Are you a fan of seafood? Do you enjoy cooking healthy meals for you and your family? If so, then air fryer shrimp recipes with Old Bay seasoning might just be the perfect dish for you! Not only is this dish easy to make, but it's also a healthier alternative to traditional deep-fried shrimp dishes. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about cooking air fryer shrimp recipes with Old Bay seasoning, including the benefits of using an air fryer, why Old Bay is the perfect seasoning for your shrimp, the top air fryer models, and more. So, let's get started!
Why air frying shrimp is a healthy cooking option
First things first, let's talk about why air frying shrimp is a healthier cooking option than traditional deep-frying. When you deep-fry shrimp, you're essentially cooking it in a vat of oil. This not only adds fat and calories to your dish but can also lead to health issues such as high cholesterol and heart disease. On the other hand, when you air fry shrimp, you use little to no oil, which means you're consuming fewer calories and less fat. This makes air frying a great option for those who want to enjoy healthier versions of their favorite foods without sacrificing flavor.
In addition to being a healthier cooking option, air frying shrimp also has other benefits. For one, it's a quicker cooking method than traditional frying, which means you can have your shrimp ready in a fraction of the time. Additionally, air frying allows you to cook shrimp with a crispy texture without the need for breading or batter, which can further reduce the calorie and fat content of your dish. Finally, air frying is a more environmentally friendly cooking method, as it produces less waste and uses less energy than traditional frying methods.
The benefits of using Old Bay seasoning in your air fryer shrimp recipes
If you're a fan of seafood, then you're probably familiar with Old Bay seasoning. This famous spice mix was created in Maryland in 1939 and has been a staple in seafood dishes ever since. Old Bay seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that includes celery salt, black pepper, paprika, and more. When added to your shrimp, it gives it a deliciously tangy and spicy flavor that perfectly complements the natural sweetness of the shrimp. Additionally, Old Bay seasoning contains no added MSG or artificial flavors, making it a healthier choice for your shrimp dish.
Another benefit of using Old Bay seasoning in your air fryer shrimp recipes is that it is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a dry rub on your shrimp before cooking, or you can mix it with butter and use it as a dipping sauce. You can also add it to other seafood dishes, such as crab cakes or fish tacos, to give them a unique and delicious flavor. With Old Bay seasoning, the possibilities are endless, and you can experiment with different recipes to find your perfect combination of flavors.
Top 5 air fryer models for cooking shrimp dishes
Now that you know why air frying shrimp dishes with Old Bay seasoning is a great option, let's talk about the top air fryer models you should consider. Here are our top 5 picks for air fryers:
- Phillips Airfryer
- Ninja Air Fryer
- Gourmia Air Fryer
- Cosori Air Fryer
- Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
Each of these air fryer models has its own set of pros and cons, so do your research and choose the one that's right for you.
When choosing an air fryer for cooking shrimp dishes, there are a few key features to consider. Look for an air fryer with a large capacity basket, as this will allow you to cook more shrimp at once. Additionally, consider an air fryer with adjustable temperature settings, as different shrimp dishes may require different cooking temperatures. Finally, look for an air fryer with easy-to-clean parts, as shrimp can leave behind a strong odor and residue. Keep these factors in mind when selecting the best air fryer for your shrimp cooking needs.
How to properly prepare and clean shrimp for air frying
Unless you purchase pre-cooked shrimp, you'll need to properly clean and prepare your shrimp before air frying. Here's how:
- Rinse the shrimp under cold water and remove the shells and tails.
- Use a paring knife to remove the vein that runs along the back of the shrimp.
- Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
- Season the shrimp with Old Bay seasoning.
After air frying, be sure to clean your air fryer thoroughly to prevent any leftover food particles from sticking to the unit.
It's important to note that the size of your shrimp can affect the cooking time in the air fryer. Larger shrimp may require a longer cooking time, while smaller shrimp may cook faster. It's best to check on your shrimp periodically while air frying to ensure they are cooked to your desired level of doneness.
If you're looking to add some extra flavor to your shrimp, try marinating them in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice for a few hours before air frying. This will infuse the shrimp with delicious flavor and help keep them moist during the cooking process.
3 easy air fryer shrimp recipes with Old Bay seasoning for weeknight dinners
Now that you know how to prepare and clean your shrimp and have chosen the perfect air fryer, it's time to start cooking. Here are 3 easy air fryer shrimp recipes with Old Bay seasoning that are perfect for weeknight dinners:
- Old Bay Air Fryer Shrimp: Simply coat your shrimp in Old Bay seasoning and air fry for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Old Bay Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos: Cook your shrimp in the air fryer and serve in warm tortillas with lettuce, tomatoes, and your favorite taco toppings.
- Old Bay Air Fryer Shrimp Po' Boys: Air fry your shrimp and serve on a toasted roll with lettuce, tomato, and a creamy Cajun sauce.
If you're looking to switch up the seasoning, try using garlic powder, paprika, or cajun seasoning instead of Old Bay. You can also experiment with different dipping sauces, such as cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.
Don't limit yourself to just tacos and po' boys - try adding your air fryer shrimp to a salad or pasta dish for a healthier option. You can also serve them as an appetizer with a side of garlic butter for dipping.
How to make crispy and flavorful air fryer coconut shrimp with Old Bay seasoning
If you're a fan of coconut shrimp, you'll love this recipe. Here's how to make crispy and flavorful air fryer coconut shrimp with Old Bay seasoning:
- Mix 2 cups of shredded coconut with 2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk together.
- Coat your shrimp in the egg and milk mixture, then dip in the coconut mixture, making sure to coat evenly.
- Air fry for 5-6 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the shrimp is cooked through and the coconut is golden brown.
This recipe is not only delicious, but it's also a healthier alternative to traditional fried coconut shrimp. By using an air fryer, you can achieve the same crispy texture without the added oil and calories. Plus, the Old Bay seasoning adds a unique and flavorful twist to the dish. Serve with a side of sweet chili sauce for dipping and enjoy!
The science behind achieving perfectly cooked and juicy air fryer shrimp
Believe it or not, there's actually a bit of science behind achieving perfectly cooked and juicy air fryer shrimp. Here are a few tips:
- Be sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket, as this can cause the shrimp to steam instead of fry.
- Preheat your air fryer for 3-5 minutes before adding your shrimp, as this will help them cook more evenly.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that your shrimp has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.
Another important factor to consider when cooking air fryer shrimp is the size of the shrimp. Larger shrimp will take longer to cook than smaller shrimp, so it's important to adjust your cooking time accordingly. Additionally, marinating your shrimp before cooking can add extra flavor and help keep them moist. Experiment with different marinades, such as garlic and lemon or honey and soy sauce, to find your favorite combination.
Air fryer vs deep-frying: which is the better method for cooking shrimp?
We've already discussed why air frying is a healthier option than traditional deep-frying, but what about taste and texture? While deep-frying may give your shrimp a slightly crispier texture, many people find that air frying produces shrimp that are just as crispy but with less grease and a cleaner flavor.
Another advantage of air frying shrimp is that it is a more convenient method of cooking. With deep-frying, you need to heat up a large amount of oil and constantly monitor the temperature to ensure that the shrimp are cooked evenly. On the other hand, air frying requires little to no oil and the machine does all the work for you, making it a quicker and easier option.
It's also worth noting that air frying is a more environmentally friendly option than deep-frying. Deep-frying requires a lot of oil, which can be wasteful and harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. Air frying, on the other hand, uses minimal oil and produces less waste, making it a more sustainable choice.
Creative ways to use leftover air fried Old Bay shrimp in other dishes
Have leftovers? Don't let them go to waste. Here are a few creative ways to use leftover air fried Old Bay shrimp in other dishes:
- Add them to a salad for a protein-packed lunch.
- Chop them up and use them as a topping for a homemade pizza.
- Make shrimp tacos by adding them to soft tortillas with your favorite toppings.
So there you have it, everything you need to know to make delicious and healthy air fryer shrimp recipes with Old Bay seasoning. Happy cooking!
Another great way to use leftover air fried Old Bay shrimp is to add them to a pasta dish. Simply cook your favorite pasta and toss it with some olive oil, garlic, and the leftover shrimp. You can also add some cherry tomatoes and spinach for a complete meal.
If you're feeling adventurous, try making shrimp fried rice with the leftover shrimp. Cook some rice and scramble an egg in a pan. Add the leftover shrimp, some frozen peas and carrots, and soy sauce. Mix everything together and you have a delicious and easy meal.