CHOP CHOP, DONE
Air fryers, the cellphones of the kitchen
Can you imagine life without your handheld cellular device? Air fryers are fast becoming as essential to your cooking life as your cellphone is to your social media activities.
Need to research? You hop onto Google and you have an answer in seconds. Need to contact someone? You’re on WhatsApp right away. Need to get something done, fast, in the kitchen? Have a word with your air fryer.
Older journalists today can remember when they started out. Hot metal was the means of getting ink to print, and only in the late Seventies did the Cape Times become the first newspaper in South Africa to start using computers to write and produce stories and newspapers. I should know; I was there.
The day I arrived at work to find a bank of Atex computers, now laughably outdated, ready for our training was a turning point in my career. Nothing was ever the same again. Carbon paper became a thing of the past. Chunky, clunky old typewriters became relics, overnight.
But there were many other things we didn’t have until the mid-1990s, email chief among them. I can scarcely remember how I managed to do my job without email. In the first few months of it we couldn’t even receive our own emails on our computers; they were printed out by the newsdesk secretary who brought us A4 printouts which we could scrawl replies on for her to reply on our behalf. How ridiculous that is now, but anything nascent needs time to bed in.
And then came the cellphone (and we know that though we call it a “phone”, phoning is the least of its abilities and uses to us) and now, when I think back, my next thought is, how did I ever do my research? I rely on Google so much now and even that was not with us until circa the turn of the millennium. (Remember the first brick-like cellphones? And all they did was phone. Fax machines? They were a blip.)
It was also in the mid-Nineties that we finally moved from Atex (the machines had advanced over the years and were somewhat more sophisticated) to Apple Macs. Again, nothing was the same again after we’d learnt to use those, producing entire newspaper pages on our screens, importing pictures, the works, along with Photoshop and the avalanche of applications that tumbled out of the factories and garages as the technological and digital worlds exploded.
But that wasn’t all. Then, in a head-shaking moment, came the internet and if you were born to it you cannot know how baffling it was to us at first, a generation who’d spent decades in a world that contained no such thing. A what? A world wide web? What does that mean? Until you start using it, and suddenly the entire world is online. I cannot, now, even begin to remember how I got by without it.
The only way with technology is to embrace it and master it, and that I have done. I’ve edited newspapers and magazines in England and South Africa, using Macs. I’ve used every app under the sun in the course of research and my writing; I take my food photos on an iPhone Pro and edit them in Photoshop. Email, cellular technology and WhatsApping the hell out of life are now as normal to me as getting up in the morning and cooking supper at night.
In an air fryer.
That air fryer on your kitchen countertop stands to revolutionise your cooking life. You make all of the same things but do so in a nifty, smaller space, more speedily, and with less of the hassle and especially the time it usually takes to get a family meal together.
Chop chop, done.
I cooked two things in my new Instant Vortex Plus air fryer this week, or three if you count the second quiche I made: two quiches, and a pair of chicken breasts wrapped in prosciutto (watch TGIFood next week for the latter recipe and here is the link to the aubergine quiche). The quiches turned out perfectly, and since we’ve been talking about veterans, here’s some sage advice for the older generation: An air fryer means no bending down and incurring that dreaded backache. Everything happens on the countertop in front of you. It’s a dream from that perspective, quite apart from the other wins of an air fryer, from speed to saving energy and money.
To that end, the marketers of Instant Vortex sent me some useful stats and other information.
10 ways an air fryer will change your life
(Info compliments of Instant Brands)
Love chicken wings? Make the crispiest, juiciest wings you’ve ever had in just 15 minutes. Simply toss in a little oil or marinade and you’re ready to fry. You may never deep-fry anything again. Try this recipe for Sticky Chicken Wings.
Hungry teens? Make crispy hot chips in 15 minutes flat – toss frozen oven chips in a teaspoon of oil, season and let the air fryer do the rest – so much less mess. Try this air fryer Samoosa recipe too.
Cooking for a crowd? The Instant Vortex Plus Versazone cooks different foods in two different baskets – at different temperatures – all at the same time.
Energy and electricity conscious? An air fryer is up to 80% more energy efficient than a conventional oven – game changer!
Short on space? The Instant Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer is an electric pressure cooker AND an air fryer – simply swap out your lids according to cooking tasks.
Time strapped? An air fryer needs no preheating. Cook your favourite snacks and meals (from toasted cheese to roast chicken) in less time than a conventional oven.
Hate washing up? Cook an entire meal in your air fryer – and simply wash the non-stick basket in warm, soapy water – that’s it.
Health conscious? Roast fish, vegetables, sweet potatoes, chicken or meat with just a splash of oil and enjoy the locked-in flavour and goodness. Try this Air Fryer Salmon recipe.
Batch cooker? Reduce prep time by up to 70% by using an air fryer to roast, bake or air-fry your meal components. Then use it to reheat your precooked meals.
Keen baker? Anything an oven can do, an air fryer can do – in less time. Even perfectly moist cakes and muffins. This air fryer Blueberry Muffins recipe is so easy. DM/TGIFood