Air Fryer Realities: What No One Else is Telling You

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I have never felt the need to have the latest in gadgets or “keep up with the Joneses” so to speak. Here’s the way my family acquires new technology or gadgets, such as an air fryer. We wait until “the Joneses” have spent hours on the phone with customer service working out the glitches in the new technology. Then, when the new technology is no longer so new and is on sale, we make the purchase.

Knowing that, it should not surprise anyone that it took me a long time to jump on the air fryer bandwagon. I had heard people raving about them in the staff room at work. Frying food with air instead of oil? It sounded like a dream come true, especially for someone like me who adores fried food. I was fully prepared to be amazed.

Air Fryer Realities What No One Else is Telling You will give you valuable information about air fryers. This wonderful kitchen appliance is great most of the time. Fried foods are not truly fried, but baked by hot air. Find out what works well and what to avoid by reading this honest report. Delicious food is just a few minutes away. #airfryer #recipes #cookingtips #easy #easyrecipes #cooking #simple #airfryerrecipes #airfryermachine #bestairfryertips #healthyairfryerrecipes #airfryercooking


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Taking the Plunge

I received an air fryer for Christmas, and eagerly tested it out. The model I was given was a GoWISE USA model like this one:

I found it quite simple to use. The very first experiment I tried, blueberry hand pies, was a great success. Here’s the recipe. Feast your eyes on this tantalizing picture:

air fryer hand pies

The air fryer and I were off to an excellent start. It was easy to use, easy to clean, and I was eager to adapt family recipes for fried foods. My expectations should have been more realistic.

Fried Food Fanatic

I freely admit to a weakness for fried food. Whenever we go out to eat at a buffet, I usually have a “fried food course” at some point during the meal. I gather all of the fried foods the buffet has to offer and put them together on a plate. Some of you are probably cringing at the thought. I just have to be honest. One of my favorite treats at the Oregon State Fair last year was a serving of deep fried oreos. Take a look at this deliciousness:

deep fried oreos

I’m sorry to report that my air fryer, as terrific as it is, would not be able to duplicate this culinary masterpiece. How do I know? There are some things that just need to be fried in oil. Let me share with you some of my failed air fryer experiments.

Taco Travesty

One of the traditional favorite dinners in my family is tacos. These particular tacos are made with the kind of corn tortillas that are flat and need to be fried, as opposed to the pre-shaped tacos which require no cooking. These tacos are incredible.

favorite tacos

Rather than frying the tacos as usual in oil in an electric skillet, I tried “frying” them in my air fryer. I carefully added the meat mix and gently folded the taco in half. I laid about six in the air fryer and began “frying”. Five minutes later, I opened the air fryer to find that the tortillas had ripped where I had folded them. The tortillas had been baked by the hot air, and were a bit crispy, but rather tough. We now had tough taco sandwiches. My family, being the good sports that they are, still ate them. It was a far cry from the traditional tacos we were used to.

Forgettable Flautas

I had similar results with another family fried favorite, flautas. A flauta is basically a chunk of Monterey Jack cheese with a flour tortilla folded around it, secured with a toothpick, deep fried in oil. The cheese melts, and the finished product is topped with guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream. Those that I tried in the air fryer turned out better than the tacos, but the tortillas were still tough. Some things just need to be fried in oil. There’s no way around it.

Air Fryer Realities What No One Else is Telling You will give you valuable information about air fryers. This wonderful kitchen appliance is great most of the time. Fried foods are not truly fried, but baked by hot air. Find out what works well and what to avoid by reading this honest report. Delicious food is just a few minutes away. #airfryer #recipes #cookingtips #easy #easyrecipes #cooking #simple #airfryerrecipes #airfryermachine #bestairfryertips #healthyairfryerrecipes #airfryercooking

A Revised Air Fryer Strategy

I was determined to prepare other foods successfully in the air fryer. I had the brilliant idea to try a recipe specifically for the air fryer. Why did it take me so long to devise this plan? I’m not sure, except that I had such high hopes of adapting greasy fried food recipes to healthy alternatives. Consequently, I neglected to see the air fryer’s potential for producing delicious new, air-fryer-specific recipes.

I found a simple recipe for “fried” dill pickles. I love canning dill pickles, but no one else in my family shares my fondness for them. The result? I have a pantry full of dill pickles.

dill pickles

I had tried making dill pickle “chips” in my food dehydrator before (as written about in a previous blog post), and the results were horrible. With all of the moisture sucked out of the pickles, the salty dill flavor was disgustingly strong.

So I decided to cut the recipe in half and use my homemade pickles instead of store-bought.

sliced dill pickles

I sliced the pickles into little rounds about 1/4 inch thick, dried them on paper towels, and tossed the slices a few at a time into a bowl with a beaten egg. Then I put them in a bowl with a mixture of one sixth of a cup of parmesan cheese and one third of a cup of dried bread crumbs.

tossed dill pickles

I set the air fryer to its highest temperature, which on mine is 4oo degrees. I baked (“fried”) the pickles for about 5 minutes, and here’s the result:

fried dill pickles

The “fried” pickles tasted crunchy and crispy. It was an air fryer success. I was so relieved!

What Did I Learn From All of This?

I learned a couple of lessons after all of my experimenting. First, some foods are just meant to be fried in oil. I won’t find them preparing deep-fried Oreos with an air fryer at the State Fair anytime soon.

The second lesson I learned was to stick to recipes specifically meant for air fryers. I have an entire section of a Pinterest board devoted to air fryer recipes. I’m going to start testing them out.

What Are Your Favorite Air Fryer Strategies or Recipes?

If you own an air fryer, what are some of your success stories? Do you have any tips you would like to share with me? I need all of the help I can get.

Thanks for reading about my adventures in air frying. If you like what you’ve read today, and would enjoy some free printable recipe cards to keep track of your amazing air fryer recipes, please consider subscribing. Have a wonderful week, and may you have success in all of your air fryer endeavors!

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26 thoughts on “Air Fryer Realities: What No One Else is Telling You”

  1. Overall, this article provides a balanced and informative take on the pros and cons of using an air fryer, effectively dispelling some common misconceptions while sharing valuable lessons learned. Thank you, Lisa and Fluxing Well, for sharing this remarkable and honest perspective on air fryer realities!

    Reply
  2. I have a air fryer u put two cupful of olive oil on the bottom and I made French fries at 350 degree in 1O min you stop and turn in 6 min they were delicious taca meat in a cake pan in the air fryer , on bake , apple slicer fries and fried chicken in 15 min on 400 and eggs in a pan and bacon the best

    Reply
    • You have a lot of great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I will have to try them!

      Reply
  3. I might look into one. I like frying but not the mess.

    Reply
    • Mike,

      As I’ve use it more, I’ve discovered more about what works well. It certainly is easy to clean up, much less mess than frying in oil. Thanks for your comment!

      Lisa

      Reply
  4. This was an interesting read! A neighbor/friend has one and she loves it. Says it’s amazing for reheating foods instead of using the microwave or the oven. I think I’d love it for that. I’ll have to ask her if she actually cooks food in it. That part I don’t know, but now I’m curious.

    Reply
    • Erica,

      Wow, I hadn’t thought of using it to reheat food. I’m so glad you shared that. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for your comment, and please let me know what you think if you give the air fryer a try.

      Lisa

      Reply
  5. We haven’t picked up an air fryer at this point, but I’d be lying if I said the concept hasn’t intrigued me… I keep debating trying one out, but after reading this I have a better idea of what recipes to try if I do!

    Reply
    • Britt,

      I’m so happy you found my post to be useful. I feel like my expectations were somewhat unrealistic, and now I have a much better idea of what air fryers can and cannot do. If you do decide to try one out, I’d love to know what you think!

      Lisa

      Reply
  6. I don’t have an air fryer, so this was very interesting and educational to read. I think you’re right, though, that some foods and recipes are just meant to be deep fried!

    Reply
    • Candi,

      Yes, there really is no substitute for that deep fried goodness, although sometimes I think I’m much too big a fan of it. I have a feeling you probably have much more healthy eating habits than I do! I’m glad you found my post interesting and educational. Thanks for your positive comments!

      Lisa

      Reply
  7. Lisa, I am just now looking to buy an air fryer! Thank you for the great tips, I am now looking forward to getting mine!

    Reply
    • Holly,

      When you find the one you want, I’d love to learn what your thoughts are and what you like to make with it. I think I have barely begun to realize the full potential of mine. It’s sure fun to experiment! Thanks for your comment, and happy air fryer hunting!

      Lisa

      Reply
  8. I totally agree some things are meant to be fried in oil! My mom has an air fryer and she was using it quite a bit when she first got it and now she has slowed down.

    Reply
    • Jonia,

      Does your mom have any favorite foods she likes to cook in the air fryer? I’m still searching around for more recipes to try. There are plenty out there, but not all of them seem easy or appealing. Thanks for your affirmation about oil frying!

      Lisa

      Reply
  9. My mother uses one of these and I’ve personally always wanted one! But my partner is dead against it as it would be another gadget that I would never use. I just don’t cook! But having a handy – dandy air fryer would make everything so much simpler!

    I don’t like to fry things generally as a rule and prefer to bake. So, why not opt for an air fryer over sticking the oven on!?

    Reply
    • Nyxie,

      Yes, the air fryer is super fast and saves energy over the oven. Maybe you could borrow a friend’s and try it out for a bit before buying? Maybe make some things for your partner to try? There are many recipes out there. I have an entire section of my Recipes to Try board on Pinterest devoted to air fryer recipes. Thanks for your comments, and have fun simplifying in the kitchen, whatever you decide to do.

      Lisa

      Reply
  10. Ive actually never heard of an air fryer before but i think i’d prefer actually frying things in oil 🙂 athough please do share if you try out those pinterest recipes!

    Reply
    • Huda,

      I’m with you! If it needs to be fried, then oil is the way to go. If it needs to be baked quickly, then an air fryer can work well for that. Yes, I will share any recipes I have success with! Thanks for taking the time to comment, and happy frying!=)

      Lisa

      Reply
  11. I have a friend that makes amazing fried tacos, but she puts them in a pan. I have never tried an air fryer before, but I think if I did, I’d try to make fried chicken. Good post!

    Reply
    • Tamra,

      Yes, I fry my tacos in an electric skillet, so that’s probably similar to what your friend does in a frying pan. If you ever try fried chicken in an air fryer, I’d love to learn how it turns out for you. Thanks for your comment, and have a super week!

      Lisa

      Reply
  12. I’ve had my air fryer for a while now, and need to start experimenting more. We usually just do fries and chicken wings in it. The pickles sound delicious!

    Reply
    • Christina,

      They were delicious, easy and fast! I’d make them again in a second. I haven’t tried fries or chicken wings in mine yet. If you have any tips for me, I could sure use them! Thanks for commenting, and happy air frying!

      Lisa

      Reply
      • I listened to numerous people that said fried chicken wings and fries would taste the same as frying with oil. So not true. The wings came out crisp like they were oven baked. Fries come out hard and dry. Shrimp didn’t even brown. Airfryer for me is good for only reheating pizza and food fried on the stove.

        Reply
        • There are definitely things that work well in an air fryer and other things that do not. I have had a good experience with air fryer hand pies, but the recipes that do best are the ones specifically for an air fryer. I’m still experimenting and learning. Brussel sprouts have turned out well, and you are right, reheating fried food or pizza is usually a success as well. Here’s to finding more tasty air fryer recipes!

          Reply

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