One of the best inventions of recent years: The Air Fryer. Not only does this kitchen buddy make reheated fried foods good to eat, and makes formerly deep fried treats more calorie-friendly, but when the heat is on (think Summer) no one wants to turn the oven on unless absolutely necessary.
There are a gajillion things you can make in you’re A. F., from snacks to sweets, entrees and sides. Think of all these options from ChefWave:
1. Chips, chips, chips!
Air fryers can turn just about anything into a crispy snack. Get a good mandolin and cut a medley of root vegetables into paper-thin rounds—we love carrots, parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes, and taro—and fry ‘em up. Apple and pear chips? Why not? Kale chips? Make your own and save big bucks at the store.
2. Pasta perfection
You’re at a cocktail party and somebody passes you a tray of air-fried ravioli. Whaaat?? Yes—many kinds of pasta can be transformed into crispy nibbles with your air fryer. Whether you make your own gnocchi or buy frozen tortellini, you may never need a jar of marinara sauce again. Get imaginative with the dipping sauce and you’ve got an elegant appetizer.
If you’re not up on today’s fried pickle craze, you may be due for a trip to the State Fair. Or better yet, make up a batch of your own. You’ll need to dab them dry before coating them with breadcrumbs or flour, seasoned your way. Be prepared to get hooked!
High in protein and low in fat, jerky is basically the stuff of air fryer dreams. Take some super-thin strips of beef, turkey, or salmon and marinate them overnight in the flavor profile of your choice (salty, sweet, spicy, smoked, herbed, or some/all/none of the above). Then pop them on the rack of your air fryer and cook low and slow. Shout-out to the vegans: tofu or mushrooms can also be ‘jerkified’ to excellent results.
5. Sneaky sides
Ever wonder how to make healthy veggies they’ll actually want to eat? Hello, air fryer! Try crisping up string beans, baby carrots, brussels sprouts, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli…even radishes. A spritz of cooking spray beforehand, a dash of herbs, and maybe some grated cheese when they come out. Then watch them disappear.
6. Versatile wonton wrappers
Your ticket to air fryer magic is waiting in your grocer’s refrigerator or freezer section. Wonton wrappers will take you wherever you want to go. We’re talking about savory dumplings filled with meat and veggies. Gooey goodies stuffed with fiery jalapeño-cream cheese. Sweet delights with fruit, nut butter, or caramel centers. You can even cut them in strips and air-fry them plain with a dusting of powdered sugar.
7. Just desserts
Air-fried donuts are kind of a no-brainer, but brownies? Yes, please! The secret is out: the Internet is filled with recipes for baked goods like pies, cookies, bread pudding, and even lava cake á la air fryer. Sweet!
8. Got meat?
Skip the smoky kitchen—cook up a nice thick ribeye, sirloin, or juicy ribs to tender perfection in the basket of your air fryer.
9. Be a good egg
Mornings are busy enough. Who wants to cook? With your trusty air fryer, you can whip up some fluffy omelets (hint: prepare the mixture the night before) or even a batch of perfect “hard-boiled” eggs.
10. Toasted sandwiches
Dial snack time up a notch with some exotic Mian Bao Xia shrimp toast, the Korean finger food that’s crunchy on the outside and luscious on the inside with just the right amount of umami.
Crack Wisedom: It’s like a grown up Easy Bake Oven that actually makes something in under 5 hours. Still waiting for that cake we started in 1989…
Here’s an air fryer recipe to try:
*recipe courtesy of everydayfamilycooking.com
8 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature or slightly soft
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
12 slices of bacon, thinly cut
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the jalapenos in half, remove the stems, and remove the seeds and membranes. The more membrane you leave, the spicier the jalapenos will be.
Add cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix to combine.
Using a small spoon, scoop the cream mixture into each jalapeno filling it just to the top.
Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees for about 3 minutes.
Cut each slice of bacon in half.
Wrap each jalapeno half in one piece of bacon.
Place the bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos in the air fryer in an even layer making sure they do not touch.
Air fry at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes, until bacon is thoroughly cooked.
Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days, reheating before eating.
The cracked Crack Wise Staff-- warriors of the Funformation Movement.