Wednesday, April 26, 2023

I Recall Not Having an Air Fryer

Have you ever had an appliance try to kill you?

I remember a long time ago in college, my roommate worked at a brewpub. He and a couple of the other unskilled and possibly intoxicated employees were installing a new overhead microwave in the kitchen.

Kids, this was back when microwaves were still a major appliance and weighed as much as a stove, or a small car. He slipped on the impeccably clean kitchen floor and the microwave came down on top of him. Being a college kid, he only ended up with a cut on his forehead and a huge goose egg. If he had been our age now, he’d be dead, or at least entirely sprained.

Luckily for the brewpub, it was partly owned by Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kathy Ireland. Being a college-aged male, instead of asking the courts for half of the business, he asked his boss for a signed Kathy Ireland poster. He got a personalized get-well card and a signed poster from her, which instantly made him college royalty.

Totally worth the almost assuredly undiagnosed concussion.

As for me, I’ve had my run-ins with various power tools and industrial machinery, but I’ve never been attacked by an appliance as far as I can remember. We came close recently, though.

I got a rather stern warning on my Amazon account that something I had purchased was being recalled. The first notice took over nearly half my screen, and the notices continued almost every time I was on Amazon, so in the e-commerce world, it was a Defcon 5 situation.

Turns out it was our air fryer. Apparently, many of our same model had burst into flames in unsuspecting consumers’ homes. Flames from your air fryer, as it turns out, is not a special cooking feature. Instead, it’s a serious safety concern.

What was more concerning than our air fryer spontaneously combusting on our kitchen island, however, was the thought of being without an air fryer for even one day.

It rivals our refrigerator as our family’s favorite kitchen appliance. I would much rather be without a microwave oven, signed Kathy Ireland poster or not, than be without our air fryer.

The air fryer is magical. You can cook anything in it, and you can cook it in a tenth of the time.

Bacon? Air fryer. Crispy, no splatter all over your stove, six minutes.

Fish? Plug the air fryer in outside. Like it never happened, and perfect fish in five minutes.

Tater tots. Nothing finer. Same goes for taquitos and chicken nuggets.

Whole, giant, frozen chicken breasts? Twenty minutes to perfection.

Reheating pizza? Don’t ever even think about doing it again without an air fryer.

It even has a button for cake, but we haven’t tried that one yet.

At this point, I don’t think our boys could function without it, and to be perfectly candid, two of them are taller than me and I was concerned about what might go down if I sent it back. After weighing the options, I simply told them to keep an eye on it while they were cooking and put out any flames that might pop up.

We went that route for more than a month before they all went to Mexico with our church over spring break. It was day two without kids when my genius wife remembered that our air fryer was a ticking time bomb and reminded me.

To the COSORI company’s credit, some of their air fryers may randomly erupt into flames, but their recall process is second to none. I filled out the simple form on my phone, sent them three pictures with the old fryer in various poses, it’s cord unceremoniously cut in two, and had a brand spanking new one in about four days. All indications are that the new one is the explosion-free model, even though it looks identical to the old one.

It was back on the counter when the boys returned from Mexico, none the wiser. Possible devastating structure fire avoided.

But more importantly, we didn’t have to endure hearing about how annoying it is to use a regular oven from three teenage boys.

Thanks, COSORI. You guys rock.

See you soon,



Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen


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