Air fryers are an excellent way to upgrade your kitchen. However, if you are planning to buy one, there is a high chance of getting confused due to the several available options. In this air fryer buying guide, we will help you to find the best one for you.
Air fryers can cook quick, fat-free, and healthy food. Using it, you can cook crispy fried food using little or no oil. That’s the main reason for increased sales of this countertop appliance. Before we dive deep into its types and factors to consider while buying it, here is a little background.
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What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is opposite to its name. An air fryer does not fry, but instead of it, it works like a convection oven. It circulates hot air with a fan. However, the main difference between an air fryer and a convection oven is that the fan of the air fryer blows faster.
And the other difference is the compartment in which the food is cooked is usually smaller as compared to a convection oven. Due to these reasons, the hot air circulates rapidly and cooks the food quickly without losing heat in transit. Generally, most air fryers come with a perforated basket or a grated rack. Therefore, the air can circulate properly and cook the food on all sides. It provides your food with a wonderful crispy finish. A few air fryers even come with different settings, such as grilling and dehydrating.
Now, as you are aware of what is an air fryer. Let us first understand the types of air fryers.
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Types of an air fryer
There are mainly four types of air fryers.
According to its name, a basket air fryer comes with a basket along with lots of holes in which your food sits. These holes usually circulate hot air. Therefore, your food will be cooked from all angles. In this type of air fryer, not only will your chicken be cooked rapidly, but there is also another benefit. There is no need to leave the chicken sitting in any cooking oil.
Do you love to rustle up various meals in one go? Do you want to avoid the hassle of continuously checking your food? If yes, this type of air fryer is for you. The paddle air fryer continuously and gently stir the food to cook it evenly. It means there is no need to shake or stir the food. Instead of it, you can concentrate on other dishes or put your feet up till the food is ready.
If you are a lover of delicious Sunday roasts, this type of air fryer is the perfect pick for you. This type of air fryer is well suited for all types of meat dishes and generally comes with various functions. Besides that, there will be cooking racks and a skewer that turns and makes your meat crispy.
Mini Oven Style
If you have little kitchen space, a mini-oven air fryer would be the perfect option; this type of air fryer has the size of a microwave and usually comes with racks and baking trays. Therefore, if you invest in this type of air fryer, you can seamlessly rustle up lots of your much-loved dishes.
Key factors to consider while buying an air fryer
Here are a few key features you need to remember when buying an air fryer.
Size and Capacity
It is a vital factor if you have a compact kitchen. Usually, if you opt for a medium-sized air fryer, the capacity would range between 3.7L to 4.1L. The medium size air fryers are compact and should easily fit in most kitchens. Size and capacity are highly dependent on each other. It means if you buy a medium-sized air fryer, you need to cook food in batches.
It is a highly time-consuming process which you certainly do not want to do in case you have a large family. On the flip side, a large air fryer can rapidly cook food for more people, but they are bulkier in size. Therefore, choose the size wisely.
Generally, most air fryers come with dials to control the temperature and a timer. In case you want more precision, search for high-end models that come with digital controls. Controls allow you to set customised temperatures. They even have LED displays where users can see the information. There are also smart air fryers available in the market, which will connect to Wi-Fi and let you set cooking modes from your smartphone. You should invest in models in which you can easily understand icons and alarms whenever cooking is completed.
It is imperative to clean your air fryers regularly and thoroughly. It does not require much work. All you need to do is pull out its drawer and wash them under tap water. Its inner basket is generally removable. Therefore, you can appropriately wash it using dishwashing detergent. Some air fryers even provide you with a dishwasher-friendly design.
First, ensure how much space you have in your kitchen. If you are a chips lover and regularly make it, then you need to keep it on your kitchen countertop. In such a case, you should go for a compact-size model instead of the top-opening model. It is because, in top-opening models, you could run out of space as the lid needs to be opened upwards.
Multiple cooking functions
There are some air fryers available in the market that come with various cooking functions. It means you can cook all sorts of meals. Such types of air fryers are perfect for baking, roasting, frying, and more, which means you can cook everything without worrying about the menu.
What can you cook in an air fryer?
An air fryer is a versatile kitchen appliance. It means you can use them for cooking pizza, cakes, fish, and steak. Besides that, they are even good for cooking vegetables, too. However, to cook vegetables, you need to sprinkle oil before cooking in order to ensure they have a crispy finish.
So here we come to the end of this air fryer buying guide. Using an air fryer, you can cook tasty and healthy food without compromising or losing taste. Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand what you should consider when buying an air fryer. Still, if you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comment section below.