You know I love so gadgets! I have been following several vegan bloggers as they post about recipes using the Air Fryer, and I am definitely curious. Also, readers had started messaging me asking about my thoughts. Well, since this is a gadget I don't have, I decided to turn to some experts- vegan bloggers who are making the most of air fryers!
My first interviewee is Becky Striepe, author of Bowls! and 40 Days of Green Smoothies and owner ofGlue and Glitter. Becky has been developing so many Air Fryer recipes, there's an entire section on her blog dedicated just toAir Fryer recipes!
I hope my questions and Becky's answers give you some more ideas about the Air Fryer and how to bring it into your kitchen!
1. I know you are a vegan author, teacher, and blogger. You have been adding lots of Air Fryer recipes to your blog recently, and it got me really interested in this new gadget! How long have you had your Air Fryer (Air Fryers?)?
I got my air fryer last summer and have been using it 1-2 times per day almost every day.
2. When you first got the Air Fryer, were you looking to cut down on oil, cook faster, have something portable to cook with, or what was your incentive to try it out?
It just looked like a fun gadget. When I saw folks talking about it, I had so many ideas for things I wanted to air fry....I had to get one!
3. I've seen many people ask in groups about using the Air Fryer for ZERO oil cooking, and most answers I see suggest at least a small amount of oil. What is your take on this?
I agree - for best results, a little bit of oil does help, but you can do some recipes with no oil. It's really a matter of trial, error, and what you consider a good result. For me, a little oil improves the taste and texture so much, it's worth it.
4. What is the most surprising thing you have cooked and love in the Air Fryer?
Doughnut holes, maybe. Those were harder to nail down than I thought they would be, but now that I have the technique sorted, I love making them in my air fryer.
5. Any flops? Anything you really SHOULD'T cook in the Air Fryer?
I've had some fails, but I can't think of anything I wasn't able to cook in the air fryer, once I adjusted my technique. I had some serious flops with broccoli at the beginning, but it turns out I just needed to reduce my cooking temperature and add more liquid to the equation.
6. What is your favorite Air Fryer recipe from your blog?
That's a tough call! I use it to make suppers for my family and solo lunches for me, since I work from home. We eat the Crispy Air Fried Tofu at least three times per week, so that's definitely a family fave. But I live in a house of Brussels sprouts haters, so being able to make a half batch of Crispy Brussels Sprouts at lunchtime is a game-changer for me, since they're on my short list of favorite veggies and I rarely got to cook them at home.
7. Who do you think would benefit the most from this product? Who is the "ideal" Air Fryer user?
I think it's perfect for anyone who feels like they don't have time to cook. Food cooks up so quickly, and it's hands-off, so it makes putting supper together a lot easier.
8. Is there a brand/style you recommend? If not, what features do you find are most important to look for?
The only personal experience I have is with my GoWise 4th Generation, and I love it. You can't beat it for the price. As far as features, I think a basket that comes apart for easy cleaning is important, as is choosing the right size. The 3.7qt is perfect for my family of three, but if there were four or more of us, the larger size would have been a better choice.
9. One of my blog readers asked about size. When cooking for a large family, do you have to cook in batches? If you stack things, do the things in the middle cook evenly? How does that work for larger volumes of food?
You definitely don't want to overfill the basket. That's how you end up with crispy fries on top and mushy ones in the middle. That air needs room to circulate and work its magic. I haven't experimented with stacking, since the GoWISE doesn't come with an insert. I wish I had one, though - I think I'd use it a lot!
10. Finally, for those who don't have Air Fryers (yet), are there cooking methods you have found that will yield comparable results using your recipes, like cooking in the oven at high heat?
To convert an air fryer recipe to an oven recipe, I'd start by keeping the temperature the same and doubling the cooking time. It's not always exact, but it's a good place to start. Just keep an eye on things toward the end of cooking, checking for doneness every few minutes. It may take a bit more or a bit less time - it varies by recipe.
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