Air fryers are all the craze in the world. Suddenly, our Pinterest feed is filled with air fryers recipes. Air fryers are like your convection oven in a miniature form. The best part about this device is cooking meals with no oil at all. So, many people tend to get it for the health benefits it provides.
Now, air fryers are undoubtedly versatile. You can cook almost anything in it and fulfill your culinary dreams. They are like dumping all ingredients in and cooking meals in minutes. But cooking in this device may need several practices to follow for no crash or burn. For example, cooking meat and vegetables…together. Is it possible? Two elements with different cooking times to be in perfect harmony in this small device?
Here we will be discussing all that. Let’s begin! Plus, giving you some meat and vegetable recipes for Air fryer to kick-start your journey to easy meals that don’t require you to work too hard on.
Meat and Vegetables are two completely different products with different textures and cooking times. Besides, vegetables take less time to cook than meat. However, not all types of meat take hours to cook. Fish takes less time to cook than chicken. And chicken takes less time to cook than beef. Similarly, beef takes less time than pork for cooking. Keeping these strategies in mind, you can mix and match your recipes to avoid burning your vegetables while getting the perfect cook of your meat. So, can you cook meat and vegetables together in an air fryer? Absolutely! But use the following tips below to be on the safe side.
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Cook Together But at Different Times
It is the safest way you can cook your meat and veg, making perfect meals every day. The method is straightforward. Cook your meat in the air fryer first, followed by the vegetables. Then, at last, combine them all together. Technically, you are still making a meat and vegetable combination but cooking separately, depending on how long it takes. To give you a better image of what we mean, here’s an example. Suppose you are trying to cook a dish of salmon with vegetables. But salmon does take a while to cook, and you don’t know when your vegetables will be ready. So you cook the salmon first with the setting, and then add in your vegetables, letting it cook in the fish juices. Fun right? You have a combined meal, while both of them are perfect. Note, it could be the other way around, too.
Marinating and More Marinating!
Air fryers do not use oil. They cook foods similar to an oven. But without any oil. So, cooking meat and vegetables together can make the dish dry and even burn. Therefore, for it to cook right, marinate your meat before cooking. Marination delivers lots of benefits. It adds flavor to the meat (duh…stating the obvious), helps cut down cooking time, and the oils mixed in it can help the vegetables cook efficiently with the meat, giving them additional flavor. So, remember, to create a beautiful harmony between your components, always marinate (Make sure the marination is suited to taste nice with both meat and vegetable!)
Chop the Time Away
As suggested by the title, reduce the cooking time by chopping your ingredients down. While you still need to do it, since air fryers are small to cook a big batch of meals, you can make sure all the ingredients cook perfectly. For example, chop your beef or chicken into bite-size pieces, making sure you keep its size as, say, broccoli (or any vegetable you are planning to add.) The meat will take an extra few minutes to be perfectly done, but you can still cook both the ingredients in this way.
Seafood is the Superhero
You can cook the quickest recipes with seafood. Technically, they are meat that comes from fish, so it is relevant here. You can cook a wide range of items with vegetables. If you have prawn, toss it in with the vegetables, and watch it cook perfectly. If you have Maine or Canadian lobster around, throw them in as well. Fishes are your best friends if time is your foe. (And if you don’t like fish, then I am sorry, you’re missing out on A LOT!)
Now that we covered the tips, you can cook your meat and vegetables together in one go. And to help you even further, here are some recipes to make your life a little easier.
Some Recipes In the Air Fryer
1. Glazed-Chicken Stir Fry
Cut your chicken (preferably thighs or drumsticks) into cubes and marinate the meat with brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Let it marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Get your desired vegetables like broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and prepare your basket when you are ready to cook. Spray the basket with cooking spray or brush it with a little oil or If you can put paper towels in the oven, you can most likely put them in the air fryer. However, parchment or baking paper is the best option. Cook it for around 25 minutes at 390 degrees, stirring halfway, and you’re done!
2. Salmon Bake
Take your salmon filet and season it with salt, pepper, and lemon pieces. Pick your desired vegetables. Asparagus, celery, and carrots are some great options. Layer down your vegetables evenly, and place your salmon on top. Cook it for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees. If you think your vegetables are not done yet, take out your salmon and stir the vegetable around, letting it cook for some 3 minutes. Serve with rice!
3. Steak with Veggies
First, preheat your fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub your steak with salt, pepper, butter, and cook the steak for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway. Take the steak out, and while it is resting, stir-fry your vegetables and cook it till it absorbs all the flavors from the basket. Once the steak is well-rested, slice it and dress it on the bed of the delicious vegetables. A quick, flavorful meal in less than 15 minutes. How cool is that!
4 Fried Chicken with Wedges
Of course, we will pick some classics for the little ones out there. You can hand-cut your fries or get them frozen as well. Toss the fries with salt and pepper, seasoning of choice, and some oil. For the fried chicken, marinate the chicken with some buttermilk, hot sauce, and herbs. Let it sit overnight. Before putting it in the fryer, dredge it with flour (seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper) and put it in the basket on top of parchment paper. Cook it for 25 minutes, stopping it around the 13-minute mark, and add in your fries. If you have any empty spots in the fryers, spray it with oil and cook it together for the remaining time.
5. The Fastest Chicken Pot Pie
If you have some leftover chicken and vegetables, make some pot pies. It will include an additional ingredient: Puff pastry! Well, you can make your pastry at home or get it from my local store. Roll out the dough and take a small ceramic, and place it inside, fork it to avoid puffing during cooking. Add your pot pie filling and close the opening with the remaining pastry. Brush it with egg wash and cook it for 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The mouth is going to water with that one—Something to note, though, you don’t have to add pot pie filling only. If you have leftover stir-fry, you can reuse it too. After all, anything with puff pastry is bound to be delicious.
6. Asian Beef and Veggies
To finish off with a bang, we present you with a recipe that is also freezer-friendly and can be made right on the go. For this, grab some sirloin steak and slice it thinly. Get some bell peppers, onions, carrots, chopped garlic for the veggie part. Next, marinate all the contents with cornstarch, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of water. Put all the contents in a ziplock bag, and freeze it for up to 5-6 months. Before you cook it, thaw the ingredients in the fridge and throw it in the air fryer. Cook it for 9 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and it will be ready!
Overview – Cooking In the Air Fryer
Voila! We are done serving you all the details and recipes you need to kick start your venture with the air fryer. Follow these tips well, and you will be able to manage effortlessly in binding your vegetables and meat in harmony without stressing out too much about it. I hope these tips will help you out in cooking up delicious meals for your family. Want to share some of your adventures? Let us know in the comments! Thank you for reading!
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