With new technologies come new ways to cook healthy foods. Food safety guidelines need to be considered when using these new appliances. Air fryers cook by circulating extremely hot air around the food (also known as convection cooking). A heating element, much like a stovetop burner is situated above the food and a fan is used to rapidly move the air around the food.
Food comes out crispy on the outside while moist and tender on the inside. Air fryers provide a healthier alternative to conventional frying because they use very little or no oil during the cooking process.
These appliances come in a variety of sizes and can sit on the countertop like a slow cooker and plug into an electrical outlet. The unit contains a basket to hold food, an electric heating element and a fan to circulate the hot air. Some units have digital controls while others have large dials/knobs. Check out the operator’s manual to learn more about how the air fryer works.
Air fryers can be used for baking although additional equipment will be needed. Most glass baking dishes, muffin tins that fit into the air fryer basket can be used. Cookies can be baked on parchment paper. Depending on the air fryer size, usually 3 or 4 cookies can be cooked at a time.
When purchasing this new appliance, size needs to be considered and how many you will be cooking for at mealtime. Caution should be used to not overfill the basket as foods will not cook evenly or reach the proper temperature. Overfilling the fryer basket will interfere with the browning process.
Using a food thermometer is the only way to ensure safety of meat, poultry, and egg products when air frying. Place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food, making sure not to touch bone, fat, or gristle. The following internal temperatures are recommended according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
|Product||Minimum Internal Temperature|
|Beef, Pork, Veal & Lamb (steak, chops, roasts)||145°F (62.8°C) Allow to rest for at least 3 minutes|
|Ground Meats (beef, pork, veal, lamb)||160°F (71.1°C)|
|Ham (fresh or smoked, uncooked)||145°F (62.8°C) Allow to rest for at least 3 minutes|
|Fully Cooked Ham (to reheat)||
140°F (60°C) Ham packaged in USDA plants
165°F (73.9°C) For all other hams
|All Poultry (whole birds, parts, ground poultry and stuffing||165°F (73.9°C)|
|Fish and Shellfish||145°F (73.9°C)|
- 1 cup fresh green beans
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Wash beans in cool running water.
- Place green beans in a plastic bag and add salt and pepper to taste. Shake to evenly coat.
- Transfer to air fryer to cook at 350°F for 10 minutes. Shake basket at 5 minutes.
- Remove from air fryer basket and enjoy.
- Serving Size (1/2 cup):
- Calories 37
- Total Fat 2g
- Sodium 14mg
- Total Carbohydrates 5g
- Fiber 2g
Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
This newsletter has been peer-reviewed.