Let's face the matter straightaway: some professional food cooks did literally hundreds of research on this. They wanted to really know how air fryers work and if they made food crispy. So, they cooked about 4,000 frozen French fries, more than 20 kilograms of chicken, and about 100 potatoes!
The Tests They Carried Out
These cooks carried out several tests on different foods that they air-fried. Don’t forget, our goal is to know whether air fryers make food crispy. So, several models of air fryers had to be used and several tweaking was done as well. Other kitchen appliances such as oven and deep-fryer were also used so that comparisons could be made.
The Tests Includes:
preparation of very light chicken Parmesan.
sticking to air fryer manufacturer’s instruction and making ½ kilogram of chicken wings.
comparing the above with ½ kilogram of chicken wings fried with oven.
setting different times and temperatures as required to make a pleasant chicken wings with each air fryer.
preparation of one bag of frozen French fries sticking to each air fryer manufacturer’s instructions.
preparation of one bag of frozen French fries sticking to time and temperature instructions on the package of the French fry.
setting different times and temperatures as required to make a pleasant frozen fries with each air fryer.
For each of these tests, the manufacturer’s recommendation, personal experimental recipe and another one in between these two were done.
Highlights From The Research
After making a particular food three times, adhering strictly to the instructions of the manufacturers resulted in undercooked food.
When the researchers used their own recipes to make chicken wings, it resulted in overcooked food.
Then they finally made adjustments and tweaked the temperature and time variables. This resulted in crispy food. So, it was when adjustments were made to be somewhere in between the manufacturers’ blueprint and the researchers’ discretion that it gave the required crispiness.
Finally, to answer the question if air fryers make food crispy, the answer is YES.
How To Make Your Food Crispy Using Air-Frying
When air-frying, you’ve got to apply some oil! Some have humorously said it’s not supposed to be called an air fryer because it doesn’t use only just air. They argued that if you did not use any oil, your food will come out dry and burned! So, use a little amount of oil — one to two tablespoons of oil. Doing this will help your food crisp up.
If you want to avoid fats being added to your food, then just before you air-fry, apply cooking spray that does not stick so that this can serve as a coat for the food. Spraying a mist of cooking spray over your food gives you just that right colour, and this is without giving additional calories or fat to your food.
HOWEVER, if your food isn’t coming out crispy as you desire, DON’T be tempted to add more oil! This might be fine for the traditional frying but not for air-frying! Adding more oil can make the food soggy. It can also make it burned and may even lead to a fire disaster. So, if the crispiness isn’t showing up, it could possibly be as a result of other factors.
Don’t overcrowd the air fryer space. Of course, if you want your food to get done evenly, you should not overcrowd it. If you want your food to cook evenly, you can’t overcrowd the air fryer. Otherwise, you get undone food and you would have wasted your time. So, instead, cook in batches. This even allows for speedier cooking.
Make space for adequate ventilation. This is very true for an air fryer just as it is for other technologies. So, when your air fryer is in use, it is advisable that you leave at least 4-5 inches space on all sides. Let your air fryer be in a place where there is adequate ventilation. And, please be mindful to place it on a stable and heat-proof surface.
Monitor and control the timing and the temperature of your air fryer when in use! Don’t just leave it to air-fry automatically! Potatoes, for example, air-fry at about four hundred degrees Fahrenheit (400F) and for a little over ten minutes. And, while you are cooking, you should actually turn the potato fries multiple times. If need be, you might have to add some one or two minutes more to allow the crispiness show up.
Can I Have My Left Overs Crisped?
When it comes to crisping your leftovers, the air fryer is a favorite. When you re-heat pizza, for example, its bottom stays crispy while the cheese on top melts.