An air fryer is probably one of the “hotkeys” in recent years and is always at the “top” of the most searched kitchen appliances. Are you curious about air frying and wonder if these appliances are worth buying?
Wherever you search, you’ll find information about their health benefits, effectiveness, and ease of use. But is this device right for your family? It’s hard to collect all information on the Internet to find out the real benefits and downsides of using an air fryer! I am going to walk you through the topic “What are the Pros and Cons of an Air Fryer?”
What is Air fryer?
Actually, an air fryer is a small countertop convection oven, designed to simulate deep frying without submerging food in oil. But the difference is its heating elements are only located on the top and are accompanied by a large, the fan circulates hot air at a high speed will make the food cook evenly and crispy.
Most food also comes out with great taste and texture like roasting in an oven. Especially, when breaded and sprayed with oil, the food becomes crispy and very similar to what you cook in a deep fryer. For some dishes like chicken wings, they cook surprisingly crispy without any oil. In fact, we barely have to use any oil and the food still comes out crispy and delicious.
What air frying?
An air fryer is not really a fryer. These are not actually frying food at all. It is a technology that is closer to a self-contained convection oven than a deep fat fryer.
It cooks a little faster, distributes heat more evenly, and leaves the food in the basket with holes in it. This cooking method takes advantage of the heat and drying effects of the air to cook foods quickly, creating a crisp outside with browning while you get the soft, moist results on the inside. It is a method that creates similar, but not identical, results to a deep fat fryer.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of An Air Fryer?
Comparing with the traditional frying method, air fryer is really a major revolution in cooking method. So to answer the question: “Should you buy an air fryer?” please take time to look at some of the solid benefits of using an air fryer, as well as some major downsides.
Pros of an Air Fryer
1. Healthier Meals without sacrificing taste
Air Frying is not just about cooking frozen foods. It’s about eating fresh and healthy!
It’s easy to cook healthy foods in an air fryer. Thanks for the hot circulating heat crisps and roasts food wonderfully without the need for a lot of oil. The hot air takes advantage of a little oil and excess oil will escape from the food.
However, for some foods like French fries, if you spray them with a little bit of olive oil, you’ll have the crispiest French fries ever!
So what foods need oil to cook in an air fryer?
Some frozen foods like egg rolls, fried chicken, French fries and onion rings, and nuggets …made fresh or heated from frozen need a little oil when cooking in an air fryer or they will start to get a little dry.
Note: Adding oil is only necessary when you prepare homemade dishes from fresh ingredients that have not been pre-treated, such as freshly peeled potatoes or chicken.
All you need to do is spray a little bit of healthy oil, like olive or canola, onto the items before proceeding to the cooking cycle. Adding oil will create a crunchy layer on the untreated food and improve its flavor.
Different from the traditional ovens, air fryers cook faster and prevent the excess oil to soak into your food. Some people can reduce their calorie intake by up to 80% just by using their air fryers. So the claims that they use less oil and make healthier meals is true!
2. Your cooking becomes faster and more efficient with an air fryer.
The air fryer only takes a few minutes to preheat as the heat to go through its full preheat cycle. Most of the hot air is inside the appliance, which means you will spend less energy during cooking. Some models do not need preheating, thus saving time and cooking food quickly.
Besides that, you will cook faster, more even cooking that promotes more crispness in the foods since this heat is not lost to the surrounding air. Even frozen food is quickly cooked because the effect of heat is enhanced by circulating air.
These devices are also more energy-efficient than ovens. You don’t have to heat up your house in summer when you’re craving something warm, roasted, or deep-fried and electricity costs are just a penny. Since the cooking cycle is also shorter, you may find that using an air fryer makes cooking faster and more efficient than traditional appliances!
3. Flexible and All-In-One kitchen appliances
With this “marvelous device”, you can use it to make a diverse variety of foods, such as fry, roast, bake, grill, broil, stir fry…all in one, in some models. Processing all foods from chicken, pork, fish or even vegetables, fried rice, even cake, and desserts … no problem. Depending on the capacity of an air fryer, you can grill a whole small chicken or turkey, or roast beef or pork. They really aren’t just a fryer!
One more small point that you should consider to buy this small appliance is it works wonders on vegetables. If you are picky vegetable eaters, you will enjoy it by new style: crisp up nicely. Especially, your home won’t smell like the deep fat fryer for hours afterward. And there’s little cleanup and less splattering of oil while cooking.
4. Air fryers will not take up a lot of space in your kitchen.
One of the biggest factors when choosing to buy an air fryer is the size and capacity of an air fryer. The perfect air fryer is not only big enough to cook for the whole family but also small to fit in your kitchen.
Most air fryers today are about the size of a standard 12-cup coffee machine. However, you may need one bigger or smaller, depending on how many servings you need and making them perfect for your kitchens.
Most of these small kitchen appliances can replace the oven if your situation lacks one, so these are more useful than a traditional toaster oven or steamer. You will discover that it is simple and easy to make a quick snack or a whole dinner with this technology, giving your kitchen a considerable degree of variety, giving your kitchen a remarkable level of diversity. If you use it regularly, you’ll probably be happy to give it a home on your kitchen counter!
5. Anyone can use an air fryer easily
Most of the air fryers on the market today are designed to be very easy to use for anyone from adults to children can enjoy it. All you need to do is set the cooking temperature, the time, place food in the basket, and walk away.
For the best result, you need to shake your food a few times during the cooking process to make sure the air is able to reach all food surfaces. Especially for things like French fries, chicken wings, chips, and nuggets. This ensures even browning and perfect results.
Cons of an Air Fryer
Although using an air fryer is good for health, and saves cost and time. However, many people still wonder because:
1. Product Reliability
Most air fryers on the market are made from plastic and inexpensive metal components. Some of them may not handle a few months of consistent use. All parts from heating elements, control, and fan eventually tend to go out, rendering the product useless.
Especially, the most worn part is the pan, basket. Even print on the dials or control panels also can wear out pretty quickly after a period of use. Even famous models seem to face this disadvantage and a lot of issues reported.
You can avoid some of these problems by purchasing an air fryer from a reputable brand such as Ninja, Phillips, Cozyna, and Secura…
2. Takes up a lot of countertop space
Air fryers are large, even a small capacity air fryer will take up a lot of space. It might be lead to overcrowding and overall counter clutter. If your kitchen is small and doesn’t have large cupboards, it can be difficult to store it away.
However, if you are going to use the appliance every day for your cooking needs, you will probably skip this drawback. Otherwise, you only use this device once or twice a month, the space which it takes up may not be worth investing in. So in case you really want to purchase it, please consider carefully the size to fit with your kitchen.
3. It starts smoking when cooking fatty foods.
White smoke will occur when you cook high-fat food. If you are afraid of smoke coming out of your air fryer: STOP AIR FRYING. Just cook your high-fat food on a regular stove or oven.
There can be many reasons why your air fryer has a smoke problem. High-fat food will spatter grease and splash the heater. This causes the air fryer to occur white smoke, often following by burning smells and burnt food.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t cook fatty foods. Here are some tips can help you to remove this problem:
- Add water to the bottom pan to help splattering.
- Adding a slice of bread at the bottom of the basket to soak up the excess oil.
- Open up windows, turn on your vent hood or try your best to ventilate your kitchen.
4. Most units are not ideal for a large family.
Although the air fryer itself is large, the inner basket is quite small so you can really only cook something for 1-2 servings. There are very few that can prepare for more than 4, and they usually still require cooking in bathes.
The crispy effect occurs when the air can circulate everywhere – if it’s too crowded, it seems like steaming the food than air frying it. Unless you want to spend half your evening making multiple batches of fries or chicken nuggets
Besides that, it will taste better when the food is served right away. Air-fried foods aren’t the type of meals you can prepare in advance to help you get dinner on the table quickly.
So it’s great ideal for a smaller family or single users, or for a dorm or office snack maker. For large families, a true convection air fryer might be a better choice.
5. There’s no one recipe that fits all for air fryers.
They are easy to use but you should spend a little time reading the manual before using them. Each unit has its own peculiarities that you will have to figure out. They come with cooking guides and recipes, but those are more recommendations rather than firm instructions. It takes some practice to know how to use an air fryer and make adjustments to finally get the food the way you want it. Luckily, the Internet has a lot of users sharing their experiences, so finding the tips is pretty easy.
If you get the perfect cooking time and temperature, you will receive a crisp outside with browning while you get the soft, moist results on the inside. It is very easy to overcook the items in this small kitchen appliance, so the food often dries out quickly.
6. Flexible but has some limitations
Although an air fryer is flexible, there have some limitations as well.
- Because it cooks so crisp on a small container, you really can’t cook large servings of food unless you buy a larger air fryer or cook in multiple batches.
- You must also wait for the appliance to cool down before cleaning and storing it away.
- They are not cheap and some can be more complicated to clean, depending on the design and model. For some people, these drawbacks can be too much to make an air fryer worthwhile.
If you already have a small convection oven on the counter and love it, you may want to keep using it, unless you prefer to cook with less oil.
Air fryers are not for everyone
This is really the best choice for small families and single users… who are living in small spaces. If these disadvantages don’t affect your decision, make sure you really want one before buying and choose the right unit for your needs. Get one with the capacity and design that most suits your planned use, and chances are you will love your purchase!