What exactly is an air fryer?

Air fryers are essentially convection ovens that sit right on any countertop, and give anyone the ability to fry food without completely submerging it in oil. The food is cooked with a fan that circulates the hot air inside, giving it a nice light crisp. 

Why are air fryers so special?

You may have heard that air frying is healthier than deep frying. The usage of minimal oil helps reduce calorie intake by 70-80%. Air fryers are also extremely efficient. It is usually as simple as placing the food inside, setting the time and temperature, and waiting for the food to cook. You may need to flip or rotate certain food to ensure even cooking, but that is pretty minimal work. The cooking times in an air fryer are also faster than if you had used your oven. The temperature remains consistent, allowing the heat to surround the food. Using an air fryer also reduces the smell of food permeating the house, as the food is contained within. 

There are many different air fryers on the market right now and they all have specific features for each type of chef. Standard air fryers (like this) are simple and effective but can be large. Compact mini air fryers (like this one) are space efficient for the tightest kitchens. Multi-functional air fryers come with all the bells and whistles, becoming a one stop shop for all your cooking needs. Air fryers can have multiple baskets, racks, and even a grill attachment. In all cases, the machine does the brunt of the cooking for you.

I recently acquired my very own air fryer, and I can attest to this gadget being a major game changer in the kitchen. As a student, figuring out meals can be stressful and actually making them is a battle. With the air fryer, I find myself doing minimal prep and just sticking the food inside for a few minutes. Before I even notice it, the machine is beeping, and the food is done to a wonderful crisp. I'm able to make a lot of different food for meals and snacks, so it's never boring. I particularly enjoy making fried chicken and the air fryer gets it right every single time. It has just made my time in the kitchen so much easier. As a person who struggles with a stove and has become dependent on a microwave, my air fryer has given me the magic ability to make food even Gordon Ramsey would approve of. 

Honestly, air fryers are worth all the hype they have been getting and then some. The contraption is user friendly, and both the cooking method and clean up process are quick and painless, something we all desperately need. Do yourself a favor and consider investing in an air fryer to call your own. These recipes are a great start to your air-fried food journey, but the possibilities are truly endless and will definitely be delicious.