When I was younger(don’t want to mention ages here), we use to go to BJ’s in Fredonia, NY, about 45 miles south of Buffalo. Those were the best wings ever! They offered $.10 wings and $.50 Molsons beer on Wednesday. I would always order 100 wings, play foosball while waiting and my share of beer. We would eat half the wings and take the rest home to enjoy later. The difference in their wings was they baked them after applying the sauce. Oh so good! Not the dripping wet wings you see everywhere now.
The marketing materials for the scores of companies that make these hot-air blowers will tell you that they are a great way to cook that cuts down on fat. But good lord, fried is fried, and "air fried" is not that. Better to eat well most of the time then go to your favorite fried chicken place on your birthday, or do it up at home with a couple of liters of canola oil and a Dutch oven. The rare dose of perfection is far better than the consistent drip of mediocrity.
Perfectly flaky pies from your air fryer? You bet! Store-bought piecrust is a smart shortcut; it bakes up nice and flaky in the air fryer. Naturally, fresh peaches will make the best filling, but you can use thawed frozen peaches if the fresh kind aren’t in season. Don’t toss out the leftover peach juice—simmer it down in a small saucepan until thickened for a fantastic ice cream topper.
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Even the best air fryers we tried prepared food that was unevenly cooked, soggy, and less flavorful compared with the same food we cooked in a convection oven or convection toaster oven. Most excelled at cooking frozen french fries only when preparing one or two servings at a time. When filled to capacity, even the best air fryers had a handful of undercooked, soggy fries mixed in (and in some cases the fries on top burned while the fries on the bottom of the basket were completely raw). Frozen finger foods came out soggy. Fresh, hand-cut french fries wound up dehydrated. Pork chops appeared pale and unappealing. In contrast, the food we prepared in the oven and toaster oven cooked more evenly, because we had placed it on sheet pans in a single layer.
Have only used a few times since the air fryer arrived last week, but super impressed with the result of making fries and wings, especially the wings!!!! Tried the "fried chicken' recipe using chicken thighs. Based on the recipe it was extremely salty (will modify next time!) but the result was good. The wings were a WOW! Only negative so far is a strong chemical smell once in full gear of air frying, I have to assume this will disappear after a few more uses, the heating element is an electric coil therefore I assume this is the reason. Any comments or feedback welcome on this strong chemical smell coming from the back vent (I keep checking to see if somehow we missed the removal of some packing material that could cause this, but not finding anything)
Size. If you are single and live in a tiny minimalist apartment in Manhattan, you may not want to purchase a large air fryer unit that’s too bulky to fit in the storage closet. On the other hand, a larger unit will have a larger food capacity. Thus, instead of cooking only one food ingredient at a time, you can cook 2 or more ingredients simultaneously and save time.
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All of that changed when I bit the bullet and purchased my air fryer. I’d seen air fryers touted on YouTube for several years, but I took it as a passing fad, like many (most) “unusual” kitchen gadgets. I was also skeptical—how could this little Wall-E looking machine recreate the texture of fried food, with hardly any oil, without the splatter war-wounds to show for it?
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