That’s the question these days. I’ve seen so many advertisements on these things that I just had to try one for myself! A healthier way to fry? Yes please! Less grease equals less mess? Yes please! A new kitchen gadget? YES PLEASE. I am a sucker for new kitchen gadgets. Do I use all of them? I mean, I don’t have to tell you everything right? Right now, we talkin’ about the air fryer! So back to the title: to air fry or not to air fry?
What is it?
It’s basically another way you can get the crispiness of fried foods without all the grease that comes with fried foods. There is supposedly something called “rapid air technology” that will cook your food evenly and get it crispy without all the grease that you soak fried foods in. Air Fryer is the new thing I guess.
What we got
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After much research, Andrew decided to buy the GoWise USA Air Fryer. It got 4 stars on Amazon and it was not as expensive as other ones that we saw.
This particular air fyer has 8 presets from which you can choose from depending on what you want to cook – fries, chicken, steak, etc. But you can also just set this manually if you don’t trust the presets. This one is 5.8 quartz so fairly large, however, it’s not too heavy which is always a good thing for a shrimp like me. And it comes with a recipe book that will get you started right away!
What We’ve Cooked So Far
We’ve made fish tacos and compared it to frying on the stove. The picture on the left is from frying the fix on a stove top, and the one on the right is from the air fryer. The fish from the air fryer was definitely less greasy and more evenly cooked. The fish on the stove top lost some of it’s form (crumbled), and is visibly greasier (note transparency of the paper towel).
We’ve also made fried dumplings. The picture on the left is from the stove top. The one on the middle is from the air fryer. We found that the dumplings from the air fryer had a more even, crispier texture on the outside than the ones from fried on the stove top. It was also, unsurprisingly, less greasy. As for what’s on the inside – see third picture below. The cross section of the dumpling from the air fryer is on the left. As you can see, it’s not much different from the stove top one.
Chicken wings! We made the Honey Lime Chicken Wings from the recipe book that it came with. They turned out pretty well. Skin was crispy and the meat was juicy.
We’ve also made sweet potato fries, and regular fries, as well as reheated baked chicken from the night before. I didn’t take pictures of those because we ate them too fast. Oops. But putting them in the air fryer definitely made the outer part of the foods crispier.
Pros and Cons
– Foods are crispier, and has a more even texture
– No need for preheating in most dishes. You just turn it on and it’s ready
– Easy to clean. No grease splatters to wipe outside of the fryer (unlike the stove top)
– Less oil needed, so depending on what you cook, it may be healthier for you than using a deep fryer, or even stove top frying
– Great for reheating if you don’t like to use the microwave. It’s quicker than using the oven.
– Size of the basket. You can’t cook much at one time because of the size of the basket. Fries are ok but once you get to the bigger surface areas, you have to cook it at even layer on the basket. For the chicken wings, we could only cook 7-8 wings at a time.
– Size of the air fyer. It’s pretty cumbersome to just keep on your counter if you’re only going to use it once in a while. You will have no room for anything else.
– Sometimes, foods are just tastier with grease! Am I right?
OK, so the answer to the question is it depends. Nothing can replace the awesome greasy goodness of fried foods. That’s just the way it is. However, if you do want a healthier option that can still give you some of the crispy-ness of fried foods, the air fryer is the way to go. I have yet to bake in it though so I can’t say much on baked goods. It claims that it’s pretty awesome at baking but who knows. Maybe I will update this review if ever I get around to baking with it =).
Thanks for reading and have an awesome rest of the day!