James Martin reveals how to make batter for fish and chips
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For those looking to eat healthier, or simply reduce their oil intake, an air fryer could be a good solution to deep frying. Though the machines run on nothing more than hot air, they are supposed to produce the same crispy results as food items cooked in oil.
For first time users, it may come as a surprise to discover how many items you can cook using an air fryer.
In fact, air fryers are said to cover everything from traditional frying to roasting and even baking.
How does an air fryer work?
Whether you’re a first-time air fryer user or you’re in the market to buy one, it might be interesting to gain an insight into exactly how these countertop machines work.
Air fryers use a heating mechanism and fan, which are housed in the top section of the machine.
The lower basket beneath this is where food is placed.
In some cases, one or two teaspoons of oil do have to be used in order to aid cooking.
Once the air fryer is turned on, hot air is created in the top section, which then moves up and down throughout the machine.
The speed and motion of the hot air help to make food crispy, thus giving the effect of having used a deep fryer.
Is air fried food healthier?
Whether or not air fryer made food is any healthier largely depends on whether or not you choose to use much oil when cooking.
It is certainly true that food cooked using an air fryer that uses no oil is much healthier.
In some cases, air fryers can axe the number of calories by 70 to 80 percent and significantly reduce the amount of fat in food.
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What can I make using an air fryer?
Air fryers can make a whole host of food items, including chips, chicken, fish, roasted vegetables and even sweet treats such as cookies.
The speed and temperature of the moving air mean that oil is not always a necessary ingredient in cooking.
However, if you do wish to use oil, a spray oil can cut calories, or you can reduce the amount used to just one teaspoon.
According to experts, traditional chips can be revamped into a healthy alternative using an air fryer.
Using an air fryer can reduce the amount of fat in chips, with air fried chips holding between four and six grams of fat compared with deep-fried chips containing around 17g.
Simply peel and rinse your potatoes, before cutting them into chip shapes.
Season them with whatever herbs and spices take your fancy, before popping them into the air fryer at around 400 degrees for between 20 and 30 minutes.
Make sure to shake them every five to 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
If you’re a fan of crispy roast vegetables then an air fryer could be the perfect solution.
From sprouts to red onions, an air fryer helps to create the perfect, healthy side dish.
The roasting time largely depends on the type of vegetables you are roasting, though in the majority of cases 10 to 15 minutes is sufficient.
Frozen finger food
Whether you’re hosting friends and family, or simply fancy something to nibble on while watching the TV, frozen finger food is an easy go-to.
Air fryers can cook up everything from mozzarella sticks to frozen oven chips with little to no oil.
In many cases, around 10 minutes is enough to complete the cooking process which far rivals the oven cooking time.
Though oil isn’t always necessary, cooking spray is recommended for frozen items.
A whole chicken can be cooked in as little as 40 minutes in an air fryer.
By comparison, in an oven, the same chicken could take more than an hour.
Chicken breast, meanwhile, can be cooked in just 15 minutes in many cases.
It is recommended to use spray oil or a small drizzle of vegetable oil when using the air fryer.
Chocolate chip cookies
A late-night craving for cookies can be speedily appeased thanks to an air fryer.
The internet is abundant with air fryer cookie recipes, which promise everything from super doughy goodness to crispy and hard biscuits.
This all just depends on the amount of time you choose to cook them for, but some can be whipped up in just five minutes using an air fryer.
Cooks can serve up delicious, crispy bacon in between five and nine minutes thanks to the use of an air fryer.
Simply set your air fryer to around 350 degrees and let it work some magic.
Thanks to the way in which an air fryer works, bacon cooked this way is also far leaner as the fat drips from the meat and out of the basket.
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