The Absolute Best Way To Cook Falafel Is With Your Air Fryer

While falafel are traditionally fried garbanzo and fava fritters, deep frying is a messy method that also requires a lot of skill. The oil has to be the perfect temperature or these delicate balls will fall apart. Home cooks often opt for the oven, but the best way to cook falafel is with an air fryer. A newer and revolutionary appliance, air fryers function like a convection oven but provide the effects of a deep fryer.

The perfect falafel balls are defined, in part, by a textural contrast that is crunchy on the outside yet moist and fluffy on the inside. Considering an air fryer has been designed to efficiently execute the very effect you're looking for with falafels, it's clearly the best candidate for the recipe. Plus, you'll save time, oil, and dishes. Oven-baked falafels take twice as long and are notorious for drying out and crumbling. The air fryer requires little to no oil, and a shorter cooking time reduces the chances of your falafels from drying out.

Simply form your falafel balls, spray them with a bit of cooking oil, and assemble them in a single layer over the surface of the basket. Slide them into a preheated air fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, flip them, then bake them for an additional five minutes. Based on recipes with varying temperature and cooking times, you might want to experiment to see which one corresponds best with your air fryer.

More tips for making falafel

While air fryers are certainly miraculous appliances that'll help you achieve the best textural results, preparation and ingredients are equally important. If you're making falafel from scratch, it's imperative that you use dried legumes instead of canned. Dried chickpeas soaked for 24 to 48 hours contain much more starch than cooked, canned chickpeas. This extra starch is crucial to a crunchy exterior and airy interior. Canned chickpeas may be a shortcut, but they'll result in a mushy, mashed-potato falafel center.

You could also use a store-bought falafel mix and let your favorite brand do the grunt work of soaking and measuring. While all you have to do is add water to most box mixes, you can doctor them with fresh herbs, aromatics, and olive oil for more authenticity. You could also try adding baking powder or mineral water instead of regular water to ensure a fluffy, light interior. Another important tip is letting the falafel batter chill in the fridge for up to an hour before forming the balls and cooking them. This firms the batter and develops its flavors and starches. Coupled with proper preparation technique, air fryer falafels will be the tastiest addition to your next pita sandwich, salad, or mezze plate.