Is An Air Fryer Really Worth It?
This morning I got a text from a friend – “Random question… do you have an air fryer?” Some of you may remember that earlier this year I wrote about what kitchen gadgets I was using the most during quarantine. And I basically poo-pooed the air fryer. It got on my nerves to have to cook more than one batch because it never fit everything at once.
But then… quarantine kept going. Days got hotter and I decided to give it another go to cut down on how much I had to use my oven all summer. I made a discovery. If you want your kids to eat more greens – make air fryer veggies.
Making Delicious Air Fryer Veggies
I am no scientist, but the whole deal with air frying is that the design allows hot air to blow all around your food. Making vegetables much crispier and super delicious. Haricot vert (the fancy, French word for skinny green beans), brussels sprouts, broccoli – my kids literally stuff handfuls in their mouths when I cook them in the air fryer. The way the food sits in a perforated basket allows the crispy factor to happen on all sides. You know when you roast potatoes in the oven and the top is beautiful and brown and the bottom, not so much? This fixes that. Yum.
You can get super creative or you can be beyond simple. Here’s my recipe for basically any green vegetable in an air fryer. We’ll use haricot vert as an example:
- 1 package haricot vert
- Olive oil or olive oil spray
- ½ – 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Empty raw haricot vert, approximately 1.5 cups into a bowl*
- Spray with olive oil (if you need an oil sprayer, I swear by this)
- Sprinkle with garlic salt, approximately ½ to 1 teaspoon, pending level of flavor you prefer (can also add onion salt or powder, chili powder, whatever spices you love)
- Toss to coat
- Spread haricot vert air fryer in a mostly single layer
- Choose cook time approx. 12 minutes, shake basket halfway through if desired
- NOTE: I generally cook these on the automatic setting for French fries. I’m not sure why, maybe my subconscious thinks they’ll be French fries if I cook them that way. Anyway, while I do have to cook two batches given the size of my Air Fryer, they are crazy good.
*I try not to spray oils directly into the basket of the air fryer as it can cause the surface to get sticky much like a nonstick pan will if you use oil sprays.
How to Choose the Right Fryer
My model is several years old. But if I were buying a new model today, I would consider if I want it on the countertop or not. The newer models seem to be very “all-in-one” and combine the effects/look of a toaster oven with that of an air fryer. While these seem great, they seem like a total pain to clean and remove from the countertop, so I would only get one of these if you wanted it to stay out at all times. The more traditional models are easier to clean and can be stored in a cabinet after each use, but they definitely don’t offer the same level of cooking options.
The biggest con to my model is that I always have to cook more than one batch because the interior basket is simply not that big at 5 qts. If you have a larger family you may want to consider a simple air fryer with more space such as this.
If you’re an air fryer lover and are so glad I changed my mind, share with me your favorite recipes! Or just leave me a good old “I told you so” in the comments, that’s fair too.