Many recipes call for frying with oil, but what do you do if you’re trying to cut down on fat? With an air fryer, it’s as simple as making a few adjustments to the cooking times and temperatures provided in your recipe. In this article, we answer some questions about how an air fryer works without oil, so that you can use this as a guide when you’re adapting your own recipes.
How does an air fryer work without oil?
Air fryers work by circulating super-heated air in a closed space. This heats up the food while constantly tossing it around so that it is evenly cooked. Most models circulate heated air at speeds of about 200mph, which is 20 times faster than most conventional ovens. Because the food is not in contact with the pan, it takes less time to cook.
Well, the principle is very simple: replace the oil in your recipe with air. The hot air produced by the appliance cooks and fries food quickly and thoroughly without saturating it in grease and fat as traditional frying methods do. To get started, follow these steps.
- Adjust your recipe by cutting down on the amount of oil you would typically use in frying. This part can vary depending on the dish, so feel free to experiment with different quantities until you find what works for you.
- Preheat your air fryer at a temperature between 200°C and 250°C. The time that the food is in the fryer will depend on what you’re cooking, so refer to your recipe or manual for details.
- Make sure the food all fits inside your air fryer basket and leaves a little space around each piece of food to allow hot air to circulate freely.
- For dishes that need constant stirring to cook evenly, such as fritters or croquettes, it is best to turn the fryer off after a couple of minutes and then re-start every time you notice the food is starting to burn.
- A good way of checking whether your dish is fully cooked without having to break it open is to poke a skewer all the way through it. If it is piping hot, your food should be ready to serve.
Air fryers are great for cooking frozen foods that you simply want to reheat without increasing the amount of fat they contain. Many people like to buy bulk packets of chicken nuggets, chips, or other snacks and freeze them in individual servings. When you want a quick snack, the air fryer is a good way to reheat these foods without adding excess fat.
If you are cooking a full meal in the air fryer, rather than just frying individual side dishes or snacks, there are some tips to follow.
- Cook the meat first so that it is not sitting in the fat of any earlier vegetables or starches that were fried.
- Use lean cuts of meat and trim excess fat before cooking. It is better to use meat such as chicken breast than pork shoulder, and you can always cut off any excess fat after cooking.
- Drain or blot away any excess oil from fried foods with a kitchen paper towel before eating if necessary.
To get started using an air fryer without oil, try your favorite recipes first but omit the oil. Then begin experimenting with different amounts of oil until you find what works best for your cooking style. You will be surprised by how much you can cut down on the amount of oil your food absorbs while still enjoying fried dishes.
What types of air fryers are there?
There are two types of air fryers, the type that heats up the oil and the type which uses no oil at all.
The latter is by far more popular than the first one, even though it has only emerged in 2015 with the launch of Philips Air Fryer. This machine became an instant hit by meeting everyone’s expectations for home-cooked fried food without fatty oils and grease.
What can you cook in an air fryer?
An air fryer is essentially a small convection oven. Many types of foods that are typically deep-fried can be cooked in an air fryer, including French fries Potato chips Chicken nuggets Breaded fish Mozzarella sticks Pizza rolls Onion rings Egg rolls Doughnuts.
Can I use cooking spray in an air fryer?
Not if you want to avoid added fat and calories. Instead, brushing the basket with oil or spraying it with the nonstick spray will do the trick so you can still enjoy crispy foods.
How long does it take to cook in an air fryer?
Cooking times vary depending on the temperature and thickness of the food. For example, frozen French fries typically take about 10 to 15 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit to cook, while chicken nuggets and breaded fish can be ready in as few as eight minutes when cooked at a higher temperature (400 degrees F or more).
How long does an air fryer last?
The average lifespan of an air fryer depends on its brand and the manufacturer, but most will last around three to five years.
How do you clean an air fryer?
I love using my air fryer without oil to make all kinds of foods. In order to keep the area around it clean, I use a small vacuum attachment used for stairs. You might also use a small handheld attachment or brush.
It is best to separate the pieces for cleaning, then carefully wipe them down with a damp cloth and dry them thoroughly before putting them all back together. If you are using your air fryer outdoors, be sure to clean it after every use.
How do you cook french fries in an air fryer?
Air fryers work on the hot air principle, circulating very hot air all around your food and cooking it evenly. You can cook a wide range of foods with one, including fish and chips, fries, pies, and more. It also uses less electricity than an electric oven!
Cook time varies depending on the thickness of your food and the quantity in the basket. If you are cooking fries, for example, it will be about 7-8 minutes per batch at 400°F (200°C), turning halfway through.