Deep-fried food is delicious, but it’s not the healthiest option when you’re hungry for a snack or meal. Because deep frying involves dipping your food in oil, it can add calories and fat to everything you make. Thankfully, there is a healthier way to get that deep-fried flavour and crispy coating. All you need is an Air Fryer. It will take everything from chicken strips to wings or French fries and make it crispy and delicious, and it uses nothing more than hot air to do so.
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How do air fryers work?
An air fryer is a small, self-enclosed countertop appliance. You can also find air fryers built into ranges. An air fryer uses convection fans to rapidly circulate hot air all around food that’s placed in a fryer basket. The rapid air flow surrounds the food, cooks it quickly, and makes it crisp in the process.
Air frying will cook your food so it’s crispy, but it’s not the same as deep frying. With deep frying your food is submerged in a vat of oil, while air fryers use little to no oil and the fry basket to cook your food.
It’s important to note that an air fry small appliance or range with air fry is not just a convection oven with a fry basket either. Air fry does use convection fans to rapidly circulate hot air, but the process happens in a smaller environment and it’s much faster than baking in an oven.
Air fryer benefits
There are many benefits to having an air fryer in your kitchen, and they are different sizes of air fryers so you can find the perfect fit for your family.
Health benefits of an air fryer
When you use an air fryer to cook your food instead of a deep fryer, you lose the fat and calories you would gain from all the oil you would dip your food in. Everything from chicken strips to French fries or battered vegetables will cook in an air fryer, and because you use little to no oil, the food you make in an air fryer is healthier for you than deep-fried food.
Air fryers are easy to use
Whether you’re making appetizers for the family or you’d just like to test out a few new recipes for air fryers, you’ll always find your air fryer is easy to use. The compact countertop design means it can sit neatly in a corner of your counter or store in your cabinet, and most air fryers will have easy to use one-touch menus that take the guesswork out of everything you cook.
Air fryers are also safer to use than traditional deep fryers. Because a deep fryer heats a vat of oil to boiling, you may splatter oil when submerging your food. With an air fryer, your food slides into the appliance and the lid stays closed, so any heat stays inside the fryer. Because you don’t need to use hot oil, you don’t get oil splatter.
You’ll be proud to have an air fryer in your kitchen
An air fryer is a small appliance you’ll be proud to have in your kitchen. With their modern style, sleek LCD screens, and compact size, your air fryer will look great on your counter no matter what type of decor you love in your kitchen.
Air fryers are fast and fun
If you need a plate of chicken strips for a crowd, you’ll love having an air fryer in your kitchen. The best air fryers will have your food on the table in 15 minutes or less, and because they cook so quickly and efficiently, you can make multiple dishes in no time.
What to cook in an air fryer
Most people think of chicken strips and French fries when they think of frying food, but when you have an air fryer the sky is the limit to what you can cook.
Baked potatoes, pork chops, fried chicken, and calzones will cook perfectly in an air fryer. If you like crispy bacon, an air fryer will ensure it is done to perfection. You can make standard pub-style appetizers including mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and jalapeno poppers, or whip up a batch of deep-fried pickles for friends.
Non-battered foods like salmon and vegetables also cook well in an air fryer, and you can even make dessert in an air fryer. Chocolate chip cookies can be whipped up for a quick snack, and you can also make churro bites, donuts, and more.
What features to look for in an air fryer
Purchasing an air fryer is exciting because you’ll have a small appliance that can make delicious, crispy food in no time at all. There are a few things you will want to take into consideration when purchasing your own air fryer.
Sizes of air fryers
A countertop air fryer is available in different shapes and sizes, and you can choose between a 6 quart air fryer, 8 quart air fryer, or a 10 quart air fryer. You’ll find standalone air fryers that are compact, dome, or cube-shaped, and will make meals for one, two, or the entire family.
Do you need a 10 quart air fryer?
The capacity of your air fryer will be important, especially if you make large meals for a family or party-sized plates of appetizers. Many of the best air fryers have less than 0.20 cu.ft. capacity and can cook approximately 2 to 5 lbs of food. A 10 quart air fryer like the Instant Pot Vortex Plus air fryer oven have larger food capacity and can cook 1.4kg of food at one time. That works out to two bags of French fries or an entire chicken, all at once. This model also combines an oven and an air fryer which offers more versatility.
Settings on your air fryer
An air fryer is easy to use because most models have settings or programs you can use to cook your food perfectly. If you look at air fryer reviews you’ll see that top-rated air fryers have visual pre-sets for foods you’ll most often cook, lights that indicate when your food is ready, and easy-to-use dials to adjust the temperature up and down as needed.
Some models of air fryer have touchscreens. The Instant Pot air fryer has 7 pre-programmed settings for one-touch cooking of french fries, chicken, and bacon, as well as 14 simple controls on the touchscreen.
Other features you may choose for your air fryer
The basket is the most important part of your new appliance, so you’ll want to ensure that it is dishwasher safe or easy to wash in the sink. Some models have baskets that sit on two levels so you can make two types of food at once.
Choose the best air fryer for you
An air fryer is one of the best small appliance purchases you will make. It gives you the versatility to cook all types of foods that taste deep-fried, but you can skip the fat and extra calories added by oil. You’ll find all types of air fryers including budget-friendly air fryers with simple interfaces or family-size air fryers with touchscreens. Whichever you choose, your first meal in your air fryer will make you wonder how you ever managed without one.
You’ll find all types of air fryers on Best Buy right now.