April 7, 2023
The Secrets of Using an Air Fryer
Why I have grown to love my air fryer
Now that my husband and I are just cooking for two, we want to keep cooking simple and easy. Using our air fryer and microwave is now the norm. Over the past six months we have learned how …
- to make clean-up a snap.
- to toast bread in an air fryer.
- to use our microwave and air fryer together.
About Air Fryers
Air fryers come in various types and sizes. We chose a Ninja Foodi with two 5 quart bins. We also bought some accessories such as wire racks and metal bowls to cook eggs. In this article we also discuss the new Ninja Speedi.
Our Foodi has six “modes”: air fry, air roast, air broil, bake, dehydrate and reheat. Actually I have not found a description of how these modes are different in their function. However our air fryer has a “Match” setting that programs the mode and time selection to be the same in both bins, and a “Smart” setting that let’s you program each bin separately and have both finish at the same time.
Ninja has a new model of air fryer called the Ninja Speedi. It has 12 cooking modes divided between two categories and a rack that fits in the bin to provide a lower and upper cooking platform (rather than two bins):
- Rapid Cooker: Steam & Crisp, Steam & Bake, Steam, Proof and unlock
- Air Fryer: Air Fry, Bake/Roast, Air Broil, Dehydrate, Sear & Sauté, Slow Cook, and Sous Vide functions
My experience is that cooking in the air fryer generally faster and sometimes at a lower temperature than cooking in a conventional oven.
One of the problems with air fryers is that clean-up of the bins and racks after the meal can be a bit challenging. However, we discovered that there are silicon liners for the bins that make after meal clean-up super easy.
Also, if we are cooking frozen foods, we can put them in the silicon liner and put the liner and the food in the microwave for a short pre-cook thaw.
Tips and Tricks
After we bought our Ninja Foodi Air Fryers or toast died. I wondered if I could toast bread and bagels in the Air Fryer and discovered I could. Sometimes I use the rack (as shown) and sometimes I just lay the bread or bagel flat in the bin. I find that Air Roast at 400 degrees for 4 minutes makes very crisp toast.
Checking Along the Way
It is sometimes wise to interrupt the cooking process 5 minutes before the timed end to see that the cooking is going as you expected. Over time you learn the mode, time and temperature settings that work best for ou.
Using Your Microwave with Your Air Fryter
Llike an oven the air fryer cooks from the outside-in. In contrast, a microwave generally cooks from the inside out. Since we often cook frozen salmon or chicken thighs, we have learned to first put them in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes to thaw them and soften the center, and then cook them in the air fryer.
While the Ninja Foodi is not intended to be a steamer, I sometimes add water or other liquids along with the food items. It seems to keep the food items more moist.
Things We Don’t Cook in the Air Fryer
There are some itmes that seem to do better in the microwave than the Ninja Foodi.
- You can cook frozen vegetables in the Foodi, but you have to watch out that they do not get too crisp or burnt. We generally cook them with water in the microwave.
- We purchase frozen Stuffed Peppers from Costco. These cook through to the center better in the microwave.
- I like crispy, crunch foods; my husband not so much. So sometimes I will cook the Orange Mandarin Chicken that we purchase at Trader Joe’s in the microwave, since the outside comes out less crisp.
Note from the Editor
We use our Air Fryer (along with our microwave) almost every day. I cook salmon, chicken thighs and breasts, asparagus, brussel sprouts, baked potatoes, onion rings, orange mandarin chicken. I toast bread and bagels. And because of the silicon liners clean up is super easy.
If you have any comments for other readers about how you use your Air Fryer please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Want to Learn More
(Click on the links below)
YouTube Search Results for Ninja Foodi
YouTube Search Results for Ninja Speedi
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