Are air-fryers too good to be true? Well, no and yes. The truth is, they do work by “frying” your food with air, however, you can air-fry without an air-fryer and get the same effect in your oven with a few simple steps.
How To Get A “Fried” Texture In The Oven
If using a regular oven to here are some tips to ensure the crispiest “fried” shell on anything from veggie burgers, to falafel, to simple veggies:
- Use a pan with perforations in the bottom, like this stainless steel pizza pan. This allows maximum air circulation and a crisp crust.
- The oven tends to dry things out more, so to prevent your food from getting too dry, brush it with a drop of oil.
- Turn the fan inside your oven on – it helps the hot air circulate better resulting in a crispier finished dish. This is the key, and essentially the “secret,” of air-frying. You don’t need a separate appliance if you have a fan in your oven, which most modern ovens, do.
- Note, your food will cook faster than usual, so keep an eye on it, and check it every few minutes to prevent overcooking.
The Pros Of Air-Frying In An Oven
- You can air-fry a larger batch. Air-fryers have small baskets, so if you’re cooking for a family, you’ll need to do it in larger batches. By utilizing your oven, you’ll be able to cook much larger batches, more than double the amount that fits in an air-fryer.
- You save time. Air-frying in your oven shaves a significant amount of time off of whatever it is you’re cooking. So if it normally takes 30 minutes to bake your veggie burgers, when using this “air-fry-baking” method, start checking it at about 15 minutes, and then every couple minutes thereafter, to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Want to try this method out? Try it on these Sweet Potato Falafel, or simply the next time you roast veggies. I love roasting broccoli or cauliflower this way, but just remember, since you’ll air-fry them without an air-fryer it will cook FASTER, so you have to reduce your cook time to prevent burning.