What’s not to love about air fryers? It gives you everything you need from fried foods that you love so much, minus all the downside associated with fried foods. And choosing the right model is essential to ensure that your favorite fried food stays as delicious as you want it, every single time. Read to find out more.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
Basically, air fryers use a technology known as Rapid Air to circulate hot air at high speed within the barrel, eventually increasing the pressure. The heat and pressure created from the air cook the food inside.
The Good Things You Can Get From Purchasing An Air Fryer
The major thing that people love from using an air fryer is the amount of fat/oil you used can be reduced as high as 80% (the exact amount varies according to the model.) that you won’t find in other types of fryers, including the deep fryer variety. You only need a little oil to kick start the cooking, which translates saving lots of money in purchasing cooking oil, instead of using a cup or two like you used to do.
Not to mention using the appliance cuts down the cooking time (which mostly the bulk part of the whole cooking process) so you can prepare the usual meal in less time, as most models are designed to reach high temperatures within minutes.
What To Consider Before Buying An Air Fryer
Before you started ogling at the air fryers, consider these factors as your basic guideline in finding the right air fryer for your kitchen and cooking repertoire.
Of course, the very first would be to know how much you’re willing to spend to purchase one. A good fryer will cost you up to $500 while the most basic will be around $100. so yes, it’s still within the affordable price range.
Consider the size of the air fryer according to the amount of fried food you’ll be cooking (especially on a daily basis). The capacity also relates with the size of the fryer, and it’s a good idea for you to confirm first how much of the space can you afford (when in use and in storage) so you can narrow down the selection.
If possible, get an air fryer with a reasonable warranty as a certain time is needed for the particular appliance to show its hidden problem, which you can take back to the seller without a hassle.
Big Boss Oil-less Air Fryer is one beastly air fryer; the sturdy appliance works not to fry, but also you can roast, bake, and grill with a minute amount of oil, in one bowl.
Work your way in various cooking methods through a simple operation with two dials, a temperature controller, timer and general guides at the unit. The big, transparent capacity of 16 quarts is what catches our eye and we simply love their product design of transparent glass bowl that you can see the progress of your cooking without the need to open the appliance – convenience at a glance, we might say.
And yes, the appliance also comes with an optional extender ring, should you need to cook larger batches of food, or perhaps a full-size turkey.
Philips Starfish Technology Airfryer is considered to be the gold standard – the product gets the top spot as being the number one for best-selling air fryers around the world (even Gordon Ramsay calls it “his little sous chef.”). The people love it because Philips Starfish Technology Airfryer covers everything essential that you need, for an air fryer.
You can use it from frying, baking roasting, to grilling with little oil and it comes with a baking rack that you can cook different types of food in one go. The small size air fryer like this means it’s handy for small kitchens and hostels where all-out cooking is impossible – you can pretty much have most types of food from this air fryer alone.
The sleek-looking machine features an automatic timer setting (like an oven) so you don’t have to hover around the ar fryer while it does its job and while the machine cooks, the cool-touch technology for the external shell of the air fryer makes it safe for you to operate the machine, even when children and/or small pets are around.
Compared with other air fryers we review, Philips Starfish Technology Airfryer works rather quietly and makes little-to-no smell – again, a handy feature if you are living in small spaces; this also can mean a downside if you regularly cook in large batches – the small size of this model may not be enough for you to cook as effortlessly as you hope for.
The downside is this model doesn’t come with pre-programmed cooking mode that you need to manually decide the time for different types of food for different cooking methods, which suffice to say similar style with appliances in lower range where you need to do some things manually – not a big deal in a way since anyone that have been cooking for some time can make a best guess to decide how long each food types will cook.
Another point to consider, is the touchpads are a bit tricky to use if you have wet hands – a peeve especially if you’re in a rush and need to dry out your hands before using the fryer.
T-Fal ActiFry is the perfect air fryer that you need if you regularly cook large amounts of food on a regular basis – the large capacity an overall donut shape of this fryer makes the whole cooking a breeze, with just a tablespoon or two of oil.
T-Fal ActiFry comes with a patented heat pulse system and a stirring paddle to circulate air at high temperature and pressure with a secure lid for even and quick cooking. You can make a selection and look through the progress with their easy-to-read LCD screen, and the whole process is also convenient as it comes with a timer and alarm to alert you after the cooking is done – just let the gadget be and wait until it ‘tells’ you that the food is ready.
The selection through the LCD screen also means that you can cook a wide selection of food (instead of just for frying and grilling), including packaged meals. Cooking with an inner surface of PFOA- and PTFE-free nonstick ceramic coating will make cleaning a breeze.
Plus, we love that the air fryer also comes with a steamer to keep your kitchen free from odors from the food, a handy feature if you live-ins small spaces and/or the kitchen is poorly-ventilated for this type of cooking.
The downside that’s a big bummer to us is the outer layer of this air fryer is made from plastic, which can be a potential danger of melting. Indeed, a few users reported that the appliance’s outer shell starts to melt after using a few times. Exercise extreme caution when in use.
A vintage-looking Cuisinart AirFryer looking similarly like Breville (reviewed below) but don’t let the oddly-shaped air fryer out you off; the machine is compact and yet it delivers the result of even and thorough cooking, with food as much as 2.5 pounds of it at one time.
It’s vintage-looking, mainly because the air fryer uses knobs instead of the LCD displays in other models that it does give an old-school appeal, but can be a downside for anyone that’s a newbie in cooking – determining the correct temperature and cooking time can be a hassle.
Basically, Cuisinart is a toaster oven combined with a built-in fryer that you can also use for baking, roasting, broiling, and grilling, covering multiple methods of cooking.
The rear end comes with an exhaust vent that releases a portion of circulated air to regulate the overall temperature inside, and the mechanism also allows for the food to cook evenly that you don’t have to periodically open to flip the chicken like we used to do.
The whole package comes with a frying basket and a drip pan that you can also use it as a baking pan.
Avalon Bay Air Fryer is a good model that you can consider for purchase, the overall shape with a flat base (includes non-slip feet to stay securely in place) is what you need a moderate amount fs of cooking, on a daily basis.
The model uses Rapid Air Circulation Technology that mimics similarly the effects of deep frying, without to add more oil than necessary; in fact, Avalon Bay recommends no oil at all.
Size-wise, Avalon is slightly smaller than the Philips, so to give you an idea, this air fryer is geared to small-to-medium size poultry (the inner dimensions of the fryer are 8” round, and 3.5” deep.).
We love that it comes with a detachable food basket that you can pick up and transfer food without any mess. In fact, the whole package comes with a non-stick baking dish and a multi-use rack, with Avalon Bay cookbook for you to get started.
Compared with T-Fal Actifry, the outer shell for Avalon is made from a sturdy, non-BPA plastic that able to withstand high temperatures and long periods of cooking.
Don’t let the shape of this air fryer intimidates you (we know, it looks like an oven more than an air fryer usually look.). Breville Smart Oven Air covers from baking, roasting, to air frying with impressive features that we had to include it in our review – which means, save you a lot of space at the countertop!
It’s a compact yet powerful machine; 15 pounds of poultry to medium size lasagna and cooks it up evenly and thoroughly with less time. And obviously this is a good sign that it save a lot for the electric bill too.
Within the oven/air fryer is the Element IQ quartz heating elements that distribute heating energy where it needed to, and super convection technology that powers up from both above and below and offers a greater volume of air with a higher speed to ensure the quick cooking time.
To put it simply, Breville Smart Oven Air is what you need if you cook in large amounts, plan to cook lots of different types on a regular basis, or simply want to go all-out with this machine.