It seems like everyone loves an air fryer right now – and if you’re interested in exactly how much money they can save versus a traditional oven, check out the 23 June 2022 episode of Sliced Bread on BBC Sounds.
But as well as saving you cold hard cash, air fryers promise to pep up your culinary repertoire. A little inspiration wouldn’t go amiss…
The consensus from air fryer converts is that when it comes to potatoes, they really can’t be bettered – and the secret to to the perfect air fryer chip is to remove starch and liquid before cooking.
To create crispy chips for four people, peel and chop 450g of Maris Piper – or another floury variety – potatoes. Soak in cold water for five minutes, drain and refill the pan with boiling water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring back to the boil. Boil for seven minutes, then drain and gently pat dry. Leave to cool for ten minutes. Set the air fryer to 200°C, coat the raw chips with groundnut oil then transfer to the cooking basket. Cook for 20 minutes, checking after ten minutes to give the basket a really good shake.
The standard potato’s more colourful cousin, sweet potatoes, make delicious fries but are quite difficult to crisp up. Play around with coatings like fine polenta, liberally seasoned and added after you’ve coated your fries in oil. There’s no need to par boil them first, simply cook at 180°C for 15 minutes, giving them a gentle shake halfway through the cooking time.
Die-hard air fryer fans cook whole meals in theirs, layering up various carbs, protein and vegetables to cook efficiently with minimal washing up. Something like steak and chips will cook in under 20 minutes with minimal intervention.
Oily fish is particularly suited to air fryer cooking – which cooks the outside of foodstuffs more quickly then the centre ensuring a seared fillet that stays tender and flaky. Their natural oil content keeps the fillets deliciously moist, all they need is seasoning with salt and pepper and a light dusting of your favourite herbs or spices.
Salmon and veggies, air fryer style
• 2 skin-on salmon fillets
• 2tbsp olive oil
• salt & pepper
• 2 courgettes
• 1 red onion
• 1 red pepper
• fresh thyme
• half a tsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp tartare sauce
1 – Pre-heat your air fryer to 200°C.
2 – Slice the courgettes into discs about the thickness of a pound coin. Place in a bowl.
3 – De-seed the pepper and cut into chunks the same size as the courgette slices. Add to the bowl.
4 – Peel the onion, remove the top and the root then cut in half from top to bottom. Chop each half into slices the same thickness as your courgette. Add to the bowl.
5 – Drizzle the vegetables with all but half a tsp of the olive oil, season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme leaves.
6 – Rub the remaining oil onto the salmon, and season well.
7 – Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, in one side of the air fryer basket and the vegetables in the other.
8 – Cook for ten minutes. Plate up and garnish with tartare sauce.