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An energy-efficient alternative to a normal oven, air fryers have been one of the most popular new kitchen appliances this year. Cheaper to run, and quick to use, It’s no wonder that experts are suggesting using an air fryer this Christmas to take away some of the stress associated with cooking for friends and family.
They can also be useful when it comes to heating up any leftovers the day after.
“Not only will cooking some of your Christmas staples in an air fryer taste just as good, if not better, than heating them up the oven,” Caroline Ross, marketing manager for kitchen electrics at Tefal, explained. It will also net you significant savings on your energy bills, whilst also saving you time and hassle.
“This Christmas you can try everything from cooking your crowning turkey, to steaming the Christmas pudding. Our EasyFry 3in1 will cook up to 50 per cent faster and save up to 70 per cent energy and will not only satisfy even the toughest of Christmas meal critics but will give peace of mind knowing that money is being saved too.”
Another expert, Zoe Simons, senior development chef at Waitrose, is also a keen advocate of the air fryer. Zoe told Cheshire Live: “If you’re looking to save money, time, washing up and stress this festive season, don’t forget to turn to your air fryer.
“Depending on how many people you are catering for, it can either do all the work for you or be a much-needed helping hand while you save the oven for your turkey or other centrepiece that needs the extra space to cook.”
Offering her advice on how best to cook your Christmas dinner, using an air fryer, here are Zoe’s recommendations:
According to Zoe, if your air fryer is large enough to fit your turkey, you can prepare it just like you would for a conventional oven. If you have a smaller appliance, you will need to separate the joints of the turkey into wings, crown and legs and roast each separately to achieve a perfectly cooked turkey.
Air fryer method for frozen turkeys
- Ensure the turkey is fully thawed and the neck and giblets have been removed.
- Add butter, herbs and seasoning under the skin for a juicy and flavourful bird.
- Cook light meat separately to dark.
- After cooking each section of the bird, set the meat aside to rest until all of the pieces are fully cooked.
- For timings, the rule of thumb is that it takes 8-10 minutes per pound / 453g. Please follow the instructions on your specific appliance for the correct temperature as this can vary.
- If you have a meat thermometer, you want to have an internal temperature of around 165 degrees.
- Zoe advises cooking the turkey first before moving on to do your vegetables and roasties to allow the bird time to rest before carving. You can keep it warm by wrapping it in some foil.
Roast potatoes recipe
Classic roast potatoes in an air fryer use less fat. Also, adding a little vinegar when you parboil the potatoes helps them stay together, allowing you to cook them with extra-crisp edges.
- 750g floury potatoes
- 1 tsp flaky salt
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 1½ tbsp plain flour
- 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 5 tbsp goose fat
- Preheat the air fryer to 180ºC
- Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks (halve small ones and quarter larger potatoes).
- Put in a saucepan and rinse in a few changes of cold water to remove excess starch. Cover with cold water and add the salt and vinegar.
- Put on a lid and bring to the boil over a high heat, bubbling for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender but still holding together.
- Drain and allow to steam-dry for at least 5 minutes. Return to the dry pan and sprinkle over the flour.
- Holding the lid on firmly, give the pan a few firm shakes to break up the edges of the spuds and distribute the flour.
- Warm the goose fat in a small pan until just melted then pour over potatoes; give the pan a further shake to coat.
- Put the potatoes in the air-fryer basket, spreading in a snug single layer on top of the rack.
- Bash the garlic cloves and add to the basket with the rosemary.
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