MISSION, Texas (KVEO) – Air fryers have been among the variety of things the internet has marveled at during the ongoing pandemic. A local Rio Grande Valley business took that trend and turned it into their business model.
Air fryers have been on the market since 2010 and their popularity has been gradually rising over the years, as more people have health in mind when searching for food options.
If you bought one for yourself or as a gift during the 2020 holiday season, you noticed that it can be used for more than just potatoes.
The kitchen countertop device works by rapidly circulating hot air to cook the food. You can cook anything from broccoli and cauliflower to tofu in an air fryer. The appeal comes from getting the same crisp you would get when using deep frying oil.
A Mission food truck called Air Wings, owned by Gaspar Hernandez, is putting this technology to use, offering a calorically reduced version of the chicken wing.
“We just wanted to come up with a healthy alternative for people that want that low cholesterol, low oils. Just give them a healthy alternative to a good wing,” said Hernandez.
He says his air fried wings save people about 100 calories per wing, making it a hit amongst the fitness community and those keeping track of their calories. “They can afford to eat three to four more wings just because they’re air fried.”
The price for an everyday-use air fryer can start as low as $99 and go even lower during sales and holiday times.
Hernandez is glad he made the investment early in the game.
“I didn’t know how big it was going to be but I’m glad I started the business when I did because we’re just in time. We’re actually one of the first out there to do it,” said Hernandez. “We want to take advantage of the situation and perfect it by the time people try to come and make it, we’re already perfecting our craft.”
ValleyCentral got to try Hernandez’s wings and the fries he sells to go along with them. When compared to its greasy counterpart, the wings were indistinguishable in texture. The fries were crisped to perfection and never got soggy.
Hernandez shared some tips with us on how you can get that same texture and taste at home.
First, he recommends you wash the air fryer before you use it. Cooking food in an air fryer straight out of the box may result in your food having a hit of a plastic taste, so make sure to wash it well according to the instructions.
When you are ready to cook, he says to let it get hot before you put your food in it, and once you do, make sure you keep an eye on it.
And the secret: “The secret to it is not to cook so many at the same time and make sure you’re [tossing] it in between. That way whenever it comes out it’s evenly cooked,” said Hernandez.
Air Wings is located at 801 N. Bryan Rd. Mission, Tx. For more information, visit their website.