I jumped into the Air Fryer craze in early January. My younger sister has one and enjoys using it, and I’ve been reading about how they cook etc. A “you tube vlogger” that I follow, David Abel has been doing videos of how he is cooking in a healthier way using the air fryer. Both my sister and David have a “bucket style” air fryer. One day, watching one of David’s vlogs a commercial popped up for the Emeril 360 Air Fryer. That set me on a day of researching the wide varieties available. I have seen the bucket style on the shelf at our local warehouse store. Another sister of mine has a NUWAVE induction cooking device she uses when she is working.
I ended up choosing the Emeril 360 because it does have more “room” inside. It is the size of a small microwave / large toaster oven. Getting that extra room inside means using valuable space on the countertop! It is also a “MULTI FUNCTIONAL” unit. It has air fry, toast, broil, bagel, bake, dehydrate, slow cook, rotisserie, roast, pizza, reheat and warm function.
DIMENSIONS — The Emeril 360 is 16″ deep (including 2″ for a handle near the top that sticks out at an angle and a bump out at the back). It is 19″ wide and 10.5″ high. There are vents on the sides and the top and the back.
The unit I purchased on Amazon came with a drip tray, a pizza rack, an air fryer basket and a baking pan. I have since ordered an additional air fryer basket from the Emeril website….still waiting for it to arrive.
The chicken in the photo is in the air fryer “basket”. I read about using parchment paper with holes and ordered the 9″ square pieces from Amazon to try them out. The mesh of the air fryer “basket” is a small grid and the parchment saves some scrubbing. The pizza and the donuts and sandwich are on the pizza rack. (It looks just like your regular oven rack).
Cooking in the air fryer – for me, it is similar to cooking in my large wall oven, except it is FASTER, and heating up a much smaller appliance. My number one reason for purchasing the air fryer was healthier cooking (ignore the pizza and donuts) – less fat than pan frying. Typically I would either bake chicken in the oven and pan fry pork chops or fish or steak on the stove. I can tell you, I have been very successful with cooking all of those things in the Emeril 360 air fryer. And the pizza and donuts came out pretty good too.
COATINGS/Breading – When I started looking at how people were cooking in air fryers, I saw a lot of “breading and coating” going on. I have to be careful with my carbs, so I only use breading and coatings occasionally. I also am not going to be cooking things I wouldn’t ordinarily cook (like fried pickles), so I am keeping it simple and really just cooking as I would ordinarily, except much more efficiently. There is a huge difference in time and flavor. I typically cook chicken thighs or drumsticks, and in the photo above I just used seasoning. What I have used for coatings are things that I use on a regular basis.
I’ve also used just Panko bread crumbs with season on pork chops to mimic “shake & bake”.
I also use the same brand of chicken coating. I tend to mix my coatings with Panko bread crumbs to “spread out” the coating a bit and make it not so heavy but keep just enough on the fish or chicken to give it a crunch. In the above photo you can see it is fairly crumbly. I dried the fish well, spritz some oil on, dredged in the crumbs and put on the parchment lined air fryer basket. Lots of loose bits end up on the paper and all over the counter, so I have to keep a tray under them while I am working at getting them ready. In the picture below you can see what a mess it was before I started putting the parchment paper in the basket.
OIL SPRAYS – I discovered that it helps the food to crisp up nicely if you spritz it with a little olive oil. I purchased a small pump spray bottle on Amazon and filled it with olive oil. It doesn’t give me a fine misty spray like I expected. That could be because I bought the low end bargain sprayer, or the thickness of the oil. (It sprayed water very nicely). I’ve also discovered Avocado oil spray and Coconut Oil spray. Those came in a propellent can and give a huge blast of spray. Downside of those two is I have to be careful of overspraying and blowing any seasoning right off the food. Alternatively, you can give the food a light brushing of olive oil before adding your seasoning. After I cooked the fish about 1/2 way, I gave it a good spray with oil. I always remove the basket from the oven, set it on a tray, spray and return to the oven. You don’t want to spray oils IN the oven, as it would be a cleaning mess and a fire hazard if you oil hit the hot elements.
The very first thing I cooked were potato wedges. In my big oven, I would cook them at 375 or 400 or 25 mins or so, and using the air fry setting, it took about 18 minutes at 400 degrees. They were crisp on the outside, and had soft centers.
RACKS/BASKETS – If I was cooking in my wall oven, I might have two things cooking at the same time, like potatoes and chicken. In the Emeril 360, I can use both the wire mesh air fry basket and the pizza rack with a baking dish. Or, depending on what you are fixing, everything in the air fry basket. I often bake potatoes in the microwave and toss them in the air fryer basket for the last five minutes of the meat cooking.
TEMPERATURES / TIMING – The oven came with a cook book by Emeril and I began using it primarily as a reference for temps, settings and times. I ordered a second cookbook called The Skinny Taste Air Fryer Cookbook. I was disappointed in that book because most of the things are using coatings. Sigh…..so, I will just keep cooking what I like. I have discovered you can type air fry *insert food word* into a google search bar and getting times/temps/recipes for anything you want. I did “air fry Brussel sprouts” yesterday and got several recipes quickly. Really I just wanted the time and temp. I threw my Brussel sprouts in the basket with my chicken for the last several minutes.
GADGETS – Truth – I am a gadget girl. So the air fryer is a new gadget for me to learn to use. An absolute must for me is the parchment paper with holes punched (for air flow) when cooking anything that might “stick” to the rack or the basket. I even put parchment UNDER pizza. The # 1 essential for cooking meat in the air fryer is a digital thermometer. My daughter gifted me a very nice Thermapen digital thermometer for Christmas and with the air fryer, I am using it every day. A pair of tongs, an oven rack puller and a pot holder are the other necessities. (Tongs are great for picking up your HOT English muffin off the rack. The oven rack puller is just a gadget, but the pot holder is a MUST. ) (I’ve been busy drinking wine while cooking and forgotten how hot the racks are…duh…..)
COOKWARE – Anything that you put in an ordinary oven can go in this oven. Cupcake pans, baking dishes, corning wear, Pyrex, foil / aluminum pans. If it fits the 11″ x 11″ inside, use it. Pans can go on the “pizza rack” which can be set in one of 4 shelf slots, from broil at the top to slow cook at the very bottom. The window on the door has numbered markings and description of where to put your rack/basket.
CLEAN-UP – In my world, if it won’t go in the dishwasher, I don’t have it in my kitchen. All the racks, baking tray, air fryer basket and the drip tray go in the dishwasher. They come out pretty clean and since I started using the parchment paper, no bits get stuck on the wire mesh of the air fryer basket. The drip tray sometimes needs a bit extra scrub. Oily drips like that from chicken fat can make a sticky mess. So, a bit of Bon Ami cleanser, or a little dawn dish soap help clean the stuck on stuff . Some people cover their drip pan with foil, but I don’t find it too hard to clean using the dishwasher. The inside of the oven needs to be wiped out, and I use a dish cloth with some Dawn dish soap on it, wiping inside, top, bottom, sides and back. Crumbs will collect in the corner too in spots the drip pan doesn’t fully cover. They wipe out easily with a damp cloth.
Interesting notes – and things I have learned in the last month – 1) If you are cooking something that might drip a lot, like chicken on the rotisserie or in the air fryer basket, I put the pizza rack on the bottom position (just above the heating element). I slide the baking pan in and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. This keeps grease from dripping on the heating element and smoking. 2) Make sure you have about 5 ” clearance all around the outside of the oven. Don’t block your vents or push it all the way back on the counter when in use. 3) The top of the oven is significantly warm (unlike the top of a microwave), so don’t store anything on top of it. You can actually put a tray up there to keep things warm, but don’t block the vents on the top. 4)Check the temperature of your food halfway through the selected cooking time and adjust the timing as need be. 5)The oven preheats in under 5 minutes and alerts you when it is hot, but starts the cooking countdown time immediately, so bear that in mind as you are putting our food in, unless you hit the pause, your timer (and the fan) is still going when you open the oven. 6) You have the option of turning the fan on when baking. 7)There is a light switch button so you can peak through the glass door and see how things are looking while they are cooking, without opening the door.
TAKE-AWAY – I love this air fryer and find the meats are cooking nicely and staying VERY moist. My husband always complains that the “porkchops are dry”, no matter how I cooked them in a conventional oven or skillet. He has been VERY pleased with the pork chops I have made in the air fryer. I have done them without coating too, and he likes them either way. A 12″ frozen DiGiorno pizza fits on the pizza rack nicely. Frozen French fries and tater tots cook up nicely too. You can cook on two levels so you can get everything finished at the same time (or close to it). This was a big reason I went for the “oven style” air fryer. I’ve used my wall oven once in the last month when we had 6 for dinner and needed to make large quantity of something. Overall, I think the Emeril 360 Air Fryer is a very nice machine, and I got a heck of a deal on it using Amazon and I recommend it. I joined a couple of groups on Facebook when I first bought it to see how others were getting along cooking and reading their comments and recommendations. Not every food needs to be cooked in an air fryer, and I will continue to cook my “over easy” eggs in a skillet on the stove, and my bacon in the microwave. (Those were BOTH fails in the Air Fryer in my opinion). I’ll keep the rest of the appliances in the house, but I am enjoying my English muffin in the Emeril on the bagel setting and haven’t set the smoke alarm off yet. That’s a win in my cooking world!
No compensation from any source for this review. I promised my sister-in-law (OneBlockWonderWoman) that I would review it after I have had it for a month.