When I first heard of air fryers, I was immediately excited. Thrilled, even! I am a great fan of kitchen gadgets, and I started asking more from my informant, my other friends, and cruising air fryers online immediately.
Frankly, I felt more than a little out of the loop. I considered myself something of an expert on the latest new culinary devices, and here’s an appliance that ‘fries’ using only hot air the more I learned about, air fryers, the more I liked the concept.
You’ve probably heard of air fryers on tv or elsewhere, but wondering if they are right for you and yours?
Benefits of Air Fryers
1. Cooking Fried Foods Without Immersing them in Oil
The first thing we hear about air fryers is that they ‘fry’ without submerging food in oil and that’s exciting all by itself.
Whether you love fried foods, eat fast food too often, or simply hate the mess of frying at home, this function is an easy sell. And what better for the harried millennial that just wants some chicken tenders after work? Air fryers are a great alternative to that fast food stop that seems like the only answer some nights.
We all want to reduce the fat in our diets for health reasons, and air fryers do their frying job with hot air as a substitute for hot oil.
People with high cholesterol, weight issues, and heart conditions can rejoice, as can people that don’t want to develop these problems in the future.
One usually should spray air-fried foods with just a little oil, for crispiness, so the process can’t be called 100% fat-free.
2. Air Frying is Faster, in Most Cases
They beat waiting in line, and Air fryers generally cook foods much faster than ordinary techniques do.
3. Air Fryers are Great for Small, Tight Spaces
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all lived like they do on TV, where everyone seems to have a fairly big house, huge kitchen, or at least a substantial apartment in, say, Manhattan? Well, that isn’t today’s reality for everyone.
We live in dorms, with roommates, in studio apartments and efficiencies, and all sorts of situation that limit cooking space.
Air fryers are really popular in Europe. This chocolate chip cookie recipe is from Portugal: Yum, rainy nights in the dorm.
Anyone who has tried to live with a single kitchen appliance, such as a microwave or toaster oven has been periodically disappointed, if not endangered. Along comes the air fryer, which is all-purpose and takes up very little space.
4. Excellent for Baking and Roasting
Why would someone with an equipped kitchen need an air-fryer, other than for frying?
Well, not everyone has a convection oven, and convection heating is superior to conventional heating for quite a few dishes, from baked goods to roasted chicken.
Air fryers perform a number of cooking tasks. Lately, I have been hearing raves about air fried dumplings! The internet is abuzz with people trying new recipes in air fryers and sharing the results.
Air fryers can ‘fry’, bake, roast, grill, saute, pan fry, and reheat.
It is easier to list what an air fryer cannot do than everything it can do. It cannot braize stew, or make soup.
It can’t make a cold salad, either, but nothing is perfect, and upon contemplation, it could roast potatoes or beets for a salad.
An air fryer can make beef jerky! And check out this youtube video for Air Fried Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon.
6. Ease of Operation for Cooks of All Levels:
Air fryers are a great answer for the non-cooks, those who are too rushed to cook, and people that are just learning to cook, and even experienced cooks who are intimidated by new gadgets.
Despite being weighted down by some complicated sounding terms like ‘conversion’ and ‘Maillard Effect’, air fryers are easy to use. The delicious results might make even non-cooks feel like stretching their wings!
7. Easy Clean Up:
Anyone who has ever deep or pan-fried at home knows about cleanup issues. There is leftover oil, which is hard to dispose of and generally wasteful, and however hard one tries there is some sort of greasy mess.
Experienced cooks perk up when they hear of an appliance that can cook with such little mess.
The air fryer parts are coated with oven safe, non-stick coating, and are dishwasher safe.
What’s not to love?
8. Air Fryers are Safe, Environmentally Friendly, and Use Less Electricity
They are safe, unlike hot plates, which are notorious for causing fires, and they don’t have any of the hazards of deep frying, nor the challenge of disposing of the used oil.
They have on/off switches and timers, so they are more suitable for children than an oven or stove.
Air fryers use considerably less power than an oven, which saves money and reduces carbon emissions.
9. Air fryers are a Healthy Way to Cook.
Cooking at home is economical and healthy, you can choose all organic ingredients if you wish, and it spares the environment of all those take-out packages.
Vegan, low-fat onion rings? here’s a recipe you’ll love.
For something light, try this air fried salmon recipe and air fryers ‘fry’ with no risk of soggy, oil-saturated fries, fast foods cooked in dirty, BHT rich fryer oil. (unfortunately, this happens all too frequently, and carbonized oil may be a carcinogen.)
Now, you’ve seen why the air fryer is an appliance that no kitchen should do without. But, how should you go about choosing one?