Cooking delicious, nutritious, and well-balanced meals every day can be difficult. Not only do you have to have the right ingredients, but you must come up with meals that everyone will love. Wouldn’t you rather lay back and relax, or crunch on some crispy chips without feeling any guilt? The air fryer is the perfect solution for you! You may know this as the kitchen appliance that only uses a teaspoon of oil to cook a batch of chips, but these wonder appliances can do so much more. Whether you’re on a health kick or you’re just looking for a convenient device for the home, we’re here to talk you through buying your first air fryer.
How do air fryers work?
When we fry foods, we use oil to create a crisp, crunchy texture. Air fryers do this by instead circulating hot air around the food. Instead of submerging the food in extremely hot oil like a regular deep fryer, these machines require a tablespoon of oil or less, so they are considered a healthy alternative that achieves a similar texture to your favourite deep-fried snacks. Technically, they’re actually closer to ovens than deep fryers in terms of how they cook your food.
Why is this a benefit? Well, there are many healthy reasons why you should make the switch.
- Deep-fried food has a higher fat content than other cooking methods.
- Higher intake of certain fats from vegetable oil may lead to chronic conditions such as heart disease.
- Air-fried foods generally have fewer calories than their deep-fried counterparts, so may help manage weight loss.
- Frying starchy foods can produce a chemical called acrylamide, which is considered a “possible human carcinogen” (it has produced evidence in lab animals, but not in humans). Air frying may help reduce the levels of acrylamide in your food by up to 90%.
What type of air fryer should I use?
There are many kinds of air dryers to choose from, and your choice will depend on what you’re cooking and how much.
Equipped with drawers and removable baskets that hold the food. Hot air comes from the top of the fryer and a fan blows it down and circulates the heat. These devices pre-heat quickly, they are more compact, and they don’t give off as much residual heat as a traditional oven or oven air fryer. This type of air fryer is perfect for a single person or small group and is cheaper than other models, but they generally come without a viewing window so you cannot see the progress of the food while cooking.
Oven air fryers operate the same as basket air fryers but use racks instead of baskets, much closer to a traditional oven. An oven air fryer has a larger capacity and a lot more features compared to a basket air fryer, meaning it can cook a wider variety of dishes. Oven air fryers often feature viewing windows so you can track the food while cooking, and the trays can be moved around to put food closer or further away from the heating element. However, compared to other models, they are more expensive and take up much more space on your bench.
These air fryers remove the hands-on hassle of cooking. Instead of having to stop and rotate the food manually, the fryer uses a paddle to rotate the food, which helps it to cook evenly. You can also remove the paddle to make more room for other dishes. They’re easier for you to set and forget, and the paddle allows you to make meals that might require constant stirring like risotto or curries.
What size should I buy?
Many manufacturers will list the machine's capacity just by measuring the inside, rather than measuring the usable capacity. For example, a 2L machine won’t fit exactly 2L of chicken, especially since you’ll need to leave room to move it around. Look twice at the dimensions and check reviews to make sure the machine fits what it claims to. For a single person, you’ll probably want an air fryer with a capacity of 1.7 litres, while a large family will want a capacity of 7 litres or more.
Keep in mind, the larger the capacity, the larger the appliance. Measure your bench space before buying! If you want a compact model you’ll want a basket air fryer, but if you care more about the capacity, you’ll want an oven model.
Finally, you’ll have to take ventilation into consideration and leave adequate space for the machine to vent air. You might need to move other appliances or products that could melt above the air fryer. Time to move the chocolate stash!
What controls are available?
Air fryers typically use two types of controls: a dial or a digital display. If you want exact control over your cooking, your best option is a digital display. Dial controls are less accurate, but cheaper and perfectly fine for most home cooking.
Are air fryers easy to clean?
Air fryers are generally easy to clean; many come with dishwasher-safe parts. Choose models with these parts for easy maintenance. Otherwise, the insides are usually non-stick and easy to fit into a kitchen sink, so you shouldn’t be worrying about hard-to-clean parts.
Before cleaning any electrical appliances, make sure they're unplugged. Clean removable parts first, then clean the main unit and check the heating element for any residue.
How noisy are air fryers?
Considering their size, air fryers are surprisingly noisy! A typical air fryer makes the same amount of noise as your dishwasher. If you want an extra quiet model, check if the model you want lists its decibel output. For context, 30 dB is the level of a whisper, while 70 dB is the level of a car.
Additional features to look for:
Here are some additional features you might want to look for in an air fryer that will make your life easy:
- Cooking pre-sets: Perfect for the busy chef, cook whatever you need, automatically, with ease.
- Automatic shut-off: Not only will this help save power, but it will prevent overheating and overcooking your food.
- Clear power/heat indicators: This is both for safety and ease of use. You should be able to clearly see when the air fryer is active.
- Dual basket: If you want to cook multiple dishes at once, you can find a model with dual baskets that cook at different temperatures and times. This adds convenience but sacrifices some capacity.
- Additional accessories: Extra grills, racks, tongs, paddles, pans, and temperature probes will help with all your cooking adventures.
Is an air fryer worth it?
If you live in a home without many appliances, want to lose weight, or enjoy frozen/pre-cooked foods, an air fryer is a great choice. If you cook a lot of battered foods, already have plenty of kitchen appliances, or live in a large household, it may not be the purchase for you right now.
Whatever you choose, you should choose Devanti. We have a wide range of air fryers to choose from, as well as other useful appliances like electric griddles, dehydrators, cooktops and even benchtop dishwashers. Find everything you need for your dream kitchen and home with Devanti.