With the advent of air fryers, cooking fried foods has changed dramatically, making them healthier by reducing the amount of oil required. However, although air fryers seem very easy to use, there are certain pitfalls that are best avoided.
Ten Most Common Air Fryer Mistakes
1. Preheat the air fryer before starting operation. Using an air fryer means avoiding preheating before adding food. Failure to do so may result in uneven cooking, food sticking to the basket, or a mushy result instead of the desired crispy texture.
Products should be placed evenly in the bowl in one layer, avoiding overload. During the cooking process, you need to remove the bowl, shake it, and turn the food over to ensure even cooking.
2. Use too much oil. If you use too much oil, the food will become greasy and lose its crunchy texture. In addition, excess oil may get on the heating element, which will lead to smoke or even a fire.
Ideally, it is better to use a brush to apply a thin and even layer of oil to products. Choosing foods with natural fats, such as chicken or salmon, can be beneficial. They release fat when cooking, helping to achieve a golden, flavorful texture without the need for additional oils.
3. Do not clean the fryer after each use. Residues of food and oil that accumulate in the basket and inside the fryer cause unpleasant odors, bacteria and fungi. The accumulation of these residues can also cause clogging of the air circulation system, which will reduce cooking efficiency and increase the energy consumption of the device.
The basket and interior of the fryer should be cleaned with hot water and mild soap after each use. A soft brush can come in handy to get into those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. To make the air fryer less dirty, you can use special silicone inserts for cooking food, which can be easily purchased on online platforms.
Some modern air fryers even come with removable parts that are dishwasher safe, making cleaning the unit even easier.
4. Place frozen food directly into the air fryer. This causes food to cook on the outside but remain raw on the inside, or to release too much water. Some frozen foods can release liquids that cause smoke or even hot grease splashes, which can be dangerous and affect the long-term performance of the fryer.
Ideally, food should be thawed before placing it in the air fryer. thoroughly cooked and frozen.
5. Do not shake or turn food over during cooking. Uneven cooking results can be caused by several factors, such as the distribution of food in the basket, the selected temperature, or even the nature of the food itself.
Stirring and turning food during cooking will allow hot air to circulate optimally around each piece, enhancing the overall quality of the cooked dish.
Follow the instructions for each recipe and adjust the time and temperature depending on the type and quantity of food being prepared.
6. Use unsuitable containers or equipment. Not only can bowls or utensils become warped or damaged due to heat, but they can also release toxins or unwanted components that contaminate the food.
Use silicone spatulas that are resistant to high temperatures. Not only are they safe for cooking, but they also make cleanup easy.
7. Do not set time and temperature depending on the type and quantity of food. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions or consult any manual or recipe for air fryers, setting the time and temperature depending on the size, thickness and quantity of the food we are going to cook.
From vegetables to meats and desserts, each has its own texture and composition. For example, a piece of chicken will require more time and a different temperature than several slices of zucchini.
Cooking in small batches can ensure more even air circulation. Overloading the air fryer may result in food that is not cooked through or may develop an undesirable texture.
There are now apps and websites dedicated to air fryer cooking. They offer real-time advice and adjustments to adapt to different ingredients.
8. Do not leave enough space between the fryer and other items. The deep fryer generates a lot of heat and can burn or melt objects near it, such as tablecloths, curtains, dishes, or appliances. Leave at least 10 centimeters of space between the fryer and any other items, and place it on a flat, stable, heat-resistant surface.
Likewise, think about ventilation around the fryer. Equipment requires space to dissipate heat and maintain proper air circulation.
Do not place the fryer in a walk-through area or in a crowded area to minimize the risk of accidents. A fall or impact may spill hot contents and cause injury.
Make sure the cord is out of reach and the fryer is in a location where it will not be easily dropped. Safety in the kitchen is of utmost importance, and with a device as powerful as the deep fryer, it never hurts to be careful.
9. Do not adhere to the maximum power of the air fryer. If you overload the basket with too much food, it will interfere with air circulation and even cooking.
By exceeding the power of the appliance, you restrict the air flow and food may simply stick to the basket, making further cleaning of the appliance difficult.
When cooking large portions, the moisture makes the food soggy instead of crispy. This is true for those foods that release more water, such as vegetables.
Keeping your fryer at maximum power not only ensures the best cooking results, but also extends the life of the equipment. Overloading the fryer can cause wear on the motor.
To get the most out of your air fryer and enjoy your food, pay attention. It is always better to cook in batches rather than risk unsatisfactory results and possible equipment damage.
10. Do not monitor food preparation. Although the air fryer has a timer that shuts off after a set amount of time, it does not monitor the cooking of the food to prevent it from over-cooking or losing moisture.
Each product has its own characteristics. For example, while French fries may take time to develop a crispy texture, pieces of chicken or fish may require time and temperature adjustments.
While a timer is a useful tool, it does not always reflect the variables that may arise during cooking. Factors such as the amount of food, its size, and the size of the load can affect the time required to cook.
Color and texture indicate the cooking process. Being vigilant allows us to make adjustments on the fly or add more time if they haven't yet reached the desired point.
A burning smell that appears during cooking is a sign that intervention is needed.
Avoid making these air fryer mistakes and enjoy delicious, healthy, and crispy meals without the hassle or hassle!