My TikTok feed is filled with an endless stream of recipes and cooking tips. Many of these are made in the air fryer. While some posts are brilliant, others seem a bit ill-advised. But I have to wonder: Does this work? I spent a week creating five viral TikTok recipes. Here are the results and my subjective ranking from worst to greatest.
Soy Sauce Chicken
In My Feed: The soy sauce chicken tenders recipe is delicious and succulent with crisp skin. Tiffy marinates two boneless chicken legs in 2 1/2 cups soy sauce and 2 tablespoons dark sauce. She also adds 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon five-spice, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon, of honey. After 30 minutes of marinating, the thighs are ready to be cooked.
In my Kitchen: At 18 minutes, smoke was visible coming out of the air-fryer. When I pulled it out, the chicken was charred to a black crispy crust. I tried again with another batch, and they were still in good condition after 10 minutes. Although the skin was already too dark, the meat could have been cooked longer. The meat was done after three more minutes, but the skin was still blackened. This was not the Tiffy video’s glistening brown skin. I could have kept adjusting the time and temperature, but I tasted the chicken and decided that the dark soy sauce with five-spice powder was too liquorice and molasses-forward. This recipe was ranked one lower for every curse word that I heard while cleaning the air fryer basket of the burnt marinade.
Rating Never again. My drywall still has the burnt soy sauce smell.
In My Feed: While the air fryer makes deep-fried foods easier to prepare without using oil, it can cause food to lose its crispy texture if it’s been fried in oil. These taquitos are a winner in the air-fried category. Filling: 1 shredded rotisserie bird, 1 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, 1 can dice green chillies and 4 ounces cream cheese. 1/4 cup salsa verde. Richard wraps small portions of the filling in flour tortillas and sprays them with cooking oils. Then, he fries the fritters at 325°F for 25-30 minutes, flipping every few minutes.
The filling was good in the kitchen but could have used some salt. (Why do so many TikTok recipe recipes skip salt?). Each 6-inch flour tortilla contained 2 tablespoons of filling. There was enough filling to make 22 tacos. The whole batch took me more than 1 1/2 hours to make. I couldn’t fit seven tortillas in my air fryer basket. Although the taquitos tasted healthier than deep-fried taquitos, the shells were chewy and not as crispy. However, I was able to eat four of them in one sitting with a bit of guac and pico de gallo and sour cream. The shells became harder and chewier as they cooled. It’s not the way I would normally serve taquitos, but that’s what happened. They would take a lot less time to fry if you made them all.
Rating Hard Pass (inspired by the texture and colour of the cooled Taquitos).
Bananas with Cinnamon
In my feed: how to air fry bananas as a creative snack? Slice 3 bananas and spray with cooking oil. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and cook for 6 minutes at 400F. Flip the bananas and sprinkle with cinnamon on the other side. Continue air frying for 6 more minutes.
In my Kitchen: These remind me crisp and caramelized on their outsides and soft and gooey inside. The hardest part of making them was flipping the delicate, flaccid banana slices one at a time. However, I don’t think this is something I would crave. Although I enjoy bananas raw, it’s not something I’d want to serve as a portion of party food. Kassandra deserves credit for coming up with a novel and fun way to encourage people to eat more fruits.
Rating I was convinced to try bananas in an entirely new way. My taste buds were not disappointed.
In your feed: Need cupcakes quickly? We make air-fried cupcakes in silicone liners at 350F for 10 min.
In My Kitchen: I tried air-frying cupcakes, but they came out very unevenly and soft due to high winds. These cupcakes look like mini popovers. They came out flat and smooth after baking them in the oven for 18 mins. However, the taste and texture of the cupcakes were nearly identical. Once frosted, it was difficult to tell the difference. Air fryers are great for making smaller cupcakes (mine made nine). However, a box of cake batter makes enough batter to make 24 cupcakes. This would require three batches of frying.
Rating Great for quick treats — because every second counts when you have a craving.
Many cooking tricks seem silly in your feed, but the wisted bacon trick is a game-changer. This recipe was originally prepared in the oven, but we modified it for the air fryer. It somehow made the viral recipe more viral. Then, wrap the bacon strips tight and place them in an air fryer basket. Cook for 40 minutes at 275F. Flip halfway through.
The bacon tasted great with just the right amount of fat in my kitchen. This new way of preparing bacon made me even more passionate about it. This unusual shape gives the bacon a unique taste and chewing experience. The space-saving shape allows you to fit more bacon into your basket. It is a pain to wait for the bacon to cook while your house smells delicious.
Rating I won’t tell my doctor, but this is what I did every day this week.