Did you know: You can cook everything from perfectly crunchy chips and fluffy donuts to a tender rack of lamb and even hard-boiled eggs in an air fryer? No wonder everyone from Drew Barrymore and Oprah Winfrey to Hayley Bieber and Gordon Ramsay is singing its praises.
So what’s all the fuss about?
Celebrated Australian food personality Lyndey Milan admits she was late to the air fryer party, but the gadget’s ability to create great food with little or no mess in record time has turned the TV star and cookbook author into a big fan.
“I think the reason they are so popular is that a lot of people lack confidence when they are using their oven. An air fryer is almost more like a different form of microwave in people’s perception than it is like an oven,” she says.
“You can cook a whole meal in them and they also go into the dishwasher, which is always an advantage. They save heat, people find them easier to use than conventional oven, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time preheating.”
With Christmas fast approaching, Lyndey says air fryers are also sensational for getting the crackling on pork perfect every time.
Whether you’re crisping that crackling or just whipping up a daily meal, here are 10 best air fryer hacks and techniques to get the best out of your air fryer:
1. To make sure food cooks properly
Don’t batter your food or add sauce to anything you cook – there isn’t enough oil in an air fryer to set a batter, and liquids can splatter in the hot cooking environment.
2. To get an even cook
Shake and flip your food – especially stacked food, like fries – at least twice during cooking so that air circulates around every piece, which will ensure it’s evenly cooked.
3. To get the perfect crisp texture
Take the extra time to pat dry your food with a paper towel before popping it into your air fryer. This reduces cooking time and removes moisture to maximise crispiness.
4. To get even more crunch and moisture
Add a light spritz of oil midway through the cooking process, which dehydrates the outer layer of the food and creates a crunchy texture. The oil also helps seal in moisture so your food stays juicy.
5. To prevent sticking
For food that tends to cling to the cooking surface, like chicken wings, using baking paper with holes in it to line the basket of your air fryer helps avoid messy clean-ups. The holes are important because they allow air to circulate around the food.
6. To boil eggs
Yes, you can really boil eggs in your air fryer. Just place them in a single layer and cook for 13 minutes for soft-boiled eggs. For hard-boiled eggs, make it 17 minutes.
7. To avoid soggy vegetables
Pat off any extra moisture before cooking. If your veggies are frozen, thaw them first.
8. To make healthy snacks
Cut your fruit of choice into thin slices and cook for four hours on the dehydrate setting. Voila – it’s a guilt-free, packable light bite (or fancy cocktail garnish).
9. To avoid mushy leftovers
Use your air fryer instead of your microwave to reheat leftovers and achieve that freshly cooked texture. Frozen pizza is good to pop in an air fryer too, because you get a crisp base.
10. To revive stale baked goods
Give stale pastries a second lease on life by adding a few teaspoons of water to the drip pan and baking for a few minutes.
Want to start experiencing the magic of cooking with an air fryer? Shop our full range of air fryers on amazon.com.au now.