Deep-fat fryers are one of the biggest fire hazards in England, ask any firefighter. In 2019, London Fire Service alone attended 70 fires started by chip pans. Oil is easy to catch fire, especially when combined with water, which it often is in a kitchen. If you use one, then never fill a pan with more than one third of oil, turn off smoking oil and leave to cool, and have a kitchen extinguisher nearby. They say that electronic fryers with temperature controls are far safer.
Modern air fryers are much safer (keep trailing wires away from little paws and hands) and use little or no oil. Yet replicate the flavour of fried foods (fries, vegan ‘fried chicken’ etc) while cutting calories and cholesterol. Don’t heat appliances near birds (one of many kitchen dangers to birds).
Chip pans are the biggest fire hazard with a fifth of all house fires being caused by them. You can buy a compact digital air fryer to make your own chips at home, as a safer alternative. Ideal for small kitchens, it can ‘fry’ up to 450g of chips with just 1 teaspoon of oil (instructions included). If you do decide to keep your chip pan, here is advice from the Fire Service:
- Never fill a chip pan more than a third full with oil
- Use a modern safe fryer with thermostatic control
- Never leave chip pans unattended, even if the doorbell or phone rings
- Don’t cook with chip pans, when drunk!
- Keep the oven and hob clean, as less grease
- Dry the chips before putting them in the pan
- Test oil temperature with a piece of bread, before adding chips.
If your chip pan does catch fire, call 999 and have a clear escape route. Don’t move the pan and turn off the heat (if safe to do so). Never pour water, you’ll cause a fireball. Instead, smother with a kitchen fire blanket (can also be used for frying pan fires).
Air fryers are also easy to clean and won’t stink your house out, due to less or no oil. Each meal will save you hundreds of calories and if you use it daily, it won’t just gather dust in the cupboard. It’s also ideal to use frozen foods. You can find air-fryers in kitchen shops, just choose the right size for your household. Try these Air Fryer Jam Donuts (Rainbow Nourishments).
Tower Air Fryer has been voted one of the best by Good Housekeeping for people on a budget. In several sizes, the compact one is ideal for single/duo cooking and tiny kitchens. Sold with a 3-year guarantee, it cooks at various temperatures for less energy but faster cooking, and has a removable bowl and safety cut-out.
Make Your Own Air-Fryer Recipes
Use vegan butters with no palm oil. Use a reusable silicone baking liner or unbleached parchment paper (in compostable packaging). Keep recipes away from pets, due to toxic ingredients.
Healthy Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook shows you how to make pizza, tacos and cake, all without oil. You can also use the appliance to bake, roast and grill 100 recipes. The book includes nutritional data from a nutritionist for the Food Network, adapted for vegans. Recipes include:
- Carrot Cake with Vanilla Glaze
- Jackfruit Crab Cakes
- Sweet Potato Hash
- Kale Frittata
- Spicy Jackfruit Tacos
- Balsamic Mushroom Burgers
- Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Polenta Fries
- Falafel with Tahini Sauce
- Beet Chips with Creamy Dill Sauce
- Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
- Crispy Garlic Chickpeas
- Blackberry Shortcake with Orange Cream
- Mango & Yoghurt Parfaits
- Blueberry Cobbler
Plant-Based Air Fryer Cookbook offers meals that you can make, in a fraction of the time they would take in the oven. A unique mix of familiar favourites and creative new dishes, the use minimal salt, oil, and refined flours/sugars. You’ll also find detailed instructions on how to make the most of your air fryer. Recipes include:
- Apple Pie Oat Bowl
- Apricot Oatmeal Bars
- French Toast
- Stuffed Roasted Sweet Potatoes (above)
- Smoky Bean Burgers
- Crispy Tofu Buddha Bowl
- Spinach Margherita Pizza
- Zucchini Lasagna Roll-ups
- Jelly Donuts
- Pumpkin Cheezecake