Is Chicken Skin Bad for You – How Can the Air Fryer Help?
We lived most of our lives thinking that eating chicken skin is not good for us. Nutritionists and cardiologists would tell us that all that fat is not healthy, so before putting the chicken in the oven, we would always peel the skin off.
Still, what if we told you that chicken skin is not as bad for us as we thought it was? What if the whole chicken skin was just a myth, and we did not have to peel the skin off? There is, indeed, a catch so let’s read on to learn more.
Why Chicken Skin Is Good
We have avoided chicken skin all this time mainly because we wanted to stay away from the extra calories coming with it. For instance, if you cook chicken breast with the skin, the entire dish will have around 276 calories. When the skin is removed, the chicken breast will only have about 231 calories. The fat in the chicken skin increases the calorie intake, which is why we avoid it.
The thing is that the majority of fat in chicken skin is unsaturated fat. This means that it is the kind of healthy fat nutritionists recommend we eat once in a while. We spend loads of money on fancy ingredients such as avocado when a perfectly good ingredient is right underneath our noses.
The Cooking Method Makes the Difference
We know why chicken skin can be good for us, but we should also keep in mind that there are still cardiologists that recommend against it. So, why is chicken skin bad for you, supposedly? Well, here is the catch.
While the chicken skin has plenty of healthy fat, you still get around 3 grams of saturated fat for every ounce. This is the kind of fat that you want to avoid. As the American Heart Association recommends that you do not go past 13 grams of unhealthy fat per day, you have to find ways to reduce your fat intake.
Different cooking methods can help reduce that fat. As the temperatures go up, the fat will begin to break down and seep out of the food. This is why boiling the food is seen as an efficient method to reduce the fat, as most of it seeps into the water.
The main problem is that after boiling, the chicken (and its skin) ends up soggy and with a not-so-attractive taste. This happens because just like the water pulls out the fat; it also pulls out the nutrients that provide the flavor.
This is where the air fryer comes in. It brings us the best of both worlds. First, we cook our meals without using oil or increasing our calorie intake. Secondly, it makes our food nice and crisp, like we just pulled it out of a deep-frying pan – only that it is much healthier, with no extra oil on it.
How the Air Fryer Works with Chicken Skin
Air fryers are a great tool to cook our food while ensuring that it remains flavorful. During the cooking process, air fryers drain out the fat from the chicken skin, causing it to go down in the drip tray. And unlike boiling, the chicken’s nutrients and skin are not eliminated.
Plus, you do not have to use any cooking oil with a crispy chicken skin air fryer. This will further reduce your calorie intake, allowing you to reap all the benefits of fried food without its calories and fat. The air will go around the chicken and cook it, breaking down the fat and catching it in the drip tray.
With an air fryer, the food will also taste great. The skin will be nice, crispy, and not as soggy as when you boil it or cook it in an oven. Plus, since the essential nutrients are kept inside the skin, you will need less salt – if any at all – to make the food tastier.
To get air-fried chicken skin, you should set your air fryer for 12 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius). Flip the ingredients halfway so that they cook evenly on each side. The result will be a delicious piece of chicken with a crispy and mouth-watering outer layer.
The Bottom Line
In the end, chicken skin is not as bad for you as you thought. Eaten in moderation (just like everything else), it can be good for you and quite tasty. This applies especially when you use an air fryer for cooking the chicken skin, as it takes out the fat while maintaining all the healthy nutrients.