Why Use an Air Fryer?

Air fryers use heat and circulating air to cook food. This means you can cook food with less fat than deep-frying in oil. That will allow you to still get a wonderful texture—even with the keto diet’s restrictions on carbs. But cooking with an air fryer also has several other benefits.

Healthier

When focusing on your health, you should avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils. If you’re following a keto diet, using the right kind of fat—as opposed to less of it—is essential. Using a smaller amount of a healthy fat to get the same crispy exterior as you would when deep-frying makes air frying more convenient. You don’t have to use an excessive amount of oil like you would for deep-frying. A small coating of healthy fat is all you need. Some healthy fats include olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil.

More versatile

Just like an oven, you can bake, broil, and cook all types of foods with an air fryer. But unlike an oven, you’ll always get a juicy piece of chicken or perfectly crispy bacon in less time because the cooking process allows the inside to stay juicy while the outside becomes crunchy. This means you can not only cook foods more quickly than in an oven, but you can also ensure even cooking.

Easier cleanup

To clean your air fryer, simply remove the fryer basket and wipe with a damp cloth. For some foods, you might need a deeper clean by soaking or scrubbing the fryer basket. See the next page for some helpful hints for how to make cleanup even easier.

Quicker and safer

You can often preheat the air fryer in a few minutes. Plus, food takes half the time to cook when compared with a conventional oven. Because the food is constantly surrounded by heated air, you can consistently cook food with a simple shake of the fryer basket or a quick flip of the food. Air fryers are also much safer than deep fryers because you’re less likely to accidentally deep-fry your fingers in hot cooking oil.

Tips and tricks

These suggestions will help you avoid many common mistakes made when cooking with your air fryer.

USE A BAKING PAN. A metal or silicone baking pan can help catch any dislodged items that might fall into the bottom of the air fryer, which requires cleaning. Baked foods like cakes or casseroles are especially best made in a baking pan—for easy removal and hassle-free cleaning.

USE PARCHMENT PAPER. If oils and juices accumulate in the bottom of the fryer basket, they can become hot and smoke or burn. To prevent this, place the food on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. This will also make for easier cleanup.

SHAKE THE FRYER BASKET. When air in the fryer doesn’t have room to circulate completely, your food can often be cooked more on top than it is on the bottom. To avoid this problem, simply shake the fryer basket or flip the food halfway through the cooking time to ensure the food is cooked evenly and all the way through.

PREHEAT THE AIR FRYER. Preheating the air fryer and also coating the fryer basket with healthy cooking oil can help mitigate the risk of undercooked food or food sticking to the fryer basket. If your food does look a little undercooked even though the correct cooking time has been followed, just place the food back into the air fryer and cook for a few extra minutes at a time until your food is thoroughly cooked.

USE NONSTICK COOKING SPRAY. Some recipes include a nonstick cooking spray to prevent food from sticking to the fryer basket. You can use almost any cooking oil you prefer for the job, as long as it’s not damaged at high heats (above 375°F (190°C). (Coconut oil is a great option.) The additional oil isn’t included in the nutritional information because the nutritional differences are negligible to the final nutrition.

CLEAN THE AIR FRYER. Food and grease left at the bottom of the air fryer will often burn and smoke throughout the entire appliance if not removed with proper cleaning after each use. Use parchment paper or even a baking pan to help eliminate most of your cleaning troubles. Make sure to also check the fryer basket before preheating the air fryer to ensure the basket is clean.

USE ALUMINUM FOIL SLINGS. An aluminum foil sling can help you put a low-sided pan into the fryer basket as well as remove the pan once cooking is complete. To make a sling, fold a square piece of aluminum foil lengthwise a few times until you have a thin but strong piece of foil. Place the pan in the middle of that foil and lower the pan into the fryer basket using the ends of the foil as grips. Fold the foil back on itself once inside the air fryer so you can easily remove the pan without burning your hands or dropping the pan.

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