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If you have an air fryer, how do you like it? And what do you cook in it?

 
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For Mother's Day, my dear daughter wants to give me an Air Fryer.

I am afraid it will take up too much space in my small kitchen.

Any one have one and what do you cook in it?

These are the ones she is suggesting:



Amazon Link for Ninja Air Fryer 4qt




Amazon Link for Nuwave Brio 6 qt Air Fryer


Does anyone have this one?  I like it because there are not a lot of bells and whistles to learn how to use.



Amazon Link for Dash Air Fryer

 
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My sister in law has the air fryer attachment for her instant pot and loves it. (We both love the instant pot.)  

She hasn't had the fryer long but they have made fries and egg rolls, etc with it and are sold. If I were going to get am air fryer, I would go that way because it's handy for many things. I dislike having an appliance that takes up lots of space and can't do lots.
 
Anne Miller
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Thank for the reply, Sonja.

Our daughter has the instapot and bought the attachment for the air fryer. She loves it, that is why she wants to get me one. She says she uses hers every day for bacon.
 
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We have one. We like it. Cook anything in it you would put in a deep fat fryer .....without the oil or fat.
 
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I found a Emeril air fryer/pressure cooker on sale and bought it. I was afraid it would just take up space, but I use it all the time. I never really used a pressure cooker before this thing, now I realize what I've been missing. You can pressure cook something quickly and thoroughly (like a whole chicken), then switch lids and brown it perfectly.  I've been sous vid'ing like it's going out of style. I can take the cheapest pork roast money can buy, and make it taste every bit as good as the most expensive of meat. Even just frying, it's so handy because it's so deep it doesn't splatter grease all over the stove to be cleaned. If a meal leaves a residue in the bottom of the pot, I can pressure cook a load of wholesome food for my dog and it cleans up the mess. Otherwise, cleanup is still not bad; just put water in it and boil it and the mess comes right out. I can't recommend it enough, but I would definitely get one that air fries and pressure cooks.
 
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Right before the quarantine, we bought the cheapest possible model (like the third one in your original post, but cheaper) when it was 60% clearanced at Dollar General.  We weren't sure what we would use it for.  

The household member who eats deep fried frozen foods loves it for the convenience.  Just dump a pound of tater tots (or any frozen greasy potato product) or chicken nuggets or essentially anything breaded and frozen intended for deep frying) in the basket it, set it, and forget it.  (Well, maybe shake once halfway through.)  There's enough oil in most such products that they "fry" extremely well.

I use it mostly for "roasting" ready-to-eat vegetables.  Frozen brussel sprouts and those bags of baby carrots (that are really just regular carrots that have been run through an industrial abrasion process) are awesome.  Dump in a bag, hit 'em with a couple seconds of olive oil spray, ten minutes or so, stir, another spritz of oil, season, allow to finish for another ten or so.  They get the browning and crisp exteriors of roasted veg and make tasty healthy snack/finger food.  

Bottom line: somewhat unexpectedly, we use it daily or more often.  Downside: when you "overcook" things, they don't burn; the hot wind sort of dehydrates the exterior.  It's not terrible but it is weird.  

We have discussed that if this cheapy unit dies, we'd like one of the ones with a larger rectangular basket.
 
Anne Miller
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Jordan, thanks for telling me about the Emeril air fryer/pressure cooker.  I looked at it online and was almost sold until I read the reviews.  Seems like it is missing something that you have to buy from the manufacturer for $50.00.  I looked at pictures and it seems to be missing the fryer basket, maybe?

Dan, thanks! I may look at Dollar General as I like that price.

Or maybe I will tell her to get both the Insapot and the Air Fryer attachment and I will pay for the Instapot.

It is so hard to decide.
 
Jordan Holland
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Anne Miller wrote:Jordan, thanks for telling me about the Emeril air fryer/pressure cooker.  I looked at it online and was almost sold until I read the reviews.  Seems like it is missing something that you have to buy from the manufacturer for $50.00.  I looked at pictures and it seems to be missing the fryer basket, maybe?.



The one I got did not come with a basket; I never really gave it any thought. I can't say I've really had a need for one, though. I've used mine as/is except for a cheap generic kit of accessories I bought on ebay for under $20. It is handy having extra racks to have more than one tier cooking at a time, but I rarely need even that since I usually cook for one. I did read the earlier version had some issues, like the sous vide feature taking forever to heat up. It's the one with the rotary dial. Mine is the newer one with no dial.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Emeril-Lagasse-Pressure-Air-Fryer-Plus-6-Quart/964608915
 
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I was just wondering about one of these.  The recipe I saw on YouTube was for a Blooming Onion, a whole onion cut in a way that opens it up in small chunks, dipped in spicy flour and egg, then air fried.  I think The Outback restaurant is famous for their blooming onions, and there are copycat recipes online.
 
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Cristo Balete wrote:I was just wondering about one of these.  The recipe I saw on YouTube was for a Blooming Onion, a whole onion cut in a way that opens it up in small chunks, dipped in spicy flour and egg, then air fried.  I think The Outback restaurant is famous for their blooming onions, and there are copycat recipes online.



Yes, I've seen a cutter made for doing this, but I don't eat onions. I think an air fryer might be a good way to do one, because the ones I've seen in restaurants seem to collect a disgusting amount of grease at the bottom.
 
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I found an air fryer at a local thrift shop and brought it home as a christmas gift for my best friend. She ended up leaving at our house (she doesn't have a home of her own yet) so I've done a lot of research about the best ways to do it.
So it's basically a tiny little convection oven; the whole "Fryer" part of it comes from coating the food in oil and the hot air circulating around it to cook all sides at once.
You can use it as a tiny little oven; almost anything that can be baked in a full-sized oven can also be cooked in the air fryer. Since the air is being circulated with a fan it does change the cooking time substantially. I've found that it usually takes about half off the baking time. You can find small pans that are made specifically for use in an air fryer, or if you're like me you can scrounge the second-hand stores for stuff that's small enough. I like to use it when it's too hot to run the full-sized oven (about 8 months out of the year here in Texas!) My most recent sucess was a tiny little cheesecake, complete with water bath. It cooked up in about 10 minutes in the air fryer!
 
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I think my new house might not even have a regular oven.  Between the instant pot, air fryer, and toaster oven we only use the burners on the stove most of the year.
 
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I'm grinding my teeth just now because all of you are talking about "functional" air-fryers and ours is sitting there from months of neglect after the on/off switch on the door died.  It was one of the more expensive ones, .... a gamble after going though 2 cheaper units in as many months.  The new 'Cadillac' had all the bells and whistles for baking, air-frying, toasting....I found it could even resuscitate stale popcorn during a bout of deep midwest humidity!  Like others have mentioned, the main electric range in the home became simply a stovetop with a large storage cavity below to keep the mice away from bread, cookies, and unfinished bowls of dog food.  Who needed to fire up the oven in the middle of a hot summer anyway?.....I was baking fresh scones in the air-fryer oven in 20 min!  Then it died and the advice from the local repair shop was that they would charge more than it would be to buy a new one.  It was off warranty and the manufacturer would fix it....for a fee...after we shipped it....for a fee.  So there it sits, yet other dusty, brushed silver 'bread box', the mice anxiously window shopping across its smirking Pyrex face.  I bought a massive drill bit some weeks back with intentions of plowing though decorative sheet metal adorning its not-so-carefully engineered circuitry.....and removing the door switch altogether.  No motivation currently in the summer's heat.....clearly a fall project.  Great additions to the kitchen, air-fryers,..... hope I can jump-start the wannabee paper-weight before winter. :-P
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks, everyone for sharing your thoughts.

Maybe one of these days I will see my Mothers Day gift.  Last I heard she said the stores were all out of them.

Since the air fryer never showed up, I started using the George Foreman Grill. It had sat on the shelf without being used for years.  Now it cooks bacon and grills pork chops.



 
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We got the Ninja Foodie because I was so excited about the possibility of having a pressure cooker and air fryer in one.  It was more expensive because of this, but the pressure cooker function never worked properly, so I do think that having just an inexpensive air fryer would have been better.  Though I do LOVE the air fryer and use it nearly everyday!  I use it to roast chicken, cook meat from a frozen state in no time, "fry" butternut squash, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, cauliflower, etc.  You name it, it can pretty much get dumped into the fryer.  It really helps if you want to go lower carb and keep the family happy bc everyone loves fried things.  I usually save the grease that drops to the bottom from frying beef bacon or chickens and use that to slather over the veggies before cooking and it is so good (and I'm reusing it and getting more bang for my buck!)
 
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They do take up space, but I liked using my mom's for quickly baking sweet potatoes or salmon, or she would often halve avocados and bake cheesy eggs inside.
This gadget is handy like having a quick mini-oven, yet it's loud when operating and bulky on the counter.
 
Anne Miller
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I hadn't heard anyone else say they are loud. that is rather unexpected.

Are they all loud?
 
Claire Alexander
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Anne Miller wrote:I hadn't heard anyone else say they are loud. that is rather unexpected.

Are they all loud?



They sound like a dehydrator, sort of.  So, not as loud as your stovetop hood, but louder than your (silent) oven.  It's similar to having a dishwasher going--it is distracting at times, but you normally don't notice it much.
 
John Weiland
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Claire Alexander wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:I hadn't heard anyone else say they are loud. that is rather unexpected.

Are they all loud?



....  It's similar to having a dishwasher going--it is distracting at times, but you normally don't notice it much.




.....yet for a much shorter period of time.   I think even for french fries it was 8-12 minutes..?  The rushing air sound I think was off when used as a convection or toaster oven.
 
Jordan Holland
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Mine's not loud at all. No where near as loud as any dishwashers I've seen. You can't hear it over tv, radio, a/c.
 
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I actually turned out to love mine.  It is a GoWise brand.  I’ve not had a problem with it at all and I have gifted three more to other people and they love them.  The bottom tray and the basket are dishwasher safe and are great for cooking most everything.  Definitely the best for reheating any sort of fried food that you got at a restaurant for take away.   I really like cooking  bacon in it.  No fuss, no spatter and you can collect the bacon grease in the tray.  However, I have tried to do a Bloomin onion in it probably a half a dozen times. I tried some of the YouTube versions with a dry rub and oil spray. I know you’re not supposed to use wet batters in an air fryer, but they sort of work (keep it as dry as possible but a little drips of and makes a very crispy and tasty batter pancake in the tray), but  I still haven’t been able to get the Bloomin onion to be anything like the one you get at Outback’s  
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