Who invented the air fryer, and what does it actually do to your food?

Since the pandemic, people have come to realize how truly wonderful an air-fryer is. It can cook a wide range of food to perfection and many cooks have taken advantage of that. Keep reading to explore some of their creations and to learn how the appliance works.

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By Cookist
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An air-fryer is an appliance that can replicate deep frying with the use of little to no oil. However it has grown in popularity since users realized that it could make breakfast, lunch and dinner — virtually any food.

In 2017, air fryers experienced a bug sales boom however that was nothing compared to the boost that followed after the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

According to Joe Derochowski, the vice president and home industry adviser at the NPD Group, a market research firm, as of 2020, a whopping 36 percent of American households had an air fryer.

He believes that number will have risen by now and we're inclined to believe. Air fryers have proven themselves as great kitchen appliances thanks to their ability to cook almost anything to perfection.

Why the Air-fryer is so popular

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To understand why people have gotten so obsessed with the air-fryer, let's go back to the mid-20th century, around the time food manufacturers realized that their consumers seemed to gravitate towards crunchy and crisp food texture.

These are textures that require quite a lot of oil and heat to achieve so they were almost impossible to achieve in regular home kitchens.

Nadia Berenstein, a flavor historian, said that in the past, deep frying was only achievable by using industrial food processors. But now, thanks to the air fryer, regular people can recreate those great textures in their regular home kitchens.

Since it got more popular, many people have been using the air-fryer to.make a variety of things.

On TikTok, many influences have attracted lots of viewers by pushing the limit of what is possible to cook with an air-fryer.

Farrah Jalanbo, a food influencer, whipped up an elote-inspired recipe for corn ribs that has become an air-fryer favorite. Her version involves corn on the cob that has been quartered, air-fried and dressed with Cotija cheese and cilantro.

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Her recipe video has attracted over 14 million views on TikTok.

“Any air-fryer recipe does really well because people love seeing different ways of using that extra kitchen appliance they paid for,” Ms. Jalanbo said.

How It Works

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Air-fryers are basically small convection ovens that don't look out of place on your countertop. They work by blowing hot air down from a fan at the top of the appliance, and only utilize a small amount of oil.

The hot air hits the food being cooked and also circulates while it cooks. Because the air fryer is so small, the hot air circulates faster making the food cook even faster.

Thanks to the size, the hot air comes better and reaches all the surface of the food and this gets it crisp.

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