In my college apartment, we always strived to keep our counter space free of cooking appliances. We valued our kitchen space to have enough room because we wanted to be free to do whatever we wanted. An air fryer, however, is one we made room for.
For those of you who don’t know what an air fryer is, allow me to introduce to you your new best friend. This easy-to-use appliance copies the results of deep-frying with nothing more than hot air and a small amount of oil. The heating elements are located on the top, accompanied by a fan, which makes the food crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
If you hate cleaning up, as I do, another great part of the air fryer is the clean-up. Once you are done cooking your “high end” meal, you can take the baskets and racks off and throw them in the dishwasher, and voilà, you’re done!
The real question is: What can you cook in the air fryer?
Let me share this top cheat sheet with you:
1. Chicken Breast: set the temperature to 380°F. Before putting it in, brush your chicken with oil, season it with whatever you desire (I normally just do salt and pepper), and flip halfway through cooking. This should take no longer than 15 minutes.
2. Pork Chops: My ultimate favorite food ever! Set the temperature to 400°F, season it with oil, salt, and pepper (I also add bbq sauce for extra flavor because I am fancy), and leave for 15 minutes while flipping it halfway through cooking. You can eat this with a side of salad or vegetables.
3. Sweet Potatoes: Temperature 400°F, Cut into 1-in wedges. Drizzle with the olive oil, then sprinkle the brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, chili powder, and cayenne pepper on top (or just use salt and pepper). Shake the basket halfway through cooking for 12 to 15 minutes.
4. Frozen Fries: Last but definitely not least! If you had to try one thing in the air fryer, it definitely should be frozen french fries. The texture will make you feel like you are eating at a high-end restaurant. I normally add a tiny amount of oil and salt and then shake twice during cooking. Leave for 15-20 minutes with the temperature set to 400°F to make it extra crispy.
The bottom line is that at the end of the day, when you are cooking things like french fries or pork chops, nothing can beat the air fryer.