It’s been almost impossible to escape the air fryer frenzy in the past year or so. They seem to have been popping up everywhere, as more and more people convert to the ‘faux fried’ philosophy. But do you really need another kitchen gadget cluttering up your space?
We asked Product Manager Luke Shipway to separate the facts from the fiction. So read on to discover all the essentials you need to know when it comes to air-frying – and the benefits of the available alternatives.
The first thing to understand about an air fryer is that the name is misleading. That’s because, in the conventional sense, it doesn’t actually fry anything and you don’t need to add much oil or fat. It is, in fact, a type of mini convection oven that circulates hot air to ‘air-fry’ your food. Air fryer appliances usually sit on your countertop, working at high temperatures and speeds.
When compared with deep-frying, air-frying food is considered to be a healthier option
Air fryers are often associated with healthy eating. After all, if you air-fry your food, you’re not using lots of saturated fats to cook with. Using less oil, for example, usually results in a healthier meal. Deep-fried foods are high in fat and calories, so using an air fryer instead may help weight management. Still on the subject of health, the air-fry process may help to preserve certain nutrients that would be lost using other cooking methods.
These include vitamin C and plant compounds called polyphenols, which have valuable antioxidant properties. Finally, hot oil can easily overheat and catch fire. So, if you air-fry your food instead of deep-frying it, you’re also reducing any potential fire risk.
Did you know that air fryers don’t actually fry? They are actually small countertop convection ovens, that circulate hot air to cook your food
Another advantage of air-frying is that this method cooks food quickly – typically much faster than conventional gas or electric ovens. Not only does this save you time and effort, faster cooking can help keep your energy bill in check.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that most countertop air fryers aren’t very big, so if you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll need to do so in batches, which can be fiddly and time-consuming.
Can you air-fry any type of food? In theory, almost anything works. Air fryers are perhaps best known for prepping food you would usually fry or roast, such as potatoes, meat, fish and vegetables. Not everything is suitable though. Popcorn, sauce-based dishes, vegetables with a low water content (such as broccoli) and anything that uses wet batter isn’t recommended.
Does air-fried food really taste the same as deep-fried? The answer to this question is somewhat subjective. Most users say you still get a crunch without the golden appearance from conventional deep-frying.
If the advantages of air-frying sound appealing, but you don’t want to buy another kitchen appliance – or don’t have the worktop space to accommodate one – there is a solution. Our new AIRFRY2 tray is a simple, yet clever, accessory that effectively transforms your regular Caple oven into an air fryer. So, there’s no need to spend hundreds of pounds in order to serve up healthy alternatives to traditional fried food.
Our clever AIRFRY2 transforms your regular Caple oven into an air fryer, by harnessing the Fan Heat function
This stainless-steel mesh tray is compatible with all of our 60cm ovens, sitting neatly on telescopic runners or chrome racks.
The AIRFRY2 works by allowing the oven’s hot air (courtesy of the Fan Heat function) to circulate all around the food within it. This results in a crispy, crunchy exterior without the need for much oil.
Another advantage of our AIRFRY2 versus a countertop air fryer is that you can use more than one tray in the same oven. So, you can air-fry large batches of food for all the family at the same time, with no space limitations. If you do a lot of microwave cooking in a Caple appliance, you can use our original AIRFRY tray to air-fry food.
It’s slightly smaller in size, measuring 45cm. Simply choose the Fan Heat function on our combination microwave models, to enjoy fast, tasty, low-fat food.
Our original AIRFRY tray can be used to create air-frying solutions for our Caple combination microwaves
Both our AIRFRY tray options are super simple to use. Best of all, they are fast and easy to clean, especially when compared with the basket and pull-out compartments in countertop air fryers.
My top tips for the best results? Don’t overcrowd your AIRFRY (or AIRFRY2) tray. Whatever you’re cooking, space it evenly, to ensure plenty of crisp and crunch. And cut your food into bite-sized pieces to encourage browning.
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