The second I heard about the concept of an air fryer, I couldn't wait to get my paws on one. A kitchen appliance that makes perfectly crispy, "fried" food, with only a tiny amount of oil?! How could it be?!
But then, I did wait. I waited months and months in fact, because I simply couldn't justify purchasing yet another niche kitchen appliance. Would it be destined to join the ranks of my pasta maker and madeline mold, collecting dust on the top shelf of a neglected kitchen cabinet? I was too afraid to find out.
Then July 4th rolled around, and my husband and I headed over to our friends' house for a BBQ. There, glistening on their kitchen counter, sat the air fryer that I'd been coveting for what felt like a lifetime. I watched in awe is our host ripped open a bag of organic frozen french fries from Whole Foods, dumped them into the basket of her air fryer, sprayed them with a light spritz of organic avocado oil, then cooked them on high heat for 15 minutes or so.
They. Were. PERFECT!
We hadn't even gotten all the way home before I'd made my air fryer purchase on Amazon. Two days later, it arrived on my doorstep, and my life hasn't been the same since. So far, I've only dabbled into simple recipes - kale chips, crispy broccoli, etc. - with my most extravagant recipe being these healthy chicken tenders.
Now that I'm feeling more confident with my favorite new gadget, I've been combing the internet for my next conquests. Here are the recipes that I'm most excited about trying:
- DOUGHNUTS: Don't shame me, this doughnut recipe looks so easy, and absolutely delicious! I've owned a doughnut pan for a while, but baked doughnuts don't have quite the same effect as the traditional fried kind. I'm excited to discover the wonders of health-ified air fried doughnuts.
- FRENCH FRIES: As mentioned above, I've already experienced the pure joy of air fried frozen French fries. I've yet to dabble into fresh, homemade French fries, however. This recipe from SkinnyTaste is highly rated, and Gina has never steered me wrong before.
- CHICKEN PARM: Chicken Parmesan is an Italian dish in which chicken cutlets are breaded, fried, then smothered in tomato sauce and mozzarella. This air fryer version is lighter, healthier, and looks so easy to execute.
- CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE: Sure, I'll take another chocolate chip cookie and baking technique. It seems that cooking chocolate chip cookies in the air fryer leads to a crispy exterior and tender, moist interior - AKA my ideal cookie - so sign me up!
- SWEET POTATO FRIES: I love sweet potato fries almost as much as I love regular French fries, so making sweet potato fries in my air fryer is also high on my list of to-dos. I want to try them with a cinnamon-sugar coating, as well as with a more savory spice mix.
- CHICKEN WINGS: Air fried chicken wings appears to be one of the most popular air fryer uses out there. I'm not a huge chicken wing fan, but I can totally see myself making these for a game day party, or some other special occasion. These wings look spicy and saucy and I can't wait to try them.
- PIZZA: Word on the street is that the air fryer makes a mean pizza oven. The air fryer I bought doesn't come with a special pizza pan, so I'll have to find one that fits inside, but once I do, I'm having a pizza party!
- COCONUT SHRIMP: Coconut shrimp might be the most overplayed appetizer in the history of appetizers, but I love them. They're crunchy, slightly sweet, and always come with a delicious, sticky dipping sauce. A lot of grocery stores sell frozen coconut shrimp which would be great for a super easy appetizer or entree, but I'm excited to make this from-scratch version.
I'll keep you all updated as my love affair with air frying progresses!