer for themselves. One of the tricks I figured out was the cook time on the chicken nuggets and the fries were about the same so I started combining the two and the result is crispy Chicken nuggets with chicken flavored fries. I plan to continue using and experimenting with this nifty little cooking tool. The one thing I am learning to appreciate the most is the small batch aspect. My better 1/2 & I are new "emptynesters" We (myself especially) have not quite (re)learned to shop and cook for just 2 people. With the air fryer it is really hard to make too much as you couldn't even if you wanted too
So I an very pleased with the air fryer concept and can see it being a " how did I ever live without this" item very soon.
Edited by Crimsonmistymemory, 02 February 2019 - 09:43 PM.