If you’ve been scrolling through the world of food Instagram and TikTok, you’ll probably have noticed that air fryers have taken over. You know what they say: one day you’re young and beautiful, and the next you’re telling your friends how great your air fryer is. We’re unashamedly part of the second group!
And at the forefront of the air fryer revolution is Jared from airfryerpapi. You’ve probably stumbled across his air fried catfish or chicken pesto pasta and vowed to try them…and we can’t blame you! So what’s the man behind the air frying all about?
Jared started social media marketing in 2015. It’s safe to say he was ahead of the curve and spotted that social media would be the next ‘big thing’ for businesses. It seems obvious now, but not all businesses adopted social media so quickly – and certainly not in the way that they have these days. “There was no literature to help you learn how to do social media marketing” Jared says, “so I wanted to experiment. I knew I had to experiment with one of the three F’s: food, fashion, or fitness. And I chose food!”
How did airfryerpapi get started?
It’s clear that he knows a thing or two about the social media game – not only is airfryerpapi a big success, but so is Jared’s second account blendituppapi, which focuses on blended drinks. “Before airfryerpapi I had accounts which would help market restaurants at a local level on social media. It was really cool, it exposed me to social media marketing back then and was my entry point. Obviously it’s evolved since then” he says,
So what’s the story behind airfryerpapi? It’s only been a year since Jared started the account, and the growth has been huge. It’s clear that he’s talented at getting social media accounts off the ground, but why food and why – more specifically – air fryers? Does he even own an oven? It’s simple in his eyes. “Everybody cooks, right? To some degree. But COVID sort of stalled a lot of the in person experiences around food: restaurants took a huge hit. So I had to think about how to be creative while stuck home. I enjoy grilling, so air frying really spoke to me. And it heats up so quickly. It was really new when I started airfryerpapi too. People had these weird ideas about cooking in a device the size of your laptop, and which heats up so quick.”
So you could say that Jared was an air fryer convert before they were the hottest kitchen gadget around. Obviously he has a knack for spotting a trend before it becomes mainstream!
And while nobody blinks twice at an air fryer meal these days, a lot of us tend to get stuck in certain patterns and ways of using it. “You can cook stuff in half the time of the oven. That’s why I have an air fryer” Jared says. “And I think that’s really what draws people in. A lot of people also only really use air fryers for reheating. But you can actually cook so much from scratch. I’ve done biscuits, I’ve done cheesecake!”
Once you’re comfortable with your air fryer, what we (and Jared!) love about them is their versatility. They’re so much more than just a pizza reheater or pie defroster. You can really experiment and they can actually save you quite a bit of time and money because they’re so much quicker and more energy efficient than on oven. It’s much like crock pots or slow cookers – while many home cooks have boxed them in to just soups and casseroles, they can do so much more. It’s really about just learning to use the appliance to it’s full potential.
I’m not sure I have any tips or tricks to use them better exactly, but some foods are just better when you cook them in the air fryer. Bacon is one of them. No other method even comes close.”
Check out these recipes for some of his air fryer hits:
What about blendituppapi?
Jared has also started blendituppapi account. As you might have guessed, it features blended things – mostly drinks. The self-confessed smoothie aficionado says he “loves anything blended up.”
We’re not sure if that includes kale protein shakes or not, but “I go to loads of smoothie shops in Chicago and I love them. Dairy, shakes, anything. It’s freezing in Chicago and I’m probably going to get a smoothie or frozen drink on the way home” he laughs. What can we say? They’re his first love!
Jared got the idea for blendituppapi at friend’s house. They had a box of fresh fruits and vegetables which were blended up into a smoothie with a few sneaky shots of adult beverages added in. It was hit. “We had this like, easy breezy drink” he explains. “This sort of heathy situation. So that was kind of the start of it. I wondered why we never served these in bars. So I started blending fruits and liquors, basically!”
So does that mean you can feel virtuous when you drink them? Well, not exactly – but maybe more virtuous than if you were knocking back straight beer or wine. “The sugar is what gives you a hangover when you’re drinking. So we thought maybe adding some fresh fruit or vegetables might help you feel better.” The jury is still out on that, but one thing we do know – it’s delicious!
Where does he find his inspiration?
Whisk is all about connecting people through food and allowing them to discover the joy of cooking in their own way. So when we talk food, we always want to know what it was that ignited the foodie fire in our creators. Like many of us, Jared’s connection with food started early on in life.
“My parents are amazing cooks. They’re from the South and the whole family always cooked. I grew up in the kitchen, it’s the way we socialize. So the love of food has sort of been handed down to me, especially the love of grilling food from my Dad.”
And as for inspiration as to what to post on his accounts? It comes naturally – though he tries to push the boundaries wherever possible. “I really just try to think outside of the box. I might see a food commercial or something online. But really it’s just whatever people are making daily. For airfryerpapai, I see how I can do that in less time in an air fryer.”
“I started with Whisk because I saw the pain point – which was getting my followers to my recipes. We often go straight to creating our own websites, but then we don’t think about how many steps it’ll take.”
What we’ve tried to create with Whisk is something which removes those pain points for both users and creators. While creators don’t have to worry about the initial build or the ongoing SEO, user experience, and general maintenance of a website, users also don’t have to navigate to loads of different places or work through complicated directories and categories to find recipes.
“For me, the ease of use of Whisk was really helpful. I didn’t have to go through the back end of websites – the way Whisk is set up it’s basically just out of the box. It saves me loads of time, which is very important” he says.
As for revenue, Jared believes that Whisk is a great tool to help fund the creator economy. “I saw Whisk as a useful tool so I didn’t initially think of it as a revenue tool or a way to generate income. I was a bit oblivious to that when I first started. But now that I understand it, I think it’s an exceptional way to increase your income. I’m really happy that it’s an additional revenue stream for me.”