Perhaps you found yourself with a new air fryer after the Black Friday sales, or have one stored away for last-minute french fry or crispy chicken finger cravings. With the holiday of fried food falling right around the time we think about setting New Year’s resolutions, your air fryer might just be your best friend this Chanukah.
Chanukah is known for its oily, fried foods. From traditional potato latkes to sweet fried sufganiyot, we celebrate the holiday’s eight days with more than enough fried food for an entire month. There’s no reason not to enjoy the classic Chanukah treats year, but with new appliances making their way into our kitchens, why not give them a spin for the holidays?
Air fryers are the newest gadgets to sweep the nation, but what are they and how do they work?
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that mimics the result of deep frying with hot air and a little bit of oil. The Chanukah miracle of this appliance is the tiny amount of oil needed to turn almost anything into fried goodness.
An air fryer works by circulating hot air, similar to a convection oven, around food placed inside. Anything that is meant to be deep-fried tends to work well in an air fryer, so you don’t have to hold back this Chanukah.
For example, fry up some Fried Cauliflower as an appetizer for a Morrocan-Spiced Fried Chicken dinner (skip the labneh to keep it kosher), or try out these Black Pepper Honey Fried Carrots sweet and spicy side dish. And with an air fryer in your kitchen, you can enjoy 8 Days of Latkes without slaving away over a hot stove.
What’s Chanukah without some fried sweets for dessert? Give your favorite dough a spin in the air fryer, from churros to Fried Noodle Kugel Balls. Your air fryer can take you through each course of the meal.
An easy guide to converting a basic recipe into an air fryer can be found in this conversion chart. As a rule of thumb, cut the time of baking in an oven in half for an air fryer, but be sure to check halfway through to make sure food is cooking properly.
A few simple tips will help you get the most out of your air fryer:
- First off, always preheat your air fryer before adding in the food. Just like an oven, an air fryer needs a few minutes to get to the right temperature.
- While an air fryer uses much less oil than deep-frying, you still need to grease your basket and your food so nothing sticks. The last thing you want to be doing this Chanukah is scraping not only candle wax from the menorah, but also latkes stuck to your air fryer basket.
- To make sure that everything gets evenly cooked, shake the air fryer basket a few times throughout the cooking process. Just like flipping veggies on a baking sheet to ensure even roasting, shaking your basket helps keep things crisp all over.
- Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, do not overcrowd your air fryer basket. If you put too much food in at a time, the air won’t circulate properly and the food will be soggy and not crisp at all. This is especially important for latkes, as they need to be cooked in a single layer and not stacked. You will likely need to make them in batches—similar to stovetop frying.
This year watch your little bit of oil take you through Chanukah meal after meal. Now that’s what we call a Chanukah miracle.