Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. They’re versatile, simple to prepare, and promise deep-fried flavor without the use of oil.
They do, however, have drawbacks, just like any other product. They’re big, hard to clean, and have a small cooking capacity.
In this blog, I’ll be explaining to you the working, advantages, and disadvantages of air fryers, so keep reading.
What Is Air Fryer?
Even though they are called “air fryers,” they do not fry food at all! Air fryers use fans and heating mechanisms to function similarly to convection ovens, in which hot air is circulated rapidly around the cooking basket or tray.
If you use an air fryer, your fried food will look very similar to deep-fried food, but without the oil.
Types of Air Fryer
There are four kinds of air fryers, and choosing the best one may come down to features, dimensions, and material. The four types of air fryers are as follows:
Air fryers can include features such as baking, rotisserie, grilling, frying, broiling, and toasting, while others only have one mode. The capacity, size, noise output, heating temperature, visibility, pre-heating speed, and dishwasher friendliness of air fryer models vary.
What foods can I cook in various air fryers?
On average, an air fryer can cook and reheat various foods in 40 minutes. While air fryer models differ, they can all cook the same foods as long as they have multiple functions like baking, grilling, roasting, and frying. The only distinction is one of capacity and space.
The following foods can be prepared using each type of air fryer:
- French fries
- Chicken nuggets
- Chicken wings
- A small chicken for four, depending on the size of the air fryer
- Other meats like seafood, pork, beef
- Baked goods like cake, muffins, bread, doughnut, muffin
- Vegetables like corn, kale, zucchini, asparagus, cauliflower
- Pumpkin seeds
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
Air fryers produce the same crispiness as traditional fried foods by circulating hot air around the food. This is accomplished by removing high-fat and high-calorie oils from the cooking process.
When compared to other deep frying techniques, the air fry machine uses very little oil. Instead of using multiple cups of oil, you can cook your favorite foods with just one spoon of oil.
A fan circulates heated air—up to 400°F—around the food. The circulating air cooks the outside of the foods first, resulting in a crispy brown coating while keeping the inside soft, similar to deep-fried foods. If there is any grease from the food, it is collected in a basket at the bottom.
According to research, air fryers use heated air containing fine oil droplets to remove moisture from foods. As a result, it produces the same type of fried food as before, but with significantly lower fat levels.
Air fryers cause a chemical reaction known as the Millard effect, which improves the color and flavor of the food.
How Do You Choose An Air Fryer?
Well, choosing an air fryer has some simple steps. It depends on your personal preferences. You can follow the steps below:
- Firstly, see how much counter space is available to you.
- Secondly, check out the brands that come within your budget.
- Third, determine the extra features or versatility that you want.
- Fourth, make sure your air fryer is easy to use with instructions and easy to clean.
Is Air Fryer Safe To Use?
Yes, air fryers are safe to use. Although they have a prop 65 warning, that indicates that it may contain materials that might end up producing carcinogenic substances, such as acrylamide.
Acrylamide is a carcinogenic chemical that is produced when starchy vegetables or bread is cooked at high temperatures.
This means until and unless you use air fryers according to the manufacturers it’s completely safe to use them.
Benefits Of Air Fryer
The prospect of healthier cooking is the most important factor for most people purchasing an air fryer. With very little oil used in the cooking process, this is an excellent way to replace unhealthy deep-fried foods with a healthier alternative.
You still need to spray fried foods with oil, such as breaded chicken tenders and fried fish, so the breading gets evenly crispy while cooking, but the amount of oil you use is significantly less.
Fast And Easy To Use
The air fryer began as a kind of replacement for a deep fryer. While that was fantastic, it wasn’t enough to persuade most people that they needed one, because few people use a deep fryer regularly at home.
A common issue these days is that we all want to cook more often but simply don’t have the time. This is why ready meals and takeout are so popular, even though we all know how unhealthy they are.
Wouldn’t you rather cook foods like salmon or pork chops in the air fryer in under 20 minutes than order out?
Aids In Weight loss
Obesity is a widespread disease nowadays. Obesity affects nearly half of the world’s population. One common cause of this is the amount of junk and oily fried food we consume.
Switching from deep-fried to air-fried foods can aid in weight loss. Because they use such a small amount of oil, they are a popular cooking option for those trying to lose weight.
Reduces Risk Of Acrylamide Production
Frying food in oil can result in the formation of hazardous compounds such as acrylamide. This occurs when certain foods are deep fried.
Acrylamide, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, may be linked to the development of cancers such as endometrial, ovarian, pancreatic, breast, and esophageal cancer.
A link between dietary acrylamide and kidney, endometrial, or ovarian cancer has also been proposed in other studies. Switching to an air fryer can reduce the risk of acrylamide in food.
Crispy And Crunchy Food
All you need is a little spray of cooking oil on the outside of the food to get a crisp and crunchy exterior. This is the ideal method for making anything breaded, as well as any frozen or breaded food.
Is Cooking With Air Fryer Healthy?
Air frying is generally considered to be healthier than any other method. It reduces calories by 70-80% and contains significantly less fat. This cooking method may also reduce some of the negative effects of oil frying.
If you want to lose weight, replacing deep-fried foods with air-fried foods is a great way to start. Although research on the effects of air-fried food is limited at the moment, experts advise that we limit our intake of fried foods regardless of cooking method. The fact that your food is air-fried does not imply that it is the healthiest option.
Try to include other cooking methods in your diet as well, such as roasting, grilling, baking, and pan-searing. Keeping a variety of cooking methods and foods on hand will help you stay fit and healthy.
For health-conscious individuals, an air fryer can also serve as an alternative to deep-frying. People with high cholesterol, liver and kidney problems, or who are trying to lose weight should avoid eating air-fried foods.
You’ll soon be making all kinds of delicious foods in your air fryer, and I guarantee you won’t be sorry if you make an effort to use it.
Downside Of Air Fryers
Well, there are a few downsides to air fryers too, let’s take a look at them:
Can Produce Harmful Compound
Even though air frying reduces the risk of acrylamide formation, other potentially harmful compounds can still form. When meat is cooked at high temperatures, it can produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines.
These compounds, according to the National Cancer Institute, can cause cancer.
Not Quite Healthy
While air fryers can provide more healthy food options than deep fryers, limiting fried food intake altogether can benefit a person’s health significantly.
Only substituting air-fried foods for deep-fried foods cannot ensure good health. Regular exercise, proper sleeping patterns, a nutritious diet, and plenty of water are all essential for good health.
How Do You Clean An Air Fryer?
Cleaning an air fryer is pretty easy. It can be done in 5 to 6 simple steps:
- Allow your fryer to cool before unplugging it.
- Wash the basket, pan, or tray in your sink with warm water and dish soap. Allow it to dry overnight.
- With a damp, soapy cloth, sponge, or paper towel, wipe down the interior of the fryer, including the heating element. Wipe it down again with a clean damp cloth, followed by a dry cloth.
- Wipe down the outside of the fryer with a soft cloth.
- Place the fryer’s removable parts in the fryer once they are dry.
Purchasing an air fryer is a significant investment. Nobody wants to buy something they don’t need, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision because there are so many great benefits to owning an air fryer that you never imagined before.
Deep Frying Vs Air Frying
In deep frying, your food is cooked in a lot of oil. The fryer comes with a removable basket with perforated holes that holds the food being fried.
The heating coil helps raise the temperature of the oil to your desired level. Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, place the basket in the hot oil to cook the food.
Deep frying removes the water from the food’s outer layer, making it crisp. Deep-fried foods are usually more flavorful, but they are also higher in calories.
Air fryers are similar to convection ovens in that they cook food using Rapid Air Technology. A fan located at the top of the fryer circulates hot air around the food.
The fan’s hot air cooks the food from all sides, resulting in a crispy exterior and a tender and juicy interior. The ability of an air fryer to fry without or with very little oil is a plus.
The most common concern about fried food is health, as too much oil in our diet is harmful to our health. Because the deep fryer requires the food to be fully immersed in oil to fry it, it always results in excess oil and extra calories in the diet.
On the other hand, the air fryer can cook without or with very little oil, typically 70 to 80 percent less than deep-frying. As a result, air-fried foods are healthier.
If the taste of the fried food is most important to you, you should consider purchasing a deep fryer. Although air fryers can produce a crispy exterior similar to deep fryers, the traditional deep fryer still performs better in terms of taste.
When compared to the air fryer, the deep fryer cooks food much faster. The deep fryer uses hot oil to fry the food, which typically takes 3 to 5 minutes to cook.
The air fryer, on the other hand, uses hot air technology to fry the food and typically takes 10 to 20 minutes to prepare.
Crispy fried food can be cooked in both an air fryer and a deep fryer. However, in addition to air frying food, the air fryer can bake, roast, grill, and perform a variety of other tasks.
These multi-functionalities can be found in some of the best small air fryers. The air fryer can cook a variety of foods such as steak, potato wedges, banana bread, and more.
A deep fryer, on the other hand, can only be used for deep-frying foods that require crispy deep-fried finishes.
The nonstick basket that comes with most air fryers is easy to clean and usually dishwasher-safe. Cleaning is a breeze when little or no oil is used. They also have a stainless steel interior that is simple to keep clean.
On the contrary, excessive oil usage will necessitate more effort to clean your deep fryer. You may also be required to clean the kitchen counter as a result of the oil spill from the frying.
What Can Be Cooked In Air Fryer And Deep Fryer?
There are plenty of dishes that can be cooked in the air fryer and deep fryer:
|Air Fryer Dishes
|Deep Fryer Dishes
|Fish And Chips
Foods that can be cooked in the air fryer and deep fryer
Although research on the effects of air-fried food is limited at the moment, experts generally recommend that people limit their intake of fried food in general.
Just because something was cooked in an air fryer does not make it healthier than other foods. For optimal health, include other cooking methods in your regular dietary routines.
An air fryer is a healthy and mess-cutting appliance if you’re a small family. It can get you your desired calories.
Looking at the benefits surpassing the downsides of air fryers, I’d recommend you should give air fryers a try.