Is your kitchen counter complete without an air fryer?

“You brought home a what?!”

After getting mad at my husband for surprising me with yet another spacing-sucking gadget, I confess I’m now in love with our new air fryer. First, let me say, in my humble opinion, that the product is poorly named. An air fryer by no means is to be confused with a “deep fryer,” which automatically conjures up visions of overly battered bits of crispy, high caloric things sizzling in larger vats of grease. I mean, really—who needs that right now? While it’s true—as my mother would attest to after running out to buy perogies when she received the one I sent her— you can cook plenty of fried-like battered goods such as onion rings, dumplings, fried chicken, mozzarella sticks and the likes. BUT, what’s truly amazing is how it cooks everything using “air” (think “air” popcorn popper) to make food naturally crispy and greaseless, leaving the extracted oil in a pan below on the lower level.

This is a game-changer, if you’re a health geek like me. Suddenly, you have a secret weapon in your dietary artillery of achieving and maintainng weight loss (here’s the food plan that works). You’ll use the air “cooker” as a speedy and handy way to cook things like unbattered chicken wings, cubed pork, fish filets, butternut squash, potato wedges, Brussels sprouts, eggplant—you get the idea—to make things tastier and un-dietlike. It cooks everything in a way that makes food taste crispy and crunchy as if it were fried—but without the oil. You can sprinkle on seasoning before cooking (preferably without flour or sugar listed in the ingredients) and magically meals taste restaurant-style delicious. And it’s ridiculously easy.

I like to think of my new toy as “the Keruig of cooking.” Just open the front tray, insert preferred food item, and press start. It’s that easy. Maybe even easier than making a cup of coffee—and often in roughly the same amount of time. Our air fryer comes with a rack to add a second layer so you can really load it up with food. Cleaning it up afterward is easy, too. Just open the tray, pour out the grease (you’ll be shocked!), and give it a rinse in the kitchen sink. Voila! It’s ready to go for the next meal. 

Since our purchase, I’ve learned there are many brands and varieties of air fryers on the market, but I can only speak for the one we got, the Gourmia 6 Quart Digital Air Fryer. I’ve also learned there are tons of air fryer recipes on the internet to try out, many from one of our favorite websites AllRecipes (great mobile app, too). And the best part? It really doesn’t take up that much space ; )

Do you have an air fryer? What are your favorite things to cook? Please share your culinary tips and tricks in the comments below

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