Air fryers are a very handy kitchen appliance that has become very popular in recent years. That is because it allows you to indulge in crunchy foods in a much healthier way than deep-frying foods in oil. The key is that superheated air encircles the food which allows it to cook evenly and thoroughly to perfection.
The main things that you need to keep in mind are to find an air fryer that is big enough to suit your needs and one that has easy to use controls to make the unit flexible in terms of the cooking tasks that it can perform. You will also want to get a model that allows you to cook multiple foods at the same time and is easy to clean.
How an air fryer works
Multiple cooking methods are combined into one convenient and easy to use kitchen appliance.
There is an electric coil placed over the food that delivers radiant heat, which is similar to stove burner or broiler element. This dry heat penetrates your food and internally warms it up.
In the meantime, a fan positioned over the coil generates a superheated air current that flows under and around the food. It is convection heat, which is a cooking method that commercial ovens often use.
Ths convection action works to convert a small quantity of oil into a fine mist to coat our food as it is circulating. The action mimics the effects that are provided by traditionally deep frying foods that are submerged in hot cooking oil. The moisture of the food creates the steam that is needed to complete the cooking process as hot air flows around it.
Capacity and Wattage
Typically, an air fryer needs 800 to 2,100 watts of power to operate. Before purchasing an air fryer, be sure there is an outlet in your kitchen that is able to support that wattage level.
You also need to consider the capacity of the air fryer. A majority of fryers are able to cook 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds of food at once. For most households, that is probably sufficient.
Settings and Size
A majority of air fryers are fairly compact and fit on a kitchen counter easily. Most of them come with timers that reach up to 360 degrees Fahrenheit, although you may want to consider one that goes higher.
Most fryers only use a small quantity of oil. However, some health-conscious customers might want to get a totally oil-free fryer. There are also multipurpose fryers that are available that can cook multiple types of food at the same time. Other features you may be interested in considering include nonstick surfaces, rapid-cook technology, and digital programmable settings.
Most air fryer models start at over $100. However, the best models make up for the higher price with their easy cleanup and efficient frying. For those on a more limited budget, there are fryers that cost less than $100, and there are also high-end models that cost more, depending on what your needs and preferences are.