When Sydney chef Dan Hong posted a video to his 104,000 Instagram followers of a rack of lamb coming out of his home’s air fryer, his aureo fat and sparkling, the caption had a warning: “Edit,” it read. , “Please don’t take this too seriously guys. It’s a rack of lamb cooked in the deep fryer 🤷🏻♂️ 🤷🏻♂️ 🤷🏻♂️”
“Some people were saying ‘it’s undercooked’ or this or I should have processed the fat a bit more and it’s like, bro, I cooked it in a damn deep fryer,” Hong says.
“Using the air fryer is more about having fun with that appliance. It’s not about trying to be a full-fledged professional chef or trying to gain technical skills in the kitchen, it’s just about having fun. “
The chef behind some of Sydney’s most popular restaurants, including Mr Wong and Lotus, says he is “obsessed” with his air fryer and calls it the “unofficial lockdown kitchen appliance” because, for some, it is simply a toy. new. And as a chef who currently cooks more at home, he has been a welcome distraction from the pandemic.
“I [saw] a TikTok recipe where people put their mi goreng in the air fryer and it becomes like a crunchy noodle cake and I was like, oh, maybe I can eat it, and people were like, freaked out, ”Hong says .
The airfryer is a tabletop oven with a fan. It has a round element and a fan that blows dry air into the cavity to make the food brown.
It was invented in 2010 by Philips and marketed as a healthier alternative to a deep fryer, using 80% less oilPhilips claimed, but it really took off in recent years, along with the rise of TikTok.
TikTok videos tagged #airfryer have amassed more than 1.6 billion views. Some of the most viewed come from accounts offering ‘healthier’ fried recipes like homemade fries or crumbled zucchini nuggets, while others veer in the opposite direction, with shortcuts to cookies, donuts, and pizza.
Australian TikTok Comedian @airfryerguy, which has nearly 800,000 followers, experiments from requests, air-frying everything from hamburgers to watermelon to bitter gum worms, giving viewers an excitement akin to an unboxing video or makeup reveal.
“I never thought it would come to this,” says Fiona Mair, testing coordinator for the independent consumer group Choice.
Mair says that when she tried the original air fryer for Choice, it was like a “novelty gadget.” It is now one of the most popular gadgets you have ever tried. She attributes this to the convenience of the product and the efficiency of the preheating, as well as clever marketing.
At Choice, air fryers are evaluated based on usability, size, cleanability, and performance. in frozen fried foods, home fries, shredded and roasted products such as pork belly. The results are compared to other forced fan ovens, not deep fryers, and Mair says the food comes out about the same.
But air frying communities swear by its ability to grease and caramelize food better than any oven.
“There are food trends online that are really awful: TikTok’s about the whole block of feta cheese and tomatoes? Ew, no, but once in a while there is one that sticks out because it lives up to expectations, ”says MasterChef food writer and judge Melissa Leong.
“I’m known for cooking everything from soft-boiled eggs to grilled fish, but probably one of the most satisfying things I’ve used it for is the perfect pork rind.”
Hong agrees that it is ideal for thick cuts of meat, such as roast lamb or whole chicken. He says that compared to an oven, an air fryer will result in a more caramelized exterior in the same time it normally takes to cook properly in the center.
After testing 70 air fryers over 10 years, Mair says she’s not a fanatic, comparing them to other tabletop devices like bread makers.
“I really hate the idea of having another appliance in the kitchen. I think you have an oven, use that oven. When I started looking at air fryers, I thought they were just going to end up in a landfill. “
She recommends opting for a multi-cooker device that combines air fryers, rice cookers, and slow cookers in one, or just getting a perforated rack or basket for your forced fan oven for better browning.
New or not, like many others, Hong has enjoyed experimenting with her air fryer and cooking TikTok recipes with her locked-up daughter. And while he acknowledges they’re trending, he says they could be here to stay a little longer, at least while people are still bored at home.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism