Since Oprah Winfrey named it one of her favorite kitchen appliances in 2013, the humble deep fryer has grown in popularity and is now a staple feature in many people’s kitchens.
The appliance uses hot air instead of hot oil to cook food, offering a quick and healthy alternative to deep fryers.
However, after purchasing a deep fryer, many budding chefs have learned the hard way that there is a bit of a learning curve to mastering the appliance.
Fortunately, there is help available, which one? has revealed the most common fryer failures, as well as how to fix them.
Speaking to MailOnline, Emily Seymour, which one? Energy Editor, she said: ‘Fryers are generally easy to use, but things can go wrong. If you overfill your machine or don’t clean it properly, you could end up with undercooked chicken and chips or a smoky kitchen.’
After purchasing a deep fryer, many budding chefs have learned the hard way that there is a bit of a learning curve to mastering the appliance.
1. Rare French fries
Frozen chips are a staple for many Brits, but getting perfect golden chips in the deep fryer is no easy feat.
“It’s normal for fries to be undercooked or overcooked the first few times, but if it keeps happening, you may be making some basic mistakes” – what? explained.
One of the most common mistakes is overfilling the basket or tray, which can cause chips to burn on the outside and become soggy in the middle.
“To find the optimal capacity for your deep fryer, consult the manufacturer’s instruction manual or take some time to experiment with your deep fryer”, which one? advise
Meanwhile, forgetting to shake the basket frequently during cooking can also result in disappointing fries.
“While instructions often state to only shake or quickly stir fries, we’ve found that doing this regularly during cooking gives the best results.” Which one? aggregate.
We all love frozen fries, but getting the perfect golden fries in the deep fryer is no easy feat.
2. The fryer smokes or emits an unpleasant odor
Your fryer may smoke or emit an unpleasant odor if you haven’t cleaned it in a while.
‘Every time you use your deep fryer, grease, crumbs and small bits of food will collect in the bottom of the basket’, which one? saying.
‘If you don’t clean them before you use them again, they will burn and cause unpleasant odors or smoke. If you continue to cook, this can even change the taste of your food.’
Fortunately, most fryer baskets are covered with a nonstick coating that makes them quick and easy to clean.
‘The easiest way to clean the stubborn bits is to submerge the tray or basket in hot, soapy water and let it soak to soften and loosen the food. Then simply wash it off and let the basket or tray air dry, ready for your next use.’ Which? aggregate.
3. Dry chicken
There is nothing worse than biting into a piece of chicken and finding out that it is tough or dry.
This often happens when cooking chicken in the air fryer, as the oven cooking instructions are not automatically translated.
Unfortunately, there is no fail-safe solution here, it’s just a matter of experimenting.
‘Pre-set programs can be helpful, but you’ll still want to check your food from time to time to make sure it’s cooking properly. Alternatively, you can also experiment with time and temperature yourself.’ Which? advise
4. Messy Dough
If you’ve tried to cook something with a wet batter in your deep fryer, chances are you’ve made a huge mess.
While pouring wet batter directly into your deep fryer can take a toll on the heating elements, there are several options if you want to cook foods like cakes, pancakes, or onion rings.
‘If you’re making foods like battered onions, fish or nuggets, try making the batter thicker and then dry coat it with breadcrumbs or cornmeal before cooking. This will prevent the dough from dripping all over the basket.’ Which? saying.
Meanwhile, a can or mold can be effective when preparing desserts in the deep fryer.
‘If you’re baking a cake or other dessert that requires moist dough, use a silicone pan, oven-safe glass container, muffin pan, or pan. This will ensure that your food is cooked properly, without creating too much of a mess.’ Which? aggregate.
For expert buying advice and which ones? Best buys go to what.co.uk/air-fryer