Home air fryers give you a healthier version of deep-fried food, all while being easy and safe to use. Find out everything you need to know with our guide to the best air fryers available today.
Air fryers are growing in popularity, and for good reason: They’re clean, they’re healthy and they’re fun. Which model should you make a fixture in your own kitchen?
Our best air fryer guide is on hand to let you know our top picks, as well as what you need to look out for when making your decision.
Philips HD9230/26 Digital
Kicking off our list is the fantastic Philips Digital Air Fryer, a model that others can only aspire to.
Its quality of fry is unsurpassed, it cooks quickly (just eight minutes for french fries), and its clean up is easy and fast.
Extra features include easy controls, an automatic shut-off, as well as a time that goes up to 60 minutes. Not onyl does this prevent burnt food, but it will keep you and your kitchen safe. Finally, it’s of course easily broken down to be cleaned in the dishwasher. The perfect air fryer.
The HD9741/99 features a brilliantly large cooking basket, enabling you to cook a whole bag of fries easily, even letting them sit loosely to get a better and more even cook. This basket is also easily removable, and also safe to do so without the fear of being burned.
Its timer and temperature controls are easy to use and offer you a great deal of variety when cooking. It even features a pause button, so that you can quickly check on the progress of your food without being greeted by a wall of hot air.
It’s the perfect fryer for making healthier versions of frozen snacks, and a great entry to have into the world of frying.
Brilliantly suited to cooking healthy versions of frozen foods, the third Philips model to feature in our top three is easy to use, sturdy and clean.
This Philips model is compact, fitting perfectly on your kitchen counter while not dominating your cooking area, and remaining easy to store away.
Any cons? Well, it’s a touch louder than the other air fryers that make up our top three. Also, its size doesn’t allow you to cook for as large a groups as, say, our the Philips HD9230/26 Digital AirFryer.
Aside from this, its cooking performance is just as strong as the others in our top three, with it holding up well when cooking chicken wings and homemade fries.
Air Fryers are a much healthier and economical means of frying your food. By applying highly heated air through your food, they use far less oil, making your food keep that addictive fried food taste, with far less fat than that of deep-fried food.
Air Fryer Benefits
One of the most significant selling points for air fryers is that they fry food similarly to deep-fried food, but without the high amounts of oils, which are not healthy. But is it true, or is it all fluff and marketing gimmicks? The air fryer has been made to help you deep fry food, with little oil, unlike when you fry food the traditional way. Here are some of the benefits of using an air fryer.
Since cooking in an air, fryer means that you will be using a considerably less amount of fat than when you deep fry, then it means that it may also help in your quest to lose weight. Consuming less bad fats is well known to help reduce weight. When you crunch the numbers, you will realize that it dramatically reduces your calorie intake.
While some air fryers do use no oil at all, even the ones that do have been shown to use an incredible 80% less oil on average than normal oil fryers.
The superheated air systems used within air fryers dramatically reduce the amount of calories being packed into your food.
Air fryers are renowned for their incredibly ability to heat high temperatures in a very short time, with some models achieving 300 degrees in just three minutes. Very useful for those of us leading busy lives.
With far less oil being used, the best air fryers have all but elimated the presence of wild, boiling oil and fat.
Many models offer you a range of cooking modes beyond just simply frying. You can also roast, bake or grill.
With timer controls, cooling systems, better ventilation and quick shut-off, these are a safer and more controlled way of frying your food. Fried food fanastics have never had it so good.
Air fryers don’t emit anywhere near the levels of smell that their deep-frying counterparts too, nor do they produce as much grease or mess. Further to this most air fryers are dishwasher-friendly, taking all the pain out of the post-cooking clean-up operation.
Most fryers can cook between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds of food at a time. Although this is typically sufficient, you may want a machine with more or less capacity, depending on your needs. Think carefully about the kind of food that you want to be cooking in your air fryer.
Many air fryers use just a small amount of oil, but some health-conscious consumers might opt for a completely oil-free fryer. Multipurpose fryers can cook two or more types of food at once. Other features you might be interested in include digital programmable settings, rapid-cook technology, and nonstick surfaces.
Most air fryers are relatively compact and easy to fit on a kitchen counter. Despite their straightforward design, some air fryers have settings that may be more or less appealing to you. Most machines can reach up to 360 degrees and come with timers. Consumers may want an air fryer with higher temperatures or more versatile settings.
There are certain unique functions available in certain Air Fryers like automated cooking settings. These automated cooking settings allow the users to cook with the Air Fryer without worrying about temperature or time settings. These additional features are available in some particular Air Fryers and therefore, when used, these predefined settings automatically adjust the temperature and timer of the appliance to perform the particular activity.
Since cooking in an air, fryer means that you will be using a considerably less amount of fat than when you deep fry, then it means that it may also help in your quest to lose weight. Consuming less bad fats is well known to help reduce weight. When you crunch the numbers, you will realize that it dramatically reduces your calorie intake. Some studies say up to 80%
While this is a much broader term, it is true. When food is deep-fried, it can form compounds such as acrylamide, which can be dangerous. Some studies show that cancer types can develop when food is cooked at high temperatures, such as deep-frying. Cancers are not the only type of disease that deep-fried foods can potentially cause.
Are Air Fryers Healthier?
This is an important question to ask concerning the air fryer, as it is the number one selling point used by most salespeople. Do the homework so that you’re not sold a dud. The short answer is yes, an air fryer is healthier. There is a lot less oil used in an air fryer, which is why it is often sold as one of the most beneficial ways to have your fried foods.
It is healthy because it helps reduce some of the unhealthy compounds formed when you deep fry.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
Air fryers use the circulation of hot air instead of getting the deep fried effect from oil. You will only need about a tablespoon of oil when you use an air fryer. The hot air is swirled around the fryer and, in turn, fries the food. The air fryer will have a heating element that is placed near the food in the cooking chamber. It also comes with a fan. This is how the air is circulated in the unit. It works similarly to a convection oven. The significant difference between the two is that air fryers are usually smaller and don’t burn as hot.
In the air fryer, you will find a mesh basket. The holes are there to allow the hot air to circulate freely. The mesh basket is also made so that the food is cooked evenly. This is why it is essential to make sure that you don’t fill it up too much. The one tablespoon of oil is wrapped around the food, using the hot air circulation.
Temperatures can go up to as much as 250˚C. However, this will depend on the manufacturer. These temperatures can be adjusted using temperature adjusting features, whose design is also subject to the manufacturer’s design.
What Are the Best Foods to Cook in an Air Fryer?
Some of the best air fryer recipes are dishes that you would ordinarily deep fry. However, breaded food works better. If you have dipped the food in a batter, it will drip through the perforated basket. You want all the food to stay in the basket. You can cook food that you would like to be crispy and brown.
The air fryer will allow you to broil, bake, fry and roast. However, because it doesn’t have a lot of space, it means that you cannot make large portions in it. You will have to make sure the portions are small enough. You can cook meat, vegetables, make roasts, cook frozen foods and also bake.
What Features Should I Look for in an Air Fryer?
Size and Capacity
While air fryers are generally small, you can choose the size you want from a limited range. Think about the amount of food you will be making, and this will guide the size of the air fryer you buy.
You can get an air fryer that has a capacity of up to 2 liters. These are the smaller versions, better suited for small families of about four people. Medium fryers range between 1.8 and 2.5 liters, while the bigger versions can have a capacity of up to 5 liters and sometimes more. This should be big enough for a family that has about eight people or so.
Some air fryers have twin baskets, and this helps you to cook different foods at the same time. It’s convenient if you don’t want the flavors to cross-contaminate.
Look for how you will be controlling temperature. The easier it is to control, the better. Temperature control also involves seeing how high the temperature goes and if it will do the trick for the range of dishes that you will be making.
It is essential to find out how much power the fryer uses and if your kitchen can handle it. Compare the wattage on the fryer and that of your kitchen outlets. If the fryer has a high wattage, it will get hotter faster, but
It’s essential to make sure that it’s not too much power for the electrical outlet.
It’s also essential to ensure that the air fryer you choose has the necessary safety features, such as a handle. It shouldn’t conduct heat but instead, allow you to touch it without getting burnt. Also, check to make sure that the fryer has non-slip feet, this way, it won’t slide off the counter you place it on. Also, ensure the cord is long enough so that the fryer is safe from the outlet.
How Do You Clean an Air Fryer?
Before doing anything, check with the manual and know what you can and can’t do. The parts that you can remove are often safe to put in the dishwasher. Or you can clean with warm water and soap. For the outside, you can wipe it down with a wet cloth as well. It’s important to remember never to dunk it in water because it has electrical components.