Fried foods are a guilty pleasure of many, I bet just thinking about chicken fry, french fries, wings, and all the other goodness makes everyone hungry for some of those delights. Delicious as they are, asking anyone who made these will tell you that making them is a mess and quite the hassle. On top of that, the ridiculous amount of oil they use is a sin.
But innovation has brought a gift for us once again in the form of Air fryers. An air fryer is a little ledge convection broiler intended to reenact the frying functionality without deep frying the food in oil. Now the question arises, Is it Worth Getting an Air Fryer?
How Do Air Fryers Work?
It’s a mini-convection oven that cooks food by circulating hot air around it with a fan. This way, food is cooked by convection, which means it can approach the crispiness of fried food while using far less oil. The important factor here is the Maillard reaction which occurs because of the air circulation.
Their Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives cooked food its unmistakable flavor and leaves that crispy exterior we all love.
In an air fryer, the food is designed to be in a nest in which the hot air can flow from all directions. This way the food gets cooked thoroughly and quickly.
It does require a little bit of oil which is nothing compared to deep frying. So basically the function of an air fryer is as the name suggests to fry food using air instead of using a lot of oil.
Pros and Cons of Air Fryer
Now, to answer whether you should buy an air fryer or not we first need to look at a few things. So keep on reading the next segment.
Reasons Why You Should Buy an Air Fryer
When cooking food that is meant to be deep-fried the air fryer is the best option. It uses a fraction of the oil and delivers near-perfect deep-fried food so in terms of a healthy alternative it is awesome.
Another benefit is that air fryers get incredibly hot very rapidly, and the cooking is even all throughout and gets extremely crispy. So it saves a lot of time competitively.
Deep frying something requires a lot of skill and experience in the kitchen and the margin of error is very high. So for someone who just started cooking, an air fryer is going to be very friendly. It doesn’t require a lot of attention and using it is as easy as putting the food in and turning it on.
Any Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy an Air Fryer?
Air fryers are relatively expensive ranging from anywhere between 30 USD up to 300 USD and the most common ones used to range around 60 to 150 USD.
For those who like overcooking their food, an air fryer might not be the best option because it cooks everything equally and browns a little less than deep-frying, so, depending on how you prefer your fries, the air fryer might not be for you.
Health Benefits of Air Fryers
Depending on what is being Cooked in the air fryer the answer is various. First of all, if we are talking about foods that are not usually deep-fried like poached fish, chick tenders, etc. It makes little to no difference whether you are cooking it in the oven or air frying it.
The biggest difference comes when you deep fry food. Deep frying food takes a lot of oil and the more oil the food soaks the more calories it has. In an air fryer a very minimal amount of oil is needed so the calorie intake decreases drastically. So in a sense it is a healthier way to cook.
Besides, you may read this article! Pampered Chef Air Fryer VS Ninja Foodi: Which Is Best in 2022?
Air fryer vs Oven cooking
Both air fryers and convection ovens use convection cooking or hot air. Especially to equally prepare your food, yet they contrast in size, appearance, broiling capacity, and time.
Firstly, in terms of healthy alternatives, one is not better than the other. Perhaps in some situations, the air fryer might use less oil than the oven but that difference is pretty minuscule.
Now, since the air fryer is compact and uses hot air circulation via a fan the air flows fast and cooks quickly and thoroughly. Compared to the oven the air fryer cooks food a lot fast so cooking in the air fryer can save a lot of time.
Furthermore, since the food sits in a nest it doesn’t need to be flipped often like in the oven. Also in terms of power uses air fryer is far friendlier compared to an oven. On the other hand, air fryers are meant to be small and compact countertop appliances. While the oven can fit a large amount of food to cook, that’s something to keep in mind.
This can be seen as an advantage of air fryers too since compared to ovens they are compact so they can be placed anywhere and don’t take up a lot of space so there’s a lot of room for anything else.
Air fryers can cost somewhere in the range of $30 to more than $300. Since countless brands make them, air fryers don’t have a standard cost range. At the end of the day, air fryers can be costly. The cost varies depending on the brand and capacity of the air fryer. For example, an air fryer by Instant Vortex costs around 45$ to 159$. And air fryers by ninja costs anywhere from 99$ to 279$ on Amazon. But looking at some expensive models Philips premium air fryer can cost up to 559$. So in terms of price the Air fryers are rather pricey.
Capabilities And Limitations
Air fryers are the ideal choice for preparing any frozen food that you would typically place in an oven. The dissemination of hot air in the unit will assist you with accomplishing your ideal crispiness and flavor, utilizing next to zero added fat.
You can use an air fryer for baking cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cheesecakes, doughnuts, and other dessert items. Also using an air fryer with appropriate accessories is able to cook steak, pork. Bacon, fish sausages, eggs, etc.
Furthermore, roasting vegetables is also a good feature of an air fryer. Lastly, one of the most common uses of an air fryer is reheating frozen food such as pizza, mozzarella sticks, burgers, and many more.
That being said, air fryers are not meant for food with wet batters like tempura seafood and corndogs. Also, avoid putting vegetables that are not meant to be roasted like spinach and broccoli. Putting fresh cheese in an air fryer should be especially avoided and rice dishes are not meant to be Cooked in an air fryer.
Now it’s time to reveal the FAQs we have gathered while searching.
What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a mini-convection oven that cooks food by circulating hot air around it with a fan. According to this, food is cooked by convection. And it means you can get less oily yet crispier food.
What is the disadvantage of an air fryer?
Air fryers are relatively expensive ranging from anywhere between 30 USD up to 300 USD and the most common ones used to range around 60 to 150 USD. For those who like overcooking their food, an air fryer might not be the best option because it cooks everything equally and browns a little less than deep-frying, so, depending on how you prefer your fries, the air fryer might not be for you.
Does an air fryer cook food faster?
Air fryers are relatively compact and the hot air flows rapidly from all directions which results in cooking the food incredibly fast compared to ovens.
Can aluminum foil go inside the air fryer?
Yes, aluminum foil can be used inside the air fryer but only inside of the basket but avoiding food with acidic nature is recommended as they can react with aluminum.
Read also: Can an Air Fryer Replace a Toaster Oven: Wish You Knew Earlier!
We have discussed all the bits and pieces about the air fryer so far. It’s a fascinating invention that makes frying food easier than ever. It has its pros and cons and specific areas where it’s amazing and some areas where it fails. But its overall usefulness is undeniable starting from its compact size, easy usability, faster cooking method, large-area coverage in terms of cooking foods, etc.
So to answer the question, Is it Worth Getting an Air Fryer? I would say, yes, it’s worth purchasing. If someone finds what the air fryer provides is appropriate for them while accepting what small disadvantage it has, the air fryer is an amazing option. Even someone with little to no can easily handle it.