Fried foods can be incredibly tasty, but they don’t tend to be very healthy. People who frequently eat fried foods (four or more times per week) are at a significantly higher risk for developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
So, what’s a health-conscious person to do when they’re craving fried foods? One option is to use an air fryer. This method doesn’t actually “fry” the food in oil but rather circulates hot air around it to create a similarly crisp outer layer—meaning you’ll generally consume significantly fewer calories and unhealthy fats.
If you’re going to use an air fryer, though, there are a few things you should avoid doing to get the most out of your experience.
Using The Wrong Oil or Too Much Oil
You won’t need any oil for many air fryer recipes.
If you do need oil, use a high smoke point oil such as avocado, peanut, or grapeseed oil. Other oils, like olive oil, have a lower smoke point and will probably burn your food and potentially create a fire hazard.
You also won’t need to use it very much. A light coating should be enough—any more than that, and you’ll end up with excessively greasy or soggy food.
Not Preheating The Air Fryer
Like a traditional oven, you’ll need to preheat your air fryer before cooking most foods. This step is important for getting that nice crispy outer layer.
If you don’t preheat, your food will likely come out undercooked, unevenly cooked, or just not as crispy as it could be.
Putting Too Much Food In The Air Fryer
An air fryer works best when it’s not overly full. This is because the air fryers are basically small convection ovens—an oven that uses a fan to circulate hot air around food to cook it more evenly and quickly.
If you pack too much food in the basket, the air won’t be able to circulate properly, and you’ll end up with unevenly cooked food. So, make sure to leave some space between each piece of food.
Not Cleaning The Air Fryer
It’s important to clean your air fryer after each use. Otherwise, food particles and grease can build up and cause the machine to smoke or catch fire.
Also, any raw meats placed in the air fryer may potentially contaminate future batches of food if not cleaned properly.
Let the air fryer cool down fully, then clean it with soap and water as thoroughly as possible.
Read The Instructions
Each air fryer device is a little bit different. So, it’s important that you read the manual and understand the capabilities of your particular machine before using it.
Cooking times may vary; some machines have features that others don’t. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so take the time to read the instructions before cooking.
Explore Healthier Recipes
As you continue to use your air fryer, don’t just stick to the same old unhealthy recipes. There are tons of delicious and healthy recipes out there that can be made in an air fryer.
So, don’t be afraid to be creative and experiment and try new things. You might be surprised at how good healthy air-fried food can taste.