Air Fryer Bacon
When I was little, I always looked forward to the occasional morning, when I’d wake up to the aroma of bacon cooking and the sound of the eggs sizzling. This used to be such an indulgent breakfast for me. But what if I told you I found a way to make your morning bacon just a little bit healthier? My recipe for air fryer bacon does just that! By switching up the cooking method, the air fryer gets rid of the excess fat, while still making the bacon perfectly crisp. Pair it with eggs, toast and fruit and you have a delectable breakfast (or lunch or dinner!).
Please scroll down to see my How to Use an Air Fryer – What is an Air Fryer Introduction.
How to Make Air Fryer Bacon
This bacon will be ready in a snap! To prepare, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the lower pan with some parchment for easy clean up. Then place the bacon (or turkey bacon) in a single, even layer in the air fryer. Cook the bacon for 10 minutes, flipping the bacon halfway through, if necessary. Note: Depending on the thickness of the bacon, cooking times may vary.
Cooking techniques and nutritional value
Did you know cooking techniques can impact the nutritional value of our foods? Let’s start with using an air fryer to cook our food. When we cook with an air fryer, the extra fat in what we are cooking falls to the bottom and is not consumed, which in turn saves calories and reduces the amount of saturated fat eaten.
Air frying is similar to grilling in this way because foods that are grilled are also not cooked in their own fat. Grilling differs from air frying in that food does not become crisp on the outside, due to the heat only coming from one direction.
Other cooking techniques that are beneficial to our health include sauteing, boiling, roasting and poaching. Note that when boiling vegetables, some nutrients may leach into the water.
Additionally, certain foods can “unlock” more nutrients when cooked! Some of these nutrients in foods include lycopene and antioxidant in tomatoes, the reduction of oxalate (can impact absorption of other nutrients) spinach, and increase of antioxidant content in asparagus.1,2,3,4
Serve it up
This air fryer bacon can be served as part of a delicious breakfast, in a quiche, in a BLT, or in a salad! Let me know how you serve your air fryer bacon in the comments below, or on my Instagram @ChefAbbieGellman!
- Strong R. 12 Vegetables That Are Healthier Cooked. Eat This Not That. https://www.eatthis.com/vegetables-healthier-cooked/. Published September 11, 2019. Accessed May 12, 2020.
- Vallverdú-Queralt A, Regueiro J, Alvarenga JD, Torrado X, Lamuela-Raventos R. Carotenoid Profile of Tomato Sauces: Effect of Cooking Time and Content of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2015;16(12):9588-9599. doi:10.3390/ijms16059588
- Noonan SC, Savage Bsc(Hons), Phd, Nz Reg Nu GP. Oxalate content of foods and its effect on humans. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999;8(1):64-74. doi:10.1046/j.1440-6047.1999.00038.x
- Fanasca S, Rouphael Y, Venneria E, Azzini E, Durazzo A, Maiani G. Antioxidant properties of raw and cooked spears of green asparagus cultivars. Int J Food Sci Tech. 2009;44(5):1017-1023. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2008.01871.x
Have you heard about the air fryer?
You may have seen commercials advertising air fryers, or you may have seen them lining the aisles of your local Target, Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond. With different models on the market, you may be asking yourself, “what is an air fryer?” According to the Kitchn, the air fryer works as a convection oven, however, the fan that circulates the air spins quicker.1 The process of air frying differs from traditional frying as in the air fryer, all portions of the food are cooked at the same rate versus needing to turn the food to cook all sides.1 Additionally, air frying usings less oil than traditional frying, which brings me to my next point!
Why use an air fryer?
As I previously mentioned, air frying uses a lot less oil, which reduces calories and saturated fat making whatever we cook healthier, without impacting the taste or texture! When we traditionally deep fry foods, as little as 8 percent or as much as 25 percent of the oil will be absorbed into the foods.2 This is in the form of saturated fat, which also adds 9 calories per gram of oil absorbed. Research has shown that a diet high in saturated fat can lead to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and death.3 By using the air fryer, you can use an oil high in polyunsaturated fat (i.e. olive oil), and the excess oil will fall to the bottom of the air fryer. In fact, the American Heart Association presidential advisory notes that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat results in about a 30% reduction of heart disease.4 Cooking in the air fryer allows us to enjoy some of our favorite (now not-so-guilty) guilty pleasures.
Air Frying Tips
- Use a light coating of oil (or oil spray) on either the basket and food item to achieve the golden-brown exterior of the food item you are cooking. This also imparts great flavor to the food.
- Do not over-crowd the air fryer. This can lead to uneven cooking, and/or soggy texture of the food item.
- Check the appropriate cooking times and cooking temperatures, as these factors will differ from cooking food items in a standard oven.
- A rectangular air fryer allows for easier spacing of the food items (and more food cooked at once) compared to the air fryers that are more circular.
- Franke S. How Does an Air Fryer Work? Kitchn. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-do-air-fryers-work-265185. Published May 1, 2019. Accessed May 9, 2020.
- Dunford N. Deep Fat Frying Basics for Food Services – Oklahoma State University. Deep Fat Frying Basics for Food Services | Oklahoma State University. https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/deep-fat-frying-basics-for-food-services.html. Accessed May 9, 2020.
- Souza RJD, Mente A, Maroleanu A, et al. Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ. August 2015. doi:10.1136/bmj.h3978
- Sacks FM, Lichtenstein AH, Wu JH, et al. Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017;136(3). doi:10.1161/cir.0000000000000510
- air fryer
- 1 8- ounce package bacon
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Place bacon in air fryer in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes. Check bacon and turn if necessary then cook for another 5 minutes depending on your preferred level of golden brown and crispiness.
To prevent an issue with grease or smoking, you can line the lower pan with parchment paper.