Thanksgiving is fast approaching, but some people may be looking for a healthier option, making the air fryer the perfect kitchen appliance. But is it actually healthier to cook turkey in a deep fryer? And does it taste just as good or does it dry out the meat?

According to the research company The NPD Group, the mini convection oven has become one of the “must haves” in America. In the last two years, deep fryer use has increased by more than 60 percent at dinner. Not surprisingly, the hashtag “air fryer” was searched 5.2 billion times on TikTok.

Newsweek contacted a popular food blogger and several chefs to see if it was possible to fry up Thanksgiving dinner.

The air fryer is best known for creating fried flavors, but with less oil and no frying. It’s basically a mini oven that makes a great healthy alternative.

The video went viral, featuring an air-fried turkey ahead of a national holiday.
@genie_cooks via Instagram

Thanksgiving viral recipes

Social media is a great platform not only to connect with friends, but also to show off your knowledge. As the holiday season approaches, many chefs and food bloggers share their top tips online.

Previously, Newsweek shared an article featuring viral videos offering new foods to try on Thanksgiving.

This virus was watched by over 827,700 people video showing how to fry turkey breast.

Newsweek spoke to Chicago-based food blogger Genien Sheikah, who goes by that name @genies_life on TikTok to learn more about this alternative cooking method. Her turkey recipe on TikTok garnered 31,900 likes and users commented that it looked even better than their usual Thanksgiving dinner.

Sheikah, 34, said Newsweek“Fried turkey tastes the way turkey should taste – moist, juicy, perfectly seasoned and very delicious.”

A 3-pound turkey breast costs $15, can be sliced ​​12 times, and each slice has 174 calories.

The “perfect” Thanksgiving turkey recipe in the air fryer

Sheikah revealed the recipe for her viral TikTok. Here’s her method of cooking Thanksgiving turkey in a deep fryer:

  • Bring the turkey to room temperature and remove the mesh if necessary
  • In a bowl, mix ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon sage
  • Coat the turkey with the mayonnaise mixture and make sure it gets under the skin
  • Place the turkey in the preheated 360° fryer for 15 minutes and turn it every 15 minutes until the turkey reaches 165°
  • Rest the turkey for 15-20 minutes before slicing, then serve.
Stock image of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Veselova Elena/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Comments on the TikTok video mostly compliment the meat, but some TikTokers have doubts and suggest that the meat is “dry”.

Maya Feller, a registered dietitian in Brooklyn, said Newsweek: “The key to a moist cut of meat is to use a thermometer fryer. If that’s not possible, choosing to air-fry smaller thighs or wings as recommended by the manufacturer will result in a juicy piece of meat.”

Is it cheaper to use an air fryer for Thanksgiving dinner?

Newsweek contacted Vincenzo Della Polla, a chef and cooking school instructor at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida.

He said: “I use a deep fryer all the time because it heats up faster than my traditional oven and tends to cook faster. If you need extra oven space for a big dinner like Thanksgiving, these are great.

“The unit I recommend is the so-called Cosori co130-ao. Allows you to fry, dry and even grill a whole chicken or Cornish hen. You can also keep food warm there, allowing you to finish the rest of your meal.”

Describing the benefits, Della Polla says the air fryer uses “significantly less electricity than a large 220 volt oven”.

According to Direct Energy, a supplier of natural gas and electricity in North America, the average power of an electric cooker is around 3,000 watts. “Assuming an electricity rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), a 3,000-watt oven will cost about 36 cents per hour at high temperature,” their website states.

Richmond Howard wrote a blog post for the meal prep resource Meal Prepify explaining how to calculate the cost of electricity used by a deep fryer.

He said: “Air fryers use 1,400 to 1,700 watts. This can be converted to 1.4-1.7 kWh per hour of use. This can then be used to calculate the exact cost, depending on your electricity supplier, for each kWh of energy you use. This information should be on every electricity bill.

“To calculate the cost, calculate how many kWh are needed to power your fryer’s power. Then you can multiply that number by the cooking time you want to use and you’ll see how much it will cost. You’ll also need the size of your fryer.”

The average U.S. retail price per kilowatt-hour is 11.10 cents, so a turkey breast cooked for 45 minutes would cost 12-14 cents.

Will using an air fryer save time on Thanksgiving?

Typically for Thanksgiving, roast turkey is the centerpiece, but the air fryer isn’t big enough for a whole bird.

Feller said: “I encourage people to pay attention to the amount of animal protein they use in the fryer. A 20-pound turkey will most likely not fit in a fryer. The home cook may have to go for a smaller bird or opt for a turkey that isn’t whole.”

For Sheikah, her boneless turkey breast was ready in 45 minutes and she said it needed to rest to retain moisture.

If you use an oven, it takes much longer. According to Epicurious, an American digital food brand, “The easiest way to calculate turkey roasting time is to calculate 13 minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey (that’s about 3 hours for a 12- to 14-pound turkey), or 15 minutes per pound on a stuffed turkey.

While turkey cooks faster, it can take longer to cook all the side dishes if you only have one appliance.

“Cooking Thanksgiving dinner with an air fryer can take longer if the air fryer is smaller,” said Blanca Garcia, a food specialist at the Air Fryer. Newsweek.

Air Fryer vs. Oven: Does an Air Fryer Keep Thanksgiving Turkey Dry?

speak to NewsweekDella Polla said: “In fact, these small units are more efficient because they have a similar-sized fan to a large oven. Blowing hot air into this small space allows food to brown much faster and more evenly than in a large oven.

“Food can still be tasty when you use an air fryer, and I recommend trying time-saving techniques like making things in small muffin tins. We love this in my house because not only is it great for portion control, it allows you to cook faster!

“Make stuffed cupcakes instead of cooking stuffing in a large casserole pan! This is how you can make a sweet potato casserole.”

Sharing another tip for air frying for the holidays, he said: “If your potatoes are stacked on top of each other, they won’t be properly roasted and browned, which is why these units tell you to shake the basket several times while cooking. Now the device I recommend is shaped like a toaster. The “basket” is actually a large wire rack that allows the food to be spread out, allowing the product to cook more evenly over a larger surface area.”

Is using a deep fryer healthier?

For many Americans, the sweet potato is a staple of Thanksgiving dinner. Recently, a TikTok video of a sweet potato pie went viral.

The video Posted by @airfrypapi has garnered over 57,000 likes and been viewed over 491,000 times since it was posted on October 28.


Air fryer with brown butter and sweet potatoes! 🥧 I’m whipping these pancakes right now and testing the flavors before Thanksgiving. You already know it’s a hit. If you’ve never made anything with brown butter, “JUST DO IT” – Nike 😬 #airfryerpapi Free recipe… Click the link in my bio! . . . . . air fryerdessertswetpotatoesfryerrecipesdeep fryerrecipescookingsweet potatofryerbakingair fryerlifedarkmarthastewartffoodwebfryerrecipethank you thank youdesserts

♬ original sound – Air Fryer Papi

Sheikah describes air-fried meat as “a much healthier option” as opposed to traditional deep-frying, and is faster. But some foods, like the ones above, can still be high in calories despite being air-fried.

However, much less oil is used, with Web MD claiming that air frying “reduces calories by 70 to 80 percent and has a lot less fat.”

Garcia said Newsweek the best way to “preserve nutrients while cooking is to fry or sauté”. But that’s not the case with most Thanksgiving treats, like green bean casserole and creamy mashed potatoes.

Garcia said, “Food cooked in a deep fryer may lose some of its nutritional value. Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and B vitamins, are prone to decrease during cooking. Also vitamins A, D, E and K and minerals: potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium.

“You usually cook food over medium to high heat in a small amount with very little cooking fat. This can help reduce the number of nutrients lost during typical grilling, broiling and baking

“While the heat of the fryer can affect the nutrient content of food, all is not lost.

“The appeal of the air fryer is the ability to eat crispy food without all that oil when frying the food. An air fryer can significantly reduce calories from the fat that soaks up in your food.

“But cooking Thanksgiving dinner with a fryer can take longer if the fryer is smaller.”

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