Despite its name, an air fryer doesn't actually fry food but in fact, circulates hot air to replicate the crisp and juicy effect of deep frying. Read on to know a few hot tips on how to perfectly air fry your food.
Air frying food has been adopted as the newest way of cooking healthy food without the guilt of piling on the calories. Touted to be a game-changing way of enjoying ‘fried’ food without the excessive fat content or unsaturated fats, air fryer recipes have taken over all aspects of cooking and enjoying classic dishes. From frying samosas, chicken and fries to baking muffins or broiling fish, air fryers have proven to serve multiple purposes that help the cook take a shortcut route to putting meals together. However, like most other cooking practices, air frying is a delicate skill that requires a few necessary steps to be implemented, in order to achieve the best results.
Whether it is pieces of chicken or wedges of potatoes that need air frying, it is important to pat dry your food thoroughly before it is placed in the fryer. Not only does pat drying encourage efficient browning of food while it is being air fried, the simple step also gets rid of excessive moisture that might tend to make your food soggy or not crisp even after it has been cooked in the air fryer.
Using Little Fat
Dabbing a few drops of oil or butter on to your food that is about to go into the air fryer, enhances the ability for your food to achieve a golden-brown colour, similar to that of deep-fried food. For sweet dishes like French toast or waffle bites, applying a little honey or maple syrup gives the same desired effect as well as a perfectly caramelised crust.
Leave Enough Space
Whether it is deep frying or air frying, the one key tip to follow is to not overcrowd the fryer as the process requires each piece of food to develop a crispy exterior which can only happen when the circulating hot air has access to all the surfaces of the food in question. Avoid over-filling the air fryer basket and cook your food in small batches to ensure evenly crisped up food that is cooked through.
Image Credits: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials
Tossing meat, fish or vegetables that are being cooked in an air fryer halfway through cooking is the best way to make sure that the food is cooked evenly from all sides. Not doing so might result in an uneven texture or undercooked food, which is not palatable. Use a pair of tongs or a fork to pick and turn over each individual piece carefully, halfway through the cooking time so that the food comes in contact with the hot air for an equal amount of time, on all sides.
Even Sized Pieces
Cutting your protein or vegetables into even-sized pieces is important for all the food to cook properly at the same time. Unevenly chopped pieces of tofu, paneer, vegetables or meat will also end up giving you an unevenly cooked end product – with some of the pieces getting more cook time than the rest, resulting in overcooking; and the big pieces remaining undercooked or raw. It is also important to trim any thin edges that might burn during the process, to avoid bitterness or unpleasant flavours.