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5 tips to make the most of that fancy new air fryer

January 3, 2019

Move over, Instant Pot, there’s a new gadget in town.

If your social media feeds are anything like mine, all your favorite foodies are suddenly discovering the joys of cooking with an air fryer.

What is an air fryer, you ask? Well, technically speaking, it’s not a fryer at all. The countertop devices are essentially turbocharged convection ovens that bake things up to an impressive crisp with a fraction of the oil normally used to fry.

If you found an air fryer under your Christmas Tree this year and have no idea where to start, we’re here for you with the following tips.

1. Until you’re comfortable with your particular model of air fryer, be mindful of the temperatures and cooking times suggested in any air fryer-specific recipe. Some models run hot, others cold, and you won’t get consistent results until you know how yours behaves. Also, if you’re adapting a recipe designed for regular ovens, drop the temperature by 25 degrees and expect a cooking time as much as 40 percent shorter.

2. Give your food room to breathe. Air fryers work by exposing the surface of ingredients to hot circulating air. If the air fryer’s basket is crowded, food will cook slower and come out less crisp.

3. Moisture is the enemy of crispy, crunchy nibbles. Whether you’re air-frying french fries or chicken wings, pat your ingredients dry with a towel before cooking.

4. Air frying is still cooking, and that means paying attention to your food. Take a peek inside the device as often as necessary. Flip, shake and stir your food as needed while the heat is on.

5. It’s may be called an air fryer, but it’s capable of so much more. Bake a cake, roast a chicken, toast a pound of nuts — many things you can do in an oven you can do in an air fryer even faster.

Paul Stephen is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | pstephen@express-news.net | Twitter: @pjbites | Instagram: @pjstephen

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