Is it possible to turn your conventional recipes into modern ones and use them in an air fryer?
Maybe you have a favorite recipe for your favorite dish, but it takes forever to prepare, making it inconvenient. Converting the recipe to work in an air fryer ensures it cooks faster, making it more convenient.
But how do you convert an air frying oven recipe and convert it to an air fryer recipe? Does the conversion to air fryer cooking affect the amount of time you cook the food at the air fryer temperature?
Do you require to be a professionally trained chef to convert an oven recipe into an air fryer one?
What Is Air Fryer Cooking?
An air fryer is similar to a convection oven in that it cooks your food using hot air instead of hot oil.
It features a heating element at the top that is accompanied by a mechanical fan. The heating element helps to heat the air inside the air fryer to cooking temperatures while the fan helps to circulate the hot air for even cooking of the food.
Air frying results in crunchy and crispy results, just like in deep frying. The only difference is that an air fryer uses little to no oil to cook your food.
A conventional oven requires time to preheat before you can start cooking. Additionally, it takes time for the air inside to heat to cooking temperatures due to the large capacity. On the other hand, an air fryer doesn't require time to preheat, and it has a compact size that ensures it heats up quickly. The food is also near the heat source, which ensures it cooks fast and evenly.
An air fryer is also popular among users due to its ease of cleaning. Some parts of the appliance, including the air fryer basket and the racks, are dishwasher safe. As such, you only need to toss them in the dishwasher after use. For the parts that are not dishwasher safe, you can use a dish brush to clean them.
Conventional Oven to Air Fryer Conversion
You don't require to be a professionally trained chef to convert convection oven recipes to air fryer recipes.
As a rule of thumb, when converting conventional oven recipes to an air fryer recipe, you should reduce the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, you should reduce the time by about 20%.
For example, if you are supposed to cook at 425 degrees Fahrenheit in the original recipe, you should cook at 400 degrees maximum in the air fryer.
Most meats offer the best results over a range of temperatures, while some vegetables such as roasted potatoes do well in higher heats.
Ensure you check your food halfway through the cooking process. If the heat is getting too high for the food, you can reduce it by another 25 degrees. You can also decrease the temperatures if the food is becoming too dark.
When converting an oven recipe to an air frying one, the best factor to keep in mind is the cooking time.
Several recipes will take half the time in an air fryer as they would take with a convection oven.
If you are unsure how long to cook something, it will be best to set the timer lower and then increase the time as the food cooks. Most of the time, an air fryer will have a shorter cook time compared to a traditional oven, even when using lower temperatures.
If you have ingredients with shells or fried doughs, it will be best to cook them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
For breaded items that require crisp up, such as fried chicken (see best air fryer for chicken here), it will take the same amount of time in an air fryer as it would take in hot oil. They can also take longer.
It will be best to air fry breaded items at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use some cooking spray on the breaded items to ensure they crisp up.
Ensure you use the pause button on your kitchen appliance to check the doneness of your food. Flip it to ensures balanced crispness on all sides.
Note, not all recipes at the back of your head or online have the cooking time or temperature converted for use in an air fryer.
As such, it will help a lot if you have an air fryer conversion calculator to help you calculate the cooking times. The calculator offers an excellent method of converting a recipe from the convection oven to the air fryer.
The calculator will also give you the minimum and maximum cooking times for each food. This ensures you don't end up with undercooked french fries or burnt chicken.
The cooking time range comes in handy as different air fryers cook differently. It will be best first to cook the food to the minimum cook time and then check whether it is ready. If it isn't, continue cooking to the maximum time while checking it in between the process.
Is Air Fried Food Healthy?
You can compare the texture and taste of air-fried food and that of a deep fryer. The two cooking methods offer the same results: crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
However, in deep frying, you use hot oil, and the food may even absorb the oil. In air frying, you use little to no oil to achieve the desired results, depending on what you are cooking.
If you compare deep frying and air frying, the latter comes out as the healthier option. An air fryer is also a better choice for a kitchen appliance as it helps you to air fry veggies. Helping you to enhance your veggies intake is vital in your weight management goal; it reduces the risk of chronic diseases and enhances the overall health of your body.
What Can You Cook In An Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a fast and versatile kitchen appliance, and once you understand how they work, you can use it for cooking fresh foods such as pork chops, steak, veggies, salmon, and chicken (see best air fryer for chicken wings review).
If you are air frying meat, you require no oil as most meats are juicy. Just season the meat using your favorite herbs, spices, and salt. Ensure you use dry seasoning as less moisture will offer you crispier results.
You can also baste your meat using barbecue sauce or honey. If you want to baste your meat, ensure you wait until the last minutes of your cooking.
As mentioned earlier, an air fryer works using little to no oil. If you are cooking foods with little or no fat, or lean cuts of meat, you can use a little oil to brown and crisp up the food.
You can also brush pork chops and boneless chicken breasts with a little oil before you season.
If you want to use some oil to crisp up the food, it is recommended that you use canola oil or vegetable oil due to their high smoke point. As such, these types of oil can stand up to the heat inside the air fryer without smoking up.
Additionally, you can toss your vegetables inside the oil before air frying them. You can also sprinkle a little oil on the vegetables before you can air fry them. However, ensure you use less salt than you are used to, as air frying is known to pack many flavors.
Some types of foods you can air fry include baby potato halves, broccoli florets, and brussels sprouts, as they come out perfectly crispy. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and beets get sweeter with air frying, while peppers and green beans also get better.
Is an Air Fryer Worth It?
If you want a kitchen device that will simplify and fasten the tasks in your kitchen, an air fryer is an excellent pick. Moreover, you can find really affordable ones out there.
The device helps you to prepare crispy and crunchy foods in just a few minutes. The kitchen appliance uses hot air to cook your food, which is circulated by a mechanical fan.
You can consider an air fryer as an energy-efficient device as it takes a short time to cook food. As such, it reduces the amount of time the device is on. Additionally, an air fryer is a worthy investment if you wish to embrace healthy eating. The device uses little to no oil at all in cooking your food and making it crispy. This reduces your calorie intake, which is healthy.
An air fryer has a compact design. As such, it takes limited space on your countertop, and it is also effortless to store it. The air fryer basket and other parts are dishwasher safe, which saves you time.
Before you can purchase an air fryer, it's best to consider how many people you are looking for - check out the best air fryers for a family of 4. If you are cooking for a large family, you may have to cook in batches as the device can't accommodate large proportions of food.
It is possible to convert oven recipes to an air fryer. Ensure you get the time and temperatures right to ensure you get the best results.