Over the past year, I’ve cooked at home more than I ever have, and there were many nights when I completely gave up on healthy in favour of fast and easy. What I didn’t realize until halfway through the year was that by adding one small appliance to my kitchen, I could cook quite a few family favourites and those dishes would be healthier than if I ordered takeout. I’ve made the crispest french fries, deep-fried pickles, and chicken strips at home since then, and that’s why my editor’s pick for our 12 days of Christmas series is an air fryer.
Take a look at all of our editor picks for our 12 Days of Christmas series.
12 Days of Christmas: Day 5 is the Air Fryer
An air fryer is a small appliance with a heating element and a fan. While it’s not the same as a convection oven, an air fryer uses the same type of technology. Hot air is circulated around your food that sits on a tray or in a basket. That speedy circulation in a small space is what makes the food crisp.
Air frying is an extremely fast, efficient way to cook, and it’s healthier because you don’t have to add oil or submerge your food in oil to get that deep-fried taste. I’ve always told people asking about air frying that if they put two dishes in front of me, one that was deep-fried and one that was air-fried, I probably couldn’t tell the difference.
There might be a lingering taste of oil on the deep-fried dish that would give it away, but they would both be crispy. It’s nice to have that healthy option when serving your family dishes like French fries or other traditionally deep-fried foods.
What can you make in an air fryer?
The beauty of an air fryer is everything you make turns out the way it would if you were served it in a restaurant or pub. French fries come out crisp and delicious, chicken strips have a crunchy exterior, and you can make dishes like mozzarella sticks and deep-fried pickles without submerging them in a vat of oil.
I tested out the Insignia Air Fryer Oven and I made so many great dishes including roast chicken, poutine, homemade potato chips, and even a two-person brownie that was unbelievable.
What kind of air fryer should you choose?
Air fryers are available as stand-alone units or air fryer ovens, as a feature on toaster ovens and microwaves, on smart ovens, and as a feature on full-size ranges. However you choose to add an air frying option to your kitchen, you’re going to be happy you did.
Because they are available as a stand-alone small appliance or as a feature on other great small appliances, if someone on your gift list this year wants a toaster oven, you can just choose a toaster oven with air fry and give them even more cooking options.
If you’re looking for a gift for someone who loves to cook or you want to add a small appliance to your kitchen to serve pub-style food that tastes just as good as it would in a restaurant, I can’t recommend an air fryer enough. For more on how to choose an air fryer, take a look at the buying guide.
There are a lot of great options when choosing an air fryer, and you’ll find all of them on Best Buy right now. I wish you and your family a very happy holiday!