UACES Facebook Has the Air Fryer "Crisped Its Way into Our Hearts?"
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Has the Air Fryer "Crisped Its Way into Our Hearts?"



Air fryers first appeared on the market more than a decade ago, touting the ability to “fry” foods like chicken wings without extra oil. Then, in early 2020, air fryers seemed to become an incredibly hot item. The popularity of this countertop kitchen appliance really did explode, with more than 25 million sold from January 2020 to December 2021 alone.  

How does an Air Fryer Work? 

It works by cooking your food using super-heated air that circulates within its chamber. A fan inside the air fryer helps circulate the hot air and helps the air fryer create a reaction called the Maillard Effect. Maillard Effect, named after the French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard, is a chemical reaction characterized by the bonding of amino acids and reducing sugars. This chemical reaction is most notably known for how it gives browned food its unique taste and aroma. 

The air fryers circulate air at high temperatures up to 400 degrees. Food comes out crispy on the outside while moist and tender on the inside. Air fryers provide a healthier alternative to conventional frying because they use very little or no oil during the cooking process. You can also grill, roast, and yes, even bake foods in it. 

How much fat does using an air fryer reduce? 

Air-fried food has 75 percent less fat than traditional fried food making it a healthier alternative to that fried food taste without the health risks. They use less oil, and electricity, and cook meals faster. As a bonus, that fried cooking smell is reduced as well. 

Be Sure to Use a Food Thermometer! 

Food safety guidelines need to be considered when using these new appliances. Using a food thermometer is the only way to ensure the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products when air frying. Place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food, making sure not to touch bone, fat, or gristle. Use recommended USDA temperatures for foods. 

10 Cooking Tips for Your Air Fryer 

These will help you get great results from the foods you cook. 

  1. Smaller ingredients usually require a slightly shorter preparation time than larger ingredients.

  2. For the best results of smaller foods such as fries, onion rings, and chicken nuggets, remove the fryer basket halfway through preparation time and shake to mix around the food in the basket. This will help to evenly fry the food being prepared. 

  3. Add some oil to fresh potatoes for a crispy result. Fry your ingredients in the air fryer within a few minutes after you add the oil. Do not fill the basket with oil. 

  4. Do not prepare extremely greasy ingredients such as sausages in the air fryer. 

  5. Snacks that can be prepared in an oven can also be prepared in the air fryer. 

  6. For French fries, use 17 ounces of fries at a time for best frying results. 

  7. This air fryer is great for reheating food. To reheat your food, set the temperature control to 300 degrees and reheat to 165 degrees. 

  8. Overfilling the fryer basket will interfere with the browning process, as well as foods will not cook evenly or reach the proper temperature. 

  9. Don’t be afraid to open the basket to check the progress of your food. 

  10. Mix fine ingredients, such as salt and spices, with oil to keep them from getting blown on the wall of the air fryer. Or add them after you spray oil on the food and before it gets absorbed. 


Easy Air Fryer Recipe! Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken 

Try this air fryer recipe from The Easy Air Fryer Cookbook. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can cook in the oven at 350 degrees. You will need to adjust the cooking time for doneness and for your food thermometer to reach 165 degrees F. 

  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk 
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce 
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (cut in half lengthwise to make 4 equal portions) 
  • 6 tbsp cornflakes 
  • 3 tbsp stone-ground cornmeal 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp coarse-ground black pepper 
  • nonstick cooking spray 

For more info check out this article on air fryers!


By Pam Pruett
County Extension Agent - Family Consumer Science
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Phone: (870) 563-0236



Dr. Pamela Pruett is a County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service in Mississippi County. She can be reached by email: