It's hard not to love a blooming onion. Whether you're talking about the Outback Steakhouse version or a version you made at home, what's to dislike about an onion cut into petals, covered in seasoned batter and deep fried, and served with a tangy dipping sauce? It's arguably the king of all appetizers.
But anyone who has ever had leftovers from Outback has run into a problem: how do you reheat leftover parts of a bloomin' (or blooming) onion? This is true for all deep-fried foods, but especially so with any onion product, as they're very easy to overcook. So what are your options? The microwave preserves the onion texture but the batter goes to mush, you can't fully deep fry them again without overcooking them, and the oven gets you close, but not quite there.
The air fryer, though, is perfect, nailing both taste and texture. The best part? It's actually super easy, and (like most air fryer cooking) takes virtually no effort whatsoever.
Air Fryers Are The Ideal Way To Reheat Fried Foods Like Blooming Onions
The rise of air fryers has really altered the course of day-to-day American culinary life. Even if professional chefs hate on air fryers far more than they deserve, this humble appliance has made all sorts of foods readily-accessible in everyday cooking for many people that just weren't before they made it onto the market. After all, an air fryer may not make fried chicken quite as good as the old-fashioned way, but they get maybe 80% of the way there with 10% of the effort, and after a long day, sometimes that's all you have the energy for.
For the most part, the benefit of an air fryer is it essentially functions as a miniature convection oven, frying or cooking foods without the need for large amounts of oil (and thus, saving both the cost of the oil and the significant amounts of resultant mess). The only problem with this approach is that while you can cook a vast amount of things in an air fryer, it doesn't do any of them quite as well as the more work-intensive methods.
Except for one thing: reheating deep-fried foods. Where other methods run into trouble, an air fryer absolutely nails it, getting both the taste and texture as good as new. The blooming onion is no exception here.
The Whole Process Is A Total Breeze
When you reheat a blooming onion in an air fryer, it turns out (much like, say, fried chicken) basically as good as when it was freshly-made. The best part, too, is that the process is incredibly simple. Simply preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees, cut the onion in half, and spray it with a small amount of cooking spray or oil to get a bit of extra crispiness. Put it in the air fryer for five minutes on each side, flipping it halfway through, and ... that's it. That's the whole process. It's so, so easy.
Cooking is all about knowing how to use the tools at hand, and things like reheating fried foods are no exception to this rule. Just follow these simple steps and you'll have delicious blooming onion leftovers in no time -- regardless of whether you got it in a restaurant or made it yourself.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.