One kitchen appliance that causing quite a stir these days is an air fryer. For . who love deep-fried food like French fries and chicken nuggets, the air fryer is said to be the healthier alternative to the traditional deep fryer. With an air fryer, as long as it is used with the proper technique, you end up with crispy fried food without the use of oil.
What many may not realize though, is that an air fryer is actually a small convection oven. Like all ovens, air fryers may require preheating in order for you to have that perfect, deep-fried, crispy texture that you usually get with traditionally deep-fried food.
Preheating, though, is not as straightforward as it may seem. There are models, especially small and medium-sized ones, that have heating elements placed quite closed to the rack which can cause your food to easily burn. There are recipes, too, that do not require preheating as part of the cooking procedure.
In order to better understand preheating with your air fryer, here are some helpful guidelines which you can use during this stage of cooking.
AIR FRYER PREHEATING IS NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY
Preheating on an air fryer really depends on many factors. While some recipes may call for preheating, what is actually needed at times is just a few added minutes too the actual cooking time. Air fryers are designed differently. Many small to medium-sized air fryers are designed with thei heating elements placed quite close to the food. This results in overcooked food.
Depending on the situation and the recipe, preheating your air fryer is not always a prerequisite to having a good cooked meal.
HOW DO YOU PREHEAT AN AIR FRYER?
Patience is a virtue. That is especially true when it comes to cooking. Cooking requires certain practices in order for you to come up with really good coked food. Preheating on your air fryer maybe one of those stages. Although it may be tiresome, preheating allows your air fryer allows it to reach that ideal temperature so that you can achieve that perfect level of crisp and crunch on your fried food. Think of it as you waiting for the oil to heat up on your frying pan prior to placing in. your ingredients. This is pretty much the same thing.
FIRST THING’S FIRST: SWITCH THE POWER BUTTON “ON”
The air fryer, like most kitchen equipment, will have a power button. Your air fryer will be no different. After plugging this appliance in, set up your air fryer according to what is said on the instruction manual. After setting the air fryer up, locate the power button. Your operating manual should have an illustration showing where the power button is located. After having located the power button, switch it on.
SETTING THE TIMER
Different models will have different kinds of timers. Some will have them in the form of dials, while others will have digital timers. Once again, you will have to refer to the instruction manual in order to find out how to set the timer of your air fryer. Preheating times usually range from six to seven minutes based on recommendations from experts. However, it will still be best to check the instruction manual since manufacturers will have their own recommendations as well.
TURN THE HEAT UP! TURN IT WAY, WAY UP!
Experts recommend that the highest temperature always be used when preheating your air fryer. The recommended preheating temperature ranges anywhere from 370 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This, along with the recommended preheating time of six to seven minutes, create the best condition for preheating. Make sure that you set the timer AFTER you set the temperature and not the other way around. Once the timer rings, preheating is done and you can now dive into the next stage which is the actual frying stage.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T NEED TO PREHEAT?
As what was previously mentioned, not all recipes call for preheating. Some air fryer brands and models eliminate the need for preheating the unit altogether. Frying is immediately done, eliminating the need to spend time on the preheating stage.
If this is the case for your air fryer (or your recipe), it would still best to extend the cooking time for a few minutes to make sure that your food has been cooked well. This helps you avoid coming up with food that is soggy and way below your expectations.
IS AN AIR FRYER REALLY WORTH BUYING?
Now that you know about preheating and the probable inconvenience it may cause, you may start asking if an air fryer is indeed, worth buying.
While the bother of preheating may indeed be there, the actual inconvenience -or convenience- of having an air fryer in your household really depends on many things other than just the preheating stage.
One thing you will have to consider is the space in your home that you can dedicate to your air fryer. Air fryers are bulky. Because of their size, they usually take up a lot of space, whether on the kitchen counter or in a kitchen cabinet. They can also be quite inconvenient to move around.
Another disappointing feature of air fryers are their frying baskets. Air fryers usually have fryer baskets that can fir in two servings of food, at the most. You would do have several rounds of frying if you plan to cook for more than two people on an air fryer.
To keep the food warm, you’d have to be ready with a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to place inside an actual oven.
In terms of health, however, air fryers are really a healthy alternative to traditionally fried food. Air fryers do not use oil at any stage of the cooking process while still producing the crispy texture usually associated with deep-fried food.
Preheating an air fryer is just one aspect of its use. The need for this stage is even actually debatable. One cannot depend on this aspect in order to decide on whether or not this is worth buying. One thing is for sure though. Knowing when and when not to preheat is essential in order for you to meet expectations when using this piece of equipment. Rest assured that when you are able to manage this technique, your food and equipment will be far from disappointing.
Related Post: How to Preheat an Air Fryer?
Related Post: Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer vs. Convection Oven
Related Post: Chefman Digital Air Fryer Review
Related Post: What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?
Related Post: GoWISE USA GW22921-S 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer Review
Related Post: COSORI Air Fryer Review
Related Post: Best Air Fryer for Chicken/Fish/French Fries
Related Post: Cozyna Air Fryer XL (5L) Review