5 things you didn’t know you could do with an air fryer
We’ve all seen an air fryer produce a banging bowl of crispy golden chips and we know they’re a time saver for all your frozen faves (looking at you turkey dinosaurs), but here’s a list of the surprising things you didn’t think it was capable of…
A BLOOMIN’ WHOLE chicken
That’s right. If you can fit it in, get it in. I LOVE cooking a full roast chicken in my air fryer because not only does the high-speed air circulation create the crispiest skin going but it also locks in moisture to ensure you’re left with a succulent and tender bird to tuck into. Aside from the unrivalled taste, you also save valuable oven space. If you’re in charge of cooking the Sunday roast, you’ll be left with the full oven to roast your veg without having to continually increase/decrease oven temps to cater for your chicken. Wonderful. Did I mention I also cooked a full chicken in only 40 minutes?!
A common misconception with air fryers is that they are too powerful to cook something delicate like a piece of fish – but that is absolutely not the case. Due to the compact size and consistent flow of hot air, the fish cooks quickly and evenly, preventing any overcooked or undercooked spots. Another added bonus is that there are fewer fishy odours floating around the kitchen – no more lighting candles and whipping out the air freshener.
For the perfectly cooked fillet, I use a greaseproof paper bag to create a makeshift steam oven. It’s especially good when you throw in a little butter, white wine and parsley. A delicious option for a quick and healthy dinner.
This was a real game-changer. The foolproof way to achieve the perfect level of dippy-ness. For beautifully jammy-yolked eggs, set your eggs in the air fryer basket at 130°C and cook for 10 minutes (or add an extra five minutes for hard ‘boiled’ eggs). There’s no need to boil water and no recalculating timings for multiple eggs. Plus, who doesn’t love a recipe that requires absolutely no washing up?
Yes, you can bake a cupcake in an air fryer and yes it blew my mind too. Baking in an air fryer is speedier than a standard oven, with no preheating necessary – perfect for impatient mouths. Even baking is ensured through rapid air circulation, preventing the risk of any soggy or burnt bits.
If you don’t own a small enough cupcake tin, simply use a deep baking tin or Pyrex dish with scrunched-up foil in between for added structure.
I’ll never get over how good an air fryer cheesecake is. Unlike your conventional oven, if you open the drawer for a sneaky peak, you won’t lose all the heat and risk it collapsing, plus you regain any heat loss far quicker. The controlled environment eliminates the need for a water bath and helps seal in that moist goodness, leaving you with a creamy and luscious texture without the cracks. Ideal if you’re looking for a dessert to impress on all fronts.
I discovered air fryers back in 2018 thanks to my Mom and haven’t looked back. The benefits go far beyond time-saving and I need people to know just how versatile this little machine can be.
For more air-fryer friendly recipes and all the tips and tricks, you can buy my book, Poppy Cooks: The Actually Delicious Cookbook. Nothing like a shameless book plug hehe xx
Or if you want something a bit less air-fryer related, check out my first book, Poppy Cooks: The Food You Need.
Photography © Haarala Hamilton