Air fryer

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Contemporary Air Fryer

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks by circulating hot air around the food.[1] A mechanical fan circulates the hot air around the food at high speed, cooking the food and producing a crispy layer via the Maillard effect.

Traditional frying methods induce the Maillard effect by completely submerging foods in hot oil. The air fryer works alternatively by coating the desired food in a thin layer of oil while circulating air heated up to 200 °C to confer energy and initiate the reaction.[2] By doing this the appliance is able to fry foods like potato chips, chicken, fish, steak, french fries or pastries while using between 70% and 80% less oil than a traditional deep-fryer.[3]

Most air fryers come with adjustable temperature and timer knobs that allow for 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; some models accomplish this by incorporating a food agitator that continuously churns the food during the cooking process while others require the user to perform the task manually.[2]

Air fryers are attractive for their convenience, safety, and health benefits. A chip pan for example, with its traditionally open top, can easily allow hot droplets of cooking oil to escape or splash out on the user, which is not possible with an air fryer. Traditionally deep fried foods are also much higher in caloric content, due to the oil absorption implicit in their preparation. While professional chefs have stated that air fryers do a good job of making healthier emulations of deep fried foods, it is also generally agreed that the taste and consistency are not identical.[3][4]

Convection ovens and air fryers are very similar in terms of how they cook food, but air fryers are generally smaller than convection ovens and give off less heat. Similar results can be achieved by using specialized air crisper trays and putting them in the oven.

Cooking[edit]

Interior of an air fryer

Air fryers use circulating hot air to cook any type of food that would otherwise be submerged in oil. The air fryer's cooking chamber radiates heat from a heating element close to the food, thus cooking it more efficiently and appropriately. A fan is generally used to circulate hot air around the food. The use of little to no oil means that it is low in calories and healthier than traditional frying methods.The opening at the top is generally used to take air in and there is an exhaust at the back that controls the temperature by releasing any undesired hot air.[5] It is also used to counter any increases in internal pressure. The temperatures inside can go up to 200 °C/400 °F depending on the model. Due to the nature of the hot air, it is essential as safety to not put oil inside the air fryer or have other flammable objects placed near the air fryer.

Types[edit]

There are various types of air fryers available in the market today including ones with small baskets as well as the large 5 quart baskets for cooking. They also come in digital as well as manual models.[6]

Air Fryer alternate design

Application[edit]

Counter-top air fryers provide a healthy alternative to the traditional oil frying technique. The circulating hot air has many applications in the kitchen, including cooking:

Society and Culture[edit]

It has caught on with health conscious people[citation needed] who use it for the health benefits it provides over traditional fried food. There is strong growth in demand for these appliances, especially in North America. Demand is growing quickly in the Asia-Pacific too.[7] Buzzfeed, Facebook and other sources have made them popular today as an innovative kitchen appliance.[8]

Marketing[edit]

The major marketers of air fryers today are Farberware (Walmart), Philips, Kalorik, Cooks Essential (QVC) and NuWave.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]