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My new cooking buddy - Benefits of an air fryer

The air fryer craze is well and truly in its prime, as more and more people buy one and realise just how useful it is. I have discovered so many benefits  to owning and cooking with an air fryer. It has become a truly useful cooking tool to have in my kitchen. Unlike before, it’s not just another cooking appliance that I’ll probably put on Marketplace next year when the fad dies down. 

It's Brenda from the volunteer team. I have to admit that I was a skeptic, just like you might be. I don’t have a lot of space in my kitchen, and this looked like the sort of appliance that would take up precious bench space and probably not get used all that often. But everyone else I knew kept getting one and raving about it, so I gave in and I bought one (on sale!). 

Turns out I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Not only do I LOVE my air fryer, I use it now for almost everything – particularly most things I would normally put in the oven. It does take up space leaving it out on the bench, but this reminds me to use it and it means I don’t have to even touch the oven, which is actually useful. If you’re still a skeptic like I was, here are some of the most important benefits of owning an air fryer that might convince you. A decision that you won’t regret. 

1. Healthier cooking 

The single most important fact of an air fryer is that is a healthier way of cooking. With very little oil used, this is the perfect way to replace deep fried foods with a much healthier option. You will still need to spray some foods, like chicken tenders and fried fish, with a bit of oil but the amount of oil used is very minimal in comparison. You can also cook fries and get a nice crispy result, without deep frying. 

I even cook whole chickens without any oil and all the fat drains into the bottom – I cook this on 180 degrees Celsius for 20 mins turn it over, repeat then turn it up to 200 degrees Celsius for 10 mins. Times may vary depending on the size of your air fryer and the chicken. 

2. Fast and easy to use 

The air fryer started out as a sort of replacement for a deep fryer. However, it wasn’t enough to convince most people that they needed one, because not many people use a deep fryer on a regular basis at home anyway. 

When we don’t have time to put effort into cooking, frozen ready meals and takeaway are an easy go-to instead, even when we know how unhealthy they are. If you could cook foods like salmon or pork chops in the air fryer in under 20 minutes, wouldn’t you rather do that than takeaways? All you have to do is season a piece of meat, like a chicken breast (even if frozen), put it in the basket, and set it to cook. Easy-peasy and much healthier! 

3. Crispy & crunchy food 

If you cook a lot of frozen food, you’ll like this reason the most. The air fryer actually crisps up the food you cook, so rather than the normal soggy exterior, you can get it crunchy and golden. All you need is to spray a little bit cooking oil on the outside of the food and you’ll end up with a crispy crunchy exterior.  

4. It’s very versatile 

The air fryer is so much more than a healthier option to deep frying. In fact, you can cook virtually anything from fried chicken to curries and desserts. It’s great for cooking frozen foods like fries and pizza. Even the kids can do it and that’s dinner, sorted. 

5. Faster than oven cooking 

A major advantage of an air fryer is that it gets extremely hot very quickly, and the circulating air helps the food cook evenly, browned and crispy, without you having to do much at all. This means it cuts your cooking time. Sometimes you do need to turn your food halfway. 

An air fryer is faster than cooking in the oven because of the smaller size of an air fryer compared to your oven. An oven typically needs up to 10 minutes to pre-heat, while the air fryer doesn’t really need any pre-heating time for most recipes. I personally do heat for 3 minutes on 180 degrees most times. This means you can put your food into the air fryer basket, set the time and be ready to eat in 10-15 minutes, depending on what you are cooking. 

6. Easy to clean 

Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t hate cleaning up after cooking? You will be happy to know that a good air fryer is also incredibly easy to clean after use. If you keep up on cleaning it after every time you cook in it, then it just requires a regular clean, like you would any other pot or pan you used. Just add soapy water to the basket and use a non-scratch sponge to clean the interior and exterior. Some air fryer baskets can even go in the dish washer. 

You can do a deeper clean about once or twice per month, depending on how often you use it. If you do it regularly, it’s not a difficult process like cleaning the oven is.

Owning an air fryer can be a big decision. No one wants to buy something they don’t need. However, there are so many great benefits to owning an air fryer that you wouldn’t have imagined before you bought one. You’ll soon be making all kinds of great foods in your air fryer, and I can guarantee that if you make an effort to use it, you will understand why they say, “Love is in the air (fryer)”! 

Would you like help with trying recipes in your new air fryer? Why not sign up for our In Great Company companionship program and have someone accompany you on your cooking adventures? 

Young man and senior man fishing

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