I love new gadgets in my kitchen and nothing gets me more excited than trying out new recipes that are intended to make my life a little better.
I saw my first air fryer in the Groupon goods section, but after reading the reviews on that specific brand and model, I passed on it. I soon forgot all about the option of an air fryer until I woke up to an infomercial at like 4a.m. I was sick and had fallen asleep with the T.V. on and when I eventually regained consciousness, there was the Philips Air Fryer staring me right in the face. I watched the entire infomercial and, in my delusional state, took it as a sign from above that I needed this in my life.
With my newfound dietary limitations, I felt like this air fryer could make the transition somewhat easier, and a lot more healthier! Like, if I’m already practically paleo & nut-free by default, why not try to eliminate the rest of the unhealthy stuff along with it?!
Delusional, sick me is not only a genius, but an overall better lifestyle guru.
So after waiting a few days to really let the prospect of owning an air fryer sink in, I Amazon-Primed that shit straight to my door and went grocery shopping for everything I wanted to make. I decided I definitely had to make the only thing that really sold me on the idea of purchasing this device. Buffalo Wings!
Because nothing says, “I’m trying to be healthy and improve my diet.” like fried chicken smothered in a sauce which is basically nothing but hot sauce and butter.
Do not be surprised by this. Since Twixes and rum are off the table, I’ve fallen back on buffalo wings to satiate my inner hungry bitch. I’m pretty sure my husband has gotten me Wing Stop at least twice within the last week, while I’ve been to Chili’s on at least 3 different occasions on my own. Why? For the wings of course.
I’m not ashamed.
So, in order to save my poor heart from the delicious deep fried poultry (and money), I was determined to make a low fat version of it. First, I needed oil. In the infomercial, they said I only needed 1 teaspoon, so I precisely measured out 1 teaspoon of olive oil (I’m being heart healthy here) and used it to coat my patted dry wings. I then placed the wings in the basket (4 on the bottom, and 4 on top of the extender rack I had also purchased), set the temperature of the air fryer to 360°F, and then set the timer to 18 minutes. This process seemed too easy that I started to question if I did something wrong. Maybe I missed a step?
It was just that stupidly easy.
So, while I waited, I made the buffalo sauce that I was going to toss my wings in. That was too easy as well, and when I finally pulled everything together, I couldn’t believe how much money (and time) I was wasting buying everyone else’s buffalo wings! I was spending at least double, maybe even slightly under triple, the price. Ridiculous!
I finally decided, no more restaurant bought wings for me! UNLESS, I want Wing Stop… Those are still special.
The only mistake I made was using the extender rack and doing 4 wings on top and 4 wings on the bottom. I didn’t realize that the fat dripping from the top wings onto the bottom ones would prevent the chicken skin from crisping up. So, next time, I plan on switching them halfway through the cooking process and see if that helps. If not, I’ll just dump them all in the basket like I’m supposed to and shake the basket halfway through the cooking process. It’s all trial and error at this point, but with these wings, there wasn’t a great amount of error. It’s more like, “Let’s see where this gets us…” More from a curiosity-driven standpoint.
Anyways, Final Point: WINGS WERE DELICIOUS! And completely justified the purchase of this fryer alone!
My second healthy(-ish) item was the potato chip. The air fryer I had purchased came with its own recipe book and (surprise, surprise!) located within the sides category, there was a recipe for chips! Perfect.
The recipe threw me off a bit because they had me slicing the potatoes with a peeler, which I felt made the potato pieces too thin, but I figured they had me doing it because it created the optimal thickness for the air fryer. So I, still in doubt, figured out sort of a compromise. I decided to make TWO potatoes! I sliced the first potato with the peeler, and then I took a second potato and sliced it by hand. PLEASE, be careful when slicing anything with a peeler. My knuckles barely made it out alive, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t slice that whole thing! NO STARCH WASTED! Not in my kitchen!
Anyways, the recipe also called for me soaking the potato slices in water for at least 30 minutes, while changing out the water occasionally. I did this with both sets of slices.
When the time came, I drained and patted dry the peeler-sliced potato pieces. Then I added a carefully measured teaspoon of olive oil, some salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, and mixed it all together. I continued following the recipe by dumping my now seasoned potato disks into the basket and setting my fryer to 320°F. Setting the timer to 18 minutes, I walked away.
When the timer went off, I opened the basket and this is what I found.
Practically every potato chip was burnt to a crisp. I mean, I know I wanted chips, but this was ridiculous. Of course I had to try one and I wasn’t surprised when it just disintegrated in my mouth. It also tasted bad. I guess that’s important to mention.
At this point, I was super grateful for past me thinking ahead and slicing and soaking a second potato. I was more prepared this time. Since the slices were thicker, I was going to keep the temperature the same, but drop the timer by a few minutes, so instead of setting it to 18, I set it to 15. I felt it was enough time to where if the chips did come out a bit less crispy, I would be fine with it. I also decided to use my extension rack and place the chips in one single layer.
This could work!
I’ve never been so wrong.
I mean, it worked… But a majority of my chips were still burnt. I knew I had to do some serious tinkering with this one, but now wasn’t the time. I had dinner to make!
My last and final test was a steak dinner. This was the main reason why I bought the extension insert. I wanted to cook a couple of steaks and roast vegetables at the same time. For my last experiment, I went with two ribeyes and broccoli florets. Before any of this even started, I marinated my steaks in salt, pepper, a bunch of Italian seasonings, and olive oil. I let them sit and reach room temperature before I even thought about cooking them. As for the broccoli, I concluded that since it would be sitting underneath the steaks, catching all of those delightful drippings, I would just toss the florets in another carefully measured teaspoon of olive oil before placing in the fryer.
The included recipe book with the failed potato chips recipe also had a steak recipe. I was SO skeptical, but I didn’t have anything else to go by, so I took a giant leap of faith (I mean, we are talking about steak here) and followed the cooking suggestions. I placed the broccoli on the bottom of the basket, inserted the extender rack, and gently planted my steaks on top. I then turned up the temperature on the air fryer to 390°F and set the timer for 10 minutes.
Could my entire meal be done in a mere 10 minutes?!
The truthful answer.
And added bonus: The steaks came out a perfect medium!
The broccoli (sadly) was also cooked, but burnt on the fringes. In the areas where the floret bunches were a little thin…
So I apparently have better luck cooking meats with this thing than vegetables?
Okay, cool… I guess?
I mean, I can accept that. In my honest opinion, vegetables aren’t really that good fried anyways, unless they’re dipped in some sort of batter (which I’m so not ready for yet!). I guess my next task will be French fries, but that’s for later. Right now, I’m all experimented out and my belly is super full.
Overall, I’d give this gadget a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. I looked up the reviews on this before I bought it, so I wasn’t really surprised by the size of it (I got the smaller version, so it’s only good for making snacks/ side dishes for a family of 3-4 or complete meals for 2 people). I know it will take some time to complete the adjustments needed to fully prepare meals effortlessly, but I’m ready!
I highly recommend this for those who are just trying to eliminate the excess fats from the delicious foods they want to eat.