What Exactly Is An Air Fryer, And Should You Buy One?
I started seeing air fryer recipes taking over Pinterest early last year, and TBH, I was sceptical. I mean, a machine that yields fried food… that’s somehow healthier than the stuff you get at a fast-food restaurant? Seems too good to be true.
So I decided to dive a little deeper into the world of air fryers. If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not this trendy appliance is for you, here’s what you need to know.
What is an air fryer, exactly?
Although the air fryer trend is pretty recent, they’ve actually been around since 2010. This small appliance “fries” food using a small amount of oil and hot air. It creates a similar texture to deep-fried food, but with far less oil, so you can use it to recreate your fave fried treats — like chicken, fries, or veggies.
How does an air fryer work?
While a deep fryer requires you submerge food in a pool of bubbling hot oil, an air fryer uses a combination of oil and rapidly circulating air. The circulating air technique is called convection, and it’s the same process a convection oven uses to make foods cook more quickly and evenly. By combining this with just a bit of oil, an air fryer can give food a texture that’s cooked on the inside and crisp on the outside, similar to what a deep fryer does.
Should you buy an air fryer?
Considering the air fryer uses significantly less oil than traditional frying, you’re cutting a lot of calories (exactly how many will depend on the recipe you’re using). For that reason, air-frying is a healthier option than regular frying, says registered dietician Natalie Rizzo. Plus, it can make veggie-centric dishes taste just as enticing as fries.
It basically “eliminates the need to deep-fry specific dishes like chicken and fries,” says Jane Pelcher, a registered dietician.
That said, air fried food isn’t healthier than non-fried methods, so it’s important to eat these foods in moderation.
In fact, in my experience, the texture of air-fried foods is actually closer to what you get when you coat food in oil and then roast it — still delicious, with a crispy and browned crust, but not exactly deep-fried.
Are air fryers worth buying?
While you may be able to yield similar cooking results with roasting, that doesn’t mean an air fryer isn’t worth adding to your kitchen collection.
If you’d rather not turn on your oven, or if you don’t feel confident fiddling with sheet pans and racks and convection, an air fryer can be the simpler alternative. “An air fryer is convenient since it is easy to use, uses less energy than an oven, and comes in small and large sizes to accommodate everything from a single-person household to a large family,” says Pelcher.
Plus, it whips up crispy food way faster than your oven or stove can — I’m talking just 12 to 15 minutes per recipe.
Which air fryer model should you choose?
While there’s a lot of air fryer models on the market, here are two that stand out as top picks:
The FryAir Fryer ticks all the boxes. It’s oil-free, mess-free, quick and easy to use. Not only does it ‘fry’ food but it also bakes, girlls and steams! It’s also compact enough for you to take it anywhere.
The Smartlife Air Fryer 4L has an adjustable temperature control for the perfect cooking environment and it lets you control the amount of oil you need for ‘frying’. It’s also super easy to clean!
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com