June 6, 2022 - 5 min read
How did we ever live without air fryers? You can barely set foot on TikTok without seeing the latest viral air fryer sensation (twisted bacon, anyone?). Air fryers are no internet fad, though. They are speedy, convenient, fun to use – and let us enjoy healthier versions of our favourite ‘guilt foods’ with less oil (and no grotty pans to scrub afterwards!). To inspire you to have even more fun with this star small kitchen appliance, we list six surprising air fryer cooking ideas, plus a delicious recipe for you to try – along with all the best air fryer options for your household.
First things first, you’ll need to join the air fryer club. Here are 5 top buys to suit every household:
You probably already know that air fryers are famous for incredible fries and crispy, golden fried chicken. But more home chefs are also turning to them as their go-to cooking appliance for just about everything from delicious vegie dishes and baked brownies, to succulent roasts – even hearty soups. Here are six great ideas to shake up your air fryer repertoire!
Love your boiled eggs? You’ll adore them even more when there’s no more waiting around for water to boil! Just pop them into the air fryer basket and set the timer for your perfect doneness. Once cooked, place them in cold water and peel with ease. Enjoy on their own, added to kids’ lunch boxes, mashed up on buttery toast, or sliced to embellish your potato salad.
Do you have a trusted family recipe for lemon drizzle cake? An air fryer cuts down on baking time and will keep this classic sweet treat wonderfully moist. Just measure inside your air fryer basket and use a cake pan smaller than that (some models even come with their own cake pans).
Juicy, diner-worthy cheeseburgers without the faff of a greasy grill to clean? Yes, please! Just place your patties in the air fryer basket, making sure to leave about an inch between them. When they’re almost done, top them with cheese for a mouth-watering melt. Forgot to defrost your patties? Just add a minute or two more onto the clock.
With an air fryer, this brunch staple comes out evenly cooked and deliciously fluffy every time. The best part? No need for one of you to hover over the stove while everyone else tucks in. And if you’ve got insatiable teens, you can keep reloading your air fryer, without having to scour a frypan between rounds.
This healthy family dessert option – a cheat’s version of the Spanish maduros – has become an internet favourite. And it couldn’t be simpler in an air fryer! Simply slice up three ripe bananas, spray them with cooking oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and air fry for about five to six minutes. Then flip them over and repeat. Crispy and caramelised on the outside, wonderfully gooey on the inside, it’s a great way to get kids to eat more fruit.
Most people don’t think of liquids when they think of air fryers. But why dirty an oven tray the next time you’re roasting a batch of vegetables to blend into your favourite winter soup, when you can get those same amazing roast flavours from an air fryer? Don’t believe us? Try out our terrifically tasty pumpkin soup recipe below.
This nourishing pumpkin soup recipe will be ready to enjoy in about half an hour, thanks to the Philips Air Fryer XXL. For a richer, more complex flavour, roast the pumpkin and onion pieces in honey and nutmeg until caramelised.
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 22 mins
1kg Kent or butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, roughly chopped into 3cm cubes
2 brown onions, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
500ml chicken stock, warmed
1. Put pumpkin, onion and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle oil and honey over the top, sprinkle with nutmeg and season. Toss to coat.
2. Transfer into the air fryer basket, placing the onion under the pumpkin as much as possible. Set temperature to 200°C and time to 20 minutes, cooking until tender and lightly caramelised.
3. Allow vegetables to cool for 5 minutes. Peel the skins off the garlic.
4. Using a jug blender or stick blender, blend vegetables and stock together until smooth. Season.
5. Divide soup into serving bowls, then serve.
Serving suggestion: swirl sour cream on top of soup and scatter with chives. Accompany with toasted sourdough slices.
For a soup with a thinner consistency, simply add extra stock or water in step 3 until desired consistency.
*Recipe by Elle Vernon for Philips