Dear Air Fryer,
Where do I begin? You came into my life in an uncertain moment we’ve all felt before: the uncertainty of accepting a hand-me-down. A friend or family member innocently asks, “do you want this [insert item of clothing, cookware, electronics, etc.]? I never use it.” We accept it, use it once, and then give the dust bunnies another victim in the back of a rarely opened cabinet. My mother gifted you to her boyfriend last Christmas, but after no one used you, he offered you to me to take back to my apartment. I considered my options: I will use you every now and then, or I will use you once and store you in a nonexistent free spot in my small NYC apartment. I figured the outcome would be the latter option and declined the offer to accept you. Then, in a last-minute moment of “eh, whatever,” I decided to take you after all. Little did I know my life was about to change forever.
Oh, sweet air fryer, you don’t know what you have done for me. As a broke, 20-year-old, college student who doesn’t enjoy leaving her apartment during a pandemic, I, realistically, should be eating takeout and cheap, but unhealthy food most nights. But no. You’ve taught me your way of life. You’ve taught me the simplicity of simple, delicious, healthy food. During an evening Zoom class, I cut up a sweet potato, drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle on some garlic powder and adobo, and put it in your futuristic-looking mechanism, and voila!: perfection. You have ended my struggle to make delicious and crispy tofu. Before it was a battle with the oven and it was always a guessing game if my tofu would turn out alright– but now, I know it'll be good.
As your popularity grows among my roommates and me, we now must stagger our meal times so as not to fight over you. From 5:30-8:00 each night, your gentle whir echoes through our apartment along with the scent of whatever you may be cooking. Perhaps I will get rid of my white noise machine and sleep to your calming sounds instead. You are a respected member of our household. Even one of my roommates who went to the ER after an incident frying food a few years ago uses you without fear of violent hot oil burns. We put our trust in you and you never let us down.
Not only have you helped me make delicious and healthy meals, but you’ve also helped me expand my cooking horizons. From only knowing how to make pasta and banana bread to making buddha bowls, homemade veggie burgers, crispy vegetables, and more, you have given me this much needed realization that a 20 year old’s cooking doesn’t need to be garbage.
You are so versatile. We can make the classic air fried french fries together or banana bread, sugar cookies, and even hard boiled eggs– not that I would do that because hard-boiled eggs are gross, but I’m glad to know the option is there. Tiktok user, @airfryerguy, went viral after continuously showing your versatility by asking the question: does it air fry? You and @airfryerguy have cooked damn near everything together from bananas to starbursts to pancakes to corn on the cob with the edibility of the results varying quite a bit.
Air fryer, each day you leave me speechless with the beautiful food you so effortlessly cook. You have taught me the simplicity of healthy, good cooking and you have done wonders for the improved diets of me and my roommates. Air fryer, it’s been an honor, a privilege, and a blessing for you to enter the family; you’re here to stay.