on December 7, 2016
We live in an RV, with limited counter space. Have seen all the infomercials, found this one on Amazon. This unit is a bit smaller than most of the other 'air fryers' out there, It says 2.7qt basket, sounds about right, at 4" deep, and 7" diameter, enough room to cook for two, families will want the bigger units though. My measurements show 12" high, and about 10" diameter around the middle, not including the handle.
When you hit the power button to start the cooking, the unit picks 370 degrees, and 15 minutes as a default, you just press the plus and minus buttons to set what you want, then power button again to start. I'm not a real recipe following guy, I tend to shoot from the hip, using whatever is at hand (raised three kids by myself, got pretty good at it). So here is my first few days with this sort of cooker.
First thing I tried were French fries, of course. I spiral-sliced thin curly-cues, shook in a bag with a tablespoon of oil, and some seasoning, popped in the basket, recipe said 20-25 minutes at 400. So I set the timer at 10 minutes, and let it cook. At 10 minutes I opened the basket to shake the fries a bit, and something looked wrong, they were nearly done, already?? So I shook them, set for 5 minutes more, at 350. I guess these were just cut too thin, because after 5 more minutes, they were very crispy brown potato sticks. None burned, just very, very thin. Note to self, reduce time on next item. Clean-up was just a wet paper towel to wipe basket and outer pan, very easy!
Next project was a couple of sandwiches. First I defrosted a boneless-skinless chicken thigh, sliced a bit and placed on a small piece of tin foil, cooked for 3 minutes at 350, then placed some ham strips on top the chicken, 1 minute at 350, then some swiss cheese for another minute. The meat came out perfectly, just place bread on the meat, turned the basket upside down, and the sandwich was nearly done. Then I used a silicon spatula to lift the melted cheese off the outer pan bottom (it did not stick, just lifted out), and added it to the rest of the sandwich. All tasty and crisp, note to self, just place cheese on the meat, and place basket back in the cooker for a minute, it will melt without extra heat.
Second sandwich was ham and cheese in a sandwich roll. Trimmed a bit of crust off the top and bottom of the roll, and buttered those surfaces. Placed sandwich in the basket, set for 300 degrees at 3minutes, and the sandwich came out perfect. Both sides crispy, meat and cheese cooked perfectly. Note to self, this cooks fast!
Next, was something I saw on the GoWise web site, pigs in a blanket. I used regular hot dogs, cut into thirds. Used a dough-in-a-can for the wrap, and made a little cream cheese filling with finely chopped yellow pepper. Added the filling, dogs, and rolled each one up. Placed in the basket, set for 300 degrees at 6 minutes, done. Could have used 5 minutes, all was cooked perfectly, some of the rolls were a bit browner than I wanted, but very tasty.
Now a big test, my wife got one of those big Costco chicken pasta salads in a big foil pan, you know, bake for an hour type thing. But we didn't have an hour, nor a giant oven, so, I dipped some of the pasta salad into a 6" Pyrex dish, placed in the basket, set the temp at 350, time at 15 minutes. After done, thought it needed another 5 minutes at 300 degrees, and done. Done on the inside, crispy on the top, perfect.
While that was cooling, I thawed two chicken thighs and coated with a bit of olive oil, seasoning, and panko crumbs. Into the basket, 8 minutes at 350, turn over, 7 minutes more, and perfectly crispy chicken as good as any out of an oil fryer. It really worked.
My winging it didn't cause disasters, it is very easy to work. But it does cook very fast, you will need to experiment with yours as they all might vary a bit. I will follow some recipes in the future, as I ordered a book to supplement the one that comes with the unit, need more ideas to wing it with :-) And all cooking episodes have cleaned up with just a wet paper towel, very easy.
I am very pleased with this unit.
Tonight, I will try fish, which needs little time to cook, so it will be a bit tricky for me to wing that, I might read a few recipes first.