Why you should reinvent your oil-based fried food with an air fryer.
I love my gadgets. More specifically, I love my kitchen gadgets. So when I kept hearing people say how great their Air Fryer was, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical and unwilling to give up my tried-and-true deep fryer. But after friends and family raved about the wonders of this new-fangled contraption, despite being hesitant, I broke down and bought one. Here’s why you should buy an air fryer, too.
For the next few days post-purchase, I was determined to make dinner in this thing and have the best critics in town over for dinner – La Familia. We made dinners which we’d normally deep fry, because, well, our family hates change but does want to be healthier. We’re just not willing to sacrifice on taste.
Air Fryer Fish ‘N Chips
First on the menu was my hubby’s fave – Fish ‘N Chips. Being from the UK, he’s extremely specific about making sure the fish is crispy and not soggy, and the chips (fries) must be crisp and not oily.
We followed the instructions on an air fryer specific recipe we found, which was another change for us. Deviation from the old recipe was not something he was pleased about, but I was decided to see this through.
Fish breaded and coated, air fryer set to 390 degrees, “spritz” both sides of the fish with vegetable oil… wait, what?? Spritz! Geez, the thought of failing on the first attempt and serving my very British husband raw fish lightly misted in oil would be slightly mortifying. But not trying at all would be giving up, and, well, I don’t give up. So, onward air frying we go!
Plated and served with fresh chips also made in the air fryer, I wanted impatiently for the verdict on this new experience. He sat, he inspected, and I waited for the first bite to happen. Then the second bite, and third bite. With the plate now empty, he begrudgingly smiled and said it was amazing and more like what he remembered it tasting like back home! Success on the first try: air fryer 1, deep fryer 0.
Air Fryer Buffalo Wings
The next meal was for my son – buffalo wings. I’ve never met another human being who can eat his weight in buffalo wings, so I was weary that he would have one and turn his nose up in disgust.
I searched for a recipe that would work for an air fryer, and I found this one that looked yummy and simple. This recipe called for “shaking the basket” – I can do that. I’ve shaken my deep fryer’s basket, this feels like normal, I’m in my comfort zone now and I’ve got a win under my belt, so I’m feeling good about this.
Shortly after, I’ve got a tower of buffalo wings for my bottomless pit to devour. He sits, he bites, and I know it’s a slam dunk. As soon as I could hear lips smacking and the muffled sounds of a pre-teen trying to talk with his mouth full, I know it’s point 2 for the air fryer.
After he was all done and could properly enunciate his words again, he said they were crispy and loved the new recipe. This is great, because fried food isn’t good for us, and if we can make tasty food with less fatty grease, it’s a win-win!
Air Fryer Fried Shrimp
The last critic is the toughest, because she is, well, me. As moms we’re already hard on ourselves to do our best, give our best, and try our best.
I really wanted to make some air fryer fried shrimp. I had a recipe I’d found earlier. I was prepped and ready to go for round three. Wine poured, veggies steamed. Shrimp air frying. I was ready to enjoy this new taste.
Five minutes later, I was ready to dig in and I, like the rest of my family, was pleased. This shrimp dinner tasted lighter and not as heavy as deep-fried shrimp. I was super happy with all three meals and surprised by how quickly the air fryer cooks.
I also learned a few tips from these meals that I think are important for anyone wanting to convert to the air fryer life. Air frying is not frying. I had to rethink the whole concept. With such little amounts of oil being used, air frying can dehydrate food quickly if you aren’t careful. You’re food is essentially being exposed in a hot windstorm in order to remove moisture and make it crispy, so you have to pay attention, which equates to less wine while cooking.
However, shortened cooking times means more wine after cooking, so it balances out. Also using an egg helps coating adhere better and provides a crispier texture, especially for those items that require a “spritz” of oil.
All in all, I’m happy to admit I’ve converted to air frying. Share your air frying concoctions with us by tagging @luxymomofficial in your Instagram and Facebook posts. We may also share them on our social media!
Bonus: Shop our air fryer and small kitchen appliance recommendations here!