What is an Air Fryer?

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Air Fryer

The air fryer is essentially a shrunken countertop convection oven. Some versions are small and egg-shaped, with a semblance close to a coffee maker.

Others look like large toaster ovens, featuring a variety of functions — roast, convection, bake, dehydration, proof — aside from air frying.

The air fryer is similar to the oven in the sense that it cooks and roasts, but the difference is that its heating elements are located only on top and are accompanied by a big, powerful fan, resulting in food that is super crispy at no time — and, most importantly, with less oil than deep-fried counterparts.

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Air fryers generally heat up very quickly and cook food quickly and uniformly, due to the combination of a concentrated heat source and the size and location of the fan.

The washing is another major part of the air frying. Many air fryer baskets and racks are safe for the dishwasher. For those that are not a safe dishwasher ⠀

Air fryers have been one of the fastest-growing products in the category of small home appliances since they were launched in Europe in 2010.

According to Joe Derochowski, the home industry analyst at NPD Group, a market research company, almost 10 million air fryers were sold in the United States from late May 2017 to mid-March 2019.

It compared their development to that of multi-cookers like the Instant Pot, of which about 13 million were sold at the same time. And demand has accelerated over the last 12 months: Air fryer sales rose 69% year-on-year, 2018.

These numbers only include stand-alone air fryers, and not countertop convection ovens with air-conditioning features, such as the Breville Smart Oven and the Cuisinart AirFryer Toaster Oven.

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History

In 2010, at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA), an important consumer electronics fair in Berlin, Philips launched Airfryer, a new kitchen appliance.

Air fryer is an egg-shaped appliance that helps customers to eat a range of foods quickly and easily, including French fries, chips, chicken and beef, among many other foods.

Air fryer was created using the proprietary Rapid Air technology, which results in fries containing up to 80% less fat than traditional fries.

Since the gadget uses just air to fry the food, it creates less scent and vapour than conventional frying, it is simple to clean and healthy to use on a daily basis.

The Air fryer was one of the top five inventions of the 2010 IFA. Together with Philips’ marketing managers, Fred van der Weij, who developed the invention, was present when the award was given to the company.

Fred owns APDS, a small product development company established in 1990 under which the Air fryer was developed.

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Several years before this achievement, Fred was disappointed with the results he had obtained with the fat-free fryer he had purchased from a TV advert.

As an engineer and food aficionado, his frustration ignited his urge to solve the problems he had experienced with his frier. He started working on a better version of the common appliance. By 2007, he had found a way to optimize the fryer to make it function properly.

At that time, however, he did not have the financial resources or business insight to properly market the product. Fred encountered Hans Brocker at the same time. After working for Braun as a sales director for 24 years, Hans set up a company that guides inventors in the promotion of their inventions.

He immediately realized the potential of Fred’s innovation and became a shareholder of KCS, the daughter company of APDS, which was used to handle the new product. The partners first attempted to secure a bank loan and foreign investors but were unsuccessful.

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Eventually, Fred created the prototype himself by teaming up with Chinese collaborators who were part of the network to which Hans had access. Subsequently, they filed a patent. Two years later, the prototype was ready, and the product plan was created by Hans and Fred.

They were debating whether to manufacture the product themselves or to sell the idea. Since Fred had contacts with Braun, they first proposed their invention, but Braun was not interested. They contacted Philips as their next move.

Since 2005, Philips has been working to create a fryer that makes the frying process healthier. They had the technology, but they were struggling to turn it into a consumer product that was compatible with the Philips credo of meaning and simplicity.

The product they originally created was too complicated and too costly. KCS, a small company owned by Fred van der Weij and Hans Brocker, approached them early in 2009. They created a product that not only used the necessary technologies but could also be converted into a consumer product that is easy and user-friendly.

Godwin Zwanenburg, the Innovation Chief at Philips Consumer Lifestyle, proposed the idea to his business team and agreed to sign a letter of intent to launch the investigation process. During this process, various aspects of a potential product undergo rigorous protection, technical requirements, applicability and quality testing.

The product passed every test, and Philips agreed to sign a license agreement with the inventors. Subsequently, they developed the Airfryer, an appliance that uses 80 per cent less fat than the conventional fryer by incorporating Rapid Air Technology.

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The appliance was designed according to the traditional look and feel of Philips’ products.

5 Tips to get the best result from your air fryer

Although the Air Fryer is the new “it” kitchen appliance and has become a wildly famous countertop convection oven that uses hot air to cook food quickly. 

Do Not Overcrowd

If you stuff the air fryer basket or shelf, your food is going steam rather than crunchy. In the case of a smaller model, this might mean cooking food in many, many lots. (If you’re regularly cooking for more than two or three people, consider purchasing a larger capacity model.)

Don’t overcook it

Be careful not to cook food for too long: the fan can dry things out, turning the ingredients from crisp to hard and leathery.

Using dry bread

The dry coating works a lot better than a wet dough, so cloak the ingredients in flour, egg and bread crumbs, in that order, for extra crunch, and to help ensure that the breading sticks. (Air fryer fans are very strong, and if the ingredient is not well coated, the breading could fly right away.) You could also try pressing the crumbs down, so they hold.

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Apply a little oil to your food

Unless the food is necessarily fat (such as bacon, skin-on chicken or a batch of meatballs made from beef that is not too lean) always apply at least a little oil that promotes browning. Otherwise, the fan will be able to dry out the food until it browns.

If you’re frying very greasy food like bacon, place a tablespoon of water or a piece of bread in the bottom of the air fryer to get the grease to prevent it from potentially burning.

Give it a shake

To ensure even cooking, always turn your food or shake the basket.

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