The air fryer is a countertop appliance that circulates hot air around French fries, chicken wings, and vegetables to make them crisp. It’s a healthful alternative to frying and can be used to prepare many of your favorite hangover foods.
This guide features a range of models that have been rated and recommended by our team of product testers. It is regularly updated to include new releases and firm favourites that continually perform well in our rigorous testing.
What are the best air fryers
Air fryers are tall, slim appliances that feature a main unit with heating elements and fans alongside slide-out baskets or trays. They’re designed to cook foods quickly and with less oil than traditional deep frying. They can also help reduce the amount of acrylamide, a potential carcinogen found in fried foods, in your meal.
Unlike traditional deep fryers, air fryers typically work via convection, meaning they need adequate space between the foods to allow hot air to circulate evenly around them. This means that you may need to shake the food or turn it over occasionally in order to ensure even cooking, and it can be difficult to fit large amounts of food in a single basket at a time.
For this reason, we recommend opting for a dual-basket air fryer if you’re planning to cook larger meals in your air fryer. If you’re looking to make the most of your investment, look for a model with pre-sets and settings designed for different types of food like fried chicken, fries or empanadas. A number of brands offer multifunctional models that let you use them to bake and dehydrate too. This is especially useful for thrifty cakes and classic baked treats, or a quick home-made fruit leather for snacking.
Using an air fryer is an easy way to cook many popular dishes, and there is some promising research into their effect on our health. However, it’s important to maintain a variety of healthy eating options and to include other cooking methods such as oven roasting, grilling and baking into your diet to achieve optimum health. This can help reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies and provide the best range of flavours in your diet.
How do air fryers work
Air fryers are a popular new kitchen appliance that helps people cook many of the foods they love, but with significantly less fat. They work by circulating hot air around the food to help it crisp up and get that delicious golden color that makes fried foods so satisfying. Because they eliminate the need for soaking foods in high-fat oil, air fryers tend to be more healthful than traditional frying methods.
Like a fan oven, an air fryer has a heating coil and a powerful fan at the bottom that pushes the heat toward the food. It’s usually housed in a small, shallow basket with holes, so the hot air can fully circulate around it. Air fryers cook much faster than ovens and require little or no preheating, which makes them an ideal choice for busy families.
Most air fryers have a maximum capacity for the food that can fit in the basket, so it’s important to avoid overcrowding foods or they may not cook evenly. It’s also a good idea to rotate the foods while they are cooking to ensure even browning. The best air fryers come with a user manual that provides general guidelines for recommended cooking times and temperatures.
The biggest benefit of an air fryer is that it can be used to make many of the foods people enjoy fried – chips, french fries, chicken wings, tater tots and other favorites. However, it’s also a great tool for lightening up comfort foods like breaded fish fillets and toasted ravioli, as well as making vegetables more fun with things like sweet potato fries. And because it’s easier than frying and baking, it can be the first step towards a healthier diet.
Are air fryers healthy to use
Air fryers are all the rage because they can make fried foods like French fries and chicken fingers crisp and delicious with little or no oil. They can also be used to cook baked, roasted and grilled foods and even dehydrate ingredients like fruit leather. This makes them a great alternative to traditional ovens and deep-fat fryers, especially when cooking small quantities of food.
Air frying may be healthier than frying foods in a lot of fat, because it can help reduce dietary acrylamide levels. This is a compound that has been linked to cancer, but is reduced when foods are cooked for a shorter time at higher temperatures.
However, it’s important to remember that although air frying does lower the amount of acrylamide in your food, it isn’t a free pass to eat more high-calorie foods. It’s still necessary to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
If you’re unsure whether an air fryer is safe to use, check out the reviews online to find out what other users have experienced. Also, if you plan on using the air fryer to prepare fatty foods, it’s recommended that you drain any excess oils after each use. This will prevent the build-up of fats in the machine, which can cause it to overheat and break down the nonstick coating. It’s best to avoid scraping or scratching the basket of an air fryer, as this can lead to toxic chemicals being released into your food. Also, if you notice that the coating is starting to break down, you should consider replacing it. This is because it can affect the taste and texture of your food. The good news is that many brands of air fryers are now selling replacement nonstick coatings.
Can you cook frozen foods in an air fryer
Many frozen foods come with their own cooking instructions, but you can expect that they’ll typically be geared toward sauteing, baking, or good old-fashioned arterial-clogging deep frying. Air fryers, on the other hand, can cook frozen foods very quickly and without much added fat. In fact, they can even make some foods crispier than a traditional oven can.
The hot circulating air in an air fryer makes food crispy and gives them that “fried” taste. However, it’s important to note that it can also cause foods to dry out or turn soggy. To avoid this, it’s recommended that you don’t overcrowd your air fryer. If you add too much food at once, it won’t be able to cook evenly and may turn out half soggy or undercooked (via America’s Test Kitchen).
Frozen foods are ideal for the air fryer, especially those that are already breaded, wrapped, or bite-sized. These include frozen appetizers such as dumplings, fries, and mini meatballs. They’re also an excellent choice for quick meals and snacks when you need something to eat right away.
The good news is that frozen TV dinners can also be cooked in an air fryer in about the same time as they’d take to cook thawed on a regular oven. For best results, however, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use an air fryer conversion calculator to convert recipe times and temperatures. Also, it’s a good idea to trial your air fryer for the first few batches of recipes to get an idea of the optimal settings and cooking times for each type of food. This will help you get the most out of your air fryer and will save you a lot of frustration in the kitchen.
What are popular air fryer recipes
An air fryer is a kitchen gadget that’s become all the rage for its health-conscious ways of cooking. The appliance uses a jet stream of hot air to crisp up food without the use of oil, making it ideal for whipping up crispy snacks, easy weeknight dinners, and even whole meals.
You can make just about any recipe you’d normally cook in a regular oven with an air fryer, but there are some air fryer recipes that are more popular than others. If you’re in the market for an air fryer, here are some of our most popular air fryer recipes to get you started:
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
This air fryer recipe is perfect for kids and adults alike. The tenders are coated in a crunchy panko breadcrumb mixture and seasoned with aromatic garlic before baking. Served with a side of sauteed kale and lemon wedges, the dish is a light and healthy option for dinner.
Air Fryer French Fries
Another air fryer staple, these air fryer fries are light and crispy with a smoky flavor from the smokey paprika used in the seasoning. Plus, they come out much faster than a traditional deep-fried batch of fries.
Air fryers are great for roasting vegetables, and these roasted chickpeas are no exception. They’re tossed with an irresistibly addictive garlic chile butter that will have you coming back for more.
Quick Air Fryer Fish Dinner
For a quick weeknight seafood dinner, try this air fryer fish. The fillets are seasoned with salt and pepper before being topped with crispy Panko bread crumbs, aromatic garlic, and a tangy tomato-caper sauce that’s ready in less than 20 minutes. The dish is also a great option for entertaining because it’s easy to prepare in advance and serve straight from the air fryer.