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Why air fryers are so popular as Jamie Oliver announces new show

The chef's new series will be 'jam-packed with inspiration, tips and hacks'

Jamie Oliver presents a new cooking contest. (Channel 4)
Jamie Oliver has a new show. (Channel 4)

He’s tackled school dinners and 15-minute meals, and Jamie Oliver is now turning his attention to the air fryer.

The celebrity chef has landed a new Channel 4 programme that will be all about making delicious dishes in the air fryer, the kitchen gadget that has taken just about everyone by storm this year.

So what’s in store for us in the new show? And what’s all the fuss about air fryers anyway?

When is Jamie’s Air-Fryer Meals on TV?

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Jamie Oliver attends
The star is getting in on the latest cooking craze. (Getty Images for BFI)

Oliver has teamed up with Tefal on Jamie’s Air-Fryer Meals, which is set to air on Channel 4 this year.

As the air fryers fly off the shelves, the star is keeping up with changes in the cooking world and will be showing viewers how easy it is to prepare tasty, healthy food in them.

According to promo material, each episode is “jam-packed with inspiration, tips and hacks plus four to five air fryer recipes including mouth-watering grilled courgettes and aubergines, a perfectly cooked whole roast chicken inspired by the beautiful flavours of Kerala, and an impressive baked Alaska”.

Each episode will see Oliver joined by a guest chef who knows their way around one of the appliances.

Katie Millard, executive producer for Jamie Oliver Productions, said: "If 2023 was the year the nation heard about air fryers, then this is the year we will all fall in love with the air fryer cooking.

"Jamie’s air-fryer recipes are already a huge hit on our website - jamieoliver.com - with over 500,000 views so far… As this series will show, there is so much more to an air fryer than nuggets and chips.”

Why are air fryers so popular?

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 1: The Mi Smart Air Fryer Pro, the newest air fryer of Xiaomi, being exhibited on the smart home display of the Chinese brand during the Mobile World Congress 2023 on March 2, 2023, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Joan Cros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The air fryer has taken off in the past year or so. (NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Air fryers have certainly taken off, with Channel 4 saying that Oliver’s show comes as 45% of the UK now own one.

Fans of the fryers point to the fact that they are relatively affordable – while those at the top of the range will set buyers back a few hundred pounds, basic ones can be found for around £25 or £30.

People who use them also report that they heat food evenly and work fast. Plus they use a lot less oil than a traditional fryer.

Do other celebrity chefs use them?

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 13: Gordon Ramsay attends the 2023 FOX Winter Junket at Fox Studio Lot on December 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Gordon Ramsay does a steak in the air fryer. (Getty Images)

Oliver isn’t the only famous cook using them, with Gordon Ramsay also apparently a fan.

The chef and TV star has recommended them to cook steak, and has a recipe that includes seasoning meat with a dry rub of pepper and coffee grounds before popping into the air fryer.

However, not everyone is on board. Last year James Martin was quoted as joking that they should actually be “banned”.

The spoke out at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, after telling the crowd he would be cooking three things including a chicken dish.

“I don't use an air fryer,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying. “In my opinion they should be banned.”

“I don't even want to speak to anyone that has an air fryer,” he quipped.

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