The bite of a crunchy and crispy fried chicken is my guilty pleasure. The love most of us have for deep-fried stuff knows no bounds. But at the same time, we are aware of how toxic it can get for our bodies. So, we had to look for alternatives in which the texture will remain the same but it will be a little more healthy.
To deep-fry without oil, we have two amazing options for you. You can either use an air fryer or oven to get the desired effect. And an outlier option: using sand or salt.
Read the article to know more about these methods and how you can have a healthy lifestyle with them!
Yes, you can deep fry without oil. This is honestly such a relief, especially when the alternatives are so healthy that you would never want to go back to deep-frying your dishes!
Deep-frying is unhealthy and toxic for your body. It creates unnecessary fat for our body which later on can even take the form of obesity. So let’s explore the two healthy, low-fat alternatives for deep-frying in depth.
As mentioned above, you’ve two options to deep fry without using oil, including:
Air Fryer is a new age technology that doesn’t fry your food but still gives a similar texture and crispiness. You can fry about anything in the air fryer like fried chicken, fries, wedges, corn dogs, frozen mozzarella sticks, fish, and even veggies.
An air fryer uses hot air to bake the food. Once you put the food inside, the hot air circulates around the food and cooks it evenly making the dish crispy and crunchy in texture.
It comes with a built-in basket in which you can put the food that you want to fry. An air fryer can cut the calories by almost 80%, so you know that you can enjoy your guilty pleasure without any guilt.
Follow the steps to know how you can use Air Fryer:
- First, you need some oil to spray on your dish. The oil doesn’t let the food stick to the bottom so you only need a little quantity of it.
- Spray the oil on the food and then pop it in the built-in basket. If your air fryer comes with the facility of setting temperature and timer, then do that as well.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer as the cooking will be uneven.
- About halfway, take out the basket and give it a good shake so that the food does not stick to the bottom and is evenly cooked.
- After the timer beeps, check your food and enjoy the same crispy and crunchy texture minus the grease and fat.
Air Fryers are a bit expensive hence many people are not ready to invest in them. We would recommend you to invest in it for your health and taste as you can get fat-free and grease-free food any day of the week.
An oven is another amazing appliance that you can use to fry your food. Basically, you bake your food in the oven and not fry it. Baking is always a healthier option as it uses minimal oil and provides a good crunch to your dish.
The result will definitely be different as the food won’t be greasy or extremely crunchy but you will nevertheless love the flavor.
Follow the steps to know how you can bake your food in the oven to achieve the desired effect:
- Preheat your oven to 180 C or 365 F for about 10 minutes.
- To achieve the maximum crisp and crunch, dip the chicken in eggs and coat it with flour. Dip it again in eggs and then in breadcrumbs. This double process will ensure maximum crunch on chicken.
- Bake it in the oven till it reaches a golden color that you see while deep frying. It will take about 30-40 minutes.
- About halfway, change the sides of the chicken for uniform baking.
- Similarly, you can do the same with veggies but instead of eggs and flour, you can make a cornstarch slurry and coat the veggies in it and then in breadcrumbs.
The only disadvantage of an oven is the cooking time. To bake veggies or chicken in the oven, you need a minimum of an hour. So if you are planning to use the oven, start early!
Now, an oven is expensive but it is much better than deep-frying your food. It is like an investment for your health, so I would highly recommend you to invest in it. Plus you can always bake cakes in it which is a huge advantage.
Hot Salt or Sand “Frying”
One final technique worth mentioning is using hot salt or sand. This is a technique used in households and villages throughout the world. However, it mainly practiced in Asia, commonly Pakistan, China, India or Bangladesh.
If you want to try this at home, you can fill up a frying pan with salt. Turn the heat on until it browns at 350-400 F. Once it is heat to temperature you can fry dry food items. It takes a minute or more for each item and you want to keep moving your food item around to make sure the heat evenly covers the food. The downside to this method is that wet food items do not work well. For example, chicken wings will just become very salty by naturally absorbing the salt.
Notes & Tips
Whether you’re using an air fryer or oven, keep in mind the below tips to get crispy and crunchy dishes without deep frying with the oil!
- If you are using an oven, then always preheat it so that the temperature is accurate before you bake anything.
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper to avoid the food getting stuck to the bottom.
- Do not keep opening the oven time and again otherwise the heat will move out and the food won’t bake properly.
- If you are using an air fryer, then spray some oil on the basket and the food so that it does not get stuck on the bottom. Also, after halfway, give a good shake to the food for even and uniform cooking.
Frying without oil is a healthy alternative to your regular deep-fried dishes. It does not create problems in the digestion of food, moreover, it is fat-free and does not leave grease on your hands.
You can enjoy the food with the same crispy, crunchy and golden color without the presence of oil in it.
Frying without oil is the most healthy alternative that you can find. It uses either no oil or a very limited amount of oil which makes all the difference to the dish.
You can coat your chicken in egg, flour, and breadcrumbs or if you are using veggies then you can substitute egg and flour with cornstarch slurry. Breadcrumbs upon frying give a very crunchy and crispy texture to anything, including chicken.
Another trick is brushing egg wash or oil on nearly anything to get a beautiful crispy color.
Although we love the greasy and oily flavor of deep-fried dishes, it is extremely unhealthy for our bodies. You must switch from deep frying your food to these healthy alternatives for your body.
Moreover, both the air fryer and oven keep the texture, taste, and color of the dish intact. By shifting towards a healthier lifestyle, you can enjoy more fried food without the oil!