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Lord Of The Fries

A basket of fries “to share” arrives at your table at the restaurant. Suddenly, it turns into a feeding frenzy. You dive in first, determined to get your fair share (and part of someone else’s). It’s survival of the piggiest.

Manners be damned!

Okay, maybe that was a bit dramatic. But if you like fried food as much as most people do, an air fryer will enable you to make your very own fries at home. Minus the grease. Minus the post-meal guilt. 

But healthier fried food isn’t the only reason buying an air fryer is a great idea. As it turns out, this nifty little machine has a lot to offer. So here’s a little 411 on the “It” appliance of the moment. 

So What Is This Mystical, Magical Machine?

The Philips TurboStar is like the Ferrari of air fryers.

An air fryer generates superheated air which it circulates above and around your food for more even cooking. You can think of it as the mini-version of a convection oven. This method is far more efficient than conventional ranges and leaves food crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. 

And because with an air fryer, you usually use only a thin coating of oil (sometimes none at all), it’s a far healthier alternative to foods fried in a vat of grease. In fact, using an air fryer should cut fats by around 70 to 80 percent. 

So not only will you save calories, but you’ll also save money on cooking oil.

You can think of it as finger-licking good lite.

Grease Is So Not The Word

Is the texture exactly what you get at your favorite diner? Opinions differ, but the consensus seems to be that it does deliver a crispy texture that’s close to, if not exactly the same, as the fried foods we know and love. 

It also saves you the giant mess that a deep fryer leaves. Another big plus? It eliminates the risk of having to work with a big pot of boiling oil. No safety goggles necessary.

Sounds good, right? But there are also plenty of other reasons you’ll love using an air fryer. 

Fried Chicken and Beyooooond!

A plate of fried food.

Sure, you can use an air fryer for cooking healthier versions of your fried favorites. But did you know you can also use it to prepare almost anything that you would cook in a conventional oven? Vegetables, fish and other roasted meats are all on the air fryer menu.

With some of the larger models, you can roast an entire chicken.

You can even bake cookies, muffins and small pizzas. In other words, you can throw basically anything at this multi-tasking appliance and expect delicious results.  

And for those nights when you’re not feeling so creative, you can use the air fryer to heat up leftovers or cook frozen foods. This thing is like your best friend. Always there for you.

Fast Food. The Good Kind.

In this hectic, fast-paced blur that is modern life, we’re all looking to save time. 

Air fryers heat up faster and cook faster than conventional ovens. In fact, your cook times could drop as far as 50% or more. 

Not to mention the time you’ll save not having to hover over your food the entire time. With its handy timer and temperature controls, the air fryer falls into the genre of “set it and forget it” appliances.

So go ahead and use that time to helicopter over your kids. Or significant other. Or a pet.

Whatever. Just enjoy the respite. 

Easy-Peasy Cleanup

An air fryer will also save you time after your meal is through. Most models are quite simple to clean. Many brands even have non-stick coatings and frying baskets that are dishwasher safe.

And because you’ll be using only small amounts of oil, you won’t have to worry about disposing of all that grease as you would with a conventional deep fryer. Instead, you’ll just slide right into downtime. Or at least be able to move on to the next thing on your checklist.

It’s not only leaner. It’s Greener. 

This super-efficient appliance heats up and cooks far faster than a conventional oven. And that means energy savings.

It also won’t heat your kitchen as a normal range does. So no more slaving over a hot stove to cook a few tater tots. Something you’ll appreciate in the summer months. When the temperature climbs, it’s hot air technology to the rescue!

More Ways To Expand Your Horizons With An Air Fryer

A pizza on a wood plate.

To make this little machine even more versatile, you can pick up an accessory kit. They typically come with cake pans, pizza pans, cooking racks and kabob skewers that were made to fit an air fryer. 

You’ll also want to put some spray oils on your shopping list. It will make it easier to give your food a light coating of oil without going overboard.  

Other Things To Consider

So you’ve decided you want to start your air frying adventure. Here are a few things to think about before you purchase one. Air fryers come in various shapes and sizes. Usually from 2 to 6 quarts.

Obviously, a 2-quart air fryer will take up more than a 6-quart one, so be sure to consider the amount of food you plan to cook as well as the amount of counter space you have.

That being said, there are a wide range of air fryers on the market with varying price points. With a little bit of shopping around, you’ll be sure to find the right one for you. Here are some of our favorites:

To Fry Or Not To Fry

If you love fried food but are looking for a healthier version, an air fryer is a great way to go.

But even if you don’t fry food every day or even every week, you may want to consider one anyway. These compact little convection ovens are so quick and versatile that they make everyday cooking a cinch. 

And for those days when you have to have a french fry, your air fryer will be at the ready. 

So long fast-food drive-thrus!

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Dec 2, 2019

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