#AirfryTilIDie: Meet the cult of air fryers

January 28, 2021by Pam Pastor0
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Fans swear by the nifty cooking appliance for ease of use, versatility, and ‘healthier’ fried dishes it can make

 

“The air fryer is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” a woman posted on Twitter.

And she’s not alone.

People have become obsessed with the air fryer, a countertop kitchen appliance that “fries” food using hot air. It comes in different shapes, sizes and prices and has found a home in so many kitchens. It has spawned countless memes, cookbooks, Facebook groups and its own Subreddit.

Stand-up comic Jo Koy shared that the only thing his teenage son asked for last Christmas was an air fryer.

“But air fryers are just smaller convection ovens,” naysayers say.

The cult of air fryers doesn’t care.

Healthier

“Well, it’s basically a ‘turbo broiler’ with a new approach, but it’s handy, very convenient and lightweight. It can take your food prep to a new, healthier level,” Ally Turbanada, 27, told Lifestyle.

Ally Turbanada and her air fryer

The pharmacist got her parents an air fryer for Christmas. “My dad always cooks fried dishes and I just want our food to be healthier by using less oil since my parents are on the borderline of having high cholesterol.”

The first thing Turbanada cooked with their Smart Cook Air Fryer was tater tots. The family air fryer is used mostly for fish and pork dishes. But her favorite thing to make are fries. “I’m having less guilt while munching on them.”

‘Ang saya magluto’

Czjai Reyes-Ocampo said that her air fryer has “kept me busy and sane. Ang saya-saya magluto because aside from just frying, I can bake, roast, toast and broil with it. It’s fun, it makes cooking easier, and yet it won’t cause a spike in your electric bill.”

Czjai Reyes-Ocampo and her air fryer
Czjai Reyes-Ocampo bakes with her air fryer, too.

The blogger and work-from-home mom, 39, has had her air fryer for over seven months. “I have prehypertension and I try to avoid overly oily food like liempo and crispy pata, but I now get to enjoy them from time to time without worrying too much about cholesterol.”

Her husband gave her a Hanabishi model. “It’s an air fryer oven I was excited about the oven part since I didn’t have an oven.”

She’s made so many things with it—Korean-style fried chicken, roasted chicken, tonkatsu, tuna casserole, cookies, muffins, even hard-boiled eggs. “I’d be air frying ulam for lunch and in the afternoon, I’d be baking with it. It’s a very versatile appliance.”

Air-fried cooking by Czjai Reyes-Ocampo

Ocampo added, “Kung masipag ako magluto noon, mas masipag ako ngayon! I’ve even baked a cake with this air fryer. Cooking has become more convenient. No need to worry about oil splatters, which I totally hate.”

Bacon, bacon, bacon

“It’s practical. It’s the microwave for crispy and crunchy food. It’s more economical and less intimidating than using the oven,” said Catriona Perez, 40, a sales officer.

She’s had the Nuwave Brio 3Q since early 2019. “We now consume healthier fried food.”

And what does she use her air fryer for? “Bacon, bacon, bacon!”

She rarely cooks from scratch, she said. “My expertise is reheating leftovers. With the air fryer, I can make fries, nuggets and burgers in one go.”

Low-maintenance

Ali Sangalang, 33, a writer and entrepreneur, has been using his air fryer for over five months. “I live in a condo and I’m not that good at cooking.”

Ali Sangalang with his beloved air fryer

The air fryer answered his needs. He needed something that was easy to use and wash, one that won’t stink up his unit. “Yung pwede kong iwan habang may ginagawa akong iba.”

So he ordered one from Shopee—a Xiaomi Mijia model.

Like Perez, the first thing he cooked with it was bacon. “Ang daming oil/fat na lumabas!”

But Sangalang’s favorite thing to make is lemon pepper chicken. “It’s a healthy and hearty meal! Ang dali lang i-prepare at lutuin, pero ang sarap, at hanep ang kuha sa IG (Instagram).”He enjoys using his air fryer for cooking chicken using different spices. He enjoys experimenting with it. “I cooked bacon on top of the tray, and placed thin-sliced potatoes underneath. Naluto yung potatoes sa bacon oil!”

Carolyn Pineda, 40, a flight attendant, also bought her air fryer from Shopee. “I love it! Aside from fatless cooking, it’s an energy- and time-saver, too.”

The first thing she made with her Kaisa Villa air fryer? Peri-peri Chicken. But her favorite dish to make with it is crispy papel de liempo.

Air-fried “lechon kawali” by Marjorie Uy
Caroline Pineda’s air-fried Peri-Peri chicken
There are so many things you can make with your air fryer. Here are some made by Czjai Reyes-Ocampo

She said, “I would recommend the air fryer to people who love fried food, who are always in a hurry and who usually cook a meal for one or two servings. I think they would become BFFs.”

No more oil splatter

Marjorie Uy, 42, a financial advisor and blogger, said, “We’ve been consuming too much fried food ever since the pandemic began. With an air fryer, we cut at least 50 percent of the oil from our regular, deep-fried food. It’s great for busy people. And no more tilamsik (oil splatter).”

Marjorie Uy

She got her Yangzi 2.8L Air Fryer for just P1,599 during a Shopee sale. She loves making lechon kawali in it. She also uses it to fry fish balls, dim sum and her husband’s favorite Bonchon-style Korean fried chicken.

Not just a trend

Christine de Joya, 26, a community manager, has made dessert with her air fryer: chocolate chip cookies, “and it blew my mind,” she said.

“We’ve never owned an oven, so I never got to bake anything at home. That was so frustrating. But the air fryer is so versatile. There are so many dishes you can whip up with it and my baking dreams have been fulfilled.”

She got her Xiaomi Nathome during Lazada’s 11.11 sale. “I’ve been cooking a lot more since the lockdown and there had been a lot of frying, so I figured it would be a great alternative.”

She started simple: by frying chicken nuggets “just to test the crisp factor.”

Since then, she’s used her air fryer for “mostly ulam! But I love using it for potatoes, bacon and pork chops!”

De Joya finds inspiration from YouTube and from a Facebook group. “People share their air-fried creations, and there are so many easy and promising recipes I want to try out! The thing I’ll be trying next is air-fried bibingka!”

She added, “It’s a great, affordable one-stop appliance to have for people like me who are looking for easy hacks… Definitely not just a trend!”

We asked: Does she love her air fryer? “Yes, so much. #AirfryTilIDie.” INQ


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