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Please talk to me about Air Fryers.

84 replies

PriamFarrl · 26/08/2022 12:12

Hello. Please talk to me about air fryers, I know I’m late to the game here.

We are vegi so no need to cook meat or fish. However I’m aware that I heat the oven to just cook a small amount as there is only two of us.

Are they worth it? How do they work? Is it better than the oven or just cheaper? Can I cook things that I might have in the freezer, like a pie, for example?

Thank you all.

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Thinkle · 26/08/2022 12:35

The basic ones without the bells and whistles are mini ovens that heat up much faster and cook things much faster and crispier. We have a ninja one with a family sized basket but I would still recommend that size for two people because you get more space to cook odd shaped things.

I make a lot of cheese toasties in mine and then use it for a lot of easy foods like quorn products and French fries. I know I don’t use it to its full potential so hopefully others will suggest better ideas.

Yes you could cook a pie

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ThisIsWhyWeCantHaveNiceThings · 26/08/2022 12:38

I love my air fryer. We've got the dual basket ninja one. Bit pricey, but use it most days now. I think that even with just 2 of you, a doubler is a good choice as you can cook two things at the same time. For example, in one basket, I do the 'main' part of the meal, and in the second I do the side part of it.

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dontgobaconmyheart · 26/08/2022 13:17

It's essentially a mini, portable convection oven, called an air fryer owing to the fact that allegedly the result is the same as deep frying (it's not).

I know people say they love them but we had one as a gift and weren't impressed - it was bulky and took up a lot of room on the top or in the cupboard, wherever it was kept. It broke after a few months despite us hardly using it and terms of the actual result, we just didn't think any of it was particularly great. It made fairly decent chips but that isn't something I particularly want to eat at home frequently and they still weren't a patch on proper deep fried chips - more like a slight improvement on a bog standard bag of oven chips.

You usually seemed to need to add oil to get a decent result, you'd need a huge one to actually cook a meal in it for a family, I could go on.

I just found it a bit of a novelty thing really, I was annoyed on principle when it broke but was pleased to take it to the tip and have the space back.

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Sparklingbrook · 26/08/2022 13:30

We love ours. I have just had Halloumi fries out of it for lunch. Everything comes out really crispy and hardly takes any time at all.
We have the Ninja dual one, as a PP said you can do the whole meal in it. Really easy to clean (like washing up a saucepan really). And lovely not to have to wash up oven trays.
Never added any oil or anything and everything has been great, we're still experimenting.

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MissBridgetJones · 26/08/2022 13:36

Ninja multi cooker here. Best thing we have ever bought. In fact just upgraded to the newest model that has a temperature probe. Used multiple times a day.

Cooked a large roast chicken in it in an hour yesterday. Today will make a stock and later a risotto (appreciate you are veggi, just an example)!

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Photosymphysis · 26/08/2022 13:42

We've got a combo-wave. A combi oven, microwave and air fryer in one (replacing the microwave).

We hardly use the big oven at all now.

The combiwave is cheaper to run (though I purposely haven't looked at how much DH spent on it). Good air fried fried food. We cooked pie in it last night. Cooks things quicker than normal since it'll, for example, microwave your jacket potatoes and then crisp them up.

It gets used multiple times a day.

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PeloAddict · 26/08/2022 13:49

I have one that's shaped like a mini oven, no basket and has mesh shelves
You don't have to preheat it which is a bonus
It's great for beige food Grin and also anything small. So if I fancy a part baked roll with soup, or the other day I chopped a potato into cubes, oil and seasonings and put that it to go with an omelette
Anything freezer food like breaded stuff, chips, potato waffles works. Halloumi is decent in it
Roasted veg as well

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greenacrylicpaint · 26/08/2022 13:55

do you have a combi microwave?

if you do, it might be more cost/energy effective than using the big oven. or go out to buy a new gadget.

in essence an air fryer is 'just' a convection oven that's a lot smaller than a full kitchen oven which uses extremely hot air to cook.

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blobby10 · 26/08/2022 13:55

I had use of a Tefal Actifry for a couple of months and loved it. I found I didn't need much oil as there was residual from earlier use - but was only cooking for one or two people. We did burgers, sausages, bacon, salmon/trout fillets as well as chip shaped chips and little potatoes . Used the paddle/stirrer attachment for the potatoes which made them nice and light.

I will definitely get my own as it's perfect for just me on my own most of the time - wouldn't have been big enough for when all my kids were home.

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evilharpy · 26/08/2022 13:57

We have an actifry that until recently was only ever used for chips. We've moved to a house with an electric hob which I can't get the hang of so we're going to try and use it more. I've just cooked a chicken breast in it, and we've used it to heat/crisp up chunks of home made bread to dip in soup, and beige stuff like chicken goujons or prawn toast. I need more ideas though, and wonder if it's worth swapping it for a ninja dual as everyone seems to be raving about them.

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Aria20 · 26/08/2022 14:00

Would they be any good for a family of 5 (2 adults, 2 teen boys who eat a lot and a 4yo)?

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LetsGoCrazyPurpleBanana · 26/08/2022 14:04

MissBridgetJones · 26/08/2022 13:36

Ninja multi cooker here. Best thing we have ever bought. In fact just upgraded to the newest model that has a temperature probe. Used multiple times a day.

Cooked a large roast chicken in it in an hour yesterday. Today will make a stock and later a risotto (appreciate you are veggi, just an example)!

Does the chicken cook better than in the slow cooker? IE crispy skin?

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7eleven · 26/08/2022 14:19

My ninja dual is the best thing I think I’ve ever bought for the kitchen. I’m a vegetarian and roasted Mediterranean veg with feta cheese is sublime. Rarely use the main oven now.

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Eeksteek · 26/08/2022 14:39

I’m considering one, too. I had a halogen oven which I LOVED and was so much cheaper than the main oven for just me and DD (or just me, when she’s having macaroni cheese AGAIN!). Only used the big oven once a week for pizza and baking.

I mainly used it to roast meat, fish and veggies, and to make potato wedges, bacon or toasting buns and stuff. Will an air fryer make toast?

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PriamFarrl · 26/08/2022 14:46

greenacrylicpaint · 26/08/2022 13:55

do you have a combi microwave?

if you do, it might be more cost/energy effective than using the big oven. or go out to buy a new gadget.

in essence an air fryer is 'just' a convection oven that's a lot smaller than a full kitchen oven which uses extremely hot air to cook.

I don’t have any kind of microwave.

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PriamFarrl · 26/08/2022 14:46

7eleven · 26/08/2022 14:19

My ninja dual is the best thing I think I’ve ever bought for the kitchen. I’m a vegetarian and roasted Mediterranean veg with feta cheese is sublime. Rarely use the main oven now.

Oooh. Tell me more about that please. I do roast veg a lot. It’s just about the main thing I use my oven for!

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Hugasauras · 26/08/2022 14:56

We just got a an 8L one with two drawers and it's fantastic. I can't see us using the standard oven for much at all now. I even did cupcakes in it and they came out perfectly Grin

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Hugasauras · 26/08/2022 14:56

And basically anything you do in oven or in a frying pan you can do. My husband even cuts his frozen pizza in half and does it in air fryer!

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talknomore · 26/08/2022 15:06

My son brought his one from Uni. I just cooked chicken thighs which I chopped into smaller pieces and marinated in yoghurt and curry spices overnight. They came out juicy and yummy after just 10 minutes. My son agrees that he should have asked for a bigger size to cook more than one dish at a time. He often just slices potatoes, adds spices and a bit of oil and roasts them like that.

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PriamFarrl · 26/08/2022 15:49

So if I had some lovely frozen beige food, nuggets for example, how long would I cook them for? How do I know how long to cook them for?

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7eleven · 26/08/2022 15:50

PriamFarrl · 26/08/2022 14:46

Oooh. Tell me more about that please. I do roast veg a lot. It’s just about the main thing I use my oven for!

Prepare veg in the usual way, toss in olive oil, add slices of garlic and season.

Air fry for about 30 mins, shaking every so often. Add cherry tomatoes and air fry for a further 10 mins or so. Add chopped up feta and air fry for a minute or two. Yum yum yum.

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SoupDragon · 26/08/2022 15:52

PriamFarrl · 26/08/2022 15:49

So if I had some lovely frozen beige food, nuggets for example, how long would I cook them for? How do I know how long to cook them for?

Mine came with a booklet of timings plus advice of how to change the packet times for an air fryer.

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swimlyn · 26/08/2022 15:56

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PriamFarrl · 26/08/2022 16:14

7eleven · 26/08/2022 15:50

Prepare veg in the usual way, toss in olive oil, add slices of garlic and season.

Air fry for about 30 mins, shaking every so often. Add cherry tomatoes and air fry for a further 10 mins or so. Add chopped up feta and air fry for a minute or two. Yum yum yum.

See now this is where I get confused. I could do that in my oven in that time so why is the air fryer better?

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PriamFarrl · 26/08/2022 16:15

swimlyn · 26/08/2022 15:56

Thanks for that.

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