Is It Worth Buying An Air Fryer Heres An Expert Guide
An air fryer is a small kitchen appliance used to cook food by circulating hot air. This machine is said to be healthier than traditional frying because it uses less oil. But is it worth buying an air fryer really? Heres what you need to know.
For many, fried foods can be a guilty pleasure, but using traditional cooking methods such as frying is not the healthiest way to prepare food. Because of this, air fryers have become more and more popular in recent years. However, an air fryer is no healthier than a deep fryer. In fact, some research has even suggested that foods cooked in air fryers may be less healthy than those prepared by traditional methods.
Why You Should Trust Me
As a senior staff writer at Wirecutter, Ive researched, tested, and reviewed toasters, toaster ovens, and deep fryers, among other kitchen gear and gadgets, since 2016. Ive spent more than 250 hours over the past four years researching and testing air fryers for this guide. In that time, Im pretty sure Ive eaten more fish sticks and french fries than the Gortons Fisherman and Ronald McDonald combined.
Too Small For Large Families
Air fryers are relatively small, depending on the capacity. If you have a big family, you might want to stick to traditional pots and pans or an oven. Most medium-sized air fryers allow you to cook meals for one or two people. In Malaysia, you can get an extra-large 12L capacity air fryer with enough room for a whole chicken.
Don’t Miss: Sam’s Club Nuwave Air Fryer
How To Use An Air Fryer
In terms of specific how-tos , instructions will vary by model. But there are some basic principles that seem to apply to all or most air fryer models, including:
Powerxl Features & Benefits:
6-in-1 Multi-Use Air Fryer: Besides making french fries, you can use the PowerXl Air Frier Pro Oven to bake, roast, warm, dehydrate and broil food. You can even make pizzas in it.
10 Cooking Presets: Make your favorite dishes with the touch of a button. Choose from French Fry, Bake, Roast, Fish, Shrimp, Pizza, Chicken, Steak, and more. The intuitive heating makes it easy to cook all your favorites perfectly every time.
360° True Air Technology: The fryers 1,500-watt power heats up to 204°C/400°F. It uses high-speed seamless air flow to create a crispier results while locking in flavor and moisture.
Modern, Compact Design: The sleek, contemporary design and cool-touch, easy-grip handle make this appliance a perfect fit for any kitchen. Plus, the 10-quart capacity means you can quickly cook food for your entire family.
Plenty of Extras: This incredible oil tray, rotisserie spit, and fetch tool trio will make your cooking experience easier. The fat drains into the bottom basket with the specially designed vents on the Fry Tray, making it easy to clean.
Easy-Clean: The non-stick inner basket of this air fryer can be easily wiped clean. All dishwasher-safe parts make cleanup a breeze.
- Dimensions: 15H x 13W x 15L
- Weight: 17 pounds
- Power Cord Length: 4 feet
- Voltage: 120V
- Power XL Vortex Air Fryer 4.7L
- Oil Tray
- BONUS Recipe Book
Read Also: Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites Frozen
Why Buy An Air Fryer
In a word: convenience. Like any kitchen gadget, you want something thats going to make life simpler, and theres no doubt that frying and baking conventionally can be messy, smelly or even dangerous.
Using an air fryer to bake, roast and fry will speed up the process, could potentially cut calories and save money as you wont have to use a larger oven for smaller portions and side dishes.
Think of air fryers as mini ovens that can tackle almost anything youd put in a conventional oven or deep fat fryer. Theyre not just for chips you can bake, roast, and even dehydrate ingredients, too.
Crispy Cajun Tofu Bites With Cajun Remoulade
One challenge we sometimes hear about cooking tofu is that making it restaurant-style crispy can be difficult without deep frying it. Enter the air fryer! Tofu turns into crispy goodness, oil-free, with the help of this kitchen appliance. Snacking on crispy bites or adding them to salads, bowls, and stir-fries are just a few tasty and nutritious ways to enjoy nutrient-dense tofu.
Don’t Miss: Lofter Air Fryer
They Just Keep Getting Smarter
Air fryers offer convenience but they also actively try and make your life easier. One such example is the Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer which not only comes with Alexa-enabled controls, it also has an app that can suggest recipes and pair with the air fryer to select the right timings and temperature settings for your specific meal. Thats super smart.
Do You Need An Air Fryer How To Decide If It Is Worth The Money To Have One
One of the hottest kitchen gadgets right now is the air fryer.
Fighting for contention with the Instant Pot, the air fryer is incredibly versatile, and a powerful tool which can help bring new treats into a persons diet, without the heavy fat and oil traditionally found in fried foods.
But how do you know if an air fryer is the right appliance for you?
When selecting an air fryer, its important to consider a few factors before making your final investment. If properly cared for, these machines can last for years.
Take a look at our ultimate air fryer guide, to see if the air fryer deserves a spot on your kitchen counter.
Don’t Miss: Chefman 3.5 Liter Air Fryer Recipes
The Air Fryer’s Strength: Vegetables
Here is the truth that slowly dawned on me: between frozen treats, I discovered cooking real food in the air-fryer. Broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, even asparagus. This is where this appliance shone brilliantly, at least IMHO. Its isnt so much a fryer but a mini-convection oven. It roasted fresh vegetables, mmwah, so good! And, its easy to clean.
Reason : Air Fryers Can Save You Lots Of Money In Eating Out
Think about how much it will cost you if you were to go out to eat every day? Eating out every day can cost you an arm and a leg. But thanks to owning an air fryer, the Simplicity and the speed at which you can cook make it feel like you were already at a restaurant.
I cant stress how good are fried foods really tight. Its enough to keep you away from going out to eat often. Why go out and pay for restaurant-quality food, when you can get home cooking healthy and delicious food at home?
Its a no-brainer if I was given the option to either cook with my air fryer eight out of 10 times.
Don’t Miss: Folding Air Fryer
What To Consider Before You Buy An Air Fryer
- Air fryers come in various shapes and sizes. In general, smaller units are designed to cook food for one to two people at a time. XL and XXL sizes can fit enough food to feed up to six people at a time.
- Some air fryers are multi-functional. You can find air fryer-toaster oven combo units and even pressure cookers with an air fry function. Depending on your space and how you plan to use your air fryer, a combo unit could be right for you.
- Prices vary. Air fryers can range in price from around $40 to upwards of $300. We’ve found that many of the best air fryers cost around $100 and are often on sale.
- Make the most of your air fryer with accessories. Like the beloved pressure cooker, air fryer accessories are hitting the market making the appliance even more versatile.
Well Are Air Fryers Worth Getting
Now, 3200 words later, we arrive at the place we started. With significantly more flesh on our bones, I hope the question can be answered this time around. If this kitchen-influenced odyssey has told us anything, its probably that it depends on your situation, but also your ambitions with the air fryer.
As an alternative to deep-frying, the air fryer comes in light years ahead considering the fact that it does not add excessive amounts of calories, it does not form acrylamide, and it retains more nutrients than most other methods of cooking.
The simplicity of the air fryer makes it easy for anyone to use. Both my parents and teenage kids can operate the air fryer and they love it. Knowing the tips and tricks has made it their go-to tool for cooking.
Ive been using my air fryer on a regular basis for years now. The convenience of having a robot that cooks chicken, fries, vegetables and much more is incredibly valuable to me. However, with a tight budget, I would not spend as much money as I have, instead, I would opt for a more affordable model.
The air fryer is similar to the convection oven in the way it cooks, therefore, as the owner of a convection oven, buying an air fryer may not provide the same kind of upgrade.
Don’t Miss: Jimmy Dean Croissant Air Fryer
Air Frying Is A Healthier Way To Cook
How healthy is an air fryer? Well, that depends on what you cook in it. What cannot be disputed is that you dont need to use nearly as much oil when air frying when compared to frying in a pan or even cooking in an oven tray. Cooking chicken wings or oven fries? Placing them in an air fryer basket allows the fat to drain off and into the drawer below, which not only helps to crisp your food evenly, but it also means you will end up not eating that fat when you tuck into your meal. If you want to cut down on the amount of fat you consume, buying an air fryer is a great way to do it.
There Are So Many Different Types To Choose From
The top air fryers Ive tested come in a range of designs and sizes. My absolute favorite is the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone, because you can cook two elements of a meal simultaneously, in different drawers and even in different modes. Some air fryers are more like miniature ovens, such as the Tower air fryer Ive tested that not only had multiple layers for cooking different elements of a meal at once, but also had an attachment to rotisserie a whole chicken. Truly, delicious.
Also Check: Sams Air Fryer
Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven 7
With multiple built-in programs, including bake, boast, broil, toast, rotisserie, and dehydrate, you can quickly cook your favorite meals in this air fryer. It is also equipped with a one-step EvenCrisp Technology that results in dishes that are crispy on the outside but tender inside. Prepare your meals with little to no preheating time needed with this Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer.
Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven
Next up was the Cuisinart AirFryer Toaster Oven . This is a big machine! It definitely took up more counter space than we had to spare, but its stainless steel, nicely designed and still very easy to use, which is what youd hope for with a kitchen appliance like this. Think of it as more like an impressively multi-functional countertop oven: You can definitely roast a whole small chicken in it, or bake a round 9 cake , and the fact that it also has convection and air fryer settings is pretty cool. The instruction booklet comes with a wide range of recipes to give you a sense of its capabilitieslike roasting, broiling, toastingbut for the purpose of our experiment I only made fries. This oven can cook up to 2 lbs of french fries at a time, and I found that at the recommended 450 F it only took 12-15 minutes to get crispy fries.
Don’t Miss: Jimmy Dean Loaded Potato Breakfast Bowl
What Should I Use An Air Fryer To Do
Air fryers heat up much more quickly than a standard oven, making them a great option when youre short on time or just dont want to wait around. most of us who have air fryers, Whens the last time you turned on your oven? Pitre joked. Your oven takes about 30 minutes to preheat, and your air fryer takes two or three. Because air fryers heat up so quickly, you wont heat up your kitchen like you might when using an oven, either.
And though you should use some oil when you cook with an air fryer, experts said you dont have to use tons of it. This might be good news for your health: Though vegetable cooking oils like olive oil and sunflower oil have been shown to have little impact on our cholesterol levels, studies have shown that eating excess amounts of fried foods may impact your heart health. When you reduce the amount of oil youre using, your entire cooking process should become simpler and cleaner, too.
Things To Look For When Buying An Air Fryer For A Family Of 4 People
Choosing the best air fryer for your family can be a daunting task. There are so many different models and brands on the market, how can you possibly know which one is right for you? Here are 10 things to look for when purchasing an air fryer for a family of four:
1. Capacity: How much food can the air fryer cook at once? If you have a large family, you’ll want an air fryer that can accommodate all of them at once. Some air fryers have multiple racks, so you can cook multiple items at once.
2. Settings: Does the air fryer have different settings for different foods? Some air fryers have specific settings for chicken, fish, or vegetables. Others have a general setting that can be used for any type of food.
3. Ease of use: How easy is the air fryer to use? Some air fryers have a lot of features and buttons, while others are very simple to operate. Consider how easy it is to set the timer, temperature, and other functions.
4. Cleaning: How easy is the air fryer to clean? Some models have dishwasher-safe parts, while others require manual cleaning. Consider how easy it is to remove the basket and clean the inside of the air fryer.
5. Price: Air fryers range in price from around $50 to $200. Consider your budget when choosing an air fryer.
6. Warranty: Does the air fryer come with a warranty? If so, how long is the warranty?
7. Brand: There are many different brands of air fryers on the market. Do some research to find out which brand is best for you.
Read Also: Jimmy Dean’s Breakfast Bowls
They Work Well For Reheating Leftovers
If youre into meal prep, or you like to heat up leftovers, an air fryer might become your new best friend. While microwaves can lead to notoriously soggy food and ovens can take up to 40 minutes to yield results, air fryers are perfect for reheating jobs. Try running your air fryer on 350-400 degrees for 3-4 minutes for crispy, hot leftovers.6
Sweet Potato Kale Bites
Not only are you omitting the oil thats traditionally used to make snacks and apps crispy, but youre also including nutrient-dense rock stars like sweet potato, kale, and chickpeas. These protein-packed, fiber-rich bites make a satisfying and sustainable snack for one, crunchy, colorful appetizer for party guests, or a tasty, healthy treat for kids!
Read Also: Emeril Lagasse Cookbook For Air Fryer
Do Air Fryers Have A Strong Smell
The devices themselves do not give off a strong odor in the same way that cooking food using any other method is fragrant, so is cooking your meals or snacks in an air fryer. Be aware of the oils you are using and their smoke point, as most air fryers can reach over 400 degrees.
The fryers themselves can potentially smell like food which has been cooked, but cleaning all components and wiping down the inside can help alleviate any unwanted or lingering odors.
So What Is An Air Fryer
Air fryers are countertop appliances which use convection to cook, reaching incredibly hot temperatures, and achieving peak crispiness similar to frying your food in oil.
There are many varieties of air fryers with different configurations, ranging in size, internal capacity, programming options, and countless other options which can make an air fryer a versatile and invaluable tool in your kitchen.
To help you decide if an air fryer should be your next appliance purchase, and if so, which one. Get The checklist
Read Also: America’s Test Kitchen Air Fryer