A skeptic putting the trendy kitchen gadget to the test
I have been a very vocal skeptic of air fryers ever since they started gaining popularity. No one was safe from me reminding them that they’re just an oven! I never thought that my distaste for this fad would falter. So you can imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I unwrapped a brand new air fryer.
What the hell, I thought. Let me put my superiority complex aside and give this thing an actual shot.
It’s been two weeks since I started using my air fryer, and it’s time to humbly admit that I was wrong. These things are awesome. Let me take you through my air fryer pros and cons, tips and tricks, and a delicious recipe to try out if you do end up buying one.
What exactly is an air fryer? Is it just a tiny oven? Essentially, yes. Air fryers use fans to continuously circulate hot air, which cooks food evenly and quickly, and gets it wonderfully crispy. There are two main types of air fryers to choose from: ones that open up like a toaster oven and ones that have a basket that you fill with food. In my opinion, the models with the baskets are much more useful, as they take up less counter space and allow you to literally shake the food around as it’s cooking.
The main selling point of an air fryer is that you can get deliciously crispy food with a fraction of the oil normally used. Will it beat the taste and texture of traditional deep frying? Of course not, but it is much more convenient and healthy. If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier or lose weight, then an air fryer will save your life. Traditional cooking methods use much more oil than most people realize. And the convenience of the air fryer encourages me to cook myself a meal when otherwise I would have turned to takeout.
And that brings me to the next major pro of having an air fryer: how fast they are. Not only do they cook things quickly, but they heat up almost instantly. I can cook an entire meal in the air fryer, eat it, and clean up in less time than it takes for my oven to preheat. If you have some protein marinating in your fridge, you can throw it in the air fryer with some broccoli, cook some rice on the side, and have a delicious and healthy meal ready in five minutes.
What are the cons? Well, unless you’re splurging for a fancy dual-basket air fryer that takes up half your counter, you can’t cook that much food at once. If I wanted to cook for multiple people or meal-prep food for the week, then the air fryer simply wouldn’t be up to the task. And if you are already big on cooking, there’s a good chance that you’ll tuck the air fryer away and you’ll forget about it.
Should you get an air fryer? If you want to eat healthier and cook more meals for yourself, or you live somewhere with an ill-equipped kitchen, then an air fryer might be the best hundred bucks you spend this year. But if you’re usually cooking for multiple people or like having leftovers to eat, this is a fad you can probably skip.
If you decide to try out an air fryer, then a few simple and delicious things to make are home fries, crispy broccoli, and marinated tofu. A lunch that I’ve been coming back to again and again is these high-protein falafel bites. They’re an original recipe. Give them a try if you’re looking for a quick, healthy, and tasty meal with over 40 g of protein.
High Protein Falafels with Tzatziki
-250 g Chickpeas
-85 g Extra-firm tofu
-1 tbsp flour
-1 Clove of garlic
-1 tsp Olive oil
-Handful of cilantro
-Salt, paprika, pepper, and cumin to taste
-175 g Greek yogurt
-1/2 tbsp Mayonnaise
-3 tbsp grated cucumber
-2 tbsp lemon juice
-Herb of choice (I like crushed mint)
-Salt to taste.
Add all the falafel ingredients into a food processor. Combine, ensuring not to over blend, as that will result in a mushy texture. Roll into five to six patties, brush or spray with oil, then air fry for eight minutes at 400º F. Flip them over, brush or spray with oil again, then air fry for another eight minutes or until they reach your desired crispiness. While those are cooking, combine the tzatziki ingredients in a small bowl. Serve on their own, with veggies, or in a pita wrap, and enjoy!