Air Fryers–Much More Than Just French Fries
An air fryer works on a principle similar to a convection oven: They both have a heating element that heats the air inside, and a fan that circulates the air inside the cavity of the appliance. One difference is that the fan in an air fryer is on top, while the fan in the convection oven is in the back. Also, an air fryer has a smaller cavity, to concentrate the hot air. So, typically, air fryers will have a smaller capacity than a convection oven. (The largest air fryer holds around 13 liters, while you can find convection ovens that have a capacity of 25 liters or more.)
But, that shouldn’t discourage you from buying an air fryer! An air fryer still can give results comparable to deep frying, but using 75-95% less oil! You can prepare french fries, fried chicken, egg rolls, and much more, without feeling guilty about consuming empty calories and fat! And many air fryers are now multifunctional. It’s not uncommon to see air fryers that also can also broil, bake, roast, dehydrate, defrost and reheat, and even rotisserie.
We’ll go through some of the features of the items in the Best Reviews Guide list of air fryers. You’ll be surprised to see that they can prepare entire meals, quickly and with a fraction of the calories!
How does an air fryer work?
An air fryer works by circulating hot air around food to cook it. The hot air is generated by an electric heating element. The food is placed in a basket or tray, or on a rack inside the air fryer, and the air fryer is turned on. The hot air circulates around the food, cooking it evenly.
What are the advantages of an air fryer?
There are many advantages of an air fryer. Some of the advantages include:
1. Air fryers cook food quickly and evenly.
2. Air fryers use little to no oil, making them healthier than traditional frying methods.
3. Air fryers are compact and easy to store.
4. Air fryers are easy to use and clean.
Types of Air Fryers
Looking over the Best Reviews Guide of the best air fryers, we see that they’ll differ in the number of functions that they can perform. But, there are also a number of different designs:
Single compartment: There are air fryers with a single large compartment, that will accommodate something as big as an entire chicken. An example is the Wetie Air Fryer. It has a 7-quart capacity, which is enough for a 6-pound chicken or 10 chicken wings. That’s enough for a meal for 4 people to enjoy!
Wetie Air Fryer
Two-compartment air fryers: There are also air fryers that allow you to cook two different foods simultaneously. They have two compartments, so you can prepare chicken in one compartment, and potatoes in the other! An example is the Ulticor 8-Quart 8-in-1 2-Basket Air Fryer. It has two nice additional features:
“Sync Finish”, where it works out the cooking times of the two different foods so that they’re ready at the same time!
“Match Cook”, where it copies the cooking settings on one side, over to the other.
Ulticor 8-Quart 8-in-1 2-Basket Air Fryer
Smart air fryers: There are also air fryers that sync up with your cellphone. For example, the Cosori Air Fryer Oven uses the VeSync app that gives you access to recipes and will help you program your air fryer’s temperature and cooking time. You can even give it voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant!
Cosori Air Fryer Oven
What reviewers say
Here are some of the impressions of customers regarding their choice of air fryer:
Replaces several other appliances: Air fryers are more compact units than a convection oven. Besides being small in its own right, an air fryer can serve the functions of a deep fryer, toaster oven, or dehydrator.
Great for small amounts of food: If you like the functions on a particular air fryer, you’ll usually have the option of buying it in a range of sizes. The Cosori Air Fryer Oven comes in 6-quart, 6.8-quart, and 10-quart sizes. People who only want to heat up something small or cook enough for just themselves find their air fryer to be just the thing they needed. Whether you want to make a small number of fried potatoes from scratch or to prepare pizza or cookies from dough, a multi-functional air fryer gets the job done.
Here are some tips and essential features to look for when selecting an air fryer:
Dishwasher-safe interior: Many of the air fryers on the Best Reviews Guide list have accessories that are all dishwasher-safe, such as the Ninja Max XL Air Fryer. If you decide to wash them by hand, make sure not to use anything abrasive on the accessories with a non-stick coating. Once it scratches, it’s just a matter of time before the coating peels off.
Racks: Instead of just a basket, some air fryers have racks, like a typical oven. That will allow you to cook several foods at once, or simply larger amounts. An example is the Chefman Multifunctional Digital Air Fryer. It comes with three racks, a rotisserie basket, and a drip tray.
Chefman Multifunctional Digital Air Fryer
Preset options vs. functions: Take note that there are preset options on many air fryers, which are special settings solely for air frying particular foods. The Gevi Air Fryer has 7 preset options for air frying French fries, chicken, fish, shrimp, and bacon, besides being able to make cake or pizza. But the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer has 6 different functions: broiling, roasting, dehydrating, baking, air-frying, and reheating.
We went through some of the options among the best air fryers on the market. Many of them are multifunctional, replacing several appliances at once. And some can prepare several foods at once in a foolproof manner. You can just program the temperature and cooking time, and it does the rest! And this is all in addition to the fact that air frying prepares food with little to no additional oil or calories. A great option all around!