It’s National Air Fryer Day, and that means it’s time to share a little love and appreciation for our dual convection countertop cookers. If you’re not familiar, air fryers are the latest in quick-cooking technology and have been helping users to make quick, healthy dinners for years. Designed for anyone who needs to get food on the table fast, these devices are most popular for meals like chicken wings, potato wedges, tasty veggies and more. The air fryer accomplishes in minutes what the oven can take a full preheat and bake time to manage, and with better results. We answer your burning, extra-crispy questions about these devices on National Air Fryer Day.
What Is An Air Fryer?
They’re actually not fryers at all. Often described as a more powerful (if smaller) countertop oven, air fryers are cookers that rely on high-speed convection cooking to circulate warm air around anything you try and make. While the process is similar to baking (and you can even find some proper ovens fitted with a convection fry function) not everything that you bake can be cooked in here. These appliances are optimized to give your food that crunchy fried texture with little or no oil. That high-speed air circulation isn’t always the best for wet batters and cakes. To learn more about other differences between ovens and air fryers, check out our learn article on Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven: What’s the Difference?
How Do Air Fryers Work?
While there’s no deep-seated bucket of oil to drop your foods into, you could still call these devices convection fryers. As soon as you cycle your machine on, a fan starts circulating heat around your food. That pushes away excess moisture, cooks proteins, veggies and snacks all the way through, and “fries” it all in a health(ier) way. Add a little bit of your preferred oil to your favorite recipes for some extra flavor, or skip it entirely for the healthiest option possible. You’ll get the same crispy crunch faster than you would in a traditional deep fryer.
Do They Come with Any Extras?
Some of these high-speed meal makers can do more than just convection. If you’re looking for a device that can do it all, keep an eye out for multifunctional versions that combine toaster ovens, microwave functions, dehydration, pressure cooking, steaming and more. Instead of crowding the countertop, you’ll make the most of your kitchen space. These are great picks for smaller apartments and studios that can’t accommodate larger permanent appliances, too.
How Do I Air Fry Chicken?
That depends on which part of the chicken you’re cooking, whether it’s frozen, raw or pre-cooked, among other factors. But as a general rule, you’ll want to cook chicken breasts from 10-12 minutes, less if they are on the small side and longer if they are extra-large. Set the temperature at 375° F and you’ll have finished entrees in minutes.
Looking for more details? Check out some of our air fryer recipes below!