With experience, the Air Fryer can produce quick and tasty recipes. It cooks faster than any conventional method, so judging the timing and heat settings can be difficult at first.
Manufacturers and their Ads are often over enthusiastic about the time it takes to make perfect fried chicken for example, sometimes your model may take up to 20% longer than they state.
You really don’t need a bout of food poisoning from your first Chicken, so how can a beginner get things right?
Get the Temperature right
No one wants limp, greasy fried chicken or burnt offerings, so lets take a look at the temperature in most recipes. If the unit is new, your best bet is to do a simple experiment. Follow the instructions for your recipe and just before it reaches the end of cooking time, open it up and use an internal food thermometer to check the temperature of the various parts of the food. For instance the legs and breast of a chicken.
Old-school thermometer and new Digital type. The read-out with the newer type is instant, so you don’t have the oven door open for more time than absolutely necessary.
When testing Chicken, check the dark-meat areas for a slightly higher temperature
Some of the new range of multi-cooker with Air-Fryer capable features, come with a temperature sensor built it, ensuring you are reaching the right temperature, as set on the controls 100% of the time.
Simple Quick and Accurate meat thermometer, every chef and cook should have .
Is Preheating your AirFryer Necessary?
Despite what all the hype you’ve seen for Air Fryers, yes, it will take a few minutes for the unit to reach its cooking temperature, and if you ignore it, your results will be undercooked and lack crispness.
True the warm-up time is no where near the 10 minutes needed for a conventional oven, but it IS still important to allow about 2 to 3 minutes. Also take into account the cooling off that occurs when you open the AirFryer drawer to shake or turn the contents, make it as fast as possible.
Should You Add Oil or not?
Again despite what all the hype you’ve seen for Air Fryers, to cook fries in particular, and any coated fried food, you’re going to need some oil. Frozen Fries often come with enough on them, straight from the freezer. Fresh chips/fries will definitely need a little oil sprayed on.
Without oil, you will end up with poorly cooked fries, possibly burnt at the edges. With oil it will crisp up the outside and cook through making a nice fluffy inside…. perfect. Ensure you turn or shake the contents at least once during the cooking cycle to give a better coverage.
Avoid the aerosol type oil dispenser, the propellant is NOT good for your health, long term, buy a pump bottle and use it with your favourite cooking oil.