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Photo: A. A. Newton Oven resource management is one of the hardest parts of cooking a Thanksgiving meal. If you’re fresh out of oven space and still have one pie left to bake, it’s only natural to start making eyes at your trusty countertop convection oven. “After all, why not?” you may ask yourself. “Why shouldn’t I bake a pie in my air fryer?” And it’s a great question, because air fryers do so many things so well that, at first glance, they might seem like the perfect solution to an age-old Thanksgiving dilemma. Unfortunately, the way they work is fundamentally incompatible with baking a pie. Problem 1 with baking a pie in an air fryer: The laws of thermodynamics A pie is basically an open or semi-open pool of liquid contained by two layers of solids (crust and plate). In order for the center to cook through, you generally want to heat the whole shebang from all sides. But air fryers heat from the top down and blow the resulting hot air around with a fan; they don’t have a bottom heating element at all. Anyone who’s taken an introductory physics course can see where this is going. (Although I barely passed mine.) Circulating air heats some things efficiently, but large amounts of wet stuff and glass—which many pie plates are made of—not so much. Baking a pie in an air fryer is like warming up a swimming pool by pointing a hairdryer at the surface: The top […]