Deep frying is a method of cooking in which food is cooked in a covering bath of hot oil or fat. An air fryer cooks by bathing the food in hot air, an oil coating helps to give that crisp, brown coating, but without the oil saturation that can be a health issue.
The air fryer is essentially an amped-up countertop convection oven which is one solution for condo dwellers who have been missing a traditional oven in their minimalist and compact kitchen. Its compact space facilitates even faster cooking. Air fryers use a circulation of hot air to cook food that would otherwise be submerged in oil. The air fryer’s cooking chamber radiates heat from a heating element near the food placed in a fryer-style basket, and a fan circulates hot air. This rapid circulation makes the food crisp, much like deep frying.
There is an air inlet on the top and an exhaust at the back that controls the temperature by releasing any excess hot air. The temperatures can go up to 230 °C (445 °F) depending on the model. Cooking oil is not used in large quantities in an air fryer, as it could burn.
Cooking times in the air fryer are typically reduced by 20% in comparison with traditional ovens, depending on the model, and the particular food.
Traditional frying methods are at temperatures of between 140 to 165 °C (284 to 329 °F) by completely submerging foods in hot oil, well above the boiling point of water. The air fryer works by coating or drawing from the food a thin layer of oil while circulating air heated up to 200 °C (392 °F) to apply heat and initiate the reaction.
As a result, the appliance is able to brown foods like potato chips, chicken, fish, steak, French fries or pastries using 70% to 80% less oil than a traditional deep fryer. You can even bake a cake in the air fryer and not heat up the whole kitchen.
Most air fryers have temperature and timer adjustments that allow more precise cooking. Food is cooked in a cooking basket that sits atop a drip tray. The basket and its contents must be periodically shaken to ensure even oil coverage.
Air fryers are essentially plug and play. Place your food in the basket, set the time and the temperature and you’re cooking. An air fryer will give you results much closer to deep frying than your oven will, although at the end of the day, it’s still not the same.
The argument can be made that it produces healthier food by using less oil. Frozen French fries prepared in the air fryer contain between 4 and 6 grams of fat versus their deep-fried counterpart at a whopping 17 grams per serving.
At the end of the day, this is a pretty slick gadget. When you’re cooking up things like French fries or chicken nuggets, you can’t beat it. The results are much better than oven frying, and your kitchen stays cool. While it does an admirable job cooking other meats and vegetables, the air fryer really shines at mock deep frying.
Although you’ll need to give up some valuable counter space, an air fryer solves the problem many condo dwellers face without a normal convection oven and when deep frying doesn’t appeal.
It’s no too nosy, perhaps similar to an electric fan, and makes no noticeable difference to the room temperature. Both cooking and cleaning is not messy and very simple, however the capacity is limited, meaning that cooking for more than a couple can require multiple sessions.
The price can be below 1,000 THB with higher end model doubling or tripling the cost. An air fryer can be a cost effective way of having a pseudo-oven and to eliminate the need to ever deep fry again.