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Throughout the years, air fryers have been a promising piece of kitchen equipment that allows its user to produce a plethora of healthy air-fried delights. So before succumbing to our FOMO (fear of missing out) on the air fryer microwave oven combo, I bought myself one when I had the opportunity.
And right from the get-go, I understood why so many people love trendy appliances. The air fryer has become a big game changer since it was launched in the market. But even though this appliance has changed my lifestyle drastically as it allows me to cook dinner in minutes with little to no oil, there are still a few things about the air fryer that I didn’t know and wished I had known before I made the purchase.
So, in this article, we at DaDongNY will be giving you several things to keep in mind to help you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to the top air fryers on the market.
How An Air Fryer Actually Works
As everyone knows (or just in case you didn’t), an air fryer is a miniature countertop oven that circulates hot and frying air to produce crispy food, much like an oven. Furthermore, the food fried in an air fryer must be shaken or turned frequently to get an even golden-brown color.
There are three different ways to cook food, depending on the configuration of your air fryer:
- Pull-out Drawer
Air fryers with a pull-out drawer require manual stirring periodically to ensure even cooking. While some air fryers have a timer feature that reminds you to shake your food every 5 to 10 minutes, most units don’t have one. That is why you must try to remind yourself to do so.
These models are best suited for foods you normally fry or grills, such as chicken, fish, vegetables, and even frozen foods.
Self-mixing air fryers come with a paddle that automatically stirs your food around the bowl during cooking. They also come with an extra bowl without a paddle for roasting and baking. This variant removes the need to remind yourself now and then to manually shake the food. However, some models might cook your food unevenly or distort them because of the paddle.
These air fryers are best-suited foods that are usually air fried or baked, such as chunks of meat, vegetables, and chips.
- Rotating Basket Multi-cooker
These air fryers have a rotating basket that automatically rotates food from the inside. They come with accessories that allow for additional functions like roasting, baking, and grilling. Most of the models can even cook a whole chicken.
Is It Worth It To Buy An Air Fryer After All The Hype?
Before you put on your suit, take your keys, and travel to the nearest local store in your area, ask yourself, “Is the air fryer ideal for my household? ”
An Air Fryer Would Be Ideal For:
- People living alone or in small households who enjoy frozen foods
- College students living out of home
- People who struggle in sweltering kitchens in the summer
- Those who live in home an RV with no oven
- Those who like to reheat leftover foods
- Those who crave an afternoon or midnight snack
- Those who enjoy experimenting with simple and tasty air fryer recipes
You Most Likely Do Not Need An Air Fryer If:
- You have a large household, and cooks often
- You already have an oven, grill, and a stovetop
- You want to cook wet battered foods
Related Article: Are Air Fryers Worth The Buzz, Or Just A Load Of Hot Air? (Chefs Weigh In)
Things You Should Know Before Purchasing an Air Fryer
- There are many air fryer models available on the market, but most boil down to two models: a convection oven and a basket air fryer.
The first one is similar to a mini toaster or convection oven. On the other hand, a basket air fryer is the more traditional one that uses a drawer-like compartment to cook food. It is important to choose the one that you believe will best suit your cooking needs and has additional cooking functions such as broiling, toasting, and roasting.
- Even though there are small air fryers that are small enough to fit on a shelf, some air fryers take up a lot of space that could not be stored away that easily.
- Most dishes take less than fifteen minutes to fully cook in an air fryer, which can be too fast and result in a burnt dinner.
- It isn’t easy to attain an even golden-brown color, especially if you don’t know how long your food will take to cook, which means you’ll need to turn most foods halfway through to cook them properly.
- Some air fryers come with both a basket and a tray, and it’s difficult to know which should be used.
- Following an air fryer cookbook, especially at first, is a lifesaver to cook various air fryer dishes at the proper time and temperature for the best results.
- One common misconception is that air fryers do not require any oil. The truth is that most recipes still call for a spray of oil to get the right level of crispness in your food.
- Although an air fryer includes a glass, the space inside is so small that it’s difficult to determine if food is cooked. There is no window in basket air fryers, so you can’t see how your food is doing. You must instead rely exclusively on the timing.
Things to Think About When Buying an Air Fryer
Air fryers are available in various sizes, from small to large. The manufacturer in either quarts or liters specifies the capacity. Smaller sizes range from 1-3 quarts, medium sizes range from 3-6 quarts, and large ones range from 16 quarts.
A smaller size is usually preferred when cooking for 1-2 people. People with larger families of 6-8 people require a larger size. Getting a small size would otherwise necessitate cooking in batches.
The most basic function of the kitchen appliance, as the name says, is air frying. However, this device can also have a roast, grill, reheat, air fry, rotisserie, dehydrate, defrost, and bake function. Your cooking requirements should determine the type you need.
- Digital or Manual Controls
An air fryer’s timer and temperature settings can be digital or manual. While manual controls can prepare various recipes, digital controls provide greater accuracy.
- Air fryer design
Personal preferences and circumstances influence the design of your kitchen appliance. If you have little counter space, a smaller portable one should suffice. People who have greater places can choose larger ones. Here are some other things to consider:
A circular air fryer may be preferable if you plan to cook modest food and have limited space. A square-shaped one is preferable for larger families and those who require more space.
When considering the design, the width of the basket is also important because a larger basket allows you to cook more items without layering. A larger basket is great for burger patties and chicken wings. If you have a deep basket, remember to turn your food, so it cooks evenly.
Choose an air fryer with a noise level you can tolerate. Some will interfere with your kitchen talks, making it difficult to bond over dinner preparation.
- Ease of cleaning the air fryer
Some individuals avoid using air fryers because they are difficult to clean. Some individuals don’t mind the extra cleaning labor, but if you’re not one of them, choose one that’s simple to clean. Here are several hacks for getting grease and food out of your air fryer.
Price is a major consideration for many people. Air fryers range in price from $200 to $400 for high-end models. The size and features determine the pricing. Furthermore, the price will be influenced by the brand name.
Check the recommended wattage of your kitchen outlets, as you would with other kitchen appliances. Small air fryers are typically 800 to 1000 watts, such as the Philips Avance Airfryer; medium-sized air fryers are 1200 to 1400 watts, such as the Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer; and big air fryers are 1600 to 1800 watts, such as the COSORI Pro Air Fryer Oven Combo, Max Xl Large Cooker.
Before purchasing cookware, it is essential to understand the warranty period. Some warranties last a few months, while others last a year. Because air fryers are not inexpensive, you should have insurance in case something goes wrong within a few months of purchasing one.
- Customizable Presets
Although this is a minor concern because you can easily set your cooking preferences, some people have a preferred manner of preparing certain foods. If you have a favorite food that you frequently cook at specific temperatures, you may want to consider air fryers with adjustable presets. This may not be an issue for everyone.
People who enjoy technology and gadgets may be interested in an air fryer with WiFi connectivity. Some even include connectivity options that allow you to connect it to your phone so you can monitor some functions on your phone rather than manually checking.
Deciding whether to purchase an air fryer and selecting the best one requires careful consideration. After all, the majority of units offer comparable features and capabilities. But sometimes you don’t have the time to spend hours scouring the internet to go through all the air fryers. This will assist you in choosing the right air fryer that suits your needs and benefit you in the long run. Remember not to choose one based on the hype; you don’t want to buy something you won’t utilize.
Want to learn everything about air fryers? Check out the link to learn about this useful kitchen appliance.