What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is also called low-fat cookers because they produce a very low temperature and high pressure. The top of the air fryer has a ventilation fan and a heat-generating mechanism. The cooking chamber of the air fryer is filled with oil, which contains trans fats, or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
How does an Air Fryer Work?
This type of cooking device has an enclosed cooking area where the food is placed. In this cooking process, there is an opening at the bottom of the basket where the food is placed. The air is forced through the basket and the heat is pushed inside the basket.
The first-generation air fryers were made for commercial use. Nowadays, more advanced models of air fryers have been introduced in the market. If you want to know more about this equipment, you can read some online articles or search on the Internet for reviews of the most popular models of these cooking units. You can also visit a nearby department store or check out the kitchen section in your neighborhood to find a convection oven or a countertop oven.
Why is an Air Fryer Better than a Countertop Oven?
There are several advantages of using an air fryer over a countertop oven. Most of the ovens are big and they require a large amount of space. Aside from that, they also require a lot of maintenance. However, regularly cleaning them is a good habit that will help the device last for years.
Price-wise, if you compare the price of an air fryer with a countertop oven, you will definitely find out that it is an excellent deal.
You can cook almost any type of food in an air fryer. The standard basket contains oil. It has a wide range of temperature settings and the temperature of the food that you wish to cook is automatically adjusted by the basket.
Therefore, there is no need to adjust the cooking times of your foods. In case you want to eat light food at a specific time, just set the time and wait for it. Similarly, you can also change the cooking times as per your liking.
Benefits of an Air Fryer
One of the advantages of an air fryer over a conventional oven is the presence of a removable drip tray. The basket can be cleaned easily with a sponge or a towel after using the machine. Hence, the chance of food particles getting stuck in the drip tray is almost nil, as it is made from a tough plastic material.
Another major benefit is the deep frying ability of the air fryers. The basket holds the food items and the heat inside it so that the ingredients are cooked thoroughly. The surface of the basket is not very hot and hence does not burn the food. This helps in retaining the nutrition values of the ingredients. The cooking times are also calculated by the basket and adjusted accordingly.
Most air fryers come with an automatic timer. The timer is programmed to cook your chosen foods cooked at pre-set times. This ensures that you do not have to constantly check the cooking time. The food can be served right away after it is cooked through the air fryers.
There are several other benefits of air fryers apart from cooking your favorite food faster. Since the ingredients are heated from below, you do not have to use too much oil to prepare your meals. This helps you in saving oil which is otherwise used in deep-frying. The resulting fried food tastes much better than that of the traditional way of deep-frying.
The air fryers are versatile and are capable of preparing both pre-cooked frozen foods and fresh home-made meals. You can prepare several dishes with little effort using the air fryer. It is also a very economical way of preparing meals because you save on both time and money.
In case you want to cook a wide variety of dishes, then you need to buy and store several other kitchen appliances along with the air fryer.
The secret behind the efficiency of the air fryer lies in its ability to cook food from below without boiling it. You simply need to place the food on the top and rotate it as required. It is because of this reason that these cookers are very popular among housewives who want to prepare French fries or Indian sizzling chicken for their family on a daily basis.
Top 5 Recommended Air Fryers
Air fryers are the hype of the kitchen nowadays. For the best (and easiest) cooking experience, try out our top recommended air fryers.
Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer
This Instant Vortex Air Fryer is so easy to use thanks to the user-friendly touch screen with pre-programmed settings and an adjustable temperature dial. With this, you can easily air fry, roast, bake, and reheat your food without hassle and is especially beneficial if you’re working all throughout the day. Not to mention that it uses 95% less oil and fat compared to deep frying. So basically you’re eating good, healthy food without the elaborate food preparation.
In terms of flavor and texture, you get the rich taste and crispness with tender insides as it circulates super hot air around the food to cook it evenly. The 6 quart capacity is already large enough to hold one pound of chicken. But you can get it in 10 quart and 26 liters. Lastly, this looks so good with its sleek angular form and suits any countertop well.
|Healthy food with less prep time
|Easy to use
|Issues on burnt plastic flavor
|Multiple options in terms of capacity
You can shop this at Amazon for $99.99.
“In fact, I have to say that I am supremely impressed with the Instant Vortex 6-in-1 multi use fryer. It’s extremely safe t use, It cooks the food thoroughly, and it’s super easy to clean.
If you’re looking for an air fryer with the versatility of an oven but without the hassle or increase to your gas bill, than this air fryer is definitely going to be a perfect fit for you! Very, very happy with this device and I can’t wait to fry more food with it.” – Wilmar Luna
“I like the vortex air fryer because it’s easy to use and easy to clean. I don’t need to use a lot if oil when cooking in air fryer you can see the natural oil drips in the pan, food taste good. It’s just kind of expensive though but worth the money.” -Meg
Ninja Air Fryer
The Ninja Air Fryer is popular for its versatility with a wide temperature range. It’s easy to use thanks to its multi-function display so even though it’s your first time trying out an air fryer, you’ll be able to use it successfully. This model is also very sturdy made out of quality materials unlike other brands that feel like they’re made of flimsy plastic. It’s also compact so it doesn’t take too much space on the countertop.
It’s equipped with a 4 quart non-stick basket, crisper plate, and a multi-layer rack. Also one of the most attractive features of this model is that you can dehydrate meaning heated air that circulates around the food is slowed down thus drying it out. Lastly, it’s dishwasher safe.
|Easy to use
|Issues on burnt
You can shop this at Amazon for $99.99.
“It’s lightweight and easy to pull out from under the cabinet to use (to allow for air flow). I like it so much, I wish for a bigger one just to do my entire meal in it at once. For two people, it does a fair amount of wings or tater tots, or the sweet potato fries pictured here. I used the reheat function and the bang bang shrimp came out quite tasty. Steaks came out moist and medium rare, but not seared even on the crisper plate. It has worked well with salmon and chicken breasts. So much easier to clean than a pan and my stove top.” -Xena_Mom
“So I was skeptical about how much I would use this… maybe a few frozen tater tots or fries for the kids. But oh my goodness I want to use this for everything. I like to think of this as a personal sized convection oven on steroids. Veggie burgers crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Roasted vegetables, fish sticks, chicken, burgers, fries, fish all with about 30-40% shorter cook times than the oven and only a 3 minute preheat time (vs 6-10 oven minutes). OVERALL… I highly recommend it, the Ninja controls are just as simple and intuitive on this as it is on my Ninja blender, it super easy to clean, and it cooks nearly everything fabulously.” -Jesse Baynard
Dash Compact Electric Air Fryer
If you’re looking for a compact – an air fryer just for yourself – that will save you space, quality, and also affordable, then this just fits your needs. This is a lightweight air fryer at 5.7 pounds which is half the weight of a standard air fryer. And since it’s not so heavy, it can be a good traveling companion as well.
It’s a quick and easy way to cook your food, saving you time to actually rest after a busy day. You simply need to load the fryer basket, set the temp, and lastly set the time (although this can be tricky since it’s mechanical). It also has an auto-shut off feature for safety so even kids can actually use this! Additionally, it comes in really cool, trendy colors like this aqua one which is an actual favorite.
|Easy to use
|Only suited for 1 serving of food
|Compact design and lightweight
|Time can be difficult to set
|Auto-shut off feature
|Temp range is limited
|Sleek design and cool colors
You can shop this at Amazon for $48.63.
“Great little air fryer! Perfect if cooking for one or two people. Would not recommend if cooking for more than 2 or 3 people. Little tip you have to turn the timer on for the air fryer to actually turn on.” -Tiffany
“Great for frying chicken! I love fried food but not good for you…anyway I fried two large chicken thighs with no breading, the chicken skin was super crispy and all the grease was in the bottom of the cooker. It is small but I’m single so perfect for me. I’ve only had it a few weeks but definitely a great item. And I love the color! The only down side for “those of a certain age “ the numbers on the timer are hard to see.” Dayle D. Dooley
Cosori Air Fryer
If you’re looking for a large size air fryer with an affordable price tag and you really hate to wash the dishes, then this air fryer is definitely for you. This is an award-winning air fryer with thousands of five-star reviews featuring 13 one-touch cooking functions as well as rapid 360-degree air circulation for consistent crispy results.
It uses 85% less oil than deep frying methods with large capacities (3.7 quart and 5.8 quart) which you can fill in with many different foods – veggies, meat, chicken, french fries, and many more. And since it’s non-stick, it’s easy to clean so you won’t really mind even if it’s big. There are also programmed options and safety buttons on the basket which add to its already long list of good features.
|Easy to use
|None that we can find
|Large capacity, spacious
|Easy to clean
You can shop this at Amazon for $119.99.
“I chose this particular air fryer over hundreds offered on Amazon. Features that were the most important to me were the number of presets (counting defrost) (12), the warranty (1 yr), Cosori accessories, and ease of use. It is easy to clean in the dishwasher, and the preset settings mean that I don’t have to calculate time or temperature. But it’s also easy to add time or subtract it if you need to. The night I received my air fryer, I made the most amazing steaks that were so tender and moist inside! Since then, I have made Cornish hens, BBQ ribs, blueberry muffins, tater tots, and many other dishes. The fryer is not heavy and it is not loud when in use. Do yourself a favor and buy this!” – native hoosier
“We have had it a few weeks now and continue to enjoy it. We did buy some accessories that work, but I wish that there were some designed specifically for the 5.8 QT Air fryer. These were made for both which means they are really too small to take advantage of the 5.8 QT volume. They only “kind of” work.
We still love the fryer. That is why I did not change the star rating. But I really would like to see some specific accessories designed for the increased volume of this fryer.” -Dan
GoWISE USA Programmable Air Fryer
This air fryer is very easy to use thanks to preset buttons which tell you exactly what to pick like warm, fries/chips, chicken, steak, shrimp, pork, cake and fish. It also has a digital LCD button for time and temperature if you want to try a new recipe. Additionally, there’s an indicator to let you know when it’s cooked and a beeping sound when it’s done.
It comfortably fits around 2-3 meal portions and is particularly recommended for cooking meat and heating leftovers. The interior is also easy to clean which sometimes only needs a paper towel to wipe the mess.
|Easy to use with preset buttons
|Quite heavy (13 lbs)
|Easy to clean
You can shop this at Amazon for $64.94.
“First time using this thing and let me tell you. I’m very impressed. The sweet potato fries were good and my chicken tenders were perfect. Crispy outside, moist inside. Would definitely use this frier more often. Take a look at the pictures I attached to this review. I also made curry shrimp and they are perfect. I’m happy with this purchase and definitely would recommend it to my friends.” -Santiago
“There is virtually no steam or overly pungent smells that emanate from it when it is used.
It does not take any oil to cook the food making it healthier for me and easier to clean.
It is small, does not take over my entire counter top and looks really nice. Even gives my kitchen an uptick in appearance.
It is crazy versatile. I can cook almost anything in it and I do 2-6 times per day.
It is easy to clean, especially if you line the catch tray and basin with foil – then it becomes crazy easy to clean – just toss the foil
It is easy to use. It has automatic settings for the basics like chicken, steak or potatoes and cooks those foods to perfection if you use that setting.
It came with a nice cook book and the recipes are delish.
It seems to be well built. I have been cooking on it for several months now and nothing has broken yet.
have only 1 small nit pick: It beeps a lot and kinda loud too. It beeps when you put in the tray, it beeps when you touch any button, it beeps 5 times really loud when the food is done, it beeps when you cancel the timer. A beep setting I can control would be better.” – Carl and Kerry Bowman