Attention fried-food fans (who aren't big fans of the high fat and calorie count that come along with the oil-soaked recipes): A new kitchen tool promises the same crispy-on-the-outside results with next to no oil. Meet the air fryer, a countertop appliance quickly challenging the Instant Pot's spot as the trendiest food tool.
The Hottest Kitchen Tool You (Maybe) Don't Have in Your Kitchen
Philips / Amazon.com
Here's how it works: Rather than cooking food in a vat of oil, air fryers bake foods at a heat high enough to tenderize the interior and achieve a crunchy exterior. The high heat (from a coil close to the food basket), combined with a fan that circulates the air evenly throughout the unit, creates a texture fairly close to what you'll find in deep-fried foods. Philips, which sells the most popular air fryer on the market, recommends using it for everything from sliders to steak to salad.
The Better Homes & Gardens® Test Kitchen put the Charbroil Oil-Less Turkey Fryer through the paces prior to the holiday season and needed only 1 tablespoon of oil to achieve an evenly brown, crisp skin, and moist, juicy meat.
1. Air Fryer Pickle Chips
Here it is! Your favorite air-fryer recipe. Unless you don't like pickles. (Say this isn't you!) Lightly coat pickle slices in a cornstarch-buttermilk mixture, add panko, and air fry. It's an air-fryer appetizer recipe you'll be making again and again.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Pickle Chips
Glue & Glitter
2. Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts
We're strong believers that any green-veggie-haters will become fans once they try the roasty-toasty goodness of caramelized Brussels sprouts. This recipe allows you to enjoy them in all their crunchy glory with little fuss. If you'd rather skip the oil all togther, swap in a tablespoon of maple syrup.
Get the recipe from Glue & Glitter: Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts
Blue Jean Chef
3. Air-Fryer Cinnamon Rolls
Yes, you can bake sweets in the air fryer, too! After rolling, rising, and slicing, these spirals cook in less than 10 minutes in an air-fryer basket (just be sure to flip them halfway so both sides get even heat). Top with your favorite frosting or glaze and serve while warm for the ultimate finger-licking experience.
Get the recipe from Blue Jean Chef: Air-Fryer Cinnamon Rolls
4. Air Fryer Scotch Eggs
It's OK if you don't know what Scotch eggs are. Given the usual recipe's high fat levels, it may be for the best. The gist is that they're a hard-cooked egg surrounded by ground sausage then deep fried. But this air-fryer recipe for Scotch eggs lightens things up, because, you know, it uses an air fryer. Indulge in this UK pub food with less guilt thanks to your favorite kitchen small appliance.
Get the recipe: Air-Fryer Scotch Eggs
5. Baked Zucchini Fries
Pin this recipe for summer so you can put your bumper crop of summer squash to yummy use. An egg white, a seasoned bread crumb blend, and a bit of cooking spray are all you need to get the best nonpotato, nonfried fries ever.
Get the recipe from Slick Housewives: Baked Zucchini Fries
6. Copycat Air-Fryer Crunch Wraps
Steer right on by the drive-through and air fry your own beef and cheese wraps at home. Just like the fast-food version, this lightened twist features a tostada on the inside and a crisped flour tortilla on the outside for double the Mexican-style deliciousness.
Get the recipe from By Pink: Copycat Air-Fryer Crunch Wraps
7. Air-Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
Not only are these pepper bites lower in fat but they're also completely gluten-free. Just 6 to 8 minutes in the air fryer gets the cream cheese melty and the tortilla crumbs nice and crunchy.
Get the recipe from Vegetarian Mamma: Air-Fryer Jalapeno Poppers