Hot air is used to cook and crisp food in air fryers, which uses a fraction of the oil used in deep fryers. Air fryers are often advertised as a means to cut calories and fat from traditional comfort foods, but they may also be used to prepare a broad variety of dishes. As a result, Insider enlisted the help of chefs to reveal their favorite snacks and dinners to make with this equipment. According to the experts, here are some of the best things to create in an air fryer.
Bacon is one of her favorite things to cook in an air fryer, according to Jess Dang, chef and founder of meal-planning startup Cook Smarts. “Fat drips from the bacon and out of the basket, so the bacon ends up leaner,” she told Insider. “It’s so much less messy and requires less supervision than other cooking methods.”
Dang proposes putting bananas in air fryers to turn simple fruit slices into wonderfully caramelized delicacies. “I slice them in half lengthwise and add them to banana splits,” she explained. “Sometimes I’ll brush them with a little coconut oil first for an extra-special treat.”
A Yummy Steak
ButcherBox’s chief chef, Yankel Polak, told Insider that a superb steak can be cooked in an air fryer. “Rub the steak with a little olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper before cooking,” he said. “The olive oil helps it get a really good sear and the salt and pepper give a simple, yet satisfying flavor.”
Yankel recommends flipping the steak halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking. This guarantees that both sides of the meat come into contact with the basket’s hot surface.
Fry Up Chickpeas For A Crispy, Savory Treat
Air-fried chickpeas may be the answer if you’re seeking for the perfect salad topping or just want something nutritious to snack on. “Air-fried chickpeas are crispy, portable, and delicious,” said Dang. “You can easily toss in some spices and seasonings along with a small amount of oil to jazz them up a little.” If you want to add a little extra flavor to your air-fried chickpeas, try za’atar, curry powder, or chili powder.
Air Fried Doughnuts
If you want to make handmade doughnuts that aren’t as high in calories, try using an air fryer instead of a deep fryer. The trick to excellent air-fried doughnuts, according to Yankel, is to avoid using a very wet batter in the air fryer. “Opt for making your doughnut batter more like bread dough for a cake-like consistency. The key is to use more flour than egg,” said Yankel.
This Appliance Can Help You Make Crunchy, Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Instead of buying store-bought chicken nuggets, make your own with an air fryer at home. “The air fryer is terrific for keeping crunchy, coated chicken juicy and tender,” said Polak. “Just make sure to moisten your chicken with a swipe of olive oil or mustard to keep the breading adhered.” It’s also vital not to go overboard with the breading; too much can cause the coating to be blown off by the air fryer’s airflow.
Juicy Chicken Breasts
“The air fryer yields a much juicier chicken breast than either the oven or stovetop,” said Dang. “Due to the compact design of an air fryer, there’s not as much room for the juices to evaporate like they sometimes do with other methods.”
Using an air fryer to prepare fish can help eliminate some of the guesswork. It might also assist you in avoiding overdone, dried fish. “I recommend using an air fryer for baked or breaded fish. The hot air gets the outside of the fish nice and crispy without overcooking the inside,” said Polak.
Dang said air fryers are ideal for cooking small frozen or homemade pizzas. “Because an air fryer has a small cavity that doesn’t require preheating, it gets the cheese bubbly and the bread toasted much faster than an oven would,” she told Insider. Combining naan bread, tomato sauce, and mozzarella makes for a quick and delectable personal pizza that can be cooked in an air fryer, according to Dang.
According to Dang, one of the finest methods to prepare prepackaged, frozen gnocchi is to use an air fryer. “The first time I tried frozen cauliflower gnocchi, I didn’t get the appeal — I just wound up with a gummy mess,” she said. “But when I tried them again in the air fryer, they came out golden and crispy.”