How to Prevent Fat from Escaping your Food in an Air Fryer
It is not hard to imagine how a deep fryer works; the food goes in and out of the tank, while some oil is used for cooking.
However, if you own an air fryer (which many households do), your new kitchen tool can help make healthier meals without sacrificing taste or time. Of course, the benefit of an air fryer is its special ability to trim the fat, but what if what you want is the opposite? Sometimes, you might want to keep all that fat within the thing you’re cooking just in case you want to impress your guests and maximize the meal’s flavors as much as possible.
This article will teach you everything you need to know about how to prevent fat from escaping your meal in the air fryer.
How to prevent food from leaking fat in an air fryer
Here’s a list of really clever ways we found and many of them came from our audience.
- You can wrap your food completely around using aluminum foil
- You can also use parchment paper
- Place your food inside a circular, shallow, metal dish
- Put your meat into a foil tray
- Remove the inner basket/metal rack and place your meal directly on the outer basket
- Cook at high temperatures, not low
- Pad your proteins dry
- Make sure you pre-heat your air fryer
- Flip your food over in the middle of cooking
- Coat the food with a thin layer of cooking oil before placing it in the air fryer.
How do air fryers take out fat?
Air fryers are ovens that use circulating compressed air to cook food. They are considered a healthier alternative to traditional cooking methods, as they take out fat and calories without using any oil or butter.
The even distribution of heat the touches the surface of the food heats up all of it at once evenly cooking it throughout. This makes it easy for fat to gradually leave through the porous surface of the food.
What happens to the fat in an air fryer?
Since oil has a very high boiling point compared to water, its chemical bonds will still be able to hold themselves together at these particular temperatures. Thus, the oil will leave the surface of the food but won’t evaporate as water does. It will simply drip to the bottom of the tray.
Wrap your food in aluminum foil or parchment paper to seal in the fats
Wrapping your food around aluminum foil or even parchment paper can help keep the juices and the fats inside. Even though the heat is circulating outside of your meal, the juices won’t be able to leave the impermeable sheets of foil/wax. It will simply just soak right back into the surface layer sealing the fats back into your food.
One thing to know about this method is that it won’t produce the crispy exterior that you were used to when it comes to air frying. Because the fats and the juices are going both in and out of the outer layer, this loosens and moistens the surface of your food, keeping it from d crunchy exterior that you may want.
Place the food inside a circular, shallow, metal dish
The food should just be wide enough to fit your food inside. It’s preferred to be made out of metal because it is a good conductor of heat. This allows the metal Bowl to directly cook your food at whatever side your food touches it. And since the fat will be escaping, it will conveniently get captured within the same bowl as the main course.
This is similar to how you would make chicken wings where you would want to keep the sauce and extra flavor from dripping to the bottom of the basket. Instead, you want it to soak in with the wings. The high conduction of heat coming from the metal bowl will act as a way to help cook your food faster and the air fryers’ heating element along with the circulating air will provide a crispy top layer.
Alternatively, you can also use a tin foil tray to achieve almost similar results. Just make sure you look for one that fits inside your air fryer.
If you rather not purchase any extra materials or use any extra kitchenware, then you can always put the food directly onto the basket.
Remove the inner tray and just place the food directly on the basket
This is very similar to using a metal dish however, you’re actually removing the rack or the inner tray and placing your food directly into the outer basket (the one that’s attached to the handle in a basket-style air fryer). This is something that many people actually mentioned they do when we asked. They say it really works well oh, and there shouldn’t be any safety concerns when using this method.
One thing I need to add when it comes to cooking directly on the outer basket. It’s recommended to put a layer of thin oil inside the outer basket because if you don’t, there’s a chance that the food will get stuck to the surface of that basket. In many cases, these baskets come with their own non-stick coating. Fortunately, adding an extra layer of oil will not damage oh, but will only help in not letting the food stick.
The temperature is too low and you’re cooking for too long
Cooking food at low temperatures for a long period of time might actually produce the opposite of what you want. When you’re cooking at low temperatures, you going to have to cook for a longer period of time so that you can safely eat your food.
Now you have to ask yourself, around what temperature does fat actually start to melt? The answer is around 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That does not evaporate like its water counterpart. Air fryers normally cook at around 350 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. So, the temperature here is more than enough to melt the fat off any food.
This becomes an even greater problem when in order to cook your food and eat it safely, you’re going to have to leave it in for a longer period if you want to keep it at a lower temperature.
How do you solve this issue? By cranking up the heat.
Cooking at high temperatures may help keep in the fat
Here’s a trick that works that uses heat as a way to stop fat from dripping out of the food. If you place the food into an extremely high heat environment and cook as quickly as you can, then the fat won’t have any time to drip out.
One prime example of this working is displayed in how often searing a steak and not only char the exterior layer, but also keeps the juices and flavors inside the steak.
Pat your proteins dry before putting them in the air fryer
Cutting your proteins dry may also help delay the process of your fats dripping out of your meal while your air frying it The dryer the outer layer of your food is, the less permeable it is to liquids and gases coming in and out of it.
This is opposed to a wet surface which opens up pores and allows substances to pass in and out.
You forget to preheat your air fryer
Pre-heating your air fryer is very similar to giving your food a kick-start in high-temperature cooking. If you didn’t preheat your air fryer and place your food right in from the very beginning, it would take time to slowly get to the right temperature. During this time, the fat inside your food we have plenty of time to render from the meat. Thus, there’s a better chance that the fat will have a head start in dripping out.
You don’t rotate your proteins while they are cooking.
It’s important to rotate your food at least once to get the evenest cooking you possibly can. Cooking just on one area, or one side of your food can leave the opposite side to seep out the fat.
I know the air fryer has a fan that is meant to circulate and evenly cook your meal all around. But it’s not perfect. Many foods still require you to flip them over halfway in the middle of cooking. The more even your cooking is at really high temperatures, the more difficult it would be for the fat to escape.
Coat your food in a very thin layer of oil
When you coat your food in a very thin layer of oil from top to bottom it will help block the fats from initially escaping your food. Think of the oil as an extra layer of clothing for your food. It will keep things out, but also at the same time keep the fats and the flavors inside.
Oils usually have an extremely high smoke point temperature this means that it will take an extreme amount of heat to even move the oil compounds around.
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