An air fryer is an appliance that is used in the kitchen to cook snacks or food. It is a countertop appliance like an oven. It does not fry the food. It is different from baking. It uses little oil that is almost no oil. It uses hot air to cook the food. This appliance gets popularity in recent years. You can cook almost all kinds of food in it such as frozen food, chicken, french fries, vegetable, roasted vegetables, cookies, and many more things.
Hows it works?
An air fryer uses hot air for cooking. Its top section or area has a heating element along with a fan. You can use an air fryer basket to keep the food. When you switch it on, the hot air flows down around the food. Airflow very rapidly makes it possible to cook crispy food. It tastes and looks like fried food. But one thing to note is that it does not use any oil. Here are the steps:
- Set the food in the basket
The very first step is to set your food in the basket. Depending on the size of your basket of an air fryer, keep the food inside. Do not overfill the basket. Otherwise, food does not bake or cooked properly. Just add one or two spoons of oil to get the food looks nice and become crispy. It can set a foil under the food on the basket’s bottom to make it easy to clean the basket.
- Set the temperature and time
The second step is to set the temperature and time. As per your food, set the temperature that varies from 350° to 400°F and time varies from 5 minutes to 25 minutes.
- Start the cooking
Now it’s time to start the cooking by pressing the start button. Some air fryer needs to flip the food in between and some not required that. It is recommended to flip the food to get the food crispy from all sides. Well, when the food is cooked, your food is ready to eat.
Which food it can cook?
You can use an air fryer to cook many types of food. These all are:
- Finger food
Finger food is good for kids as well as for everyone. You can make crispy food from scratch to make finger food. You can use sweet potatoes, pickles, potato chips, and french fries. You can also use your favorite vegetables.
- Frozen food
An air fryer is the best option to cook frozen food. It gives you a taste like deep-fried food gives you. Like french fries, mozzarella sticks and chicken are very popular to make in it.
- Roasted vegetables
You can roast any kind of your favorite vegetables in it. It is a kind of oven. It is suitable for 2-3 people.
If you are a non-vegetarian, you can easily use it and keep your tummy happy. You can cook chicken, fish, seafood and many more things. You can enjoy the restaurant like the taste.
One of the best parts I love is the baking part. You can cook or bake cookies in it but in small batches only. It is capable of making lava cakes and doughnuts.
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We have a list of One of the best Air Fryers
Is an Air fryer a healthy option?
Mostly we see there are a lot of advertisements that show only the good points for it. It is very true because it will help you to reduce your weight or fat. The reason behind this is that it uses almost no oil.
- Reduce fat
Deep-fried foods are at the top of the list that has fat. If you fry french fries in the oil absorb more oil than cooked in the air fryer with 1-2 spoons of oil. So it makes a huge difference in fat quantity. Many brands advertise that by using fryers, you can cut the fat by up to 70%. You can save a lot of oil for other recipes.
- Weight loss
Deep-fried foods are very high in calories and lead to weight gain. If you eat higher-fat food, you may be at risk of obesity. If you want to cut your waistline then an air fryer is the best option. You can enjoy full tummy food and at the same time enjoy delicious food along with losing weight.
- Decrease harmful compounds
Acrylamide is a dangerous compound that can spoil fried food. It is a compound that becomes in food that is rich in carbohydrates ( in deep frying or frying food items) It is linked to cancer formation. It is not safe for humans. food fried in the air fryer is safe from acrylamide. It has lower content or value of acrylamide by 90%. There are so many other compounds that are not safe and produced by air fryers like heterocyclic.
How to clean it?
- First of all, unplug the air fryer and let it cool.
- the pop-out parts like the basket and the handle should be taken out and wash them with soap.
- Take a soft cloth to clean the inside parts.
- Be careful while cleaning the heating element. Look for any food element on it.
- Use the brush to clean those parts which are difficult to clean with a hand like those has a narrow space.
- If you do not clean it regularly after every use, The oil sticks to the parts, and after that very hard to clean it.
- It is recommended to use a manual for proper care and cleaning. You will get to know whether your air fryer is dishwasher safe or not.
Advantages of an air fryer
- Crispy food
Using an air fryer, it is possible to make crispy food using very less oil. This is done by using a convection style heating. You can make french fries, onion rings, etc.
- Easy to use
It is very easy to use. Its functions are very straightforward. You can use it on the first attempt. It requires very little monitoring while cooking. You have to set the food and then the timer and temperature and start cooking.
- Healthy Option
It is a very healthy option for cooking as it uses very less oil almost 1-2 spoons as compared to deep frying food. Much of the oil is drained from food and not absorbed by the food. So it makes the food light. It makes the food delicious as you get in restaurants.
- Don't spread odor and heat
Your kitchen won’t get heated like an oven. It holds the heat and the temperature does not increase with cooking in the kitchen. It is very much suitable if you have a small kitchen. It does not spread the odor.
It can cook a variety of food types. So it is a versatile appliance. You can cook anything in it. It is from chicken to curries, cookies, frozen food, and any dessert.
- Hygenic food
You will get healthy and hygienic food with little oil, it cooks the food. This is the perfect way to replace deep fry food with air fry food.
- Fresh Food
You can make fresh food at any time. If you have kids, then this appliance is a must-have. You will be sure of its freshness and hygiene
You will be shocked to know the price of this appliance after understanding its benefits and versatility. Its price is not much just starting from Rupees 4,000 and going up as features increase.
- Fast cooking
It is capable of doing fast cooking than the oven. It gets hot very quickly and circulates the hot air for cooking. It does not require preheat time that is required by an oven.
- Save time
It saves you time. You can do your other tasks while your food is cooking in the air fryer. If you forgot to check the food, it will automatically go off and save your food from burning.
- Reheat the food
You can reheat the food any time and enjoy the crisp of food. You will not be worried if the food gets cool. You can enjoy the freshness and crispiness again by reheating it.
Cooking with an air fryer is safe as companies advertise. It uses hot air that is safe for humans. It has very fewer chances of burning food. These appliances get off automatically when a predefined time is reached.
- Easy Cleaning
It is easy to clean. You can take out its basket and handle for cleaning. It creates a less messy kitchen. Oil is the main item that needs to be cleaned deeply. But it won’t use much oil so it’s a mess-free cooking that requires very less cleaning and effort.
Disadvantages/ Downsides of an air fryer
- It has a limited capacity or small capacity to cook the food. So, this is not a good option for a family that has more members.
- It cooks the food at high temperatures, so many times it burns the food.
- You can’t cook food that is high in fat.
- It can create some harmful compounds. These are polycyclic automatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines.
- Food cooks in this dried-out.
- It is a noisy product.
- You may experience a different taste than regular food.
- It is a big appliance that requires space. If your kitchen is small then you need to think before you buy it or else buy a smaller one.
- Most air fryers come with a small cable. So if you have a socket far then it is difficult to use it.
Which oil is to be used for an air fryer cooking?
One of the major problems faced while cooking food in the air fryer is which oil is to be used. It is very important to know. Because it decides the crispiness and mist of food. My personal preference is to use canola oil, olive oil, or maybe avocado oil.
It is totally up to you which oil you love to eat. In India, most people love to have desi ghee.
How expensive it is?
In this competitive world, there are so many air fryers available for all budgets. The more you spend, the merrier the features you will get. If your budget allows you to buy an air fryer that is big and has many features, then you should not hesitate to buy it. Mostly it starts from Rupes 4,000 and goes up. In the USA, Its price is $100 to $500.
Types of an air fryer
There are many types of air fryers available in the market. These are
- Paddle air fryer
These types of fryers need not flip the food for even cooking as basket-style fryers need. It has a paddle that stirs the food itself. So, it gives you more comfort.
- Basket air fryer
The most popular one is the basket type. It comes with a basket that you can fill with food and insert back and remove. Many come with two baskets. It has a drawback that is, you have to flip the food in between for even cooking.
- Standalone Air Fryer
These standalone air fryers mostly come oval like an egg. It has a basket that holds the food items. These are placed on the countertop and use electricity to operate.
- Multipurpose air fryer
It is called multipurpose because it is capable of doing multiple tasks at the same time. If you own this, you need not buy a steamer, cooker, slow cooker, and microwave.
- Countertop Oven with an air fryer
These countertop ovens come with many different functions and you can cook a large range of food types in them. You can bake, roast, fry, and toast.
You can dehydrate the foods. One thing I like is that you need not worry about twisting the food for proper cooking. It is capable of cooking without changing the side of the food.
Space is a very important concern. It is not only about the kitchen space but also about the air fryer internal space where you kept or place the food. If it is tall that means you get less space for the chicken to fry and all other food items. Check for your requirements. Kitchen space is also important. If you have space then buy any size otherwise measure your space and then buy according to that.
The size depends on the space available in your kitchen.
Cost is a very crucial factor. Sometimes, we buy a low-cost product. But after that realize that it has fewer options. So, invest wisely.
It comes in many types. The basket style is one of the popular ones. Many air fryers are capable of cooking many types of food at the same time. Like you can frost and roast at the same time. So, it is also a considerable point.
Some people prefer to buy an appliance with lower watts. But it is recommended to buy a higher watts appliance as it cooks faster than a lower watts product.
If you cook food occasionally like at parties and special events, then it is recommended to buy a lightweight and compact device. If it is heavy, it will bother you to move the device from one storage space to the counter space.
A reputed brand has a warranty to show its trust in the product quality. So always choose a product that has a longer warranty at least 1 year is recommended.
The main thing to check is its functionalities. Many brands are offering an air fryer that has two baskets. It allows you to cook two types of food separately. So look for other functionality too.
As per the number of members your family has, You have to decide which one is good for you. Its size varies from 1.5 to 12 Litre.
- Energy consumption
As we know that appliances use electricity for functioning. So, it will affect your electricity bill. A fryer with 1500 watts is good and consumes fewer units of electricity.
Safety comes at the top of this list. If you have children, then keep it away from them as the fryer gets heated and may harm them. Its foot must be slip-proof (rubber or non-slipping foot)
An air fryer is a healthy option than deep-fried food. It is not only limited to potatoes and meat but has broadened the range of food you can cook in it. It reduced fat, calories, and many harmful components. I explain the benefits and drawbacks of an air fryer. You must go and check the above section with buying guide too.
I hope you enjoy reading my article. Thanks for reaching out here.
You can read my other article here.