Air fryers have revolutionised our love for fried food. This new-age kitchen appliance uses superheated air to fry chips, nuggets, pakoras and a whole bunch of snack foods which would have traditionally be dunked in tons of oil. With an air fryer, you can enjoy the same fatty flavours sans the fat.
This frying machine is all the rage in the cooking world right now with several chefs vouching for this technology even in India. Before they got popular here, air fryers were first launched in Australia and Europe in 2010 satisfying their fish and chips cravings. It then got popular in North America, as they found a healthier way to enjoy their chicken wings. And now, we in India are discovering the many ways to fry food the healthier way beginning with one air fried samosa at a time.
Deconstructing the air fryer machine
This gadget is made up of several elements systematically placed together to fry food using air.
Grill: The heating element (grill) sits right above the cooking chamber inside the machine. This radiates the heat towards the food to cook it.
Cooking Chamber: The cooking chamber consists of a basket where the food is placed.
Fan: There is a fan above the grill that pulls the air upwards through the cooking chamber creating an air flow.
Air guide: There is an air guide at the bottom, under the basket that distributes the heat evenly and directs the air flow vertically.
Exhaust system: The air fryer has an exhaust system to control the heat inside the machine. This cooling system inside allows fresh air to pass through the filters and flow to the bottom. This helps the air fryer to cool its internal parts.
Here’s a video to explain the working of an air fryer.
How does the air fryer fry your food?
As the name suggests, air plays a significant role in the working of this gadget. Food is added to the basket along with a small amount of oil. The cooking chamber is then closed and the device is turned on. The air fryer circulates superheated air up to 200C into the cooking chamber. This is called Rapid Air Technology.
As the food is continuously rotated during the cooking process, it all gets lightly coated by a layer of oil. The grill and a fan inside blasts hot air around the food at high speeds. The hot air meets this oil and fries the surface while the food continuous to cook. Since not a lot of oil was used, it doesn’t get absorbed into the food. Thus, despite little or no oil being involved, the air fryer renders that perfectly fried brown and crisp texture to your food within minutes.
Benefits of using an air fryer
Health benefit: Fried food is Kryptonite for most people because of the high amount of oil. An air fryer, on the other hand, uses hot air and at most a single tablespoon of oil to fry food. This way you can enjoy a healthy serving of samosas, chips, and more minus the guilt and the oil.
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Environmental benefit: The extra air that’s released out is thoroughly filtered before. This makes it harmless to the environment, and odourless too, which means your house won’t smell like the McDonald’s pantry.
Cook more than just fried food
While you can use an air fryer to fry snacks, you can also use to cook steak, chicken drumsticks, eggs and bake cakes and pies too.
Like this story, also read: Bake Your Fruitcake in An Air Fryer
Without having to cook with a lot of oil or stand in front of a heated stove, you can cook healthy and hearty food in an air fryer. Check these new and now air fryers below.
Cover Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.com, Image via philips.com and Shutterstock.com