For many years now we have known about the negative health effects of eating fried food. Eating a regular diet of fast food or anything deep fried in oil can have severely detrimental effects on your body such as heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol and a whole slew of other issues. Why then do we do it? Because it tastes good! And even worse, our bodies are hardwired to crave fatty foods.
Traditional fried foods are cooked with the food items completely submerged in hot oil. The oil is in full contact with the food, and quite a bit of the oil gets absorbed into the food as a result. It’s this oil absorption that causes the food to become higher in calories and takes on the negative health benefits noted above.
Meet the Air Fryer! An Air Fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks food using only a very small amount of oil — usually just 1 tablespoon or less, yet produces food with taste and crispiness rivaling that of deep frying. The device consists of an enclosed cooking area where hot air is introduced by means of a fan. Inside the cooking chamber is a pan along with a mechanism to continuously stir or rotate the food. Food is added to the pan along with a small amount of oil. Then the cooking chamber is closed and the device is turned on.
By continuously rotating the food during the cooking process, it gets coated in a light layer of oil. The hot air comes in contact with this oil and fries the surface layer. Because the food is not submerged in oil, very little of the oil actually gets absorbed into the food itself, or at a minimum it is limited to the amount of oil added to the pan.
Air temperature in most air fryers are on the order of 400F or 204C. The length of time required to cook depends on the type of food as well as the desired crispiness. French fries for example usually take 30 – 40 minutes to cook.
It’s no surprise that Air Fryers have surged in popularity since early 2015. These appliances are a great solution to cook meals that taste as good as deep fried, but with healthiness similar to baked.