What are the benefits of an air fryer and why would you get one?
Air fryers have become popular in the last few years since Philips introduced them in the market. There are tens of different models now available but all share the same basic characteristics that set them apart from other kitchen appliances.
Speed and Versatility
Since an air fryer can also grill, roast and bake aside from frying the speed of cooking would depend on what dish and type of cooking you are doing.
Frying popular items like French fries would take up to 20 minutes depending on how thick the slices are and how much you are cooking. While chicken nuggets and fish sticks can be fully cooked in just 10 minutes.
If you’re grilling steak, pork chops and hamburgers they will turn out great in less than 15 minutes.
For baking, a cake can take up to 25 minutes while muffins will be ready in 20.
You may have noticed that in some cases the air fryer cooks longer while in others it is faster. All in all, the appliance cooks faster and more thoroughly than other methods.
Because different fryers come in with different basket capacities for cooking, the size between models will be different. For a larger capacity one, you may need a space that is about 16 inches by 16 inches while a smaller one would be fine in 13 inches by 13 inches. The area mentioned is a square because most model designs fit into this.
For comparison and perspective, a popular deep fryer would need a space of around 10 inches by 20 inches while a similar convection oven can occupy about 14 inches by 23 inches of counter top space.
These kitchen appliances gained popularity because of the promise of having fried food with less oil and calories. It was also important that food produced were good tasting at the same.
In the taste department, I believed that they delivered. For the healthier part, I did my own research and computation in comparing air fried food against deep fried food and wrote about it in an earlier post.
Air Fryer Safety
Because they cook food by circulating hot air around the ingredients, their design needs to be enclosed so that no air escapes and all are used in the cooking process.
Most if not all models are made of plastic that does not conduct heat so touching them when in use will not produce any serious burns. They may become hot to the touch but not hot enough to injure.
A few have added special coatings to the handles (the part that gets to be touched most) to avoid burning altogether.
The enclosed design also avoids oil splashing which could be very dangerous if curious kids are around.
Aside from the small space they need, these appliances are also convenient to use. They have built in timers and temperature controls and some even have presets for what you want to cook.
Cleaning is also easy with all baskets coated with nonstick film and dishwasher ready.
There is also no or little time needed for pre-heating and you can start cooking immediately. This comes in handy if you need to prepare a meal fast.
No or less oil also means no problem of disposing of used cooking oil. This is one less thing to worry about and environment-friendly too.
Many models can be bought for less than a $100 while being a bit pricier.
Compared to a deep fryer which can usually be bought for less than $50 you may think they are expensive. However, if you factor in their ability to grill, roast and bake you may find the price a good value for money. You do not need to have separate appliances for different cooking methods.
I listed above what advantages owning and using an air fryer would give you to help you decide if you want the benefits of one. If you want to know more about individual models, click here.