How the Air Fryer Went Its Way into America's Heartland

A year ago, Rebecca Abbott, food photographer and blogger in Mesa, Arizona, bought her first air fryer developing recipes for a client’...


A year ago, Rebecca Abbott, food photographer and blogger in Mesa, Arizona, bought her first air fryer developing recipes for a client’s blog. She started out with the usual air fryer specials, frozen pizzas and tater tots, but it wasn’t long before she realized that her model could do just about anything she wanted. Four months later, she was stunned when her homemade cheesecake came out of the machine, baked to perfection in 20 minutes with no cracks or dips.

“Then the floodgates opened,” Ms Abbott said. She thought, what more could she cook in the air fryer?

Lamb chops, beef and pork tenderloin, a medium ribeye, tenderloin, crab legs, lobster tails, pumpkin pecan pie – she made them all in the device she calls his “magic box”. She now owns seven, six different brands and runs a blog called Air fry with her friend Jennifer West.

The two are also moderators of a Facebook group, Easy Air Fryer Recipes, where users share dozens of recipes and tips for the device. The group has nearly one million members, with approximately 10,000 new membership requests every day.

Cooks stuck at home during the two years of the pandemic have turned to the air fryer, in part because it can replicate frying, giving food crunch while using little or no oil. But they also discovered that it can do more than just crisp. An air fryer can do breakfast, breakfast and having dinner. For some cooks, it has almost replaced ovens or microwaves for heating frozen bites, cooling leftovers, or cooking meals and desserts. Social Media Influencersespecially on ICT Tacmade a career out of sharing new recipes and unexpected uses for the device.

Fans tapped into the old habits of a fry cook, air fry whatever they find and hope it works. You name it, someone probably stuck it in an air fryer – cooked penne for “pasta chips” or whole shell eggs for a soft or boiled texture.

Farrah Jalanbo, a food influencer from Chino Hills, California, offered a inspired by elot corn ribs recipe that has become an air fryer favorite. His version — corn on the cob that’s been quartered, air-fried, and dressed in Cotija cheese and cilantro — has garnered more than 14 million views on TikTok, where there are dozens of rib adaptations of corn, from sweet to spicy to barbecue. seasoned.

“Any air fryer recipe works great because people love to see different ways to use that extra kitchen appliance they’ve paid for,” Ms. Jalanbo said.

Fred van der Weijan inventor in the Netherlands, was just looking for a way to crispen a fry without frying when he started developing the air fryer in 2005.

Before his invention, he says, alternative methods for making french fries at home were too time-consuming, with disappointing results. A convection oven, for example, dried them.

It took Mr. van der Weij three years to develop a prototype, and his egg-shaped fryer, produced by Philips, was presented in 2010 at the International Funkausstellung, a major consumer electronics fair in Berlin. It combined short-range radiation and increased airflow to better heat the food surface. Philips now owns the patents for Mr. van der Weij’s air frying technology.

“It was kind of the holy grail that a lot of companies were looking for – to make better fries,” he said. “Finding a way to make the handling much easier and the results much better would be a very big potential, that was clear. But I didn’t expect it to be as big as it is now.

Major kitchen appliance companies like Cosori, Ninja, Cuisinart and Instant Marks quickly introduced their own models. They have added the air fryer function to other appliances like convection and home ovens and pressure cookers.

When Ms. West, co-creator of the Easy Air Fryer Recipes Facebook group, set out to remodel her kitchen in Shreveport, Louisiana, she decided a stove with an air fryer was a must, even though she already owned five models. of air fryer.

“It’s a great appliance used by everyone,” she said of the air fryer. “All ages, all over the world.”



The first big boom in air fryer sales was in 2017, and the pandemic has given it a new boost. Sales in the United States have increased over the past year to just over $1 billion, 20% more than the previous year, said Joe Derochowski, vice president and adviser of the domestic industry NDP Group, a market research company. In 2020, about 36% of US households had an air fryer, but Derochowski said that number will now be higher.

To understand many people’s obsession with the air fryer, it helps to step back to the mid-twentieth century, when food manufacturers learned that crispness and crunch were among the textures most desired by consumers. said Nadia Berenstein, a flavor historian. These textures, which required a lot of heat and oil to achieve, had long been difficult to produce in a home kitchen for a weeknight meal.

Frying was available to industrial food processors, Ms Berenstein said. But now the air fryer is “on your counter, bringing home that kind of feeling you had to rely on other people to produce.”

Americans buy more kitchen gadgets than people in the rest of the world, and it’s likely because advertisers promise it will change their lives, said Ruth Cowanretired professor of science history at the University of Pennsylvania and author of a book on home technology titled “More work for the mother.” American consumer kitchens also tend to have more counter and storage space.

The air fryer closely follows the path of the 12-knob blender, she said. As air fryers become a staple, manufacturers are adding features to fry, bake, dehydrate, pressure cook, or broil. And when consumers buy an air fryer, they’re often choosing one with lots of features, Dr. Cowan said, even though they’ll likely only use a few.

The popularity of the air fryer also reminds him of the rise of the microwave oven in the 1970s. Some companies thought home cooks would only use the microwave to reheat frozen meals, but they eventually found other uses.

“No one recommended microwaveing ​​a whole chicken,” she said, “but people did.”

Megha Ramesh, a food science student at the University of California, Davis, uses her air fryer to prepare vegetarian meals. She’s been heating up handpies and tofu in her off-campus apartment, and at home in India she’s heating up momos, dehydrating mangoes and cooking whole and shelled peanuts.

“Getting an air fryer wasn’t about making fried things, it was about getting the most out of the food we made yesterday,” said Ms Ramesh, who bought her first air fryer second-hand, for 30 $, while living with roommates at school. . The device also cut her electricity bill in half because she didn’t have to use her oven.

The device has been a particularly helpful tool for Shelly Cobb of Arab, Alabama, who has been in pain since having knee replacement surgery and struggles to move around her kitchen. It’s much easier for her to reach for her deep fryer on the counter than to bend down to use her oven, an appliance she has almost retired. She uses the air fryer to bake light and airy cookies for breakfast. Leftover pizza reheated in the air fryer comes out better than in the oven, she said.

The air fryer, she said, is “everything and better than I expected”, adding that with her medical issues, “cooking has become bearable”.

Social media influencers have increased the creativity of recipes made in the air fryer by showing the device to younger audiences. On TikTok, a most popular video app for users aged 16 to 24content creators have racked up millions of views pushing the boundaries of what can be done in the air fryer – all of those corn cobs at donuts and cookies. Currently there are 2.6 billion views under #airfryer and almost 700 million less #airfryerrecipes.

Jori Maglaya, a chef and DJ in Los Angeles who goes by the name Jori Mezuda, has attracted thousands of comments on TikTok videos in which she cooks air-fried foods like cheese sticks sprinkled with spicy Cheetos. “People are like, ‘Oh my God, you make me want to buy an air fryer,'” she said.

Food companies have taken advantage of the popularity of the device. Since 2019, many Ore-Ida products come with air frying instructions. Tyson Items as nuggets and chicken strips have similar directions, and the company sells premade air fried chicken. Louisiana Fish Fry manufactures coating mixes specifically for the air fryer.

It is not known how long the love story will last. Electric knives and fondue pots have had their day on the kitchen counter, said Dr Cowan, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. But in most homes, they ended up exiled to the back of a cupboard or thrown away.

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Newsrust - US Top News: How the Air Fryer Went Its Way into America's Heartland
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