From Instant Pots to thermal cookers, I have tried a lot of “game-changing” small appliances that just haven’t really gripped me. I love each new appliance when it comes out, and each one has something unique to offer—but I often find myself drawn back to a simple pot and burner after the appeal of something new and shiny has worn off. So, when air fryers like the Bella Pro touchscreen air fryer hit the market, I didn’t give them a second glance. Oh, I thought, yet another appliance to clutter up my kitchen.
Folks, I am happy to say that I could not have been more wrong. Now that I’ve tried this air fryer from Bella Pro, I’m a convert. For weeks, I have been air frying everything that I can get my hands on, and the enthusiasm is holding strong.
What’s in the box of the Bella Pro touchscreen air fryer?
In the box of this Bella Pro Touchscreen Air Fryer, you’ll find an 8 quart air fryer with a lightning-fast 1700W heating system. It holds up to 6.5 pounds of food and comes with a PFOA-free non-stick removable basket and crisping tray, which are both dishwasher safe. (And let me tell you, it felt so weird putting the basket in the dishwasher!)
The first thing that I noticed about this family-sized air fryer is that it is absolutely enormous. It’s heavy and bulky, and weighs 6.7 kg. I like to put my small appliances away after I use them, but this one is definitely going to be a place-it-and-leave-it for most families.
Luckily, it’s the kind of item that I think will quickly become a staple in any kitchen—so putting it away after every use, like you might a slice toaster or mixer, doesn’t make sense anyways.
What can you do with the Bella Pro touchscreen air fryer?
Air fryers are a unique appliance category. They’re designed to mimic the results of deep frying, but they achieve those results using hot air and just a tiny bit of oil instead. So, the food they make is lighter and crispier than something you would get out of a convection oven, but it’s also healthier and less greasy than something you would get out of a deep fryer.
In the Bella Pro Air Fryer, you can air fry, broil, bake, roast, and reheat foods with little to no oil. I loved using it for items like fries and broccoli, but Bella Pro even includes a bread recipe in the instruction manual! You can really do anything in an air fryer that you would in an oven or a deep fryer, and the strong heating system combined with the small size means that there’s no waiting for your “oven” to preheat, either.
The Bella Pro Touchscreen Air Fryer comes with a timer with a built-in 60-minute shutoff and temperature controls that can be set from 180-400 degrees Fahrenheit. It has preset functions for fries, shrimp, roasts, chicken, fish, steak, cheese, and bacon, and features a cool-touch handle that makes retrieving cooked meals safe and easy.
Air fryers vs. ovens
I’ve always loved cooking in an oven. I love the crisp, caramelized results you can achieve with slow roasting; the way you can cook something to utter perfection and serve up a delicious meal that’s all ready to go at the same time.
What I don’t love about ovens is how long they take. While I could blanch some broccoli on the stovetop in two minutes, roasted broccoli takes 20. Ovens deliver amazing results, but if you want to get dinner together quickly, they can really hinder your progress. And then, if you pack too many items in your convection oven, items can come out soggy rather than crisp—even if you’ve done everything else correctly.
Air frying offers the best of both worlds. With an air fryer, you can achieve crisp, browned, oven-quality results in less time. (Bella Pro recommends taking about 30% off of your expected cook time; I’ve found that certain items take even less.) You get all of the speed and efficiency of a deep fried or stovetop meal, with the healthy, roasted results of an oven. Then, you just need to put your air frying trays into the sink or dishwasher, where food slides off Bella Pro’s non-stick finish.
How to get the perfect fries in your Bella Pro touchscreen air fryer
The first two things that I made in my Bella Pro Touchscreen Air Fryer were two of my kitchen staples: guilty pleasure fries and quick chicken wings. Both require less than five minutes of prep time each (or combined, if you’re particularly motivated), and make excellent “filler” foods. They’re perfect for a snack or a side, and work great for parties and snack tables.
There’s something about fries from big chain store cafeterias that’s just… different from other fries. They’re thick, salty, and crispy—not starchy like steakhouse rough-cut fries, or dry like at-home potato wedges. I love the extra-bubbly layer that they get on the outside, which always gives you the ideal crunch-per-bite ratio.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to replicate cafeteria fries at home, and the same name kept coming up: Cavendish FlavourCrisp Classic Fries. So, I purchased a bag, and I baked them in the oven according to their instructions. They were okay, but not great. I tried again on the stovetop, shallow-frying them in oil, and they were amazing. Exactly what I was craving.
But submerging my fries in a half-inch of oil before dinner… Well, it isn’t the healthiest choice, nor the easiest one. My Cavendish fries left my regular grocery order until this air fryer came along, and then I knew I had to try them again.
And oh, boy. They came out perfectly in my air fryer. Even though I used just a drizzle of oil (Bella Pro recommends spritzing lightly with oil instead of pouring, if you wish), they were crisp, light, and delicious. Each fry tasted like it had come straight out of a deep fryer, despite the fact that I used less than a fifth of the oil that I would have used frying.
What else can I make in the Bella Pro air fryer?
Once I finished my small serving of fries, I tossed in my standard chicken wing recipe. To make them, I usually use a little oil (again, a fine spritz or drizzle is plenty), then spice them up with my favourite blends from The Silk Road, a local Edmontonian spice shop. Right now, my favourite chicken blend is some Old Chicago Steak Spice, a little Fine Herbes, and some ground chipotle powder.
I achieved a similar result in my air fryer as I would in from my oven, but with one big difference: the Bella Pro Touchscreen Air Fryer was done in a flash. My oven takes 10 minutes to heat up to 400 degrees, then another 20 minutes to bake chicken wings. This air fryer was done in 10, with no preheating time. Each wing was moist and juicy, and though I didn’t bread these ones, breading crisps up really nicely in an air fryer, too.
Not only was my early dinner ready to go in the time that it took me to make a side salad, but everything was cooked to perfection. My fries were less oily (but just as crispy) than they would have been deep fried, and my wings were done in 1/3 of the time. Plus, with the generous basket size of this air fryer, you’re not limited to the serving size you see here—you can cook enough for the whole family in one batch.
Is an air fryer right for you?
If you want to achieve deep fried results with almost no oil, then yes: an air fryer is absolutely right for you! However, remember that you don’t have to use your air fryer just for frying. You can also use it for baking and roasting with zero preheating time, and to toast and reheat things in a rush in the morning. (You can even dehydrate fruits, veggies, and meats in your spare time!)
What makes air fryers like the Bella Pro so special is their extreme convection capabilities. Excess moisture is vented out of the back of the machine, while the internal air flow keeps hot air moving briskly enough to “fry” your food with the air. So while you’re cleaning up your dinner prep mess in the kitchen, your air fryer is roasting, toasting, and frying your food to perfection in next-to-no time at all. It’s ready to go—are you?
Shop the Bella Pro touchscreen air fryer online at Best Buy.