The air fryer – the must-have kitchen gadget you didn’t know you wanted


Having an promoting shopper who made the gadget, however who bizarrely refused to promote them, I used to be, for a few years, the St Augustine of Air Fryers, usually preaching their virtues whereas being met with widespread bemusement. Besides, that’s, from the tiny quantity of people that already owned them, who handled me like a long-lost soulmate.

I transformed my octogenarian father, who subsequently transformed a number of of his associates. I purchased them as presents, and many of the recipients beloved them. I as soon as even prompt to my shopper that they rename the product the ‘Air Sauteuse’, suggesting that Frenchifying the title may destigmatise the product amongst snobbier Brits who scorn fried meals. In any case, sous-vide cooking loved a quick vogue, regardless that it’s no extra hygienic than placing meals in a plastic bag after which storing it in your underpants for 5 hours on a scorching day.

What I finally realised was that the air fryer is what economists name “an expertise good”: you solely need one when you have already got one. It’s also a ratchet product, in that when you personal one, you can’t think about residing with out it. It was a Catch-22: no one wished one till they owned one.

However, six months in the past, I seen one thing had instantly modified. Individuals had been exhibiting me increasingly articles about air fryers from social media. A specialist US journal launched, known as merely Air Fryer. Google searches for “air fryer” rose greater than tenfold in a month. And it seems that what lastly rescued the product from its undeserved obscurity was TikTok.

It appears that evidently everybody with an air fryer had a secret recipe of their very own devising, and that sharing these secrets and techniques had turn into a web based meme. There at the moment are devoted air fryer gurus with thousands and thousands of subscribers on the social media platform, and so they have taken it from a cult to a motion in a single day. A cynic would say {that a} fan oven cooks in the identical manner – however, to the impatient younger, getting a full-size oven to full warmth feels as tedious as getting up full steam on the Mallard.

TikTok and air frying had been made for one another. What could possibly be higher for short-form video than a short-form cooking machine? And the machine thrives on the sort of cooking hacks that TikTok’s youthful viewers loves. A few of their recipes are totally sensible – crispy kale chips, cooked potato peelings, panko courgettes, samosas, banana chips – and so too their methods for heating and pimping store-bought meals within the air fryer. However none of them are pretty much as good as my very own ‘bacon cooked 3 ways’ trick, through which you microwave bacon for 2 minutes, pan-fry it for 3 minutes after which air fry it for 4.

However, lastly, I really feel vindicated. A bit like Professor Higgs should have felt when his boson was confirmed to exist. Possibly I’m not mad in spite of everything.


Rory Sutherland is vice chairman of Ogilvy Group, and creator of Alchemy: The Magic of Authentic Considering in a World of Thoughts-Numbing Conformity (Penguin, £9.99). Purchase now at books.telegraph.co.uk or name 0844 871 1514



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