Commercials, infomercials, sales papers, reviews, and online advertisements – you’ve likely heard or seen ads touting what an air fryer can do.
Air Fryers are all the rage right now! A few popular news publications are even claiming air fryers are the new Instapot of 2018.
Linda@Good HouseKeeping Says:
“This is the new kitchen appliance you’re going to want in 2018.”
Is an Air Fryer Worth Buying?
Thumbs Up and One Arm Flex!
Consider this helpful guide – we’ve done the research for you. We’ll examine the reasons why you might consider purchasing an air fryer.
Our Favorite Air Fryer Picks
How Do Air Fryers Work?
An air fryer is basically a compact convection oven that cooks food rapidly using superheated air. A fan within the appliance circulates the air for even and efficient cooking. This leaves food crispy on the outside while moist on the inside. The result is similar to deep frying but without the excess oil.
Is This Appliance Worth the Hype?
We believe so, here are 4 reasons you should buy an air fryer.
An air fryer will offer you a greater range of functions than a deep fryer. You can use them to heat up leftovers, cook frozen convenience foods, or grill, fry and roast meats and vegetables. They even bake your favorite snacks like muffins, cookies, biscuits, and small cakes.
Did you know? Larger models of air fryers can roast a small chicken or turkey or bake a small pizza (typically those 7 inches or less in diameter). Accessory kits expand your air frying horizons even farther. For example, kabob skewers will allow you to roast meats and vegetables kabob style. Springform pans will allow you to bake specialty desserts such as cheesecakes and tiramisu.
2. Quicker Meals
After a long day at work or during a busy and fast paced day, would you like to reduce your meal prep time by 20 to 50 percent? Using an air fryer, you can do just that. The convection technology utilized by air fryers – the circulation of superheated air – increases the rate at which heat from the fryer is transferred into your food. Thus, you may shave minutes off the cook time of your favorite foods.
With an air fryer, you will be able to save time during the cooking process as well. How? Simply set the temperature and timer on your air fryer and walk away. You won’t have to slave over your air fryer as you might your stove, oven, or grill. Instead, you may only have to shake or stir the contents of the frying basket once or twice during the cooking cycle to ensure even crisping.
Your air fryer will also save you time when cleaning up, as you will learn below.
3. Easy to Use & Clean
You don’t need a culinary degree to understand how to use an air fryer. Although controls vary among models, you’ll only need to set the timer and temperature.
Most air fryers are typically easy to clean. The frying basket and basket drawer should be dishwasher safe. Various models are noted for nonstick coatings, copper, or stainless steel materials. Each material has its own distinct advantages.
Nonstick surfaces, of course, aid in cleaning because they help prevent food from sticking. Residues can then be easily removed during the cleaning process without excess scrubbing. Unlike nonstick surfaces of the past, current materials are designed not to flake or peel and are dishwasher safe.
4. Energy Efficient
Your air fryer will compliment your green lifestyle. This small appliance is energy efficient, using much less electricity than larger ovens. The faster preheating and cooking times also contribute to energy savings. You will also notice that your air fryer doesn’t heat up the kitchen as conventional ovens do – this leads to additional savings in air conditioning costs during the hot summer months.
Alternative to Deep Frying
Have you given up the deep fried foods you love for reasons of health or weight loss? With an air fryer, you can enjoy crispy fried flavors without the fat. Air fryers use hot air and a minute amount of oil to “fry” your favorite foods, leaving them crispy on the outside, yet soft and moist on the inside. This process imitates the chemical reactions, called Maillard reactions, that brown deep-fried foods and make them taste so good.
What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?
Your air fryer can cook almost anything that can be prepared in a conventional oven, in a deep fryer, on the stovetop, in a toaster, or on the grill. Air fryers are best known for providing a healthier, less oily alternative to deep fried foods, but the options do not end there.
Sautee your favorite stir-fry. Make kid-friendly chicken tenders or “fried” vegetables, including breaded cauliflower and zucchini. Trust us, kids will love the bite-sized “fried” flavor! Impress your friends with pub food such as mozzarella sticks, pretzels, or chicken wings.
You won’t have to spend big money at fancy restaurants for your next romantic date; air fry a succulent steak or flaky salmon filet instead. The largest air fryers can even be used to bake whole chickens or small turkeys for important family gatherings.
If you purchase an accessory kit, your options will increase further. Baking pans facilitate cakes and personal pan pizzas. Specialty pans, such as springform pans, will allow you to make delicate baked goods. With skewers, you can make tropical kabobs that taste as if they’re right off the grill.
Our Favorite Air Fryer Cookbook Picks
How Often Should You Expect to Use an Air Fryer?
Many owners report using their appliance at least 3 to 4 days per week. That’s a lot of use – and the convenience of the air fryer will save you time and hassle in the process. Good food and peace of mind – that’s too good of a deal to pass up.
Where Can I Purchase an Air Fryer?
In most areas, you can find air fryers stocking the shelves of local retail stores. Almost every Walmart, Target, Kohls, Best Buy, and Costco store, among others, keeps air fryers in stock. Simply head to the kitchen section or ask a retail associate for details.
Do You Like to Shop Online?
Check out the huge selections of air fryers available from Amazon. You can protect your Amazon appliance purchase with Allstate insurance company’s Square Trade three year Housewares Extended Protection Plan. This extended warranty covers product malfunctions and breakdowns long after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. All repairs made under the Square Trade warranty include free shipping.
Which Air Fryer Should I Buy?
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the enormous variety of air fryer models on the market today. We’ve assembled the following reviews to help you narrow your selection based on your family’s cooking habits.
For Small Spaces and Limited Countertop Space (1 Person)
From tiny homes, dorms, RVs, and economy apartments with limited counter space to simply cooking for one, this smallest of air fryers may be the right fit for you.
The Dash utilizes two manual control dials for setting cook time and temperature. The timer has a 30 minute automatic shut off for increased safety. The handle and appliance housing are “cool touch” to prevent burns, and the non-stick fryer basket is dishwasher safe. A manufacturer’s warranty is available upon request.
Size and Appearance
The Dash comes in a wide range of colors to fit any kitchen decor, including aqua, black, grey, red, and white. Non-slip feet give the air fryer stability and ensure that it will stay where you put it. The 1.6 quart frying basket is perfect for preparing about one serving of your favorite snacks. At only 5.7 pounds, the Dash is about half the weight of the average air fryer, making it easy for almost anyone to lift or move around. The appliance is just over 10 inches tall, with a footprint of 8.1 by 11.4 inches.
For 1 to 2 People
Bachelors, couples, and small families will love this sturdy, egg-shaped air fryer.
This fully programmable air fryer has eight cooking presets built in, including Warm, Chips, Chicken, Steak, Shrimp, Pork, Cake, and Fish. The large digital control panel is easy to read. Temperature control ranges from 170 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the timer can be set from one to 30 minutes. The appliance supplies an audible beep to let you know when your food is ready. An accessory kit is available direct from the manufacturer, including deep and shallow baking dishes, a silicone mat, an insert rack, a rack with skewers, and a toast/taco stand rack.
Size and Appearance
The large, easy to read digital controls are located just above the fryer’s handle. Controls include an on/off button, buttons to increase or decreasing temperature and time, and eight programmed presets. At about 15 pounds, the air fryer is of average weight and easy to lift.The GoWise air fryer comes in three colors: black, white, and purple. This air fryer is 14 inches tall, with a footprint of 11.5 by 12.2 inches.
For 2 to 4 People
For families of up to four people, a larger version of the GoWise air fryer may be the best choice.
This air fryer sports a completely digital touch screen display. Use the touchscreen icons to turn the appliance on and off, set the time and temperature, or select numerous presets, including pork, fries, chicken, steak, shrimp, cake, fish, and pizza. A universal grilling basket is also available. The temperature can be set in 10 degree increments from 180 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, with a timer of up to 30 minutes. A built in alarm function will remind you to shake the cooking basket contents at five, 10, or 15 minute increments. The cool touch handle of the frying basket has a button guard to prevent accidental detachment of the non-stick pan. The product has a one year limited warranty.
Size and Appearance
This air fryer comes in a wide range of colors to blend perfectly with any kitchen decor. These include black, blush (rose gold), red, yellow, mint, plum, teal, and white. At around 15 pounds, the air fryer is of average weight and easy to lift. It is 13.5 inches tall with a footprint of 12.5 by 11.5 inches.
For Large Families and Large Counter Space
If you’re looking to cook large items or serve a crowd, a compact countertop convection oven might be the right choice for you.
Six independent quartz heating elements and a two speed fan facilitate this oven’s convection abilities. Use the simple start/stop button to turn your oven on and off, and make selections on the digital display using the selection knob. Manual knobs are also used to set time and temperature. Simply press the knob to confirm your choice. Available functions include toast, bagel, broil, bake, roast, warm, pizza, proof, air fry, reheat, cookies, slow cook, and dehydrate. You can use your oven with just one rack or up to four.
The large cubic foot capacity accommodates turkeys up to 14 pounds, as well as many of the baking dishes and pans that you already own, including Dutch ovens up to 5.5 quarts and 13 by 9 inch sheet pans. The temperature may be set over a wider than average range, from 80 to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. This oven also includes accessories such as a 13 inch non-stick pizza pan, two heavy duty oven racks, a broiling rack, an enamel roasting pan, and a basket designed for air frying or food dehydrating. An optional bamboo cutting board is also available.
Size and Appearance
The Smart Oven comes in silver to compliment any kitchen decor. It is constructed of brushed stainless steel. The large digital display located to the right of the oven door allows you to easily monitor temperature, time, function, and phase. The dimensions of this oven are 26 by 18.5 by 17 inches. It is a kitchen heavyweight at nearly 40 pounds.
It is often best to avoid products that are new to the market, such as the Chulux electric air fryer. You may notice that it carries limited reviews and is a generic brand. As such, you have no way to judge the quality of the product prior to purchase.
New products may boast an attractive price, but it is often better to go with a product that is tried and tested. If a product has limited reviews, no reviews, or predominantly negative reviews, allow this to serve as a “red flag.” Look for longstanding brands you trust, or products with a multitude of informative, positive reviews.
Additional Accessories You May Need
Universal accessory kit – allows you more versatility in the use of your air fryer. Universal kits are designed to fit many brands of air fryers; opt for the kit provided by your product manufacturer, if available. Typical kits include deep cake pans, shallow pizza pans, multi-purpose cooking racks, kabob skewers, and silicone heat mats.
Oil sprayer – used to lightly coat fresh meats and vegetables with olive, peanut, avocado, or other cooking oils. This misting technique uses less oil than tossing the food in a large amount of oil then draining.
Parchment paper – prevents food from sticking. You can either acquire rolls of parchment and cut it to size, or purchase pre-cut circles of parchment meant for use in air fryers. These mats typically have holes punched in them to accommodate air circulation.
Do you still have questions about specific models or features? We’re here to help. Post any questions in the comments section below.