What Is An Air Fryer & Should You Get One?

You may be wondering if it is worthwhile purchasing an air fryer.  What are the benefits of cooking with an air fryer over another cooking appliance or traditional deep frying?  In this post, we will hopefully help you to decide if an air fryer is right for you.

If you enjoy cooking and eating fried food but want to eat healthier by using minimal oil, then an air fryer is exactly what you are looking for.  There are so many types of foods that can be cooked in an air fryer.  In fact, almost of anything you can cook in a deep fryer, frying pan or in the oven can be cooked in an air fryer.  Some air fryers even come with additional settings such as roast, bake, grill or reheat, offering so much variety in cooking styles all from a single kitchen appliance.  Air fryers are very easy to use and require little to no oil at all yet are still able to achieve that crispiness and deliciousness you would expect from deep frying, making air fryers one of the most popular cooking appliances in our kitchens nowadays.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer is essentially a small convection oven that circulates hot air using a fan.  As the fan circulates the hot air over the food, it cooks through evenly while giving the outside that lovely crispy texture you would expect from fried food.  You can easily set your desired temperature and cooking duration as you would with a regular convection oven and, as an added benefit, cooking with an air fryer is quick and mess free!

What Are The Benefits of Air Frying vs Oven Cooking?

This versatile cooking appliance can easily replace your regular convection oven when it comes to cooking small portions of food, allowing you to avoid heating up your entire oven just to cook a small batch of food.  Instead, you are only heating the area of your air fryer, meaning that you will be using much less electricity when cooking or reheating smaller portions of food in an air fryer rather than an oven.  You can set your required temperature and cooking time just as you would with an oven.  In most cases, you don’t even need to preheat an air fryer.

What Are The Benefits of Air Frying vs Deep Frying?

When cooking with an air fryer, there is none of the hassle and mess of using massive amounts of oil as required for deep frying.  In fact, only very minimal oil is required to cook with an air fryer, meaning that your food will be much healthier and lower in calories than it would be if cooked via deep frying.  Additionally, air fryers are very easy to clean with removable non-stick fryer baskets that can be hand-washed and are often dishwasher safe.

It is very worthwhile investing in an air fryer if you look at all the long term benefits.  In addition to the health benefits of eating food cooked in a healthier way, by using an air fryer you will also be saving money in the long run as you will not be using anywhere near as much cooking oil in comparison to what is required for deep frying.  When air frying food, the most oil you would use is a light spray or brush of oil for each batch of food you cook, if any oil at all.

The Advantages of Using an Air Fryer

  • Cooking time – Due to the process in which air fryers cook food, you will be cutting down your cooking time by approximately one third.  You’ll love the fact that you can cook meals for the family much more quickly.
  • Healthier eating – Air fryers provide you with a healthier alternative to deep frying as you will use far less oil cooking the same food in an air fryer.  Your air fryer cooked food will have a significantly lower fat content and will be far less greasy than deep fried food.  So if you are dieting or looking to cook healthier meals for the family then an air fryer is an excellent choice.
  • Taste and texture – There are endless options to experiment with cooking different types of foods and recipes.  Whether you are cooking fries, fried chicken, crab cakes, or onion rings, you will always achieve a crispy outside with a moist inside.  All of the delicious flavours and lovely crispiness without the unwanted oil and fat.
  • Easy cleaning – You’ll not miss dealing with the excessive amount of leftover oil when deep frying, cleaning up after cooking with an air fryer is so much easier.  The removable non-stick air fryer baskets make cleaning up after cooking a meal so easy.  They can be easily hand washed and most air fryer baskets are dishwasher safe too.
  • Small appliance size – If you are short on kitchen worktop space, you’ll be happy to know that the average air fryer does not take up much space on your counter as they are small appliances.  However, there are larger models you can choose from if you have a larger family to feed or you just wish to cook more food at one time.  Air fryers come in a variety of different sizes, some even offer multiple fryer compartments to cook food separately at different durations and temperatures.
  • Easy to use – Whether you are a beginner to cooking or a well experienced cook, air fryers are very easy to use with a user friendly interface with easy-to-push buttons.  The instruction manual provided will explain how to operate each of the features and most air fryers also include a few easy recipes to get you started.

What Are The Cons Of Using An Air Fryer?

The are a few cons you do need to consider when air frying foods because air frying and deep frying are 2 very distinct methods of cooking. Although it is easy to replicate the temperature and cooking duration of food cooked in a convection oven, you do need to do a bit of experimenting with the given settings to obtain the perfect crispiness and texture in foods you would expect from deep frying.

Deep frying cooks food at a much higher temperature and at a shorter duration. This is because certain oils used for deep frying such as vegetable oil has a higher smoke point and cooking food drowning in smoke oil prevents it from burning. To replicate the same crispiness of deep fried foods, air frying requires 2 to 3 times the cooking duration and this results in air fried foods becoming dry and hard, losing out in texture compared to deep frying.

There are certain types of food that can get very messy when cooked in an air fryer, that you would much prefer cooking them the traditional way. Because of the circulation of air running through the air fryer whilst cooking, food covered in wet batter, delicate vegetables like leafy greens and food containing fresh cheese like a grilled cheese sandwich or a hamburger, will result in a blown out mess that can be very hard to clean up after. Also, due to the dry factor involved, brittle vegetables like broccoli becomes dust when cooked unless a coating of oil is used to prevent moisture from escaping. So, it will take a bit of research on your part to figure out which foods can and which foods to avoid cooking via an air fryer once you do decide to invest in one.

Compare Prices on The Latest Air Fryers!

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NIKAI 7L Air Fryer NAF779A

NIKAI 7L Air Fryer NAF779A

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Mistral 4.5L Air Fryer MAF98

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Singer 3.5L 1500W Air Fryer

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Sokany 10L 1700W Air Fryer AF-003

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Tefal 4.2L Easy Fry Classic Air Fryer EY2018 Product Image

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Tefal 2.8L Fry Delight Precision Air Fryer 1400W Product Image

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BLACK+DECKER AF700 5.8L XL Digital Air Fryer

BLACK+DECKER AF700 5.8L XL Digital Air Fryer

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KENWOOD 3.8L XL Digital Air Fryer 1.7KG 1500W with Rapid Hot Air Circulation Product Image

KENWOOD 3.8L XL Digital Air Fryer 1500W

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Black+Decker 2.5L AeroFry Air Fryer

Black+Decker 2.5L AeroFry Air Fryer

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