If you want a healthier way to enjoy your favorite fried foods like fries, chicken, and veggies, air fryers are a great option because they use less oil than traditional deep-frying methods. Most air fryers only require a mere tablespoon of oil, which helps cut down on calories.
Before you purchase an air fryer, you should know “air fryer” is a misnomer. Air fryers are actually like convection ovens. They are equipped with an electric-coil heating element and use a circulating fan to cook the food so it’s technically baking, not frying.
Air fried foods will not always replicate the taste or texture of deep fried foods, but air fryers can still provide a crisp exterior and juicy interior. Also air fryers are self-contained so you don’t have the added danger of dealing with burning oil.
Factors to consider when shopping for an air fryer:
Capacity: It’s important to take capacity into consideration. There are air fryers that can hold anywhere from 1.8 pounds to 9.5 quarts. The best option depends on whether you routinely cook for family or eat solo.
Versatility: A number of air fryers on the market only perform basic functions. However, there are plenty that also allow you to grill, roast, sauté, and steam. Choosing a versatile product eliminates the need for multiple gadgets — you can avoid kitchen clutter, and free up cabinet and counter space.
Settings: Some air fryers come with pre-programmed settings (for foods like fries or chicken). These can be useful when you’re first experimenting with the fryer. You can always tweak the time and temperature as you become more familiar with it and try new things.
Power: As you compare your air fryer options, take note of the wattage required. You want to make sure your kitchen outlet(s) can handle the power. Most air fryers use anything from 800 to 1400 watts, though some appliances use more.
Detachable Baskets: An air fryer with a detachable basket will allow you to remove and serve your food with ease. This feature can help ensure that cleaning will be a breeze. Just double-check that it’s dishwasher safe.
Here are my top picks for air fryers:
1 – Chefman Air Fryer with Dishwasher Safe Parts, 60 Minute Timer and Auto Shut Off, BPA Free, Family Size
2 – T-fal FZ700251 ActiFry Low-Fat Fryer and Multi-Cooker
3 – BLACK+DECKER Purifry 2-Liter Air Fryer
4 – Philips Avance Collection XL Airfryer