What Does An Air Fryer Do – What You Should Know
Air fryers are fast becoming very popular in kitchens. Most food blogs now have collections of recipes that could be made in the air fryer.
But what does an air fryer do? Is it healthier than the traditional methods of frying?
Frying of food means the food will be cooked in oil or another fat such as butter or margarine. The standard methods of frying are sautéing, stir frying, pan frying, shallow frying, and deep frying. Each of these methods have a unique procedure.
Sautéing involves frying in a small quantity of oil and in a shallow pan called a sauté pan. This frying is done over a high temperature.
Stir frying, as the name implies, requires stirring the food quickly, while frying over a very high temperature.
Furthermore, pan frying uses a little quantity of oil or fat to grease the pan. It relies more on the spread of oil than the heat, for frying.
Shallow frying requires a lot of oil but just enough to partly submerge the food to be fried. The goal of this method is browning of food.
Video: What Does An Air Fryer Do
If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.
Deep frying, unlike the shallow frying, is done in a large amount of oil and over a very high temperature. The goal of this technique is to cook the different sides of the food in a concurrent way.
Well, just when we thought that we have become conversant with all five methods of frying, here comes another – air frying.
How Does the Air Fryer Work
Video: What is an Air Fryer and How it Works?
This video gives a detailed explanation of how an air fryer works.
An air fryer is a small appliance that can sit over the kitchen counter. It works like a convection oven which has a fan that blows hot air around the oven chambers. But in this case, the fryer circulates hot air at a very high speed.
The result of air frying is that your food will be cooked faster than the conventional oven. The food will also be crispy, well fried, and evenly brown. Unlike the traditional frying methods, air frying requires little or no oil.
Furthermore, an air fryer can perform dual functions of roasting and baking. It has a fan that is fixed at the upper part of the appliance. This fan is very powerful because it is centralized and generates a lot of heat.
Due to the position of the fan, the heat generated in the air fryer is evenly distributed. That heat can cook food within a very short time frame, making it as crispy as a deep-fried food. The air fryer also has compartments that are easy to clean and maintain. You can also get some air fryer accessories on Amazon.
Now we know that this appliance can serve for both roasting and baking. But what makes the air fryer different from a conventional oven?
Air Fryer Vs Oven – Any Difference?
Both the air fryer and oven are kitchen appliances and have chambers where food is placed while cooking. Also, they both cook food through the generation of hot air.
So, does this mean that you do not need to buy an air fryer because there is an oven in your kitchen?
Air fryers and ovens may seem alike but there are differences between both kitchen appliances.
Ovens generate heat from a substance which could be gas or electricity. The heat takes some time to circulate in the oven, but it is a slow process. However, there is a fan in the oven that helps to facilitate the spread of heat.
Conversely, air fryers do not depend on any substance for heat production. They utilize a technology that involves the rapid circulation of air. This makes the air circulate faster than that of the conventional oven.
Furthermore, an oven is less compact when compared to an air fryer. But this explains why the air fryer cooks faster than the oven. It is because the small size of the air fryer makes the circulation of hot air faster.
When it comes to the texture of food, air fryer churns out crispy food while an oven will not produce very crispy food.
Additionally, an oven has a larger space for cooking while an air fryer has a little space.
Is Air Fryer Food Healthy
When compared to the traditional methods of frying, air frying is a healthier option. Because we need to achieve that crispy taste, we opt for deep frying. This method exposes us to the consumption of lots of oil which are not healthy.
But with air frying, all you need is a little amount of oil or none. When you switch to air frying, you stand the chance of having all your nutrients intact.
You will no longer be exposed to the risk of obesity and cardiovascular issues which are associated with consuming fatty foods.
Whether you are air frying or deep frying, please note that eating fried food daily can cause adverse health effects. Air fryers are better alternatives to deep frying. But you need to put a limit to the amount of air fried food you consume.
So, are all air fryers the same?
There are various models of air fryers. There are some that could serve as toaster ovens and some others could be used as a pressure pot.
However, air fryers are the same everywhere, since they produce the same crispy food texture. The only difference is in the brand because manufacturers differ.
Various manufacturers have produced different models of air fryers but not all will meet your specific need. This means that there are some things you need to put into consideration when you need to buy this appliance.
What You Should Consider Before Buying an Air Fryer
Size of the Air Fryer
Air fryers are known as countertop kitchen appliances but not all models can sit perfectly on the countertop. Also, some models cannot accommodate a large amount of food. Overloading the air fryer will mean that the food will not be properly fried.
Many of the air fryers that are currently available, are designed to contain an estimate of 900 grams of food. So, whether you need an air fryer for large frying or for a small sized family, it’s up to you.
The Features of the Air Fryer
Before you buy an appliance, you need to know what special abilities it possesses. This is what determines how well that appliance will meet your demands.
You could check if the air fryer has a timer. Because this is what enables you to determine the texture of the fried food – crispy or a bit soft.
Also, check if it has control features for temperature. If it does, you will be able to decide if you want your food to cook fast or slow. Different recipes require different temperature settings, hence the importance of this feature.
Additionally, you need to check if the air fryer has features for cooking in different modes. Some recipes call for dry mode while some others will require addition of liquid for cooking.
The Operating Capacity of the Air Fryer
Most air fryers usually have a wattage of 1200 – 1500 watts. Some of them could be lower, around 800 watts. You need to confirm if your kitchen can support this capacity.
Cost of Purchasing the Appliance
Your budget will determine how much you will be willing to spend. The prices of air fryers vary and depends largely on their features. So, you need to decide on what you want before setting out to purchase an air fryer.
Are you wondering which air fryer will suit your lifestyle?
There is always something for everyone.
What is the Best Air Fryer for Your Lifestyle
There are various air fryers to choose from that will suit your lifestyle.
Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer
This air fryer is a product of Instant Pot. It offers a variety of functions. It can air fry, bake, broil, dehydrate, reheat, roast and rotate. There are three trays for air frying, baking and broiling. There is also the rotisserie part for recipes that require rotating.
Instant Vortex Plus has a capacity of 9.5 liters. The door can be detached which makes cleaning easy. It has a touchscreen with features that enable you to select cook time and temperature. It is also a smart appliance that remembers your cooking preference for each recipe.
Philips Air Fryer
Philips is a household name and its air fryer has a capacity of 2.5 to 3.5 liters. It comes with a tray and a food basket that are safe to wash in a dish washer. The Philips air fryer has a feature that enables control of temperature and cook time.
This air fryer can double as a pressure cooker, but they are done in different sections of the fryer. The top section allows air frying, baking, roasting, and broiling. While the bottom section can be used to tenderize, sauté and pressure cook.
Ninja Foodie has a capacity of about 6 liters. And both sections of the fryer cannot be used simultaneously. However, it is still a good choice if you do not want to have too many appliances.
Breville Smart Oven Air
It is a combination of oven and air fryer and can also be used as a slow cooker. It has a capacity of 5.5 liters. This appliance has more features that enables you to dehydrate and bake.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
This is suitable for a large family or if you love hosting people. It has options for air frying, baking, broiling and roasting. It also has a capacity of 4 pounds. Now, if you have been thinking about getting a toaster oven, this product will offer you more value than that.
T-Fal Acti-Fry Multi Cooker
This brand doesn’t come with a drawer that can be pulled out. It has a round head that can be lifted to display its round basket. This food basket can accommodate over 2.2 pounds of food. When the appliance is turned on, the food is being stirred automatically.
The lid of this brand is transparent. You can check on the progress of the food without opening the cooker. Purchasing this brand earns you a free cookbook and a measuring spoon.
Cosori Air Fryer
The Cosori air fryer comes with preset options for different recipes, but you can also input your preference. It also informs you on when to flip your food to the other side while frying. Your food can be kept warm if you won’t be eating immediately.
GoWise USA XL Air Fry
This product enables you to fry, bake, grill and roast. It also has preset features for pork, whole chicken, fries, steak, fish, cake, pizza, and shrimp. The device gives a warning sound when the food needs to be flipped. Also, it is a great option for families on a low – budget.
Black and Becker Purifry Multicooker and Air Fryer
This air fryer is less expensive and easy to use. However, it can not cook a large quantity of food at a time and the food needs to be stirred manually. But it is best for people who love frugal living.