What is an air fryer anyway?

Basically, an air fryer is a kitchen appliance that circulates hot air around your food to cook it. They come in different sizes but all perform pretty much the same job. So why should you get one?

Healthier food?

One of the main touted benefits for having an air fryer is that it’s supposed to make your food healthier and to a certain extent, that’s true. If you’re looking to fry some food, air fryers use much less oil than traditional frying techniques—like pan-frying or deep-frying. That mitigates some of the associated health risks of eating too much fried food such as obesity, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases.

However, fried food is still fried food, and is usually not as good for you when compared to say, steaming, boiling, or grilling your food. Thus, it’s not so much that air fryers make your food healthier as it is that they make your relatively unhealthy food less unhealthy. But if you’re looking to enjoy the taste of great fried food anyway, air fryers help make for a good compromise.

Air Fryers vs The Kitchen Classics

How does an air fryer stack up against the kitchen mainstays like your stove, microwave, and oven?

Against frying on the stove, an air fryer is generally a lot safer. You won’t need to worry about spilling hot oil or have to shy away from the pops that send droplets of oil your way. If you want to skip the trial of hot oil that every chef or home cook goes through, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

Microwaving is the simplest way to cook your food, given that you just need to stick your food in, set the timer, and it comes out ready to eat. Air frying comes quite close to that, seeing that you also press a few buttons to cook your food, but with the added preparation of spraying a good amount of olive oil.

Technically, your oven can do pretty much everything an air fryer can. Where an air fryer can surpass it though is in its efficiency. An oven needs to be preheated and certain dishes need to be specially prepped for oven cooking, whereas an air fryer allows you to bypass a lot of the steps for a similar result. Definitely worth considering when you’re pressed for time!

An air fryer’s biggest strength?

It seems like air fryer occupy an interesting middle ground. They cook more quickly than ovens but are slower than microwaves, and while they lack the versatility of stoves, they are a lot safer. Is there anything they excel at?

Actually, yes.

So should you get an air fryer?

The short answer is that it depends on you.

If you like the active role of cooking that ovens and stoves allow you, you may not get much mileage out of an air fryer. If you just want your food heated ASAP, it’ll be hard to top the convenience of a microwave.

However, if you want a versatile appliance that strikes a good balance between the speed of preparation and the range of dishes offered by your typical cooking arsenal, an air fryer might just be your next favorite kitchen companion.

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