Expert concerns of’safety issue’ if you cook certain items in an air fryer.

If you haven’t got an air fryer by now, then you’re probably Patrick Star, or at least rooming with him.

Whether you live on the set of Spongebob or not, you will have heard of the air fryer even if you haven’t used or bought one yourself, but experts have now confirmed there is a safety issue with them while cooking certain foods.

So, what are these counter-top cookers?

While convection ovens, to give them their actual name, have been widely used since 1945, it wasn’t until 2006 that a French manufacturer developed an appliance under the Actifry brand that circulates hot air around the meal while continuously churning it.

Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)

Philips, a convection oven manufacturer based in the United Kingdom, established the air fryer brand in 2010, and by 2018, the phrase ‘air fryer’ was being used generally.

However, the air fryer surged in the United States when it first hit the market in 2017, and it grew even more during the pandemic, when viral culinary videos on TikTok saw them in high demand.

Over the year from 2021 to 2022, sales surpassed more than $1 billion – a whopping 20 percent increase on the year before, while its reported that as of 2023, nearly 60 percent of American households own them at home, according to Nestle’s Adam Graves.

Experts at Which?, a UK-based organization that tests products to encourage informed consumer choice in the purchase of goods and services, have advised you on what you should avoid when cooking.

So, what foods should you avoid cooking in an air fryer?

Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)

Cooking an entire chicken in the air fryer is not recommended, according to Which?, but why is that? Because there isn’t enough room for the hot air to move, the middle will remain raw unless your countertop is particularly large.

The advertisement warned: “Cooking whole roasts, such as roast chicken can be problematic, so joint your bird first before frying.”

It is not recommended to use the air fryer for pasta, rice, or even some fresh greens.

Which? said: “An air fryer isn’t a go-to appliance for boiling and steaming – you’re better off sticking to a slow cooker or a pot on the hob.

“You can use an air fryer to reheat pasta and sauce that’s already been cooked, but the microwave is a more efficient way to do this.”

Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)

But why fresh greens? Well, spinach, lettuce and kale are all so light that they will just be blown away in your convection oven, so it’s best to avoid the mess.

While arguably the nation’s favourite snack popcorn is also ill-advised because the air-fryer might not even be able to cook it!

“Cooking popcorn in your air fryer might not even work because most air fryers don’t reach a high enough temperature to pop the kernels. The good old microwave will do a much better job”, the experts warned.

It added that it would avoid putting fresh cheese in and toast – not so much for health reasons though!

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