As a new owner of an air fryer, you face knowing how to operate your new kitchen appliance properly. This article will help answer the question that bugs every new air fryer owner, how does it work?
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
An Air Fryer works by circulating hot air around the food instead of using oil as a frying pan. The food is put in a perforated basket, and with the help of a fan, the hot air surrounds the food and produces a convection effect that gives a crispy result.
I know you are wondering what was all that. Keep calm and read further as we take time to explain in detail how your air fryer works. This explanation below will give you a breakdown and clear knowledge of the functionality of how the air fryer works.
- How Does an Air Fryer Work?
- The Main Systems of an Air Fryer
- External Accessories That Help the Air Fryer to Work
- Electricity Consumption
- Components of an Air Fryer
- Reasons Your Air Fryer Might Not Work Properly
- Cleaning Your Air Fryer
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Remarks
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
An air fryer makes use of hot air to cook the food quickly. The power produced from the electrical channel is used to heat a coil. This coil heats the air around it to a very high temperature. An inbuilt fan helps to evenly circulate the heated air around the food, thereby cooking in the process. The air fryer also has an exhaust system that regulates the temperature according to the settings of the user.
A lot of air fryers come with adjustable temperature and timer knobs that allow for more cooking. The food is put into something called an air basket. The force of hot air blowing around the food helps to produce a convection effect that cooks and makes the exterior of the food brown.
In heating food, the air fryer uses convection. A heating element transfers heat to the air fryer’s food drawer while using a solid in-built fan to turn the food to get even cooking results. The cooking chamber is where the food is placed and covered. The manufacturers of the air fryer deliberately designed the cooking chamber to be compact to foster faster cooking. Once the food is safely and correctly in the air fryer, input your desired cooking settings (depending on the type of food you are cooking, of course) and then tap the start button.
The Main Systems of an Air Fryer
There are three main systems through which an air fryer works:
● Rapid Air Technology
This is the first and most important system of the air fryer. This technology helps the food get cooked with double speed. The heat is spread out from the cooking chamber, located close to the food, which allows cooking the food faster and effectively. There is also the presence of an exhaust fan, which helps to produce hot air that moves inside the chamber of the air fryer. The heat inside the air fryer ensures your food does not get dry at all. The heat that comes from the top and bottom-most part of the appliance helps to make the food cook fast at the right temperature.
● Exhaust System
The exhaust system is the next critical part of the air fryer, and it plays a significant role. The exhaust system of the air fryer helps to filter out the extra air before releasing the smell of the food when it is ready. The exhaust system is the main reason food odors are silenced when cooking. Once there is enough hot air inside the air fryer, the exhaust system goes to work quickly. It ensures that the steam and smoke inside the air fryer is complete before allowing it to be released into the outside air.
● Cooling System
For controlling the inner temperature, a cooling fan can be found in the air fryer, and it is located over the motor of the air fryer. The filters of the air fryer permit the air to pass through them in a bid to ensure that the interior parts of the air fryer can remain cool. This results in the complete cooling of the appliance
External Accessories That Help the Air Fryer to Work
Even though most standard air fryers do not require additional accessories, there are a few accessories that you can purchase, which will further aid the working of the air fryer during the cooking procedure. These external fittings are, however, dependent on the type of meal to be prepared. These include:
● Grill pan
The grill pan should be one that is designed for your air fryer. The grill pan will make things like grilling meat, fish, and vegetables easier. It will also ensure the food is ready at a faster time.
● Baking dish
Certain foods must be cooked in a casserole dish. Any dish that can fit into the air fryer can be used. When using a baking dish, it should be placed in the air fryer basket. This allows for ideal airflow in the air fryer.
● Grill mat
A grill mat is used to keep the basket clean, and it is usually easier to clean than the air fryer basket. It can also serve the same purpose as the flame distributor; however, the grill mat should not be close to and not touch the heating component.
Depending on the model of the air fryer, the units of electricity consumed varies. The wattage power of the air fryer largely determines the amount of electricity to be consumed. For instance, an air fryer with a power capacity of 1500 watts will most likely take about 30 minutes to complete the food cooking process.
Note that the estimated 30 minutes stated is in rare situations where the food is hard to cook. It generally takes about 15 minutes or less to prepare food in an air fryer. The temperature control of the air fryer turns off the heater coil when the set cooking temperature is reached. More than 90% of the power is used by the air fryer.
Components of an Air Fryer
● Cooking chamber
The cooking chamber is similar to having a big size bowl with lots of tiny hole at its bottom. These small holes help to get hot air from below.
● Heater and electrical fan
The heater and electric fan in an air fryer assist in emitting heat inside the cooking chamber. After the heat has gotten into the cooking chamber, air circulates and enters the food.
● Exhaust system
This is used to reduce the pressure in the air fryer. It also helps to decrease the small that results from cooking in the air fryer.
● Timer and Temperature
Once turned on, the air fryer will heat up in an instant. The equipment is furnished with adjustable temperature control, which allows the user to set the temperature for each meal. When the food is ready, and the air fryer timer runs out, it will alert with a beep or other sound. If the user does not get to the fryer on time, the air fryer will automatically switch off to prevent burning.
● Food separator
Some air fryers come with a food separator, which helps prepare multiple meals at once without worrying about the flavors mixing. However, when using a food separator, it is highly recommended to pair similar food types. The reason is that the foods will share the same temperature settings and time it needs to cook.
● Outside of the Air Fryer
When the air fryer is turned on, the air inside will be heated up to 400 degrees F and circulate the food. The outside of the Air Fryer is made such that it will feel relatively cool and can be handled easily.
Reasons Your Air Fryer Might Not Work Properly
- Too much oil: You are probably using too much oil. The air fryer has been designed to require little or no oil while cooking your food. So check out the amount of oil you are adding when cooking.
- Too much food: The air fryer is overcrowded with food. A fundamental rule to using an air fryer is ‘Do not overcrowd the air fryer food basket.’ It will prevent your food from cooking evenly, and you end up having your food half-cooked or undercooked or not tasty.
- Let it cool down: Like every other appliance, the air fryer needs to cool down after every use. For example, you know how your car or laptop just suddenly stops working due to overheating, right? Not allowing your air fryer to vent and cool down after every use properly could be why it is no longer working well. Remember, it is a machine.
- Not correctly cleaned: You rarely clean it or do not clean it properly. It is only natural that one would be tempted to use the air fryer repeatedly without cleaning it, mostly as you are usually left with little or no oil spills to clean, unlike the traditional frying pans. However, it would be best if you did not allow yourself to get swayed by this.
- Wet food: Avoid putting any food with a wet batter in the air fryer because the batter can cause a huge mess.
- Accessories: Non-use of specific accessories. Although the air fryer comes with a food basket (which is pretty much all you need to make your favorite meals), however certain meals to be cooked in the air fryer still require the use of some external accessories. Examples of external accessories that would make your air fry cooking life easier are aluminum foil or parchment paper to keep the bottom of the fryer clean, grill mat, oil sprayers to prevent food getting stuck, amongst others. If you want to get the most out of your air fryer and value for your money, it is best you invest a little more into getting these external accessories.
Cleaning Your Air Fryer
It is imperative that you clean your air fryer immediately after every use. Some air fryer models are easier to clean than others. Cleaning your air fryer after every use is needed to avoid any buildup of grease in the drawer and on the heating element and prevent the smell of odors or rise of smoke while the food cooks.
● Step 1: Clean quickly after cooking
Avoid any delay in cleaning your air fryer. After cooking, unplug the air fryer; allow cooling, and then emptying the oil from the pull out drawer.
● Step 2: Use warm soapy water
Use warm, soapy water to clean the food basket and drawer. Also, make use of a soft sponge or cloth. If the food basket and drawer have food stuck on them, soak them in hot water and dish detergent. This will help to loosen the food. After this is done, you can proceed to wash them.
● Step 3: Wooden skewer
Poke out food remains that are stuck in the basket holes with a wooden skewer or toothpick. They will not damage the basket’s non-sticking material. Dry the air fryer basket and drawer.
● Step 4: Clean inside with a damp cloth
When attempting to clean the inside of your air fryer, use a damp cloth dipped in warm water. Ensure that the air fryer basket and drawers are removed. Look around the heating element for grease and food fragments and wipe clean. Then reassemble your air fryer.
● Step 5: Outside
Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe the exterior clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
● Does the air fryer consume a lot of electricity?
The answer is No. The air fryer will typically use half of a unit of electricity, which means that the effect of the air fryer power consumption will not put an increase in your electric bills. The air fryer has been designed to be a cost-effective product throughout its life.
● Is it possible to cook two meals at the same time?
Oh Yes! Some model of the air fryer has what is called a food separator which assists in preparing multiple meals at once without worrying about the flavors mixing.
● What happens to the smell of the food when it is cooking?
The air fryer has a filtering option that ensures no food or cooking odor is spread to the home.
It is safe to say that the air fryer is a small but straightforward intricate kitchen appliance that includes different methods of cooking food. The benefits of using an air fryer are limitless. Having an air fryer in your home removes the burden of consuming unhealthy foods. Air fryers are a modern kitchen appliance that requires little or no oil in cooking. . It uses a heating element and a fan spreading hot air above and around the food. You put the food into an air fryer basket and then place it inside the appliance. It has a chamber that is extra-hot, which allows for dry heat to penetrate the food from the outside, which in turn produces a similar crispy feel as when placed in a deep fryer. Air fryer cooking saves time, and cleanup is easy.
It has three major functional systems that allow it to work correctly and produce the desired result of the cooked food. These systems include (1) Rapid air technology, (2) Exhaust system, and (3) the control system. The rapid air technology helps the food get cooked with twice as much speed. The Exhaust system of the air fryer helps to filter out the extra air before releasing the smell of the food when it is ready. It is the main reason food odors are silenced when cooking. The third and last system of the air fryer, which is the Cooling system, has filters which permit the air to pass through them in a bid to ensure that the interior parts of the air fryer can remain cool.
To ensure your air fryer works properly when cooking, ensure the air fryer basket is not overcrowded. This is to give rise to an evenly cooked food. Depending on the kind of food being prepared with the air fryer, the methods differ. Always adjust the cooking temperature to suit each meal; foods with oil should be put in the air fryer carefully and check for doneness early. Do not out in wet foods. Regularly and properly clean your air fryer after every use. Invest in and make use of external accessories depending on the type of food you are cooking. Remember to let your air fryer cool down after use and ensure enough space for it on the countertop while cooking. As much as the air fryer is widely accepted and starting to grow on people, there are still some people who have misconceptions and are still skeptical about using the product.
Lastly, the air fryer, like every other appliance, as simple as it is, requires patience and proper understanding of how to work with it. If you want to get optimum results, it is best you take your time to master the workings of this ‘miracle’ appliance.