EITHEROnce upon a time, when air fryers had yet to be invented by the people who would later become our schedule saviours, busy bees like us had no choice but to rely on the oven and hob for delicious dishes.
While they got the job done, it was often a tedious activity that stole little pockets of valuable time – time we could have spent catching up on an important work project, helping our kids with their homework, or spending a little longer in a hot, relaxing bath.
The genius air fryer appliance has soared in popularity since Phillips manufactured the first one in 2010, and it’s not hard to understand why. By using hot air to cook food, activity time is cut down and therefore a more convenient method of cooking can be enjoyed.
In addition to this, they’re energy efficient, multi-functional, and create healthier food – no oil necessary!
But what exactly can you cook in it? We’ve compiled a list of some unexpected food items that you may not know will thrive in the air fryer. Come on, ovens are sooo 2009.
Eggs are a delicious and versatile snack packed with many different vitamins and minerals that help keep us healthy. Forget about grabbing pots and pans and waiting an age for the water to boil… that’s old school. Instead, to make the perfect boiled eggs, all you need to do is pop them in the air fryer at 150C and go about your day while they cook.
As a guideline, cook for eight minutes to achieve soft boiled eggs (with a lovely runny yolk to dip your soldiers into), 10 minutes for medium boiled eggs (enjoy a bright orange, sticky yolk that’ll look great as an Instagram post) , and 12 minutes for hard boiled eggs (perfect for salads).
Yep, that’s all there is to it. Practical, useful, joyful, this is the one time where “putting all your eggs in one basket” will pay off.
What do you get when you cross a tortilla wrap with an air fryer? Tasty homemade tortilla chips ready to be drowned in melted cheese and your favorite sauces. Don’t worry about the nutritional value, you deserve this. Plus, by making your own chips in the air fryer instead of buying a packet from the supermarket, you’re already inadvertently picking the healthier option.
Firstly, cut your tortillas into quarters to form triangles. From there, coat them in your favorite seasonings, place them into the basket (in a single layer), and cook on 175C for around seven to nine minutes, or until they begin to brown around the edges.
Ta-da, crispy tortilla chips perfect for munching in front of that Netflix series you’ve finally got round to watching, or to pack in your lunch bag for a delicious snack during the working day.
Two-ingredient dough pizza
When you’ve had a particularly hectic day at work, cooking can be the last thing on your mind, and that takeaway app on your phone becomes ever so appealing. Instead of putting through an expensive (in terms of both money and calories) order at your local pizzeria, you could make a quick, appetizing pizza in your air fryer.
Simply mix 125g of Greek yogurt with 250g of self-raising flour until it holds well, and then roll the dough out on a hard, floured surface. When you’re happy with its shape and thickness, lay the dough on parchment paper and place into the air fryer for 10 minutes at 175C, flipping it over at the halfway mark.
Once done, remove and add cheese along with your preferred toppings. Pineapple on a pizza – yay or nay? Place back inside the air fryer for a further five to six minutes, and then enjoy once it’s cooled down. Share with the children or have it all to yourself once they’re tucked up in bed. We won’t tell.
BONUS RECIPE: Donuts
If you appreciate a little sweet treat from time to time, try out this incredible donut recipe. Why buy from the shop when the air fryer offers more?
While this one isn’t a speedy recipe, you could spend a rainy day indoors, baking delicious donuts as a family.
280g plain flour
250g icing sugar (glaze)
½ tbsp salt
120g whole milk
4 tbsp milk (glaze)
40g melted butter
75g melted butter (glaze)
7g dried yeast
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract (glaze)
To make the donuts, start by adding the flour, nutmeg, sugar and salt to a large bowl, and then add the egg, melted butter and yeast. Mix well.
Knead the dough on a work surface for roughly 10 minutes – it should be smooth and tacky to touch.
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel, and allow to rise for two hours.
Roll the dough out to around (at least) one centimeter thickness before cutting into doughnut shapes. Pop onto some parchment paper, brush with melted butter, and then leave for a further 45 minutes.
Preheat your air fryer to 180C and grease your basket. When it’s ready, place your donuts inside and cook for exactly three minutes. Yes, just three minutes and no oil required.
While they’re getting their bake on, make the glaze by mixing the melted butter, icing sugar, warm milk and vanilla extract.
Toss the cooked donuts in the glaze and voilà! Mouth-watering donuts courtesy of our smart kitchen bestie.
Air fryers are the way forward
Nearly a third of UK households (30 per cent) currently own an air fryer, and it’s expected more and more people are going to jump on the bandwagon. You cannot argue the benefits of using this appliance over an oven or hob, not when the evidence is so astounding. Air fryers are the way forward and we’re more than happy with these developments.
From full roast dinners to the little snacks mentioned in this article – the air fryer is by no means a one-hit wonder, nor is it a temporary social media trend that’s bound to eventually fizzle out. It’s the best thing since sliced bread.