Want To Enjoy Fried Foods Without Guilt? Try An Air Fryer
This kitchen appliance lets you make your samosa and French fries with little or no oil
One of the most versatile kitchen gadgets, an air fryer is one essential everyone should consider investing in. Especially great for Indian homes, where people enjoy their fried foods as much as their morning tea, this gadget can be a lifesaver, quite literally. With an air fryer, you and your entire family can indulge in aloo samosas, restaurant-style fried chicken and fish, crispy French fries and mozzarella sticks without the guilt that eats you up while having fried food. If you are not sure how to buy one, here are some tips to help you.
How it works
An air fryer is an electric appliance that circulates hot air around the food, thereby cooking it evenly. What you get is a crunchy, crispy exterior and a perfectly-cooked interior, with the use of very little or no oil at all. And that’s not all, for this multi-tasking kitchen hero lets you grill, roast and bake foods such as chicken, casseroles, stuffed kulchas and vegetables.
It’s also great for reheating foods such as pizzas (they turn super crispy), breads, naans, patties—giving the perfect bite to almost anything that may turn into a soggy mess if reheated in the microwave or become too dry in the oven. The only (and very minute) downside of air frying is that it does alter the original taste of your food (just a bit). So, if you’re planning to buy one, don’t expect the food to taste exactly like how it would if you deep fry it in oil or cook it on a stove or in the oven.
Typically, these appliances have a capacity between 2-6 litres. Choose a size based on the number of people in your home and the kind of foods you would like to cook in the fryer. While a small size is good enough for 1-2 people, if you have a big family or like hosting parties, it’s best to go for a bigger appliance. However, don’t overcrowd the basket, or you will never get the desired results. Make sure you one buy with enough room to spread your food evenly (and not on top of one another).
Digital or analog
In terms of functionality, both digital and analog air fryers are the same. The difference mainly lies in the interface and looks. The digital ones come with an LCD screen and a touchpad and therefore look more modern. These are generally more expensive as well. However, with just two knobs (one for temperature and another for time), analog fryers are simpler to operate.
Most air fryers come with a pull-out non-stick mesh basket in a rack that you add food to and slot it in the appliance. These baskets are easy to clean. All you need to do is remove the basket and wash it clean with soap and water. While the mesh basket is drying, you can clean the inside slot. Some air fryer baskets are dishwasher-safe too, so check the details before you purchase one.