About two weeks ago, I did a thing. Namely, I succumbed to my extreme curiosity about air fryers and finally got one.
If you'll recall from my other list of awesome kitchen gadgets, my aunt has had hers for a while now and she raves about it every time I see her. What really drew me to air frying was the promise of a great, crispy, crunchy fried texture that doesn't take heating up a huge pot of oil for.
Plus, if you don't want burnt outsides and raw insides when you're frying chicken, you have to either pre-cook your chicken, finish it in the oven, or fry it twice at two different temperatures - all of which is definitely a lot more hassle than I'd like to go through to enjoy fried chicken on the regular.
I decided to go with the Philips TurboStar Air Fryer after reading some promising reviews, and also because I kinda like the sleek, black, almost Darth Vader-esque look it has.
The force is strong with this one.
For those of you who don't know how air frying works, here's how I've come to understand it: Essentially, you put in your food, and a set of fans inside the machine blow hot air all around it until it's cooked to your liking. By lightly coating your food in oil, you still get the same cooking action as frying - namely, a nice crispy crust on the outside and a moist, juicy interior.
Everyone knows the secret to great flavor is spinning orange arrows.
Enough science talk though, let's get down to the one question that matters: how well does it cook?
To my surprise and delight, making fried chicken with an air fryer was the easiest and tastiest fried chicken I've ever done. My problem with fried chicken, as stated above, was always about having to cook it twice in some way. With the Philips Air Fryer, I literally just put my breaded chicken into the tray, sprayed it with a little cooking oil, set the heat level, set the timer, and... that's it! I straight-up went and played Witcher III while I waited.
When the timer was done, I pulled out the most magnificent chicken ever. It was a picture-perfect golden brown, and thanks to the extra layer of crushed corn flakes I used as part of my breading (that's right, your boy got game in the kitchen!), this was hands-down THE crispiest chicken I've ever had. And the inside? Flowing with juices. My impatient self couldn't wait for it to cool down, and I definitely burned my tongue a little bit from boiling hot chicken juice splashing my mouth as I took the first bite.
Sadly, because I was so hungry (and because I failed journalism school), I forgot to take any pictures of my chicken before my wife and I devoured it all, so please accept this artist's rendering instead.
You'll just have to trust me when I tell you that:
- it f***ing ruled. Be jealous.
- the air fryer has changed the game,
- you should definitely go buy one!