A highlight from Are air fryers just a bunch of hot air?
Hey it's amanda and welcome back to food people so way back when i started at pa. I distinctly remember someone in a pitch meeting suggesting very tentatively that we develop some instant recipes and bear with me. This is not an episode about the incident pot but that pitch was met with a polite. But i would say damning silence and the conversation quickly moved on but the message was clear. We hear it our food. People who care about cooking not Gadgets well you all know the ended the story the instant pot one since then. It's become a staple in millions of homes and we have in fact developed recipes for it like our instant pot cornelius recipe. I have to plug. They are incredible. And so when another countertop gadget started appearing everywhere yes i'm talking about the air fryer. I wondered if my colleagues epa would take it seriously or just. Write it off as another gimmick. Well i'm here to tell you that it only took us a year or so but we did just publish a whole guide to air frying in october issue with additional recipes online and in today's episode senior staff writer and intrepid air fryer tester. Alex begs is here to talk about. What exactly the fire is why. People are so obsessed with it and whether you are dear listeners. Need this thing on our countertops or not. Hey bags welcome back to the show. Thanks for having me. What exactly is an air fire. I look at it. And i'm like is this an easy beak oven and as an early adopter of the easy bake circa nineteen ninety-one. It reminded me of that too. And i think that's why i was especially excited to get one and wanted one to the big oven. Actually work with a light was at the light. That was cooking your food. Yeah and i tried to make a comparison in my piece. And i believe our fact check was like neneh now no too inaccurate so in spirit. It's an easy bake oven in in. Okay what practicality. It ain't So what is it. It is a counter top convection oven so convection heat is just heat. That's being circulated by fans. Just hot air. Yes oh my oven has a setting. That says bake a little fan next to it. Then there's another button that's normal bake so is my oven also convection oven will. I'm not there. I don't know but yeah it sounds like it. It sure sounds like it. So this is an incredibly ingenious rebrand of convection but the other huge difference is that its size is so convenient that scientifically speaking. It's smaller so that heats up faster cooks faster because they're just smaller space for that heat to circulate all right so it's a little oven with a fan. Why has it become this cultural phenomenon. Well i think that comes down to the promise the dream and the fantasy that it that it's healthy. Oh my god so so. I think that's why it's a phenomenon. People don't want to admit it but that's an underlying draw towards it that you're going to be frying with air instead of oil jackie though miss but in fact it is very crucial to cook with oil. You need that so that your food can brown and cook. There's no way to actually fry something to get something crispy without some amount of oil fat. Yeah we cannot actually fry with air. No dehydrate you can get like extremely wrinkly green bean But whether the fat is you know coming from inside the food itself or your you you need that fat but the numbers are there that instead of dunking something in a pot of oil and just sprang it with oil. you consume fewer calories. Just that most people aren't using it in a deep fried way. They're using it for cooking. Everything like i just made a case of dna for lunch and amid fishing at this week in a made green beans last night. You're using it like you would your oven but you're using it instead because it's smaller and faster than your oven and maybe you're not cooking. You know whole thanksgiving dinner every night so you don't need all that space okay. I have a question about this about this faster thing. So my big issue with the instant pot was that like it was kind of a misnomer because it often took a really long time to heal up and things that actually could have cooked just as quickly on the stove. I was now supposed to use this gadget for so is air fire actually faster. Oh definitely i gave my instant pot away for the same reason that it would take fifteen minutes to come to pressure so for example. How long does it take. care of. Impre- oh god the mount time it takes for me to like chop vegetables and get everything ready to go. Maybe like ten or fifteen minutes. Yes so mine. Got four twenty five for my green beans in five minutes and then it cooks the green beans in ten minutes and they got a nice in browned and cooked so like that was super fast but again it depends on the food because lake fake scientists of any like fake scientists goggles. I mean meatballs in the meatballs took as long as they would have cooked in the oven. So i wonder if that has to do with the density of the food you know there was just like that meat versus the green beans. Have a lot of water. That's getting kicked out. If actually this was the stuff that they covered in science class. I would have probably paid more attention to make a different kind of podcast. What have these answers. But i'm just here to tell you. I've had the fastest green beans of light.