Sunday, April 3, 2022

air-fry at last

So now that I have the basket necessary for my oven's air-fry function, after six months of waiting for it, what shall I do with it?

Cook some chicken wings, of course. I'd seen coating mixes for sale specifically formulated for air-fryers, so I picked up one of those and tried it today.

The biggest mystery was the difference between the cooking instructions on the mix package and in the oven manual. The manual said cook chicken wings at 425-450 for 27-32 minutes; the package said 375 for 15-20 minutes. The latter seemed awfully fast; could the difference have anything to do with the oven manual saying no preheating was required for air-frying? For baking/roasting it takes about 12-15 minutes to heat up to such a temperature. Or could it be that the package instructions were for a dedicated air-fryer and not for an air-frying function on an oven?

I decided to lean towards the latter, preheated the oven, and cooked it at 425 for 24 minutes, which was quite long enough.

The basket is a metal mesh pan, with a slight basket indentation, with handles on both ends, almost as wide as the oven. (The ordering instructions had specified the size of the oven.) It's big enough to hold ten small-medium wings. You put it on a low middle shelf and place a baking sheet below it to catch any drips.

And it cooked fine, and it did not smoke up the kitchen. (An important point, since we don't have a kitchen fan.) Nice crispy and crunchy breading, but not too thick, on well-cooked but not dried-out wings, still tasty after they'd cooled off, a tasty meal. No grease, because no oil, ta da. But rather messy: coating dripped through the basket onto whatever surface I placed it on both before and after cooking, and adhered to the basket, which is too large to soak in our sink. So considering the cleanup, I may not do this too often, but it did taste impressively good.

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