Use Air Fryer Ovens at High Altitudes
Fully one-third of the population lives at high altitudes, and it can be tricky to cook at these elevations. The thin air at altitudes decreases both oxygen and atmospheric pressure, which affects the time it takes to reach the target temperature for most foods. Many people at higher elevations find that they need to increase cooking times for foods like pasta and beans, to prevent them from becoming too dry or mushy. Some cooks at high altitudes even recommend using a pressure cooker to help them achieve better results.
The good news is that air fryer oven can be used at high altitudes. The key is to adjust cooking times to account for the change in air pressure, and to use cooking sprays or oils that can stand up to the hot temperatures in an air fryer. The smaller size of air fryer ovens also helps them circulate heat more evenly than conventional ovens, which can reduce the development of hot spots that could cause foods to become soggy or burnt.
When determining how long to cook food in an air fryer at high altitudes, it’s important to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and the specific recipe that you are working with. Start by using the cook times that are specified for the appliance, and monitor the food as it bakes to ensure it reaches the right texture. You may also want to consider using cooking spray or rubbing the food with oil to improve its crispiness, especially with lean cuts of meat or from-scratch foods that mimic pre-fried frozen dishes such as mozzarella sticks and crab cakes.
Can You Use Air Fryer Ovens at High Altitudes?
Similarly, it’s important to follow the baking times for cakes and baked goods at high altitudes. For example, it can take as much as a full hour longer for some baked goods to reach the same internal temperature at high altitudes as they do at sea level. It’s also a good idea to line the pan with parchment paper or grease the pan very heavily to avoid sticking, especially for delicate cakes.
For some fried foods, it’s best to lower the frying temperature 2-3 degrees for every 1,000 feet of altitude above sea level. This is because liquids vaporize at higher altitudes, which can leave the food too dry or greasy. Some people at high altitudes even opt to fry foods in a pressure cooker, which creates its own sealed environment and helps to retain the original cooking temperature for more consistent results.
While it is possible to use an air fryer at high altitudes, there are some special considerations that should be made before doing so. For example, most cookbooks set the altitude line at around 3,000 feet, where it’s necessary to make some adjustments in cooking times and temperature. The same is true for pressure cookers, although they typically require a bit of experimentation to determine the exact amount of extra time that is needed to prepare foods at high altitudes.