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Nigella Lawson ditches her Aga and is now a big air fryer

Nigella Lawson says she has embraced air fryers as a modern alternative to an AGA.

But the domestic goddess does not fry food with it – instead she cooks meat and fish, and has even developed a way of using it as a poacher.

The TV chef said: “I love my air fryer, but air fryer is such a stupid name as I want to fry in fat.

“An air fryer is not a fryer. I think of it as the microwave. It is like an AGA in crypt form because it is a very good conventional oven.

“I use it sometimes when I do pork belly slices, I cook sausages and chicken crackling.”

Nigella, 64, added: “The thing is it is really good and sometimes I cook fish in it, but I turn it into a poacher then as I put liquid in the bottom.

“You are not meant to but it steams it. I have got used to it but it is a very good oven. It makes an incredible roast chicken and anything that makes a good roast chicken, I am on board with.”

Nigella, who has written 12 bestselling recipe books, is well known for having a library of more than 6,000 cookery manuals.

But she now has so many that she has had to pack them away. But she said: “I don’t have a favourite – I like to read them all.”

The mother-of-two added: “I like young writers. We are all going to be knocked off our perch. I talk to lots of different writers and I want to make sure things are good for those people.

“Not to be generous is unforgivable. I love enthusiasm and when people are good at what they do. What do I always have in my fridge? Butter. It is so unthinkable not to have it. It is so unthinkable it makes me hyperventilate.”

During An Evening with Nigella Lawson at London’s Barbican Theatre last week, the TV star also discussed her approach to her weight.

“My mum had a problematic relationship with food and I did think, ‘I don’t want to be like that’,” she said.

“I would rather have more flesh and eat more food. The real truth is you have to work out what matters to you in life, and what matters to me is eating and it is the way I celebrate life.

“If I did not make every meal something that I really want to take pleasure in, I think I would feel slight depression and disconnection.”

Despite having a different approach to eating from her mother, Vanessa Salmon, Nigella does credit her for her cooking skills.

She said: “My mother believed in child labour. I was six and my sister was five, and my mother expected us to help. We cooked on a wooden chair. Very unsafe, standing stirring the white sauce or hollandaise sauce. My mum would start it and it was a way of getting it done.”


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