Air fryers use hot air instead of oil, so they are not just healthier to cook with than deep-fat fryers, but more versatile and energy efficient for cooking smaller quantities than ovens. They are currently one of the most popular kitchen gadgets, and as a result, millions of people are sharing the recipes and dishes they have created by using an air fryer. But there are a few things that an air fryer does not cook very well.
Entire roasts or whole chickens
Air fryers cook much more than chips and finger food but their abilities are limited when it comes to roast and chickens.
The basket or cooking racks, depending on the model, are smaller in their capacity than an oven, so a roast might not fit.
Stephanie Pixley, Deputy Food Editor of America’s Test Kitchen explained: “Beyond the obvious question of whether they’ll fit in the air-fryer basket, larger roasts and whole chickens just won’t cook evenly in the air fryer.”
According to the expert, the side of the chicken closest to the heat source can burn and dry out well before the side further away from the heat source is cooked and safe to eat.
If cooking a chicken breast, it’s advisable to place it skin up, as air fryers heat from the top.
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Rice and pasta
Grains such as rice and pasta can crisp nicely in an air fryer, but they have to be cooked first.
Air fryers are intended to dry cook food, so trying to cook something that needs to be immersed in water during the cooking process won’t work.
Even with an insert that allows you to place water inside the air fryer, the fan will never get hot enough to boil the water and successfully cook the grains.
Before microwaving popcorn and repackaged, premade popcorn bought from supermarkets, people had to add the kernels to a pot with a little oil and heat.
An air fryer chamber may seem similar to an enclosed pot, but an air fryer typically doesn’t get hot enough to pop popcorn. An air fryer is usually between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but it takes a temperature between 400 and 460 degrees Fahrenheit to get popcorn to pop.
How to cook chips in an air fryer
As for what the most popular dishes are to make in an air fryer, many choose to try chips first.
Using an air fryer not only produces super-crispy chips, but using less oil compared to deep fat-frying means it is a healthier alternative.
Freshly peeling and cut potatoes can be used, or ready-made frozen chips.
If you prefer to make the chips from scratch, take four to five large potatoes, about 1kg and peel them.
Ideally, trim the rounded edges so the potatoes become rectangular blocks and then cut batons.
They should be between fries and thick chips – if the batons are too thin they might break, if they’re too thick they won’t cook through.
Tip into the bottom of the air fryer, the part with the paddle, and add one tablespoon of sunflower or olive oil and toss the chips around so they are evenly coated.
Program the fryer to cook for 30 mins using the paddle. After this time, check that the chips are tender and cooked through. If they’re not, cook for a further five mins. Season well before eating.
How to cook sausages and bacon in an air fryer
Looking for a quick breakfast option with mimimal clearing up?
The air fryer can be used to cook sausages and bacon easily without the need for additional oil.
Simply pierce the sausages a few times over using a sharp knife, this is optional but it helps release more fat.
Arrange them in a single layer in the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 180 degrees.
Cook for 10-15 minutes, ideally turning every five minutes until the sausages are cooked through.
For bacon, ensure they don’t overlap and set to 200 degrees.
Streaky bacon rashers cook for six to 10 minutes, back bacon rashers take four to eight minutes, bit if you prefer them crispy, leave them a few more minutes.