Who doesn’t love a gadget or piece of equipment that makes your life easier and that helps take some of the stress out of every-day tasks like cooking dinner?
The air fryer does just that, this handy little countertop tool makes quick work of cooking some of our favorite foods and helps to make choosing healthier options just a little bit easier, but how does it work?
Does it use radiation to cook your food? No, an air fryer does not use radiation to cook
Keep reading to find out more about how air fryers cook your food.
How Do Air Fryers Cook?
Nearly every person that you talk to has heard of a microwave, those handy little countertop appliances that heat your food super-fast so that you can eat without having to worry about using the stove or the oven.
While many people tend to compare the air fryer to the microwave, they are, in fact, quite different.
While their size may be similar and their function may be the same, their overall method of cooking is vastly different.
Microwaves do use radiation to cook your food, air fryers do not.
So, how does an air fryer actually work?
Air fryers use convection cooking, much like your conventional oven but on a much smaller scale.
The air fryer works with heated molecules being forced or moved around the cooking chamber of the air fryer to heat and cook the food that you are heating.
The air circulates through the cooking chamber and heats the food that is inside the basket both inside and out without the use of oils so that it is crispier, healthier and cooks faster than other cooking methods.
What Is Convection Cooking?
With your traditional or conventional oven, the heat inside the oven is generated by a heating element on the top and bottom of the cooking chamber.
Hot air is lighter than cold air so the hot air from the heating elements rises to the top and circulates through the cooking chamber.
The heated air then circulates through the cooking chamber to cook the food inside.
Since the cooking chamber of the oven is so much larger, and since it does not have any sort of mechanical element to help circulate the air, it does take longer for a conventional oven to cook your food.
You need to preheat the oven, you need to allow the food time to cook and you need to allow the oven to self-adjust temperatures as needed through the cooking process.
Air fryers use convection, but they use a method of convection called mechanical convection.
An air fryer works on the same principle as a larger oven, save for the fact that they have an extra advantage, a mechanical element that helps to circulate the air better and keeps the tiny cooking chamber at a more even heat.
An air fryer uses hot air in the convection process to heat your food from the inside out.
Each air fryer has a heating element that is located at the top of the cooking chamber.
The heating element heats up and then heats the air inside the chamber to create the perfect cooking environment.
The fan, that loud thing you hear when you turn on your air fryer, forces the hot air to circulate within the cooking chamber to help it cook faster and more completely.
The air circulating can help get the exterior of the food crispy without the use of oil and can help you get a great result in very little time.
Why Choose An Air Fryer For Cooking?
When it comes to deciding if an air fryer is right for you or not, it is helpful to look at some of the benefits of using an air fryer as opposed to other frying or cooking methods.
Your average air fryer only uses around 1,400 to 1,700 watts of electricity for every hour that you are using it.
Since air fryers are so fast, you are likely not using it for an hour at a time so the energy consumption is likely to be much lower.
Your typical oven uses between 2,000 and 5,000 watts per hour when in use and it does take longer so you are going to use considerably more electricity with a conventional oven.
Another benefit is that an air fryer does not require the use of additional oil to cook.
Instead of having to use tons of oil that sits on food and raises the overall calorie count of that food, you can cook with a very small amount of oil that is going to help crisp the food but that is not going to saturate it in oil as other cooking methods are likely to do.
You can greatly reduce the amount of extra calories in your food by using an air fryer.
The last benefit is that an air fryer is going to dramatically reduce the amount of time that it takes to cook your food and to get your food on the table.
With an air fryer, the smaller cooking chamber heats up much faster, it is also able to stay at a more even and constant temperature which means you are going to be able to cut your cooking time greatly.
With a conventional oven, every time the door is opened the oven must heat back up to the right temperature.
The larger cooking space takes more energy to keep at a constant temperature and you can easily get food that is unevenly cooked.
With an air fryer, you can cook your food in a matter of minutes rather than hours and you can get healthy and delicious food that is evenly cooked and ready to go in less time.
Air fryers are also compact, easy to use, and can be a great addition to the appliances that you use in your kitchen every day.
Rather than depending on ovens and microwaves that are unreliable at best, your air fryer has the ability to make cooking easier and make it fun and simple to get your food done and ready to eat.
Here are the answers to some common questions about air fryer cooking.
Is an air fryer better than a microwave?
As you may know, these two small appliances cook food in completely different methods, and they both have their strengths.
Just keep in mind that microwaves use electromagnetic radiation for cooking.
Microwaves are great for reheating food or just a short, quick heating of something.
Air fryers are ideal as oven replacements and for healthier cooking since you need less oil to cook with an air fryer.
Can I use an air fryer as a microwave?
Yes, most air fryers do have a button for reheating food.
And some foods are better reheated in the air fryer than the microwave, like pizza.
Do keep in mind that reheating food in an air fryer tends to take longer than in a microwave.
While an air fryer does not use radiation to cook, it can seem somewhat magical and it can help you get the food you want faster and with less calories.
Air fryers are completely safe, easy to use and are a great addition to any kitchen and to any home cooks arsenal of tools that help make their day to day life easier.
Air fryers come in all shapes and sizes and there are tons of great options out there if you take the time to weigh your options and find out what is going to work best for you and your family.