What is an air fryer?
This practical appliance claims to deliver deep frying results using only hot air and a small amount of oil.
1- How air fryers work
Basically, the air fryer is a countertop convection oven. Its compact space enables faster cooking. The unit has a heating mechanism and a fan on the top. The hot air circulates downward, blowing around the food located in a frying basket. It’s this fast circulation of air that makes food crispier, a process much like conventional deep frying.
Cleaning this appliance is also very simple, and most models have dishwasher-safe parts.
2- What can you cook with an air fryer?
Air fryers do a great job cooking frozen foods that are usually deep-fried: frozen french fries, chicken nuggets and mozzarella sticks. They also do an excellent job with similar homemade recipes. Perhaps best of all, air fryers can also bake.
3- What you shouldn’t cook with an air fryer
You shouldn’t use the air fryer to cook anything liquid like batters (unless they were frozen beforehand). Also, its size limits the quantity you can make in one single batch. If you need to cook large quantities, be prepared to work in batches.
4- Things to keep in mind when shopping for an air fryer
Price: One of the most expensive small kitchen appliances, air fryers prices range between $100 and $300 depending on size and features. Find the air fryer that better suits your lifestyle.
Storage: Air fryers are on the larger side of “small” kitchen appliances. You will need to free up some valuable counter space (or some other storage) to make room for an air fryer.
Easy to use: Using an air fryer is as easy as plugging it and pushing START. Put your food in the frying basket, set the time and temperature and you are good to go.
Taste and feel: While an air fryer will deliver results that are much closer to “real” fried food than what you can make in an oven, let’s be honest, it’s still not the same.
Health benefits As air-frying involves less oil, air-fried food is healthier. Frozen french fries cooked with the air fryer contain between 4 and 6 grams of fat while deep fried french fries may triple the fat amount, reaching up to 17 grams of fat per serving.
5- Final thoughts
To sum up, this is a pretty excellent device. If you want cook french fries or mozzarella sticks, this appliance is the best, delivering superior results to oven frying. However, while it does a great job baking meats and vegetables, the air fryer’s strong suit is its capacity to mimic deep-frying results. So, if you don’t usually eat fried food, this appliance may not be worth the investment for you.