I don’t like to cook. The prep and time that it takes to make a well-balanced meal that will actually taste good is something that intimidates me more than it should. I hate the clean up and all the dishes that come with making a home cooked meal. So I just avoid it at all costs. Without a dining plan (or the urge to walk to the dining hall), a lot of my meals were classic TV dinners that I’d zap in the microwave for a few minutes. That is until I got an air fryer as a birthday present (thank you Grandma) and had my eyes opened to making efficient meals. Here are five reasons why I think that an air fryer is a life-changer for college students who don’t love to cook.
- It’s efficient
It’s quick. An easy clean up. Short preheat times and shorter cooking times, usually. You just turn it on, preheat if you need, pop in your munchies and wait for the beep. For cleaning up, it’s pretty easy to just clean up the crumbs with some soap and water (even easier if you cover the bottom with tin foil).
- You can fry anything
There’s a lot that you can make in an air fryer. I’ve made grilled cheese, hash browns, chicken tenders, tofu, falafel, et cetera et cetera. But there are loads of recipes online for other things you can make too, from breakfasts to desserts. My favorite food to make in the air fryer (besides hash browns) is crispy brussel sprouts and bacon. It’s pretty healthy and always tastes good out of the air fryer!
- It’s the best way to eat frozen foods
I am a huge frozen food enthusiast, especially from Trader Joe’s. Frozen meals are usually easier to make than cooking up a whole meal from scratch. But sometimes I don’t want to wait forever for my oven to preheat to cook chicken tenders for nearly twenty minutes, only to have them not nearly crispy enough. I’ve found that when I’m really hungry, in a rush and I don’t want to cook a huge meal, but I don’t want to do dishes or use the oven, the air fryer is the best and easiest way to go. It pretty much takes up half the cooking time, the food is always the perfect amount of crisp and the clean up is easy. It’s much better than a microwave or an oven. Air fryers are also great for reheating leftovers as well. Pop your leftover slice of pizza in there for a few minutes and you’ll have crispy, melty goodness. Yum!
- Great for the Dorm
The air fryer that I have is small and perfect for the dorm. It’s easy to store, easy to clean and best of all easy to use. All I do is plug it in, turn it on, put my chicken nuggets or tofu or asparagus into the basket and wait. It preheats and cooks the food and when the food is done, it turns off by itself and stops cooking. I don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving it on and catching my house on fire.
- Makes it easier to have a healthy diet
It’s true that if you are craving french fries, popping a few into the air fryer is going to be a little bit more healthy than buying some from the nearest drive-thru. The air fryer doesn’t require oil to fry which is somewhat healthier than deep frying your fries.
But besides less fat, the air fryer just helps to make cooking more balanced meals much easier. You can pop anything in the air fryer. Simple as that. You don’t have to prep a baking sheet or trudge over to your communal kitchen in your dorm to use that ancient oven that takes forever to preheat. It requires little prep and little clean up (all you have to do is clean out your fry basket when you are done). You can pop veggies in here easily as well as protein- the list of foods is endless!