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Episode 96: Do You Need An Air Fryer? Jess Dang of CookSmarts Helps Us Answer

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Kitchen Skills, What to Eat

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This week’s episode is brought to you by KiwiCo and Breyers® CarbSmart

One of the questions we get asked most is whether busy home cooks need an air fryer? If you’re an air fryer fan, of course you’ll say, “Yes! You need this!” But, really, do we? Even if we have a high-quality toaster oven or a convection oven? This week, Meghan chats with air fryer aficionado Jess Dang about whether the air fryer is for certain cooks only, or all of them, and how anyone can optimize their air fryer for easier meals all day long.

This post contains affiliate links, we may make a small percentage on products we recommend.


Not A Healthier Deep Fryer!

It turns out, the air fryer is different than a “healthier” deep fryer. While you’ll still want a deep fryer (or big pot of hot oil) for your fried chicken, an air fryer will give you the kind of crispy edged, caramelized deliciousness that you’d get from a convection oven in a handy-dandy countertop appliance.

From making sandwich melts to “roasting” vegetables, crispy tofu to zoodles without any sogginess, an air fryer can do so much more than you might expect. If you think about an air fryer in the right way — and we’re here to help with that! — it’s an indispensable tool of convenience.

Listen to this week’s episode to get all the cooking ideas, techniques, and buying tips, if you’re sold.

Links from this week’s conversation include:


About Our Guest: Jess Dang

Jess Dang is the founder of Cook Smarts, an online meal planning service voted #1 on Lifehacker. She started Cook Smarts in 2012 to help families live healthier lives, feel empowered and inspired in the kitchen, and lighten the mental load of meal planning.

Prior to starting Cook Smarts (which you can also find on Instagram, btw, as @cooksmarts), Jess was a contestant on a Food Network cooking show and taught in-home cooking lessons around the Bay Area. She is a mother of three and host of the “In the Kitchen With Cook Smarts” podcast.


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Be sure to join our private Listener’s Group on Facebook (our favorite cocktail is WHISKEY — you’ll understand when you try to join). This week, we’ll be collecting all of your favorite air fryer recipes and techniques too!

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You can find us at @didntijustfeed you on Instagram, Facebook at large and Pinterest. And if you happen to love us as much as we love you (because y’all are very real), you can find Meghan as @meghan_splawn and Stacie as @staciebillis on Instagram.

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Other DIJFY Episodes You’ll Love

If you loved this episode, we think you’ll also love these past episode. Binge listen, activate!

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