Table of Contents
- Are Air Fryers Healthy?
- Does It Really Taste The Same As Fried Food?
- What Is The Key To Successful Air Frying?
- What Can I Cook With An Air Fryer?
- What about price? Are Air Fryers Expensive?
- What Should I Consider When Purchasing An Air Fryer?
- You And Your New Air Fryer
Are Air Fryers Healthy?
If you are one of those people who really loves fried foods, but you’re always trying to figure out how to do things in a more healthy way, an air fryer might be just the thing you’ve been looking for. An air fryer allows you to fry foods with just a small fraction of the oil normally used, resulting in final dishes with up to 80% less fat than foods cooked with traditional frying methods. An air fryer can actually help you to eat healthier and consume less calories without changing your diet at all!
An air fryer works by circulating hot air around your food at high speed and using only a small amount of oil, rather than submerging the food in oil like you would with a deep fryer. In fact, most foods can be cooked with just one or two tablespoons of oil! The results are much more healthy, but still full of that deep-fried flavor that we all love. As if that wasn’t enough, an air fryer can actually allow excess fat to drip out of the foods being cooked, rather than sealing it inside, giving you a double whammy of calorie counting benefits.
An air fryer will circulate air (at high speed) at a temperature of about 200 degrees Celcius around the food inside, producing a crispy layer on the outside. It’s possible to fry things like potato chips, french fries, chicken, fish or just about anything else in record time, and using almost no oil.
Does It Really Taste The Same As Fried Food?
Many people think that the oil is what gives fried food its flavor. So logically, if we don’t use so much oil, then we don’t get so much flavor. While this is a common myth, it is just that, a myth. Believe it or not, a study was actually conducted and published in the Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences which concluded that French fries cooked with an air fryer were actually preferred in taste tests over French fries cooked with traditional deep fry methods.
The air fryer cooked fries scored higher in taste, color, smell, crispness, hardness and oiliness, and only scored slightly lower for appearance. So the final product rated better in 6 out of 7 characteristics, and those air fried fries are more healthy too!
What Is The Key To Successful Air Frying?
The key to success with your new air fryer is simply to have a bit of patience and be willing to experiment. One of the greatest features of an air fryer is that it can also be used for different cooking methods such as baking or grilling. Once you start playing with it, you’ll wonder how you got along without it before. Not only will you be able to cook your favorite fried foods in a healthier way for yourself and your family, but you’ll be able to grill and bake other foods faster and with less mess than using your regular oven.
What Can I Cook With An Air Fryer?
While this is a good question, and a common one, after using an air fryer for a short amount of time, you’ll find yourself asking what you can’t cook with one of these dream machines.
No problem. Any type of frozen foods made for cooking in a conventional oven will work out just great in an air fryer. Not only will items like frozen French fries, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, and other items turn out crispy and delicious, they’ll cook faster in the smaller air fryer compared to your big conventional oven that needs all that time to heat up. They will also, of course, come out with less calories than the exact same items cooked with traditional frying methods.
Chicken and pork can both be roasted in an air fryer, and you can even grill steak, burgers, fish fillets or anything else you’d like in some models of fryers that feature a grilling tray. A whole chicken will generally take about 30 minutes to roast, coming out juicy and delicious with a nice crispy skin. Roast pork will also come out with a mouth watering taste and a beautiful and tasty crisp skin.
Vegetables can be cooked in different ways depending on your tastes and your air fryer. Any vegetable that you might grill can be cooked in an air fryer with similar results. Some fryers come with a ceramic bowl that will allow you to get that stir fried effect with vegetables as well. Fresh mushrooms also turn out crispy and flavorful when cooked in an air fryer.
Some air fryers will come with a baking dish attachment. If this is the case with yours, you’ll be able to make most of your favorite kinds of baked goods such as bread, cakes, muffins, lasagna or even small casseroles. A model with a baking dish will definitely add to the versatility of your air fryer if this is important to you.
Nuts and Snacks
Roasting small items like nuts such as peanuts, almonds, walnuts or cashews is a breeze with an air fryer. Depending on what you’re roasting, you can have a fresh and warm, healthy snack ready in just five to ten minutes with absolutely zero mess (and no added salts or anything else that you don’t want in there).
Overall, an air fryer is an incredibly versatile appliance that should be a welcome addition to any kitchen. Not only will the air fryer help you to cook your favorite foods in a healthier way, in many cases the time to cook, cleanup time, and energy used will be less than what you’d have when using a conventional oven or stove. When you add in the extras that are available for some models, like grilling trays and baking dishes, you really do end up with a sort of all-in-one solution for many cooking needs.
What about price? Are Air Fryers Expensive?
Like most things in the modern world, an air fryer doesn’t have to be excessively expensive, but prices do vary, and if you want all the bells and whistles with the latest technology, the top end of the price range can get quite a bit above the bottom end.
You can find reliable, but basic, air fryer models for under $100. If all you’re looking to do is simply replace your frying pan and cook a little bit healthier, any model will come with the most basic features and provide those benefits of cooking with less oil, or no oil at all, and keeping the fat and calorie content low. You won’t need to spend your entire paycheck to get started. The mesh cooking basket and drip tray that make air frying possible will come as a part of any fryer.
If you’re more the type who likes to experiment and you want a bit more versatility, the price will generally increase with the number of options, as you might expect. On the top end of the price range, you’ll run into some models that exceed $400 and possibly even $500. For the most part, the extra expense in these air fryers comes from the addition of accessories that help to make it possible to bake and grill with the appliance in addition to frying. Many models are actually sold as a basic model with a base price, and then the accessories are sold separately, so you can choose exactly what you want in your air fryer. You’ll end up with an appliance that meets your specific needs without spending money on features that are not of any use to you.
What Should I Consider When Purchasing An Air Fryer?
Of course, the first thing you want to look for when purchasing an air fryer for use in your own home is reliability and quality. While it might be annoying to have to deal with a lesser quality product that doesn’t quite work right, when it comes to cooking, a product that doesn’t live up to modern quality standards can be dangerous. It’s definitely important to do your research and look into brands that you know and trust. A well-established company is much less likely to put out an inferior product. In addition, on the off chance that something does go wrong with the product you’ve bought, they are usually very willing to work with you to correct the problem and get everything working at 100%.
What you want to cook
As mentioned earlier when we were talking about the price, there are various, optional, accessories available for most air fryers. If you are just looking for an alternative to frying foods in a pan with oil, you can save a lot by buying a basic model without all the extras that you know you’ll never use. On the other hand, if you want to experiment more and get into grilling and baking, you’ll definitely want to make sure you get a model that can handle this type of cooking. If you’re not quite sure yet, you might want to stop and think about what the chances are that you might want to do something different in the future. You can buy an expandable model of air fryer now in its most basic form, and then buy accessories later as you become more comfortable with the appliance and your willingness to experiment grows.
You will also want to keep in mind the amount of food you need to cook to complete a given meal for yourself or your family. Air fryers vary in size. You will find some models that will max out at about 1 pound (approximately ½ kilogram) of food and others that can hold and cook up to 3 pounds (approximately 1.3 kilograms). If you’re just cooking for yourself, you can save some money, and most likely do just fine, buying one of the smaller capacity models. If you regularly cook for a small (or large) family, you will be better off spending a few extra dollars and getting an air fryer with a larger capacity, and possibly one that has more options or accessories to make your job easier.
In addition to what the fryer can cook, you also need to consider how much space you have available for your new air fryer. These appliances are designed to sit on your countertop, similar to a microwave oven. Buying a top of the line, super-sized air fryer isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have the room to use and/or store it conveniently in your kitchen. Make sure you look at the dimensions of the model you want to buy and decide whether or not it will fit comfortably in your kitchen.
Ease of use/cleaning
Look through several models, read their manuals online, and decide what you are willing to deal with when it comes to disassembling and cleaning your new appliance. These fantastic cooking devices definitely cook with less mess, but that doesn’t mean that they never need to be cleaned. It’s important to make sure that you know what you’ll need to do when it comes time to clean everything out. There’s nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money on something that should make your life easier, only to find that it makes things more complicated and you don’t want to use it anymore.
You And Your New Air Fryer
Overall, anyone who does a lot of cooking and is interested in doing it in a way that is a little bit easier and a lot more healthy could benefit from owning an air fryer. The options and accessories that will come in handy will be determined by your own cooking style, the size of the meals you need to cook, and your own willingness to experiment with your food and your cooking methods.
Air fryers just might be that next big thing we’ve been looking for. At one-time microwave ovens were a novelty, and many people thought they were a passing fad that would never prove to be truly useful. Just try to imagine a modern kitchen without a microwave oven now. It is actually difficult to remember a kitchen without one. Once you try an air fryer for yourself, you just might find yourself wondering how your kitchen ever functioned without one of these wonderful devices sitting on the counter.