In Defense of the Deep Fryer (and Really Good Gnocchi)

Pedantic criticism of technology from dedicated fans is not something that I think is worthwhile. While I understand that it is human nature to want to fight back anything that is suddenly and ubiquitous becoming popular, it is helpful to stop and think about why things are becoming popular in general. Whether it’s a gathering of cute teenagers with beautiful singing voices or a kitchen appliance, things that get very popular usually become popular very quickly because they make people happy.

For example, even in the fact that Pot the Instant – “just a pressure cooker,” it is in this pressure cooker the average home cook comfortably cook under pressure, which allows them to expand their skill set and quickly cook dinner on the table. Some of the Instant Pot customers may have been making interesting new products out of them; some probably ate more beans. It matters anyway, and looking down on a device that arouses people to eat and cook is, in my opinion, useless.

Not everything is for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t meant for anyone . A deep fryer – yes, it’s “just a tabletop convection oven” that “doesn’t really fry anything” – is not suitable for a mother of four who acts as the primary food preparation for her family. Even if you do get large, it just won’t be able to cook six servings of any particular thing. For this hypothetical mom, it would be much wiser to buy a convection oven.

But for single people, students or teenagers whose parents are precarious and often in charge of their own dinner (it was me since 10 years old), the deep fryer is very useful and very economical ( I had 50 dollars). , and very easy to use. You get results in the convection oven without having to wait for the entire oven to heat up, which means that most meals – yes, complete meals – can be cooked in about 10 minutes.

It looks like a large Easy Bake oven with microwave speed. Technically, it does not fry anything, but it helps a certain group of people eat better, and pedantry about the name under which the device is sold does not help anyone.

Anyway, that’s all to say the deep fryer makes the perfect stellar plate of gnocchi and meatballs in about 10 minutes. Both gnocchi and meatballs are best when tender on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside, while gnocchi and frozen meatballs are just cooked at about the same pace when stored. There are some variations in the size of the frozen meatballs, but the ones I used to test were quite large and the dumplings came out perfect – soft on the inside with a small, not quite crispy shell.

One of the great things about a deep fryer is that you can easily check the readiness of your food. Unlike sous-vide cooking (which gets stuck in the bag) or Instant Pot dishes (which get stuck under pressure), you can open the fryer, poke its contents, then close it again without worrying about getting warm. “(Any heat lost comes back very quickly.) Start checking your balls around the 8th minute. Cut one open to see if it’s warm in the middle, and wait another minute or two if necessary. If you know how to cook TV dinner, you cope with this pasta dish too.

Air-fried gnocchi and meatballs


  • As many dumplings as you want to eat
  • As many frozen meatballs as you want to eat (do not defrost)
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic salt (or salt and garlic powder)
  • Your favorite cooked pasta sauce (store bought or homemade)


Set the fryer to 385 ℉. Add the gnocchi to a bowl and drizzle with just enough olive oil to cover. Season lightly with garlic salt, then pour the gnocchi into the deep fryer drawer / tray, leveling them in one layer and leaving room for the meatballs. Add the meatballs, close the drawer and cook for 8-11 minutes, until the gnocchi are crispy on the outside and the meatballs are browned. While the fryer is doing its thing, heat up enough sauce for the food (1/3 cup will work for me). Place the gnocchi and meatballs on a plate, top with the sauce and garnish with Parmesan and / or fresh basil.


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