While a movie night is incomplete without popcorns, many refrain from eating it due to the calorie it adds or the harmful effects of microwaving. But there seems to be a healthy way to eat popcorn without worrying about consuming too many calories. Using an air fryer to make popcorn has come up as a healthier alternative to eat popcorn. In this article, we tell you whether or not you can actually make popcorn in an air fryer.
Can You Make Popcorn In an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can certainly make a delicious bowl of popcorn using an air fryer. With this appliance, you will no longer need to buy those greedy bags of popcorns from the store. Additionally, the process is quite simple as well; all you have to do is:
- Take a quarter cup of kernels.
- Spray them with some oil of your choice or add two tablespoons of oil and mix it well.
- Power on the air fryer at 205-degree celsius or 400-degree Fahrenheit.
- Once the popping of kernels stops, you can take out the popcorns.
- It will take between 8 and 10 minutes for your popcorn to be done.
Once done, you can use your favorite seasoning and serve. Moreover, you can line the inside of the tray with aluminum foil. This will stop the popcorn from getting out of the basket.
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
To begin with, air fryers do not essentially fry. You put food into the perforated basket; thereafter, the device starts cooking by blowing hot air around the food. The air pressure generates a convection effect, which cooks the food and gives the brown food color. Considering that the temperature of the air hit above 320-degree Fahrenheit, the breaded food or unbreaded starch items such as French fries. Frozen chicken, tater tats will turn brown.
One drawback is that you cannot cook food items dipped in liquid batter in an air fryer. This is because the batter will just drip through the basket holes, only to make a big mess. Moreover, you cannot make doughy food such as beignets or doughnuts.
What Are The Benefits Of Air Fryers?
Following are the benefits of an air fryer:
- Ideal For People Who Wish To Lose Weight
Eating fried food excessively can cause obesity and many related health issues. This is because deep fried food comes with high fat and calorie content. But when you cook food in the air fryer, you use significantly less oil. This helps them to eat their favorite dishes without worrying about putting on weight. In fact, some manufacturers’ claim that air fryers can help in cutting the content of fat from fried food up to 75%. This implies that the device uses 50% less oil than deep frying the food.
- Mitigates The Risk Of Acrylamide Formation
Deep frying food may cause the development of harmful compounds like acrylamide. It forms in some food items when cooked in high heat. AcryInin studies, acrylamide is linked to the formation of particular cancers that include ovarian, endometrial, breast, oesophageal, and pancreatic cancer. Therefore, by investing in the air fryer, you can lower the risk of acrylamide formation in your food.
- Quick And Easy Cooking
No matter what you are cooking, there is no need to preheat the air fryer before. Even frozen food items such as frozen nuggets, potato wedges, French fries, etc., can be easily put from freezer to the fryer. All you have to do is set the desired temperature as well as a timer, and your food will be ready within 10 to 20 minutes. And when the food is cooked, there is no hassle of cleaning up.
- It Is Safer Than Deep-Frying
Deep-frying foods means heating a large container filled with oil. This method has a safety risk associated with it. Though air fryers get hot, you do not have to worry about splashing, spilling, or accidentally touching the oil.
- It Is Easier To Clean
Cleaning and maintaining an air fryer is easier as opposed to a microwave or oven. Generally, the removable parts of the air fryer can be safely used in the dishwasher. Moreover, if you do not use the dishwasher, just soak the parts in water and gently rub them using a sponge. This is all you need to do to remove the food pieces stuck on the surface.
- It Is Extremely Versatile
An air fryer does not merely fries but also roasts, grills, and bakes. When you have a multi-cooker air fryer, it is like having an oven, toaster, skillet, and hot grill incorporated in one device. So you can rely on the device to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In today’s fast-paced times, such a versatile device can be invaluable for people who are always on the go and do not have much time to spend on cooking.
- Save The Cooking Oil
Considering that there is not much oil used when cooking in the air fryer, you get to save on your cooking oil. It also allows you to use more exotic, expensive cooking oil since you will only be using 1-2 tablespoonfuls.
- Great For Novice People
A great thing about air fryers is that even someone with any cooking knowledge can make a decent meal. The only thing they have to take care of is getting the temperature and timing right according to the taste and preference of the machine. Once that is done, the machine will take care of the rest.
- The Food Will Be Tasty And Healthy
People often ask whether the food cooked in an air fryer tastes like fried food. While the taste will not exactly resemble your fried snacks, it will be tasty. Additionally, you will be getting a healthier version of your favorite unhealthy snacks. Along with taste and health, you are also getting convenience, so all and all, you are getting a good deal.
Air Fryer Do’s And Don’t
Here are some things that you should and shouldn’t do when using an air fryer:
- Shake The Basket A Couple Of Time While Cooking
Once you put your food in the basket, take the basked out in the middle and give it good jostles. This will ensure that the heating reaches all sides of the food evenly.
- Don’t Preheat The Fryer
Since the air fryer is small in size and comes with robust heat circulation, you will quickly get the desired temperature within a minute or so. Therefore, you do not need to preheat your air fryer prior to adding the food unless instructions state otherwise.
- Keep An Eye On The Food
Not many food companies label their package with the cooking time for the air fryer. And the time to cook your food in an air fryer depends on the quantity you have added and the size of the fryer. Therefore, to ensure that you do not burn anything, keep an eye on your food while it is cooking.
- Don’t Use Wet Batter
The wet batter on your food offers a crispy shell when frying in oil. However, when you use the same batter in the air fryer, there is nothing to set the batter. So if you want crunch, coat the food in flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs.
Can You Put Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer, but you should be careful. The device comes with instructions on how you can use aluminum foil, so read them carefully beforehand.
What Are The Best Things To Cook In An Air Fryer?
Air fryers allow you to cook an array of food items. Some of the best things to cook in an air fryer include:
- Caked potatoes
- Pork chops
- Mini calzones
- Potato chips
- Mozzarella sticks
- Fried chicken
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Brussels sprouts