We had dinner at friends’ last night and they made chicken wings in their air fryer. I could not believe how crispy that skin was! I am seriously thinking about getting one, but I don’t know which one would be the best. They have a cuisinart that is also an oven and toaster. I have a Breville Smart Oven so I don’t need all that. Is there a good one out there that someone can recommend? is this a waste? Thanks!
Thank you for starting this thread. Great topic to learn more about.
Start by looking at your built-in oven and your Breville. “Air fryers” are just inconveniently shaped convection ovens so one or both of the ovens you have may do that already. If not sell your current Breville and buy one with convection. One less thing to plug in and take up space.
Yes, both have convection. Is that really all that is?
Yep. See https://www.thekitchn.com/air-fryer-review-261972 . The ONLY value of a dedicated appliance is that its tiny size makes things go faster. Not a lot faster. A little faster. Seconds.
So give an air fryer recipe for chicken wings a whirl in your Breville before you plunk down for another appliance. Spend the extra on a nice bottle of vino for the chicken wings. Or several cases of Wild Mustang Premium Malt Liquor. grin
Thanks for the article. Interesting. I’ll try my Breville first. BUT - boy I’d love to make donuts!!!
We use it all the time on the tour bus. Lowest price I saw on search.
I have been interested in some very occasional deep frying, but most of my research told me the same result as @Auspicious has already pointed out, air fryer is a mini convection oven, the result is not the same as real deep fry with oil, which is what I really wanted.
It works faster than a convection oven. So if it is this aspect you are looking for and you have the counter space, why not.
The Air Fryer is in the same bucket as a Sous Vide circulator for me - they would be great a couple of times a year for specific foods, but I don’t eat the things they are great at enough to warrant a separate appliance, so either I’ll start eating them more because I now have the appliance (not good) or it’s a specialty thing I’m ok taking up space (which I’m rarely ok with).
Here’s a crispy oven wings recipe that details using baking powder (and salt) to get the skin crisper than it otherwise would in the oven (I’ve tried the method).
I have a friend who makes donuts in her countertop oven too - maybe someone here has a good recipe for baked donuts.
Hot oil is much much denser than hot air, so the heat transfer is far more efficient with oil. If the object of frying is to create and drive steam that cooks the food to the surface as an appetizing crust forms, heated air will usually not come close to producing that result. It makes sense that the hot air technique works well with chicken wings that have a lot of relatively thick surface to heat/crust in relation to the amount of meat to be cooked.
For my crew it served two purposes. Reheating road food to a crisper texture and heating food quickly backstage from catering. We rarely have time to use the roasting function but it cooks food up fast.
It’s a convenient mobile appliance.
You can make donuts pretty easily in a convection oven, in your case either your wall oven or your Breville. Google for homemade donuts convection oven. Lots of choice. Not exactly like deep-fried but neither will be an air fryer. The good news is that an oven-baked donut will take glaze and frosting more easily than deep fried, especially with a home fryer that struggles to hold temperature when loaded up. A half sheet pan in a convection wall oven will take fifteen to twenty-four donuts depending on how big you make the donuts. A quarter sheet pan in your Breville should do at least six.
If an air fryer tugs at your soul I can pretty well guarantee you that someone in your circle of friends has one squirreled away, used twice, and hasn’t seen the light of day for some time. Ask around. You’ll have to dust it. The only problem is they may not want it back.
What inverter do you use in the tour bus? I use a little 300W Bestek for charging and light loads like a Crock-Pot in our car and dinghy. I have a 2000W Mastervolt on the boat that has been outstanding and talks beautifully to our energy management system. It will even auto-start the generator when the battery bank gets low.
Every year around now I consider an air fryer. I have a smallish combination convection oven I use mostly as a microwave, and two convvections that are wettings on my wall ovens. Neither are Belleville, they are Jenn-Air and David) and I hope they are okay.
Anyone have an air fryer general tso chicken or similar recipe I can use to check it out? That and hot wings are how I would want to use it
I make General Tso’s chicken shooting from the hip but this recipe https://pickledplum.com/baked-general-tso-chicken-recipe/ is close to what I usually make. There are tonnes of alternatives on the Internet. I like the oven hot so the breading gets especially crispy; I dislike having the whole coating come off with the first bite. With convection on (which will help make it crispy also) it is going to cook faster so keep an eye on it. I use honey rather than granulated sugar. Red chilis (I use Thai because I have them) are not optional for me. grin Most of the recipes I found searching around have you make the sauce, pour it in a bowl, dump the chicken into a pan, and pour the sauce over it. That’s at least two extra things to clean which pains my soul. I leave the sauce in the pan I cook it in and dump the cooked chicken on top and mix. Do as you will.
So to actually answer the question, I have a Wolfgang Puck model (Home Shopping Network) that I received as a gift. I dont use it a lot, but Ive made “fried” chicken and fish, meatloaf, and fell in live with it for French fries made with fresh potatoes.
I quite like it, as it doesn’t heat up my kitchen, and no, neither my standard convection oven nor my convection countertop oven can duplicate the results.
Rooster Dan also mentioned this brand. I’ll check it out.