You know how in a musical, when the actors start to get into explaining their story and then break into song? I’m kinda like that, only when I get excited about something, I break into blog post. It’s usually about genealogy, because my family’s eyes just glaze over when I start to prattle on about the latest obscure record set or whatever. But other genealogists? They get it 🙂 If you’re reading this it’s probably because you’re one of my genie friends who asked me about my air fryer. Seriously, nobody else reads this blog because it’s just kinda for me anyway 🙂
However, today I’m all about the air fryer. I received one recently, and because I can’t seem to turn down “free,” I figured I’d try it out. This is the one I was given: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R6TZMZL (not an affiliate link, btw). You need to understand that I hate frying. I hate getting spattered with hot grease and then having to figure out what to do with all that nasty grease when I’m done. I hate greasy food, greasy dishes, and greasy pots and pans, so I wasn’t sure about anything that had the words “fryer” in it; but hey, free, right?
When it arrived, I didn’t even open the box for two weeks. I just wasn’t so sure about it, and was afraid it was going to be another huge time commitment kind of thing, and then need all sorts of scrubbing. Oh I was SOOOOOO wrong.
I took it out of the box, quickly washed the basket and the little base plate inside the basket, plugged it in, and that was it. Ready to go.
Not being one to take baby steps, the first thing I made was a recipe for Mexican Corn that my husband had sent me that he’d seen on Facebook. We both really like Mexican corn, and it being summer and corn season, it seemed like a good idea. (The recipe is on AllRecipes.com here) So I mixed up the ‘sauce’ (mayo, chili powder, lime juice, and cojita cheese — don’t substitute anything); rolled my corn ears in it, and placed 3 ears in the basket. I didn’t want to over stuff it or have them all smushed up on each other. I think I cooked mine just a tad too long because they weren’t quite as lovely as the picture in the recipe (below, from AllRecipes).
The recipe called for pre-heating, but I wasn’t sure whether this thing worked like a microwave or not or whether it would freak out if I opened the drawer while it was on, so I didn’t pre-heat. No worry, it turned out great anyway. So I set the temperature knob to 400 (the outer dial), and the time knob to 10 minutes (the inner dial), pushed the basket in, and it started doing its thing. At 10 minutes it dinged and turned off, and I opened the basket and rolled the ears over and cooked them for about another 8 on the other side. Oh my it was wonderful!
Yesterday I marinated a bunch of wings in a ziplock bag with some bottled teriyaki sauce (does it get much simpler?), put them in the air fryer on 375 for… ok, I forgot how long. But the recipe said to “shake the basket” midway through. Well, still worried about what would happen if it was “On” and I opened the basket I figured I’d give it a try. I just pulled the basket out and the thing immediately stopped whatever it does (blowing hot air? cooking?). I shook the wings around in the basket — OK I’m a little OCD and I used tongs to turn them all over so they’d be cooked evenly — and shoved the basket back in. The air fryer started right up where it left off.
And again – Oh my goodness. They were wonderful. But OH I ALMOST FORGOT!! Donuts! SUPER EASY!!! Took a can of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (which actually made a HUGE donut), popped a hole out of each biscuit with a bottle top, and brushed the fryer tray with some coconut oil (because the instructions said to). Set the temp and the timer; flipped them over halfway through; took them out, brushed with melted butter and dipped in cinnamon and sugar. OMGOSH They puffed up SOOO nice and hardly tasted biscuit like, AND THEY WEREN’T GREASY! The basket held 4 at a time, because they were the really big biscuits. SO fast, so easy for a Sunday breakfast! (You can google air fryer donuts – T/T is about 375/4 min)
So here’s my take away. The air fryer is like a super super hot mini oven that doesn’t heat up your kitchen. It makes quick work of cooking things that would normally be a PITA, if you know what I mean. And the best part? Clean up is just washing out the basket and the little tray with soapy water and a non-scratch scrubby pad.
Things to note: The insides of my basket and the little tray at the bottom appear to be non-stick, and so far, nothing has stuck. From reading, I’ve learned that using Pam isn’t a good idea, as it may cause a build-up that is difficult to wash off. The preference is for coconut or another oil, and even then, you may only need to lightly wipe it on, if at all, depending on what you’re cooking, and how “fried” you want it to be.
And as a very final note, truth be told, I love to cook, but I haven’t cooked in probably a year at least (long story…). But guess who’s back in the kitchen now? Thanks to my nifty air fryer 🙂