I did a piece a while back, saying that you don’t really need to purchase an air fryer, if you have a toaster oven with the convection setting. That still holds true but I am taking back the you don’t need both part. A toaster oven will do a lot. You can reheat your pizza, it will make French fries, that are crisp and you can cook your frozen foods too.
However, a toaster oven doesn’t inspire creativity the same way the air fryer does. Like would you see a recipe for salmon and think “that would work great in my toaster oven”? Probably not. Would you turn to your toaster oven for inspiration of how to cut the fat? Again, I suggest you wouldn’t.
One of the ways I got turned on to an air fryer is my daughters love of the cauliflower gnocchi, from Trader Joes. I don’t have non-stick pans and try as I might, I couldn’t get her favorite recipe right in my stainless steel. She went back to school, put the same recipe in her air fryer and they cam our delicious. I tried them here and they are perfect every time. They were nicely crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. This is how most of my experiments have come out. I LOVE IT! I’m a convert.
Some of the other things you can make include:
Bacon – like the oven version it cooks perfect in 7-10 minutes and if you put a piece of bread in the bottom it is not greasy and you get less of the fat.
You can make the frozen Fries from the grocery store or you can cut your potatoes into batons, toss them with a smidge of oil, salt and pepper and in 15-20 minutes you have perfect, non-greasy fries. If you don’t want fries; it makes a perfect baked potato. No more Baking at a high temp to get the crispy outside only to get a still hard inside.
I made apple chips and mango chips. I think its a great way to use up fruit that is just that side of ripe and you’d rather not eat fresh. How about banana chips instead of bread.
I’ve seen stories of baking bread and frying chicken. The internet went wild over hard boiled eggs, int he air fryer. Put your COLD eggs in the basket. Set the temperature to 250°- 270° and in 15-17 minutes you have perfect eggs that are easy to peel.
Last but oh definitely not least you can make donuts by using canned biscuits. They are amazing and you get to be the architect of your toppings. All of these recipes are available online.
I am giving you a recipe for Coconut Shrimp. I think it’s a great recipe and you can serve it as an appetizer or entree. It would be a great Super Bowl appetizer!
A few tips:
Preheat your air fryer.
Use a non-aerosol non-stick spray or make your own by pouring some oil into a spray bottle.
Don’t use a wet batter. Dredged and breaded is better.
When you are cooking give it a shake periodically to get more even cooking.
If you are making something, like bacon that will drop grease, put a piece of bread or a little bit of water in the try underneath. This will prevent smoking.
When you are serving your food, make sure you pour our from basket only. You don’t want to pour off any drippings. Yuck!
Finally, clean it every time. Especially since it is probably dishwasher safe. Grease or food build up is never good.