Business Insider asked chefs to share their favorite dishes to make in an air fryer. Some of their favorite dishes to make in this appliance include kale chips, gnocchi, and crunchy chickpeas.
They’re often touted as a way of cutting calories and fat from classic comfort foods, but air fryers can be used to cook a wide range of dishes. With that in mind, Business Insider asked chefs to share their favorite snacks and meals to prepare in an air fryer.
“The olive oil helps it get a wonderful sear and the salt and pepper give a simple, yet satisfying flavor.” Yankee told Business Insider that the secret to good air -fried doughnuts is to avoid putting a very wet batter in the air fryer.
Using an air fryer can help take some guesswork out of preparing seafood, and avoid dry, overcooked fish. “Because an air fryer has a small cavity that doesn’t require preheating, it gets the cheese bubbly and the bread toasted much faster than an oven would,” she told Business Insider.
Dang said naan bread, tomato sauce, and mozzarella can be turned into a quick and tasty personal pizza in an air fryer. Dang told Business Insider that using an air fryer is one of the best ways to prepare premade, frozen gnocchi.
Chef Zach Cummings of Timbers Kauai in Li hue, Hawaii, told Business Insider that baby carrots are one of his favorite foods to prepare in an air fryer. “The intense, focused heat of the air fryer achieves this beautiful caramelization in a fraction of the time it takes to cook baby carrots that way in a traditional oven,” said Cummings.
He said to get perfectly caramelized carrots, coat them in extra-virgin olive oil, toasted fennel seeds, fresh thyme, sea salt, and pepper. Cummings said he recommends tossing kale with coconut oil and sea salt before adding the leaves to your air fryer.
Chelsea Knight, chef at Fable Lounge in Nashville, Tennessee, told Business Insider that stuffed peppers cook well in an air fryer. For an air -fried party snack, try stuffing smaller peppers with cubes of mozzarella and serving them with a marinara dipping sauce.
Coating fresh zucchini slices in bread crumbs and popping them in an air fryer makes for a crunchy, vegan snack. “Fried zucchini is a healthy side dish that you can dress up with your favorite spices, or keep it simple with just some olive oil, salt, and pepper,” said Knight.
The ability to turn thin slices of potatoes into crispy chips is a major reason why air fryers are popular. “Chicken wings are great to cook in an air fryer as a snack or a whole meal,” Knight told Business Insider.
Yes, making fried food without a large ladle of oil sounds too good to be true, but air fryers work their magic by circulating hot air throughout its inner chamber, giving your food crunchier and crispier skin than if you’d tossed it into the oven. Apart from fried foods, air fryers are also capable of roasting vegetables, baking pizza, and even making bread or cakes.
You’ll find it super easy to make crispy chicken wings, fries, and more by following its accompanying recipe book. Simply plug in the air fryer, turn its incredibly sleek knob to the correct temperature and time, and press to begin frying.
One wrote, “The turbo feature of this air fryer is what makes it great and worth a little extra money over cheaper brands. A pressure cooker and air fryer rolled into one, Ninja’s Food multi-cooker comes with searing, sautéing, baking, broiling, steaming, slow cooking, dehydrating, and yogurt making functions.
It uses the brand’s signature TenderCrisp technology to pressure cooks while air frying, so you’ll get soft, juicy meats with crispy skin. Plus, Ninja’s air fryer comes with a reversible rack that lets you roast vegetables, fries, and more above your meats, so one-pan dinners are a lot simpler to make.
Its huge rotating basket can fit a whole chicken, and the fryer even comes with a rotisserie kit so you’ll have everything you need for big family dinners. Plus, the Instant Vortex Pro includes two baking trays that you can fit in the air fryer simultaneously, so it’s incredibly simple to fry up your main course and side dish all at once.
You can even create custom programs based on your go-to temperature and preferred time settings, and return to them for reheating dinner from the previous night. With seven cooking functions (air fry, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil, warm, and toast), Cuisinart’s toaster oven air fryer is the go-to appliance for making morning bagels as well as crispy potatoes at dinner time.
Plus, chances were high that any new countertop appliance would soon join my junk -cabinet graveyard of George Foreman grills, bullet juicers, electric griddles and Tupperware. I had tired of sad, soggy takeout egg rolls that needed broiler time to reach their full crunch potential.
Armed with my air fryer and anticipation, I fired up chicken wings, roasted carrots and broccoli, citrus salmon and moist banana bread. I rescued one of summer’s last peaches from incipient mealiness with a single pat of butter and brown sugar.
Fred van der Was, the 58-year-old “father of the air fryer as we know it, understands that compulsion to try new things as both an entrepreneur and eater. A product designer and engineer based in the Netherlands, he had heard of Chinese-made, smaller convection ovens.
On a recent Zoom call, van der Was walked me through his workshop and pointed out early prototypes. He pitched a short, squat crimson machine using the air -cooking method he had patented to the multinational electronics maker Philips.
“What these buoyant colors can do for your kitchen, for your spirits is just short of unbelievable!” Marketing is rarely subtle, but it is the art of creating or channeling desire into transactions. In 1886, the U.S. Patent Office recognized the first automated dishwasher, the invention of an upper-class housewife who thought her servants weren’t churning out clean dishes fast enough to keep pace with her entertaining.
Air frying is accessible enough that Tanya Harris, a self-confessed former non-cook and ex-public defender, has become a professional food blogger and recipe developer. She wasn’t exactly a candidate for “Worst Cooks in America,” but the Raleigh, N.C., mother of two now laughs about serving a disastrous mess of a lemon meringue pie to her mother-in-law and pasty, unseasoned chicken-breast slabs to her now-husband during their courtship.
She tests recipes on the trio of popular models that her readers are likely to have, but she has eight air fryers and won’t rule out buying more. Harris recommends 5-quart machines for families and adjusting serving sizes as needed (as a singleton, I opted for a smaller one).
But at the halfway mark, she’ll hit pause and then spray the kids’ chicken tenders with a light coating of oil for optimal crispiness, popping the basket back in for the remaining minutes. I hear what she’s saying on that latter point, although I unabashedly use mine for those egg rolls I had been craving, mozzarella sticks and the delightfully less-greasy-but-still-satisfying versions of restaurant appetizers I won’t get now.