Air fryers have become one of the biggest small appliances in home kitchens. And with any new appliance, comes the trial and error phase. With the information I’m going to share here, even the most novice of air fryer users will be trying unique air fryer dishes on their own in no time.
~I received a sample to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~
Why do I need an air fryer?
The main use or purpose of an air fryer is to make your favorite fried dishes without all the fat. And despite its name, an air fryer doesn’t actually fry at all. Instead, it uses convection cooking to mimic the same textures and taste that we get from oil frying. The best part, is that it requires little to no oil.
Just using french fries as an example. You know how when you deep fry french fries in oil, you have to let them rest on paper towels to soak up the excess oil? Air fryers eliminate the oil altogether, but still give you those crisp, crunchy french fries you know and love.
Without all that oil, it’s easy to eat your favorite foods without feeling weighed down by grease. And obviously, it’s much healthier. So whether you just want to eat healthier or you have to stick to a low-fat diet for medical reasons, an air fryer is an amazing appliance for you.
And there are SO MANY foods an air fryer can cook!
What can I cook in an air fryer?
- Beef (steak, burgers, kebabs)
- Chicken (rotisserie, wings, fried chicken)
- Desserts (including cakes)
- Frozen Foods
- Fruit (think apple slices, peaches, banana chips)
- Pork (chops, tenderloins, ribs, bacon)
- Seafood (shrimp, fish)
Which air fryer should I buy?
Since you’ve landed on this page, you either already have an air fryer at home and just aren’t quite sure where to start (I’ve been there), or you are simply looking into the option of purchasing an air fryer and want to learn more about them. If you fall into the second category, this video on the best air fryers of 2019 (by Top 5 Best Hub), will help you decide which model is right for you.
Most air fryers have the same overall functions, but I’ve learned that size makes a huge difference. I personally have 2 air fryers, one that’s on the smaller side (3 quart) and was my first, and a much larger one that has many more cooking options, like rotisserie and skewer cooking. More often than not, because I’m usually cooking for my family, I use our larger one – the Power AirFryer Oven.
I’m surprised that this particular air fryer wasn’t included in the top 5 video, or any other top air fryer videos I’ve watched, because I love it. Just last week in my Power AirFryer Oven, I perfectly cooked 2 pork tenderloins at the same time, and had dinner ready for the whole family in under 20 minutes. But I’ll get to that later.
Why I love my Power AirFryer Oven
- Size is perfect for family meals.
- Easy to store on my kitchen counter top.
- Variety of air frying options – rotisserie, basket, 3 racks, skewer.
- Digital display is easy to read and program.
- Cleanup is a breeze.
If you’re really not sure which air fryer is best for you, I personally recommend the Power AirFryer Oven, especially for families. I am a bit biased on that recommendation simply because I haven’t tried any of the one’s featured in the video above. That’s only because I’m happy with the one I have. I’ve had no reason to try another one at this point.
Easy Air Fryer Recipes
As an air fryer beginner, it’s natural to not know what the heck you’re doing. It’s a new appliance to you and my best advice is to start with a cookbook. That’s exactly how I start using any new kitchen appliance I buy.
My favorite air fryer cookbook is The Easy Air Fryer Cookbook. I mean, the title alone says it all. Beginners need easy, so I find no better place to start. It’s packed with 80 easy everyday air fryer recipes, each one meeting the nutritional guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association, so they’re all diabetic-friendly.
While I haven’t personally been diagnosed with diabetes, it does run in my family. In an effort to help avoid the diagnosis myself, that’s one of the reasons I’ve started using an air fryer. I love fried foods, but I knew I needed to cut out a lot of the fat and oils.
So, if you are a diabetic, this particular air fryer cookbook is a perfect place for you to start. And even if you’re not a diabetic, the air fryer recipes in this book are out of this world delicious.
Earlier, I mentioned that last week I made my family a pork tenderloin dinner in less than 20 minutes and that was all thanks to some guidance from The Easy Air Fryer Cookbook. I took 2 pork tenderloins and sliced them into individual tenderloin chops to help with faster cooking. Using all 3 racks in my air fryer I was able to fit all of the pork in at once. At 375 degrees, 12 minutes on one side, 6 minutes on the other, our air fryer pork tenderloins were cooked to perfection.
While the tenderloins were air frying, I took to the stove to heat up some frozen riced cauliflower with freshly minced garlic and lemon pepper seasoning, along with a pot of green beans. Everything plated, it was truly a foolproof air fryer dinner and took me less than 20 minutes to prepare.
To top it all off, the pork tenderloin was moist, juicy and hands down, the best pork I’ve ever eaten. There’s no turning back now!
Once you’ve tried a few recipes and feel like you’re ready to set out on your own, this Ultimate Air Fryer Cooking Chart (by Dutch Ovens Cookware) will undoubtedly come in handy. It details cooking times and temperatures for various foods.
Additional Benefits of an Air Fryer
While certainly not reasons to specifically set out to get an air fryer, there are a few benefits that I’ve really enjoyed since getting mine. One of those is that I’m not using my oven near as much. Therefore, my kitchen doesn’t get hot when I’m cooking. There’s no personal cooling off period needed between meal prep and actually sitting down to eat.
On top of that, my kids love to help when I’m preparing something in the air fryer. Keep in mind, my kids are still small, so frying something in a pan is still a dangerous task for them. Shoot, sometimes it’s a dangerous task for me.
But with the air fryer, the kids can help get the food laid out on the racks or fill the basket. Then, with a little guidance, they can even set the time and temperature for cooking. In my opinion, air fryers create a safe way for kids to help fry foods since there’s no piping hot oil popping everywhere.
Speaking of piping hot oil splattering everywhere. When pan frying food, cleanup is my worst nightmare. There’s always a ring of oil perfectly around the burner, where it has splattered from the pan as the food sizzles. I don’t. miss. that. at. all!
I hope I’ve given you the confidence to dive in and start making healthier meals with your air fryer. I’ll be sharing a lot of air fryer recipes in the coming months – hello, easy holiday and weeknight dinners – and if you’d like to be one of the first notified when those recipes go up, be sure to join the Making Time for Memories Community. It’s the best way to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on here.
And don’t forget to enter to win a copy of The Easy Air Fryer Cookbook below!
Enter to win a copy of The Easy Air Fryer Cookbook! Good luck!
This giveaway is open to residents of the US, ages 18+ and ends on November 13, 2019 at 11:59 pm est. Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.