If you’re thinking about giving your kitchen a healthy boost with an air fryer, it’s important to do some research first. The gadgets don’t all work in the same way – and they can cost a fair bit of cash. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you find the best air fryer for your needs.
Basically, air fryers cook food in fast-spreading hot air, and so can often be used without the need for added oil. The result is crispy, tasty food that’s much healthier than deep-fried or pan-fried dishes. Some models also have additional functions like baking or grilling, which can expand the range of meals you can make.
One thing to bear in mind is that, unlike a microwave oven, an air fryer can be quite bulky. So it’s worth considering how much space you have available on your kitchen counter or in the cupboard where you plan to store it. It’s also important to think about how much you would use it and how much it will cost to run on a regular basis.
The majority of air fryers have dial controls that let you flit between temperatures Air fryer buying guide and advice, but there are a few which go a step further and offer digital displays on their control panels. These can be easier to use and give you more precise readings. They can also come with presets which will automatically set the machine to the right temperature and cooking time for popular foods.
Some manufacturers will also offer air fryers that are connected to your smart phone via Wi-Fi, letting you control them from an app. They can also send you alerts when it’s time to top up the oil or clean the appliance.
It’s worth bearing in mind that while most foods can be cooked using an air fryer without any added oil, there are some that will benefit from a light coating or spray of the stuff. This includes things like potatoes, green beans and meats such as chicken or fish. A quick wipe down of the interior surfaces and a spot check of the heating coil can keep your air fryer in good working order.
Most models have removable inner baskets that are dishwasher-friendly and can be cleaned by hand with a mild detergent. However, there are some which don’t and may require a more thorough cleaning with a cloth or sponge. If this is the case, look out for a model with a detachable base that can be wiped down or even put in the sink for a deeper clean.
Having an air fryer is a great idea for anyone who wants to reduce their fat intake or is looking to make some healthier swaps to their regular dishes. However, it’s worth remembering that these aren’t replacements for a diet heavy on junk or unhealthy fats, and should be used in conjunction with other methods of meal preparation. A regular diet of mainly fried foods is likely to leave you hungry and irritable, so it’s important to incorporate plenty of healthy foods too.