Guidance on Air Fryer Safety
Air fryers are becoming increasingly popular with many people choosing this appliance to cook a range of their favourite dishes. Although appearing to be a must-have in your kitchen, it’s important to note that you cannot cook everything in an air fryer. In addition, you must be aware of the necessary safety guidance when using your air fryer.
In this article, we will outline what an air fryer can be used for, as well as what you should avoid cooking in one. We will also explain where in your kitchen you should put your appliance and provide you with some safety tips while you’re using it.
What is an Air Fryer Used For?
Air fryers are similar to ovens as they bake and roast food. In an air fryer, the heating elements are at the top and there is a large fan that circulates hot air, resulting in crispy food, such as chips, with little to no oil. This means that you get the same effect as deep-fried food, without the large amount of oil and added calories.
As well as being a healthier alternative to deep frying your food, air fryers are a more convenient, quick and less power-consuming way to achieve the same results.
Air fryers can cook common meals quicker than normal ovens. For example, frozen chicken nuggets that would usually take around 25 minutes to cook in an oven, can be ready in 15 minutes when cooked in an air fryer.
The recent boost in air fryer popularity is also due to their compact size and the fact that they use less power than their alternatives; air fryers can do the same job as other appliances, such as ovens and deep fryers, much more efficiently. This means smaller costs to both yourself and the planet.
People may think that air fryers are only good for dishes that should be deep fried, like chicken and chips, but they are much more versatile than that and can cook numerous dishes.
Air fryers can also be used to reheat food and are a great alternative to microwaves as they keep the food crispy, rather than making them soggy which can happen when reheating food in a microwave. For guidance on what you can safely reheat, check out our article, here.
What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?
One reason why air fryers are so popular is because they are versatile. However, it is important to be aware that not all foods can be cooked in an air fryer. This is because it is unsafe to cook certain foods in an air fryer, or simply because it can affect the taste of the food.
Can You Cook Rice in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to cook uncooked and cooked rice in an air fryer. For uncooked rice, it is recommended that it is put in a cake pan, or something similar, along with boiling water and ensure the pan is covered tightly. Cooking this for about 25 minutes at 180-200°C will give you fluffy cooked rice. Putting cooked rice in the air fryer is also safe, and will give you the result of crispy rice after only a few minutes!
Can You Cook Sausages in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to cook sausages in an air fryer. It is advised to cook sausages at 180°C for 10-15 minutes, turning them throughout until cooked through.
Can You Make Popcorn in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to make popcorn in an air fryer. It is important to use oil when making popcorn in an air fryer as that is how the kernels get hot enough to pop evenly. It is essential to preheat the air fryer, and then create a single layer of kernels. After cooking, some kernels and popcorn pieces may be stuck in your air fryer. It is important to clean the air fryer thoroughly after use. As for popcorn bags, it is not safe to make these in an air fryer because the bag is designed for microwaves and is likely to burn in an air fryer.
Can You Make Toast in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to make toast in an air fryer. Cooking time and temperature depend on how you prefer your toast. You can use small baking racks that fit into your air fryer to ensure that the bread doesn’t move around or fly into the fan.
Can You Cook Bacon in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to cook bacon in an air fryer. For thick-cut British bacon, try cooking at 200°C for 8 minutes.
Can You Cook Steak in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to cook steak in an air fryer. The temperature and amount of time you cook the steak for will be dependent on your preference.
Can You Cook Eggs in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to cook eggs in an air fryer. Depending on how you like your eggs, the cooking method and outcome will vary. For hard-boiled eggs, they will become chewy and rubbery when cooked in an air fryer. It’s best to cook them in boiling water.
Can You Cook Pasta in an Air Fryer?
No, it is not always safe to cook pasta in an air fryer, due to the liquids and sauces needed for cooking pasta, the hot air that circulates around the food can cause it to splatter which can be not only dangerous but also very messy. However, it is safe to cook pasta for the ‘baking’ part of a pasta-bake.
Can You Cook Chicken in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to cook chicken in an air fryer. Depending on whether it is grilled, fried, or frozen, cooking times and temperatures will vary.
Can You Cook Fish in an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can cook fish, including salmon, in an air fryer. However, you should not cook any fish with a batter around it in an air fryer. Wet batter won’t cook the food the same way that it does when cooked in a deep fryer. The result will be soggy batter, rather than crispy.
Can You Bake a Cake in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to bake a cake in an air fryer. Ensure that your cake batter is in a cake pan that is lined with grease-proof paper. Baking time and temperature depends on the size of the cake pan and the brand of the air fryer. However, you should always be careful when cooking batter in an air fryer.
Can You Bake Bread in an Air Fryer?
Yes, it is safe to bake bread in an air fryer. Similarly to baking a cake, the bread dough should be placed in a cake pan before baking in the air fryer. Temperature and baking time also depends on the size of the cake pan and the brand of the air fryer.
There are other foods that you should not cook in an air fryer, they include:
Anything with a wet batter – in an air fryer, wet batter won’t cook the food the same way that it does when cooked in a deep fryer. The result will be soggy batter, rather than crispy.
Liquids – any liquids such as sauces, stews and chilli, for example, shouldn’t be cooked in an air fryer. The hot air that circulates around the food can cause it to splatter which can be not only dangerous but also very messy.
Large items of food – air fryer baskets are usually small, so avoid overfilling them or trying to cook large items in them. If the basket is too full, the hot air cannot circulate fully around the food, resulting in uneven cooking and potentially food poisoning.
Where to Put an Air Fryer in the Kitchen
There are a few considerations you should make regarding where you store and use your air fryer to reduce the risk of health and safety hazards. When you are considering where to put your air fryer, the answer will depend on the size of the one you have and the space you have available, but there are a few general rules you should try to follow.
Air fryers should be put on a worktop and near a power socket. If possible, you should keep the air fryer in a well-ventilated area of your kitchen, close to a vent hood and you should turn on the vent hood when using the air fryer. If it is not possible to use the air fryer in a well-ventilated area, ensure you open any windows while using it.
The surface you keep the air fryer on should be flat, such as a kitchen worktop. Air fryers can vibrate when they are on, so keeping them on a flat surface will avoid them falling over or falling onto the ground.
The air fryer will need to be plugged in to be used, you should plug it directly into the power socket and avoid using any extension cords. Extension cords can dip in power, which can cause faults in your air fryer.
Another important consideration is ventilation for the back of the air fryer. Air fryers have openings at the back of them to release hot air, when your air fryer is on you should ensure that the hot air ventilation is not near a plug socket. It is also important to make sure the lead is not over a hot surface, like a stove or hob, as this could melt the wire.
Air Fryer Safety Tips
While air fryers are a healthy, quick and less power-consuming way to prepare your favourite dishes, it is important that you are aware of how to use your appliance safely. When using an air fryer, there are a few considerations you need to make to ensure food safety and electrical safety.
Our top tips for ensuring safety when using an air fryer are:
- Ensure your food is cooked to the right temperature to avoid the temperature danger zone and reduce the risk of food poisoning. The best way to do this is by using a probe thermometer to check the core temperature of the food.
- Thoroughly clean your air fryer after every use, even if you are using parchment paper to line the basket. Any crumbs or food left in the basket can burn and affect the taste of the next dish you cook, and they can become a fire hazard. There is also a risk of food contamination. However, do not clean the air fryer immediately after use, wait at least 30 minutes for it to cool down.
- Do not leave the air fryer plugged in when it is not in use. It is possible for air fryers to spark a fire when plugged in, even if they are turned off.
- Do not overfill the air fryer basket with food, similarly do not place food items that are too big in the basket. Overfilling the air fryer can cause uneven cooking and therefore creates a risk of food poisoning.
- Use oven gloves when handling the air fryer after it has been used. Internal and external parts of the appliance can get very hot during cooking, so the risk of burning yourself is high.
- Don’t season the food with salt when it is in the air fryer. Salt can break down the lining of the air fryer basket, therefore you should wait until your food is ready to serve before seasoning it with salt.
- Read and keep the manual, this will contain essential information about how to use your specific air fryer properly, as well as including contact details for if you need help.
- When in use, never leave the air fryer unattended. Air fryers work quickly therefore the food inside can burn, you should stay near while it is cooking so you can react quickly to any issues.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and have learnt how to safely use an air fryer. If you have any further questions or wish to find out more information on the topics covered in this article, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at High Speed Training!
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