If you ask anyone who works, writes in, or enthuses about small appliances, you’ll know: Air fryers are the big thing right now. They’re a super popular item for new homeowners, busy families, young professionals, and more.
What is an air fryer?
Air fryers are powerful, compact ovens. They’re usually sized for the countertop, with dimensions similar to those of a toaster oven or microwave. While air fryers are typically small appliances, they’re occasionally available as a feature of full-sized air frying ranges, too.
Air fryers are designed to cook food quickly, using intense heat and a strong convection fan to mimic a deep frying oil effect—but with hot air.
The best uses for air fryers
As someone who both loves and hates to cook—depending on the day—I’m an enthusiastic air fryer user.
On days when I really don’t feel like cooking, air fryers take the pressure off. Their intense heating elements cut down my overall cooking time significantly, sometimes by as much as half. They offer a healthier way to achieve crispy results with frozen foods like fries and pies while using less oil. And, if I have something in the fridge already, they heat up leftovers with lightning speed. All of these functions make it easier for me to put a healthy, delicious meal on the table on days where I’d otherwise be tempted to just order in.
On days when I’m relishing being in the kitchen and making a big meal for my guests, I love the precision and control that using an air fryer gives me. Air fryers heat up quickly compared to range ovens, often needing just a few minutes to warm up (or not needing pre-heating time at all). They create beautiful, even browning. Plus, specialized models give you a lot of room for creativity in the kitchen: Some models feature double baskets so you can make two dishes in tandem. Others drop down to low temperatures, allowing you to dehydrate fruits or dry your home-grown herbs. Still more have features like rotisserie spits, giving you immense flexibility in just one appliance.
What can you air fry?
I’m never more tempted by appliances than when I can see or hear about what they can make. So, allow me to give you a peek into the things I personally need an air fryer for.
- Reheating pie. My family loves pie, but it takes ages to heat up! A whole pie takes 40 minutes to reheat in an oven, and if you use a microwave instead, the crust comes out soft and soggy. I love using an air fryer to reheat pie in 15 minutes for flaky results that taste fresh-baked.
- Making asparagus spears. Air fryers are awesome for roasting all vegetables, but air fried asparagus with Parmesan and pepper is one of my all-time favourites. It tastes sweet, fresh, and juicy coming out of an air fryer, and I can’t get enough.
- Making fries. Can you tell the difference between an air fried fry and a deep fried fry? Sure, if you’re paying close attention. But in my opinion, air fried fries taste 95% the same as deep fried fries, and they use less than 1/10th of the oil. They’re healthier, easier, and safer to make than deep frying at home, especially if you have kids who are starting to cook on their own.
Do you need an air fryer?
If you’re seeking a healthier way to fry foods at home, or if you want a compact oven with super-powered strength, then yes: You might need an air fryer! Check out Best Buy’s Air Fryer Buying Guide to find your perfect model.
Shop air fryers online at Best Buy today.
The thing I cook most often in our air fryer is a toasted sandwich. Its easy convenient and quick.