Most importantly, it WORKS. Are air fryer fries or chicken tenders identically to their oil-saturated brethren? No. They’re quite as crunchy and certain don’t have that gross but satisfying pop of grease. But they are noticeably crunchier and crispier than anything I’ve ever made in an oven. The air fryer also manages to texturize the outside of the food, while keeping the inside much more M-O-I-S-T than any other cooking method.
Of all the air fryers we tested, the Philips HD9641/96 had the smallest footprint, measuring approximately 14¼ by 10½ by 11 inches, length by width by height. That said, it’s still bulky, and it takes up ample space on a kitchen counter. But it has the least offensive design, unlike the huge T-fal air fryer we tested, which at about 17 by 12½ by 8 inches looked like something out of an ’80s sci-fi movie.
A few months back, I went to a kitchen appliance trade show and was surprised by the large number of manufacturers coming out with air fryers. "Enjoy great tasting fried food"[sic] reads the cover recipe booklet for Philip's new Airfryer XXL, a lovely sounding idea. With their focus on faux fried flavor, an aversion to fat, and an emphasis on convenience in the marketing from almost every manufacturer, the rise of air fryers felt like the second coming of the George Foreman Grill.
I followed the Leah Chase's Oven-Fried Chicken recipe to test the second batch of chicken. After dredging, I brushed each piece of chicken with a light coat of olive oil in order to soak up the flour and prevent it from caking up and not “frying” correctly. I set the airfryer to 410°F for 30 minutes and preheat the oven at 425°F. However, 10 minutes into baking, the oven started to smoke really bad, so I turned the temperature down to 400°F. (I suspect the excess flour on the pan was burning.) Halfway through cooking, I flipped the chicken in both the oven and air fryer and noticed the bottom breading stuck to the basket in the air fryer, so I would definitely recommend spraying the basket with cooking spray. Naturally, the oven batch took 15 minutes longer (45 minutes total) to cook since I turned the temperature down. The air fryer chicken again cooked quicker, was crisper, and did not smoke up the kitchen. In fact, the air fryer batch was delightfully crispy and the breading was fully cooked through—no soggy bits to be seen. The drawback, again, was that it could only hold a few pieces of chicken. That said, though the oven batch may not have been quite a crisp in the breading, I will say, the flesh was much juicer.
Though none of the air fryers replicated deep-fried results, they all turned out nicely cooked food, and in short order. One thing to keep in mind, however. Oil is used to set the breading on packaged frozen chicken nuggets and to coat frozen fries, for example, so these processed foods are not oil- or fat-free even though you're not using oil in the cooking process.
Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick parchment paper. Repeat directions for making sauce and tossing/coating cauliflower. Spread cauliflower evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through, or until cauliflower is tender with dark golden brown edges. Storage directions are the same as above. To reheat, add to a 400 degrees oven for 5 minutes, or until warmed through.
With three levels of cooking surfaces, the manufacturer claims you can cook an entire family meal with just one device, while keeping an eye on the whole process through its crystal clear, extra-large window. When you’re finished, the Rotating Mesh Basket and other accessories are made of durable stainless steel, so they’re dishwasher safe for fast, easy cleanup.
When air-fried either whole or halved lengthwise, okra's characteristic slimy texture is greatly diminished. The outside of each pod gets slightly dehydrated by the hot air of the air fryer, which aids in achieving a crunchy exterior without the excess grease of a deep-fat fryer or the sad, torn strands stuck to the baking sheet from roasting it in an oven.
Even though our wings came from The Cherry Lounge in Jamestown, New York, the best wings, in my opinion are from Guppy’s in Bemus Point, NY. Guppy’s was owned by my Aunt Sally and Uncle Mike and their were always the best. Crispy and spicy, with just the perfect kiss of butter. They’ve since sold the restaurant, but I was back a few summers ago and I have to say that the wings are still amazing.