The Great ‘Air Fry vs. Deep Fry Challenge’ – How Taste & Convenience Won the Match
Anjali and Rahul were preparing for a cook-off – air fried vs deep fried. Anjali had bought an air-fryer for Rahul a few months ago, and he’d been using the Havells Digi Air-Fryer to rave reviews from his son at home. Snack-time was Rahul’s dedicated bonding time with their son, and the health benefit of using the air-fryer meant that Rahul didn’t have to see his son eat boring diet food, just so his and Anjali’s insistence on healthy eating could be met.
Now, with a few months’ experience under his belt, he wanted to share his experience with other concerned and hands-on parents by blogging about the convenience of using an air-fryer over traditional deep frying.
Anjali gave him the idea of a cook-off, so his writing would reflect a more real-time experience to the reader. They decided to cook bread-pakora. Rahul would deep-fry, and Anjali would air-fry.
The battleground was set. It was 9am on Sunday, the pakoras would be judged for their taste and appearance – i.e. golden and crisp outside, while fluffy inside. The techniques would be judged for convenience. The judge being their son, and his friends.
The son blew the whistle (a bit too loud! sent the dog in a tizzy). And they both fired off!
Rahul placed the frying pan on the high flame and poured about 2 cups of vegetable oil in it. As he waited for the oil to heat, he wiped the shelf and gas counter clean of the spill. It wasn’t easy, in fact, it was pretty messy!
Anjali preheated the air fryer for 5 minutes at 180 degrees. During the time, she prepared the bread by cutting it in pieces, dipping it in the batter, and placing the coated pieces on a foil. A tablespoon of oil was brushed on the foil, before the coated bread slices were placed on it. She put the foil with the coated bread pieces in the air fryer and set the timer to 10 minutes. She then joined her son on the couch to watch Rahul deep-fry.
Meanwhile, Rahul had to wait longer for the oil to heat up to the appropriate temperature. After 5 minutes, he added the coated bread pieces to the hot pan and the oil spit and splattered the stove cook-top as the bread bobbed in, and came up. A few drops fell on Rahul’s arm, and he regretted opting to man the oil-frying half of the challenge, as he watched Anjali and the boys chilling out on the couch. He started to flip over the bread pieces in the hot oil to ensure even browning. As he took out pieces from the pan, there was more spillage and dripping of hot oil. He placed the pakoras on a plate with 2 sheets of absorbent kitchen paper beneath to leach out the excess oil.
In the 20 minutes of the cook, Rahul stood by the pan the entire time to fry the pieces. Anjali, meanwhile, was on the couch, relaxed with their son, and watched Rahul cook. Then afterwards, Rahul had additional cleaning to do. He had to wipe the oil clean off the counter and tiles by the gas stove. He also had to throw the tissues that were used to drain the excess oil.
Since he had forgotten to switch on the exhaust fan, the kitchen was filled with smoke and odour. Thank goodness for the Havell’s premium exhaust fan they’d installed in the kitchen last year! But it wasn’t until a coughing fit took over him during the cook that he remembered to switch it on.
Let the games begin! The table was set, and the bread pakoras was served. The boys tasted both, and to be fair, the deep-friend pakoras did taste better, but the sheer amount of oil left on everyone’s fingers were a clear sign of the price the taste came at. In comparison, the air-friend pakoras were great too, and doubly good because their fingers came away clean.
Little did they know that an independent scientific study published by the Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences had actually corroborated their findings; it too, opined, that food prepared from air frying looks, smells, feels and tastes just as good as deep fried food.
Source: An independent study conducted by Shaker, M. Arafat and published by the Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences cited in http://frytheworld.com/airfryer-healthy-and-tasty
Later that night, as Rahul and Anjali exchanged notes from the cook-off, they agreed that:
The user-friendly features of an air fryer ensure food isn’t under or over cooked.
- Air fryer is a safe method of cooking that causes no burns to the cook or risk of a house fire.
- Air fryers are fuss-free and non-messy because there is minimal cleaning after use. There is no staining on walls, clothes, and kitchen counter. Of course, there is no smoke – so they had cough-free, sweat-free and grime-free cooking.
- Air-frying is quicker than deep frying, super convenient, and not tiresome
- And multi-faceted, since the air-fryer can bake, roast and grill too
Rahul started to write for his blog, “Whoever said ‘no pain, no gain’, had never used an air-fryer. Welcome to a world of ‘No Pain, All Gain’, my friends…”