How to air fry in your convection oven
A lot of people don’t realize that air fryers work similarly to a convection oven. This means that if you own a convection oven, you may not need to purchase a standalone air fryer to get the crispy results that make these countertop appliances popular.
This guide will help you discover the differences between an air fryer and a convection oven and teach you how to get desirable “fried” results with your convection oven.
What’s the Difference Between an Air Fryer and a Convection Oven?
Essentially, a countertop air fryer and a convection oven operate in a similar fashion with their main difference being their size. Both appliances feature fans that circulate heat to produce crispy, air-fried results. Since countertop air fryer compartments are usually much smaller than convection ovens, they often cook food quicker. Keep in mind that convection ovens tend to offer more capacity than air fryers, which sometimes cap out at the two servings.
Can I Air-Fry With My Convection Oven?
Yes, your convection oven allows you to air fry and still achieve the same results. In fact, there are additional benefits to using your convection oven, such as convenience courtesy of their extra cooking capacity.
Both convection ovens and air fryers use a convection fan to circulate hot air around the food.
To ensure that you get crispy results, you may want to invest in an air fryer basket or tray.
Comes with a dishwasher-safe air fry basket, which helps make less of a mess. Some other benefits of using your convection oven to air fry include:
- Convenience - Using a convection oven or an oven with an air frying function means you don’t have to spend money or waste space on another appliance.
- Cook large batches - Most air fryers don’t offer the same capacity as convection ovens. This means that you’ll be able to cook more at one time than with a countertop air fryer, which often forces people to cook in batches.
- Crispy results - Air frying in your convection oven will give you crisp results, especially if you use dark cookware or a perforated basket.
- Easy to clean - Air fryers generally require you to clean the basket as well as the pullout compartment that the food goes in after every use. With convection ovens, the mess is minimized because of baking dishes and sheet pans.
What Is an Air Fryer Oven?
Simply put, an air fryer oven is a convection oven with a built-in air frying function. They work by utilizing convection fans to circulate hot air very quickly around the surface of the food. This will crisp the food, giving it a perfectly golden crust. Many brands, like Maytag, offer their own oven models equipped with air frying capabilities, allowing you to enjoy many of your favourite foods, like French fries or chicken wings, without having to use an extra appliance.
Maytag® Ranges With Air Fry Mode
If you want the convenience of enjoying air-fried food without having to use an additional appliance, Maytag offers a variety of ranges with Air Fry Mode. On select models, this function allows you to skip preheating and air fry vegetables, French fries and more.
Using Your Convection Oven as an Air Fryer
If you have a convection oven without an air fry mode or option, you can still enjoy similar results to an air fryer by making a few slight adjustments.
These tips can help you get golden and crispy results right in your convection oven.
Step 1: Prep your food for air frying
Depending on what ingredients you want to air fry, you’ll have to prep everything in a way that can ensure a golden, crispy exterior. Veggies and potatoes tend to work better when sliced into bite-sized pieces. You can cut them into cubes, spears or medallions and then lightly coat them in oil to achieve browning.
If working with proteins like meat or fish, pat dry their surface so that it isn’t too wet and then coat it with a bit of oil or cooking spray as this will help crisp up the skin.
If cooking something with breading, air frying delivers better results with a drier exterior (consider adding toppings like panko, shredded cheese or breadcrumbs), so it’s recommended to avoid a wet batter.
Step 2: Use proper air frying cookware
A perforated basket designed for air frying helps make countertop air fryers more efficient at crisping up food.
Use a perforated tray or basket to achieve similar crispiness, as you would with an air fryer.
Either of these will allow the hot air to circulate over the entire surface of the food. If you don’t have either a perforated tray or basket, try using a dark or nonstick tray with low sides or an oven-safe cooling rack.
If using a perforated tray or basket, place a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper on the lower rack to catch any drippings.
As a bonus, all Maytag Air Fry Ranges come with a dishwasher safe basket to minimize cleanup.
Step 3: Give your food space to cook
Always avoid overcrowding to ensure that hot air can cook and crisp your food in an even and thorough manner. The hot air that a convection fan circulates around the oven cavity needs to be able to reach the entire surface of your food to create a golden crusty exterior. Overcrowding not only prevents crisping but may also result in a soggy exterior.
Step 4: Consider air frying temperatures and times
Most convection ovens don’t cook nearly as fast as countertop air fryers. This means that you may have to adjust the cooking times.
Countertop air fryers often require higher temperatures, which you’ll have to account for when finding exact cooking times. If you’re using a recipe that only lists the time for a conventional oven, you should consult your oven manufacturer’s instructions to learn the right cook times and temperatures. If you can’t find your instruction manual, then start by using the times on the package or in the recipe, and monitor your food while it cooks.
Step 5: Flip food halfway through the cooking process
Like you would with a countertop air fryer, you should flip or shake your food to improve air distribution to food surfaces. You should only flip food if necessary, though, as doing so could result in heat loss in the oven.
Spray a little cooking spray or rub a bit of extra oil to promote crisping.
Go ahead and enjoy making your favourite air-fried recipes right in your convection oven. These tips should help you create deliciously crispy foods that are healthier than fried alternatives.
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