You love cooking meats in your air fryer, but when it comes to cooking them at the right temperature, the process isn't completely black and white.
Why? Because of a little phenomenon known as carryover cooking.
The question you may be asking is, what exactly is carryover cooking, and how does it affect the food you cook in your air fryer?
Here's a rundown on how to adjust your cooking method in this carryover cooking guide.
Let's get started!
How Carryover Cooking Works
After you have pulled your meat out of an air fryer, it does not mean that the cooking process is over.
The reality is that cooking may continue for at least 20 minutes more, and that's true even if the meat is kept at room temperature.
I'd encourage you to use a good thermometer and test this for yourself. When your food is done cooking insert a digital probe thermometer and allow the food to rest. You will be amazed by how the food continues to cook even when off of the heat.
So, if you're trying to cook your steak medium-rare, carryover cooking may cause the steak to reach the temperature of medium-well.
The reason for this is that air that is hot will end up cooking the outer layer of food. Then, the outside part of your food will cook the area inside of it through conduction.
Let's say you plan to cook a thick steak or a roast in your air fryer. A beef roast is mostly water and a smaller percentage of fat, and both of these items are great insulators. Therefore, this type of meat will collect heat rather slowly, then transfer the heat slowly as well.
Cooking Temperature and Meat Thickness
A couple of factors impact carryover cooking in an air fryer: your cooking temperature and how thick your meat is.
The hotter your temperature, the greater the carryover effect will be compared with if you cooked at a much lower temperature. That's because, with a lower temperature, heat will take longer to migrate to your food's center area.
For instance, if your roast is cooking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the carryover maybe 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, if you are cooking this same roast at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, then the carryover might be just five degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, thin cuts of meat have little carryover since they don't have a lot of time to collect large amounts of heat. However, the opposite is true for thicker cuts. So, it's best to remove a steak from the heat at a lower temperature to accommodate the carryover effect.
The shape of the Food
Another important factor that affects carryover cooking is how your food is shaped.
Food shaped like a sphere is most susceptible to the carryover cooking effect. For instance, it is less likely to cool off. This is because its surface area is relatively small for the given volume.
An example of a spherical food item cooked is a turkey that has been stuffed. In light of this, it is best to avoid stuffing a turkey the next time you prepare Thanksgiving dinner. Also, cook your turkey to a little lower temperature for the best results.