Air fryers have taken the kitchen appliance market by storm – and with good reason. They’re an easy and convenient way to cook healthier meals. Here’s a rundown of what exactly this nifty device can do, what you should consider when purchasing one, and the best air fryers that get the coveted Perfect for Home seal of approval.
What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a compact kitchen appliance that works the same way as a countertop convection oven does. Hot air is circulated within the device and around the food which is set on top of a basket. This allows it to cook quickly, resulting in a crispy texture much like what you would get if you were to deep fry it. What makes air fryers great is that it doesn’t need so much oil to achieve that crisp and crunchy texture, so you’re bound to get lots of healthy food options.
What to consider
Cost: Air fryers have a large price range that spans from $100 and under for lower-end models and up to $300 or more for bigger, top-of-the-line models that come with a variety of features.
Space: Although air fryers are generally quite compact and can fit most counters, you’ll still need to make sure that you have enough room for the one you want. Some models can be as small as a toaster oven, while others may be bigger than a standard rice cooker.
Features: You can save space on your counter by getting an air fryer that has multiple features such as a dehydrator, a toaster oven, and more. The more features it has, the more expensicove it will be, so it’s important to determine what is most important for you.
Health: If you normally prepare healthy food without having to use a lot of oil and fat, an air fryer might not be the most cost-effective purchase for you. However, if you find yourself constantly deep-frying your food, then you could definitely benefit from having one.
Capacity: Air fryer capacity ranges from two quarts models to seven quarts ones. If you have a family, you might want to consider a larger model to avoid having to cook so many batches, whereas a two-quarts model may suit a single person or a couple.
The best air fryers
Philips TurboStar Digital Air Fryer: Although quite costly, the TurboStar is definitely worth the investment. It has the ability to fry, bake, roast, and grill food in its 2.75-quart capacity basket.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Besides air frying and toasting, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven is also capable of broiling, roasting, and baking food. This is the perfect choice for you if you’ve got a family.
Ninja Foodi: This affordable 6.5-quarts air fryer has the added feature of being able to pressure cook food.
Tefal ActiFry Multi-Cooker: The ActiFry is a great basic option if you aren’t interested in any extra bells and whistles.
GoWISE USA 2.75-quart Air Fryer: If you’re concerned about aesthetics, this retro-style fryer comes in a variety of colors and is great for whipping up some simple snacks and appetizers.
Air fryers are here to make cooking interesting again. This nifty little device is a great addition to any kitchen, regardless of your level of cooking skill.