Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro, and welcome back to another air fryer cookbook review. This time we are reviewing Air Fry Everything: Foolproof Recipes for Fried Favorites and Easy Fresh Ideas by Blue Jean Chef. I don’t know why all these air fryer cookbooks have such massive titles, but this is another one!! Anyway, stick around for the lowdown of what I think about this title.
Before we start, I want to let you know that this is a real review! That means that I didn’t just skim Amazon reviews and write my own from that. I actually bought the product and got some hands on experience with it first! Before I started this website, I got pretty sick of trying to Google information about air fryers and getting annoying and generic answers from Amazon review sites! This is why I set up Air Fryer Bro in the first place!
A final note, I used this cookbook in its Kindle form. I am sure it would look even better it you were able to buy a physical version.
Who is the Blue Jean Chef?
When I wrote above that the author of this cookbook is the “Blue Jean Chef”, maybe some of you are rubbing your heads thinking “who the heck is this??” Her name is Meredith Laurence, and she is a celebrity chef of sorts. She has become relatively famous as one of the chefs that can often be seem demonstrating air fryers on QVC. It’s kind of funny that some one can get famous from TV shopping channels these days, but its true. She even has a foreword by David Venable, one of her TV side kicks on QVC.
Meredith has actually done several cookbooks on other trending kitchen appliances, such as pressure cookers and sous vides. She is clearly on the ball with her cooking methods and kitchen appliances!
Let’s go into the finer details of this cookbook, Air Fry Everything. Does it live up to the hype of the author? Let’s find out!
First, I want to look at the presentation and slickness of this air fryer cookbook. From such a “famous” author, I would expect something good here. And, for the most part, it does an excellent job.
Considering I am using the Kindle version, I still get a great looking cookbook with a great number of bright and detailed pictures. They also have a stamp system to quickly show when a recipe is gluten free, super easy, vegetarian or one of the author’s favorites. This is a great system, that makes it easy to see at a glance the nature of each recipe.
The table of contents also has a separate key to denote the same things for each recipe.
As you might expect, the presentation of the actual recipes is pretty good. Giving clear and well laid out ingredients and descriptions. Not all recipes have pictures, but a larger amount do. And these photos have excellent production values, as well as being big and bold within the design of the cookbook. Some more complex recipes even have some step by step photos, which is great to see.
All in all, presentation is a big boon in this cookbook.
This is a pretty important part of any cookbook! We don’t just want a great looking cookbook, we also want to see great content to back up the design.
In Air Fry Everything, they do a pretty good job. Here is a peek at the table of contents:
The thing that makes this particular air fryer cookbook unique, is the fact that Meredith talks about how to cook recipes designed for regular ovens in an air fryer. This is a great addition to the book, and will help a lot of people expand what they can cook in their shiny new air fryers. She even includes some conversion tables to help with this conversion process.
Meredith says that her recipes have been tested on a variety of brands and wattages of air fryers, and gives guidance on how you might need to adjust cooking times for your air fryer. This is all pretty helpful, and I certainly didn’t have issues with any of her timings during my time with Air Fry Everything.
In terms of writing style, I can see that Meredith has been involved with other cookbooks, as her writing style comes across as slick and well presented.
The author does go over the basics of what an air fryer is and some of her essential tips. However, this is my least favorite part of her book. Not exactly bad, but for a cookbook of this quality I would expect some kind of pictures or illustrations/diagrams to accompany what she is saying. Too many walls of text for my liking! Maybe it’s just me.
However, the information within this advice section is excellent. It covers most of the key questions and issues an air fryer user may have. From the white smoke problem to flipping food.
At Last, the Recipes!
What is a good cookbook without good recipes? Probably like a Ferrari without a good engine. Then it would be more like a Ferrari replica kit car!! Is this merely a replica of an excellent cookbook?
After some time flicking through the recipes, there certainly are a large number of them. I was particularly impressed with how many dessert recipes were in the book. I would say that there is a slight slant towards more American style food, but you can find a good assortment from other parts of the world on the whole.
The other thing I noted from the recipes, is that they are not focused on being healthy. Yes, air frying is inherently more healthy than fat frying, but the ingredients used are not particularly light or health focused.
I want to showcase here two recipes that I have tried from the cookbook, and talk about my results.
I absolutely love chick peas, so my first recipe was an easy choice….
This turned out to be a simple recipe, but one that I wanted to try due to my love of chickpeas. I especially love any kind of Indian food with chickpeas, such as chickpea curry! I was excited to see how this recipe turned out.
You basically toss the chickpeas in an oil and spice mixture prior to air frying until crispy. At first, I was worried that such a simple recipe would not turn out well, but boy was I wrong! What you end up with is a crispy and spicy chickpea that can be a great snack time alternative. I will certainly be cooking these again.
The only disappointment with this recipe would be the fact that there was no warning about excess oil. From experience, I know to try and reduce the possibility of your air fryer smoking, you need to try not to over coat your chickpeas with oil. If too much oil is dripping off, you could end up with a smoke filled kitchen! There was no mention of this in the recipe. A minor gripe, but a gripe all the same!
Onto the next recipe!
As my wife and I often cook marinated pork chops in our air fryer (and love them!), I decided to go for this pork chop recipe next:
Usually, my wife and I will marinade our pork chops overnight and then place straight into the air fryer from there. I was interested to read that this particular recipe for Honey Mesquite Pork Chops calls for you to pour the marinade over the pork chops whilst they are in the air fryer. For me, this is a big no no! Anyway, in the spirit of trying out this recipe, I followed the instructions exactly as told in the instructions! This is what it looks like in the cookbook:
Looks amazing, right!! Could I get the same result?
Actually, I did get a very similar result and the flavor was very good. To my horror, the recipe told me to pour the excess marinade from the bottom of the air fryer over the pork chops. There was quite a bit of marinade in the bottom by the time the food had cooked, as the recipe tells you to pour more marinade over after flipping the pork chops.
So, the taste was good, but I don’t agree with the method used with the marinate. It made a big mess inside my air fryer, and I am not comfortable with so much extra liquid sitting in the bottom of the air fryer’s cooking compartment. Maybe, it’s just me!! How would you feel about this? In future, I will follow the recipe for the marinate, but delivery in my more traditional (and possibly boring) way!
So, Is Air Fry Everything Good?
After spending some time with this air fryer cookbook, I am impressed with a solid effort from the “Blue Jean Chef”. The book is not perfect, but it does offer some great advice for air fryer users (for a cookbook) and follows this up with some well presented recipes. There is a slickness here that shows from the author being involved in other quality cookbooks!
This is not a health focused air fryer cookbook, with a lot of full fat ingredients being used. So, if health is a top priority in your recipes, this might not be the book for you!
As you can see above, I do have some issue with Meredith’s methods in some of her recipes, but to be honest they are few and far between. It turns out to be a minor issue, as most of the time the recipes do follow what I would expect for optimal air fryer cooking.
I applaud this cookbook for having the idea to help others convert recipes from regular ovens to air fryers. This is an excellent and original idea!
This air fryer cookbook is a monster at 300 pages, and the Kindle version can be had for around $9 (around $18 for a physical copy). For me, this is great value.
All in all, a great entry in the Air Fryer Bro’s library. Time will tell if it ends up being good enough to turn into bedtime reading!!
If you have experience with this cookbook yourself, we would love to hear all about it in the comments section below.