I resisted purchasing an air fryer for about two years. While friends, acquaintances, and infomercials assured me I would use one, I resisted. We don’t eat a lot of deep-fried foods, so why bother?
But curiosity overcame my objections and I purchased one, a GoWise USA 3.7 quart model. Then I began my tests.
First, I picked up fresh catfish fillets at my local Publix. I washed my new electric air fryer according to the instructions and sprayed Pam in the basket. After dipping the catfish in egg and then a light coating of flour/cornstarch, I placed the fillets in the basket of my electric air fryer. I selected the Fish setting for 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, I gently turned each fillet to ensure even browning. My husband and I enjoyed catfish fillets that tasted deep-fried! So far, so good.
Next, I cooked a frozen hash brown patty on the Fries setting for 6 minutes, turning the patty after 5 minutes. Perfect! Better than any fast-food breakfast hash brown patty because it wasn’t greasy.
I cooked frozen, breaded veal cutlets (from Omaha Steaks) on the Chicken setting for 20 minutes (again, turning at the halfway point) for veal Parmigiana. As good as any restaurant!
Frozen french fries were the best, and took only 15 minutes for shoestring-size fries. After about 8 minutes, I shook the basket to expose all sides evenly. Better than our favorite burger chain because there’s no grease!
Finally, I tried kale. I’ve always wanted to try making kale chips but just didn’t feel like heating up the oven. The electric air fryer acts as a mini-convection oven, and will make any vegetable into a chip with nothing more than a spray of Pam. Kale chips took 20 minutes at 320 degrees. It doesn’t cook a lot at a time, but that’s no problem since I’m the only one in my household willing to eat kale chips. 😉
According to Harlan Fowler, author of the GoWise USA Air Fryer Cookbook, regular bacon cooks well–very crisp, but it leaves a puddle of rendered fat in the pan. (Not a bad thing if you need rendered bacon fat for a recipe, but messy for cleanup). Yet the instructions state to avoid greasy foods like sausage (and bacon qualifies), so I won’t be trying bacon in my air fryer.
I have more testing to do, but I already know this purchase will work for me. The electric air fryer is a welcome addition to our kitchen.