Welcome to the world of air frying, where scientific advancements have paved the way for a healthier approach to cooking.
In this article, “Pros and cons of an air fryer,” we will discuss the inner workings of this innovative appliance, explore its numerous benefits, and uncover any potential risks.
Discover how the air fryer stands apart from traditional deep fryers and join us on a journey of culinary transformation. Get ready to indulge in flavorful creations while maintaining your commitment to a balanced and nutritious lifestyle.
- What is an air fryer?
- Types of Air fryer
- How does an air fryer work?
- Benefits of an Air Fryer
- Disadvantages of an Air Fryer
- Tips to make crisp, tasty food in an Air Fryer
- Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer
- Buying Guide: How to choose the best Air Fryer?
- Which food can I make in an air fryer?
- FAQs: Pros and Cons of an Air Fryer
- Final Word: Air Fryer – Advantages and Disadvantages
What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a revolutionary alternative to the classic deep fryer. You can prepare in it the healthiest version of the crispy guilty pleasures delicacies like French fries and fried chicken with the crisp and taste intact. Add or brush a little fat (oil or butter) to prevent the food from sticking to the sides and enhance the flavor.
However, to facilitate oil-free cooking, you can use baking paper or buy a model featuring modern technology that requires zero fat.
Types of Air fryer
Primarily two types of air fryers are widely available. They are:
1. Air fryer with basket
These models come with baskets similar to deep dryers designed to hold items. They are best for frying.
2. Convection air fryers
These air fryers work like a convection oven. They have racks inside for placing food. You can bake, grill, and roast food in it besides frying.
How does an air fryer work?
The mechanism of an air fryer is different from that of a fat fryer/ deep fryer. Instead of steaming hot oil, air fryers use a hot air stream for cooking.
When you put food in the frying basket and start the appliance, the ring heater heats the air, and the fans circulate it evenly in the cooking space. The pieces rotate in that hot air flow, which cooks uniformly and gives food a crispy texture with the least or no use of fat.
Like a deep fryer, an air fryer also features a temperature and time controller. Most models also feature a pre-set menu to make the appliance more humanized and user-friendly from the first use.
Now let us check the air fryer advantages and disadvantages:
Benefits of an Air Fryer
There are many reasons for opting for an air fryer over a traditional fat fryer/ deep fryer. We have listed 8-advantages to tell you how it can be the best version for deep-frying.
An air fryer can cook anything. Not just fry snacks: you can bake, roast, reheat, and even dehydrate foods. So, prepare from titbits, the main course to desserts in it.
2. Cook faster
Did you know air fryer cooks faster than other cooking methods? While a traditional fryer takes 10 minutes to cook, an air fryer cooks only 4 minutes.
3. Safe and easy to use
Deep frying imposes danger as there are high chances of hot oil splashing. Also, you need to keep a watch throughout the entire process. But an air fryer eases the task. There is no chance of burning yourself, and neither have to keep an eye on cooking. Place the food and slide the basket; the appliance does the entire job while you enjoy the delicacies with the family.
4. Promote weight loss
Higher consumption of deep-fried food is directly related to obesity for being high in calories and fat. A small chicken wings piece can become a calorie reproducer. But, switching to air-fried foods reduces the regular or frequent intake of unhealthy oil and calories.
5. Lowers risk of acrylamide formation
Deep frying can trigger acrylamide formation, a compound that may have links with carcinogenic developments in the pancreas, breast, and esophagus.
A 2014 study suggested uncertain links between dietary acrylamide and endometrial and ovarian cancers. Air frying reduces the risk of acrylamide and polycyclic hydrocarbon formation in foods.
6. Lower risk of contraction disease
Science has proven that the consumption of fried foods leads to heart, kidney, and liver problems. The Trans fats in the oil are harmful. Foods prepared in a pool of oil are the doorway to infusing trans-fat in our bodies. Therefore, replacing them with air-fried foods is the best option. It lowers contraction disease risk.
7. No spread of heat or odor
Deep frying means a kitchen atmosphere filled with fumes and the odor of frying. The air fryer holds the heat inside, which does not increase the kitchen temperature, nor did the minimal oil spread odor. This feature makes it an appropriate appliance for smaller houses or apartments.
8. Less Messy
The usage of minimal oil makes an air fryer less messy. After all, there is no oil drip. Hence, cleaning is also easy. You require a soft bristle brush, dishwashing liquid, some water to clean the basket, and dampened towel to wipe the exterior. You can also wash the basket in the dishwasher.
Disadvantages of an Air Fryer
Like, everything air fryer has its set of merits and demerits. Let’s look at the downside of this healthy frying machine. Here are the 5 disadvantages.
1. Limited Capacity
Being compact, the frying basket of an air fryer can accommodate a limited capacity. So, it is the best option; if you are making meals or fries up to four servings at once. But for a large family or dinner party, cook in batches or choose an alternative cooking method.
2. Food dries out
While air frying is a healthier option, it has one major issue. Food tends to dry out because of no or least oil. The oil keeps the food moist. So, brush a little oil or butter to retain the moisture and juice.
3. Need to learn
Though the air fryer is a simple, user-friendly appliance: as a novice, you need to learn the usage to perfect the cooking process. You would get numerous recipes as a reference, but perfecting your favorite meals takes practice and time.
4. Little noisy
Air fryers circulate hot air to cook food, which happens through the hand of a high-speed airflow fan. There can on or more such fans. Hence, while working, they make little noise. So, if you think air fryers are silent appliances, they are not.
5. Difference in taste
Though in general air-fried and deep-fried food hardly vary in taste. Some stated that there is a thin line of difference in taste between the two types when consumed hot. However, the taste grows when they cool down.
Tips to make crisp, tasty food in an Air Fryer
- All meats (chicken, pork, fish, and steak) need a little seasoning with salt, herbs, and spices.
- Stick to dry seasoning for less moisture guarantees a crispier texture.
- To brush the steak with barbeque sauce, wait till the final minutes of cooking.
- Brush no-fat boneless chicken breasts or chops with little oil before seasoning for the crisp, brown texture.
- Use vegetable or canola oil for their high smoking point to ensure they can withstand high heat.
- Toss the veggies in oil and sprinkle salt before air-frying.
Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer
Here is the difference between an air fryer and a deep fryer.
If taste is your utmost priority, then a deep fryer is the best appliance for your kitchen. Though air-fried food resembles deep-fried in crispness, nothing can replace the deep-fried consistency. Moreover, some air-fried food may come out drier.
Since deep-fried food has excessive oil, health factors hardly exist. So, if your concern is health and fried food, what can be best than an air fryer? Use a fraction of oil and enjoy the crisp, healthy fried food.
While deep fryers are meant for frying, air fryers are versatile. You can roast, bake, reheat, and dehydrate food in it. So, if you want an all-in-one appliance that does more than frying, go for an air fryer.
A deep-fat fryer requires more energy because it needs to heat the fat before the deep-frying process begins. However, in the hot air fryer, you don’t need to preheat the appliance for frying. In addition, it does not need as much energy as a fat fryer. It also auto-shuts when done.
Now that we know pros and cons of using an air fryer, let us see how to choose an air fryer for home use:
Buying Guide: How to choose the best Air Fryer?
Air Fryers differ in design, color, size, and certain distinctive features. But there are some factors unanimous for all air fryers, which you must consider while choosing one. Here are those 5 factors.
- Technical specifications: Though air fryers are distinctive, their basic features are the same. Temperature control is a significant feature of air fryers. The temperature of the air fryer does not range above 200° C. Therefore, an air fryer with temperature control is the one to choose.
- Automatic function: Most air fryers possess an auto-shut feature. The air fryer switches off automatically, finishing the cooking. It also has an alarm for notification.
- Power consumption: A mini air fryer consumes 800-1000 watts of power, and a big one consumes 1600 W-1800 watts. Choose as per your need.
- Cord length: An air fryer must not have less than a 1.5 m cord.
- Capacity: The air fryer comes between 2-4 liters. It depends on the family size you have. For a bachelor or couple, a 2-liter is apt. But if there are 3-4 members, buy a 4-liter one.
- Food separators: Food separator is not available in all air fryers. Only a couple of them have it. But that is not an issue. You can go for an air fryer with no food separator. Make sure to buy it separately.
- Warranty: Air fryers have a lifespan of 5-10 years. But make sure it has a good warranty, so if problems occur, you can replace or repair it. Also, ensure regular cleaning and maintenance for long service life.
- Price: Air fryers are an expensive investment that pays back for years. You would get models at less than $100, but they are generally inferior and does not yield perfect outcome. On the other hand, high-end models with higher price ranges last for years. The price depends on brand name, construction, features, etc. However, reputed single-hot air fryers are usually cheaper.
Which food can I make in an air fryer?
Foods that you can make in an air fryer are:
- Classic fries- French fries, chicken wings, fried chicken.
- Fried fish.
- Fried egg.
- Barbeques and roasts.
- Cinnamon roll.
- Mozzarella sticks.
- Bread and cakes.
- Crispy, crunchy veggies, and many more.
FAQs: Pros and Cons of an Air Fryer
Why use oil or butter in the air fryer?
Fat is a flavor carrier, and some dishes taste better with a note of it (always pay attention to healthy fats). That’s why a little or a fine fat spray is added to air-fried food. At the same time, it prevents the food from sticking to the basket.
Does the air fryer need high power?
No, a mini air fryer needs 800-1000 watts, while a big one needs 1600-1800 watts. Power consumption of an air fryer is quite reasonable.
Which fat to use in a hot air fryer?
Use vegetable or canola oil while cooking in an air fryer for their high smoking point to ensure they can withstand high heat.
How much time does an air fryer take to cook?
Though an air fryer takes almost 50% less time than a deep fryer, the cooking time depends on the food items and their quantity. In general, it takes 20- 35 minutes. Thick meat pieces and hard vegetables such as potatoes and baking take 20 to 35 minutes. Fish and vegetables like carrots or broccoli get ready within 20 minutes. Pizza, onion rings, and delicate items get ready in 5-10 minutes.
Are hot air fryers durable?
Yes, air fryers are durable. A reputed air fryer with proper maintenance last for years. Air fryers have a lifespan of 5-10 years. But make sure it has a good warranty, so if problems occur, you can replace or repair it.
Are air fryers expensive?
Yes, air fryers are apparently an expensive investment that pays back for years.
You would get models at less than $100, but they are generally inferior and does not yield perfect outcome. On the other hand, high-end models with higher price ranges last for years. The price depends on brand name, construction, features, etc. However, reputed single-hot air fryers are usually cheaper.
Final Word: Air Fryer – Advantages and Disadvantages
An air fryer is a pretty sleek appliance that fulfills your wish of enjoying mouth-watering delicious fries without oil. The results are impressive, and the kitchen also stays mess-free. I hope this article contains everything you should know about air fryers.