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You’ve probably covered every emotion you ever felt towards cooking while trying to make healthy fried treats at home.
Sure, you could order out more often. But — we think — you couldn’t bear to look at your account balance by month-end. Enter healthy homemade meals that keep you (and others around the table) feeling satisfied and happy, even after eating because you’re bored. All thanks to your new air fryer.
A countertop kitchen appliance you’ll *actually* used to cook delightful recipes from healthy choices like crisp veggies to comfort foods like pizza. How is this possible? Air fryers prepare ingredients without the extra calories of deep-frying. So, if you’ve had an air fryer in your Amazon cart for many months, read on to hit checkout with confidence.
Even more so as we have tested seven air fryers in our home kitchen to ensure we are putting the best content forward. I must say, the testing experience for these fryers are like nothing we could imagine. Some fryers exceeded our expectations, while others left us a little disappointed. The one good thing that came from both experiences is that we now have the knowledge to share with you.
How we tested?
We have tested eight of the seventeen air fryers on our list based on several criteria: control – which is simply put the temperature, how easy it is to set the timing, and if the same markings and knobs make sense. We also tested based on the noise level – how noisy these air fryers are and whether they give the necessary alerts and warnings. And lastly, we tried how easy these fryers are to clean, whether it is the interior, exterior, or basket. At the same time, all the air fryers on this list were reviewed based on customers’ experience and amazon reviews. The eight we tested were reviewed on the customer experience, amazon reviews, and the testing we conducted.
After viewing the testing and experiences prepared, you will see why each air fryer was selected for its specific category. We have tried our best to be unbiased and present only the facts based on what we have experienced while using the products. You may find your experience may not be the same. You will nevertheless find information that will assist you in your purchase decision. Now let us continue so we can finally check that air fryer out of the amazon cart.
Quick List of The Best Air Fryers and Air Fryer Toaster Ovens for 2021 and beyond
As mentioned before, we have tested 8 of the 17 air fryers on this list in our in-home kitchen. The air fryers we tested include:
(Click on the arrow ⇩ if you would like to jump to section) :
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Overall: Cosori Air Fryer
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Runner-up: Phillips Air Fryer XXL
- ( ⇩ ) – Best for Groups: Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Versatility: Ninja Air Fryer
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Value: Cuisinart Compact Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Countertop Oven with Air Fryer: Breville Smart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Non-Digital: Chefman TurboFry 3.6 Quart Air Fryer Oven
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Power: Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer
The air fryers reviewed for which we have relied mainly on amazon reviews, consumers experience and feedback:
- ( ⇩ ) – Best for Small Countertops: Dash Compact Electric Air Fryer
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Silence: GoWISE GW22731
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Small, Stainless Steel: Krups Fast Fry Deluxe Digital Air Fryer
- ( ⇩ ) – Best for Frozen Food: Farberware 3.2-Quart Digital Oil-Less Fryer
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Simple Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Black and Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Innovation: Gourmia GAF645 Digital Stainless Steel Air Fryer
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Cool Exterior: Crux 2.6 Qt. Touchscreen Air Convection Fryer
- ( ⇩ ) – Best-One Pound Cooker: Power Air Fryer XL
- ( ⇩ ) – Best Dual Rack: Chefman 6.3-Quart Digital Air Fryer
The Complete List of 17 BEST Air Fryers and Air Fryer Toaster Ovens for 2021 and Beyond
Listed as an Amazon bestseller, it’s no surprise that the Cosori fryer is our top pick. The model boasts a capacity of 5.8 quarts. With the ability to fit a 6-pound chicken and comfortably serve a family of 3-5 people. All pros and novices will find the interface very user-friendly.
That said, the Cosori Air Fryer has a fingerprint-resistant LED digital touchscreen with 11 pre-programmed settings for different selections of meats, seafood, carbs, and dessert. So after opening the box, you’re one tap away from cooking some recipes from the easy read cookbook included in the box.
Alexa will hear you just fine while the air fryer is running. You’ll also enjoy frying on a crowded countertop because it doesn’t spit or get too hot. When done, leave the no effort cleaning to the dishwasher.
Its award-winning angular design is one you wouldn’t dream of hiding in a cupboard and is quite the conversation starter. The bottom line is this beauty is an affordable must-have. If you buy this one, you’ll join a community of 4,680 and counting happy Cosoari Air Fryer owners who gave the appliance five stars.
The basket for this air fryer is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. I found this air fryer to be extremely quiet on the countertop when in operation. Based on how the material’s quality feels, you can tell that it is strong and sturdy. This particular air fryer requires no preheating, which means it uses less energy to operate. When set to 350 degrees, you can tell that you get as your food will come out crisp and fried to desire. Exterior cleaning requires a damp, wet towel when needed—no need for excessive everyday cleaning.
- Compact size
- Hushed running noise
- Pre-programmed options
- Safety button on the basket
- Detachable, dishwasher-safe basket for ease of cleaning
- Preheating required
- Limp French fries and raw potato results
- Timer and temperature reset if opened.
Another great purchase, Phillip Air Fryer XXL, is among the easiest to use and clean, making it our top pick runner up. It handles much more than frying. With the capability to bake, grill, and roast your favorite foods. Even outperforming the Cosoari to produce crispy, tender fries as if deep-fried to perfection.
Its measured capacity of 4 quarts fits two bags of frozen French fries or a 3-pound chicken. No preheat is needed, saving you time and allowing you to get cooking right away. But you will know when it is in operation because the Phillip appliance is noisier than most. Storage-wise the analog unit takes up space on counters and in dishwashers.
The consistent crispy quality of large-sized portions is enough to overlook the noise if you’re not a new parent. And the construction is durable backed by a one year warranty. Overall, the Phillip Air Flyer is a worthwhile investment for you and your crew to treat yourselves to fried goodies without extra calories.
This machine cooks fast and does not require a lot of oil. In our in-home kitchen, the tester loved how easy this gadget was to navigate, with all controls and knobs being straightforward. This fryer takes up a lot of space, but the noise level is not noticeable once in operation. It has an automatic off button, for those who may be forgetful and easily cleaned. This fryer was first tested with six portions of fries. Fries came out crisp and crunchy and without the need to refry. This fryer can hold large amounts without overloading the basket.
- Large capacity
- Grease catcher
- No preheating required
- Crispy food with minimal fat
- Noisy, Smoky, and Heavy
- It takes up considerable space.
Shaped like a mini oven, as the name suggests, the Cuisinart Toaster Oven doesn’t have the typical shape of electric fryers. A plus that allows you to lay food flat in its broad, shallow basket. So more air passes through the food for exceptionally even browning and crisping without tossing or shaking the basket.
According to Cuisinart, the model is perfect for families, holding up to two pounds of fries or 4-pounds of chicken. There is no need to preheat, and the controls are devoid of many buttons, so the oven is straightforward to use. Simply turn the dials to set the temperature and cooking time. All parts, however, have to be hand washed.
Most countertop convection ovens in its price range are digital, but this unit is analog. It makes up the difference by nixing the need for additional appliances hence space-efficiency. The settings give you the option to broil, bake, air fry, and toast your favorites. Depending on how you feel, bake a 12-inch pizza, air fry 3-pounds of chicken wings, roast 4-pounds of seafood, or toast six slices of bread at once. If you don’t already have a toaster oven, you get two large countertop appliances with the versatility of one with this toaster oven.
When this fryer arrived at first, I was skeptical and wondering how much electricity it would use and how much space it would take up on the countertop. After making some fried wings and chips for a games night, we were blown away, and everyone present set out to order an air fryer. It has an extensive range of heat from 45 degrees to 450 degrees. While there is some noise, it is not as much that it would perturb you. The viewing window is beautiful, and all components of the air fryer are very easily cleaned.
- Evenly toasted food
- Two appliances in one
- Excellent brown, crisp food
- Perfect for feeding a large family
- Analog controls
- Hand clean only
- Interior isn’t nonstick
The price has fans excited to own the Ninja Air Fryer. But that’s not all. It is very competitive in the category of taste and digital features. The crunch of its French fries didn’t come close to an oil fryer, but breadcrumbed and battered chicken results are on par with that of recipes fried in a skillet.
On the exterior are digital controls to dehydrate, reheat, and roast with a few other complicated programmings you’ll master after a couple of uses. The nonstick coated interior is dishwasher friendly. The bottom line is the Ninja is very versatile, given its small size and affordable price point that rivals the Cosori and Phillip fryer.
This fryer’s noise level is a bit annoying, but someone would say you get what you pay for. This fryer is also very inexpensive. The controls can be complicated to understand, but it was not as bad once I got used to them. The basket, crisper plate, and multi-layer rack are all dishwasher safe and easy to clean. My Ninja air fryer’s outside needed to be dried with a cloth after wiping with a damp cloth to clean. To ensure the removal of wipe marks and water spots.
- Digital settings
- Well done foods
- Multi-functional cooker
- Preheating required
- Complicated cookbook
From the onset, we loved the color. The Dash is available in a glossy aqua, white, black, or red exterior. Its small frame is sure to find a home on your tiny kitchen counter. All our prior picks mainly served family-sized portions. But this little cooker makes one person servings.
The model has half the capacity of most electric fryers. That’s why it is the perfect gift and great for RVs, dorm rooms, and suitcases. The small volume also means better brown, crisp desserts and dishes. No preheating is necessary. But for the best results, add only a half-pound of food and toss or stir continuously.
The bassinet in the Dash has a nonstick coating and won’t chunk the dishwasher. You can choose the digital version if you don’t fancy analog. Overall, the appliance gives a decent crisp outcome with a very compact, inexpensive footprint.
- No need to preheat
- One person servings
- Compact and lightweight
- Nonstick, dishwasher-safe rack
- Only cooks half-pound of food well at a time
This model’s intriguing, compact shape is sure to grab your attention. While the Cuisinart and Breville were large in width and height, the Cuisinart Compact Air Fryer is much smaller. Yet, the interior is adequate for food to lay flat. The difference is that the Cuisinart Compact has dropped the toaster function.
The face has only two knobs. So reheating and air cooking is uncomplicated because it is devoid of presets for different functions such as “dehydration” or specific foods. Just estimate the temperature and times between the indicated amounts when you’re ready to start.
The control of this air fryer is a little traditional and dated for the modern-day operator. You will find that setting the temperature and trying to be accurate can be complicated if you are not used to it. Our tester described this Air fryer as having an offer of good value, but it is not the most attractive fryer you will find on the market. On the other hand, it works great with meat and other hard to cook food products to achieve a heat temperature up to 450 degrees. Happy to have tried this fryer.
- Straightforward programming
- It doesn’t require preheating.
- Achieves temperature up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Well done browning and crisping
- Analog controls
- Parts are uncoated and not dishwasher safe.
If you need a toaster oven, air fryer combo, the Breville Smart Oven Air can get both jobs done well. It is a sleek replacement for all your kitchen counter appliances but can set you back a bundle. With enough room for a 12-inch pizza, 4-slices of toast, chicken, or a 6-cup muffin tray. The Breville has a bright oven light that is very useful at night and to observe foods far back on the rack.
It features a generously-sized rack that encourages the spreading of food for maximum browning and crisping you’re happy to indulge in repeatedly. There is no drip pan. You have to wipe down the coated cavity when done.
If you’re a novice, prepare to research and experiment with the timer and thermostat as the manual doesn’t suggest cooking instructions. Like the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven, it is relatively large, costs a pretty penny, and does well at making your oven and toaster obsolete.
The Breville Smart Oven has a cute display. However a little dated for my taste. It is a little harder to clean as not all the parts you would want to remove are removable. This Breville oven is also not dishwasher safe. On the other hand, we did roast an entire chicken in this fryer seamlessly, and it was cooked correctly. The noise level from the fryer is barely noticeable when on the countertop. You can try other products and let us know your testing experience, but we enjoy cooking large portions of meat at a time.
- Viewing window
- Dual functionality
- Digital programming
- Crispy and toasty food produced
- Complicated manual
- Not dishwasher safe
The first thing you will notice is the sleek, modern design. Beyond good looks, the construct is very functional and great for safety. The non-stick, FDA-certified, PFOA-free pan and the detachable basket is equipped with a cool-touch handle and button guard to prevent accidental detachment. Thanks to the design, the unit is also quiet and is very efficient at crisping.
If you’re a novice, you’ll find the eight presets particularly helpful. Unlike most air fryers on the market, this model of GoWISE has a built-in alarm function that reminds you to shake your ingredients in increments of 5, 10, or 15-minutes. So, there’s no chance you’ll burn your favorite foods.
Most fryers are only available in black or silver except for a few like the Dash Compact Air Fryer. The GoWISE GW22731 is available in four colors: purple, white, black, and red. Given its high-temperature range of 180-400 degrees Fahrenheit, broiling, grilling, and baking food are also fun cooking additions to air frying. Overall, with the GoWISE, you get a savvy, crisping instant pot for under a hundred bucks.
- Digital controls
- Good serving size
- Reasonable priced
- One year warranty
- Non-stick liner
- Nooks and crannies take an effort to clean.
The Krups Fast Fry Deluxe Digital Air Fryer bears many similarities to the GoWISE GW22731 Air Fryer. Except the price is a tad bit higher. Due to the fryer’s barrel shape, it has a classic look that doesn’t fill up more space than the average coffee maker. But, the browning and crisping aren’t spectacular. It does a decent job of adding a light crunch.
So much so that we doubt anyone would mistake its results for deep-fat fried chicken or fries. To maximize the crunch attained, preheat the countertop appliance. The good news is the digital presets cover all the usual food basics, including chips, steak, chicken, pizza, cake, and gives additional cooking options of grilling and roasting at the touch of a button.
In terms of cleaning, the frying bowl is dishwasher friendly. If you do decide to handwash, the coated interior is a breeze to clean. On Amazon, the appliance has an 84% 5-star rating from owners who think the Krups Fast Fry Deluxe is fantastic. The biggest pet peeve, though, is the confusing manual. The bottom line is it’s great for reheating food, adding a reasonable crisp, and space-efficient for counters.
- Digital controls
- Easy storage
- Removable parts that are dishwasher safe
- Unclear manual
- Preheating required
- Light browning and crunch results
We loved the price of this instant pot, so it’s great for a tight budget. That said, there are a couple of drawbacks, but affordability is a huge selling point. During the tests, this hot air technology did a pretty good job of making food golden and crisp. You will need to preheat and flip the food over to get crunchy, even results. However, this is common to most air frying technology.
The versatility allows the appliance to bake, grill, and roast dishes up to 30% faster, according to Farberware. The food assigned buttons on the digital pad take the guesswork out of the process, making the model easy to use. And the interface is also flexible enough to be adjusted for different cooking times and temperatures. Of note is that the bassinet is troublesome to reinsert into the appliance, and the cooking odor isn’t low.
It is available in black or white and has a capacity for 2 pounds of food. It works well with frozen food, so you can opt-out of microwave use for crisp pizza and tender leftovers. The model racked up over 1520 5-star reviews on Walmart, with several users describing it as fantastic. If you’ve been agonizing over the expense of other brands, consider the Farberware. Most alternatives can’t compete with the price point, plus the manufacturer throws in a cookbook and a 2-year warranty.
- Great price
- Cookbook included
- Non-stick interior and dishwasher safe
- Preheating required
- Tricky to remove the basket
- Incomplete manual explanations
If you’re a fan of the brand, it’s exciting to know they have an air fryer toaster oven. What’s better is that it’s not as fancy as the Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven or the Breville Smart Oven Air. Like the latter, it has plenty of room to spread the food for even browning without shaking or much stirring. And if you do need to flip food over, space makes it very convenient.
The Black and Decker Crisp includes a state-of-the-art toaster in addition to air frying capacities – a plus for individuals who don’t already have a toaster oven. It won’t roast your turkey but is good at making respectable toast, small cakes, and French fries. Honestly, the chips aren’t that great. Its strong suit is “frying” battered or frozen food. Otherwise, it doesn’t muster much crispness.
There isn’t a pan below the tray or above the heating coils to catch splatter. There is, however, a dishwasher safe crumb tray. Everything else in the interior is handwash only. Be prepared to do some research or experiment with times and temperatures as the manual information is limited. Of course, at this price, some functionalities are less than ideal. The bottom line is very affordable with stainless-steel durability and useful accessories such as a glass viewing door and external crumb tray.
- Affordably priced
- No preheating required
- Crumb tray
- Manual controls
- Manual isn’t helpful.
- Hard to clean
- Thin-walled stainless steel
The round, square design is very similar to the Cosori Air Fryer but with a larger serving size of 6-quart. The square bassinet allows the food to be laid flat and sectioned into vegetables, carbohydrates, and protein. So, you can cook a whole meal and have everything ready for plating at the same time. The round construct also aids the circulation of heated air through the model for more even results.
In addition to the usual touchscreen digital settings and adjustable 60-minute timer, the heating system includes rapid air circulation technology that makes preparing food quick and convenient. A maximum temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit is achievable, allowing users to cook in an assortment of styles from baking to broiling and more.
It is simple to use, plus the coated bassinet is complete with two removable crisping trays. The temperature range is typical of most and goes up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While there are zero plastic smells produced during cooking, the Gourmia GAF645 Digital is noticeably noisy. What makes the model great is the advantageous space and heating technology that fits in more food and gets them ready faster.
- Spacious interior
- No plastic smell
- Rapid heating system
- Crisping and browning results
- A bit expensive
- Plenty of buttons
The digital interface isn’t overwhelming. It’s very user-friendly. There are only simple touch buttons for cooking styles, consisting of air fry, bake, reheat, and roast. So, there are no additional buttons specific to particular foods. You are free to adjust the temperature and time by increments of 5 to customize your cooking preferences. Once set, press start or cancel to readjust.
It is surprisingly powerful in comparison to others. In turn, it delivers crispy, even brown finishes every time. The whirring sound it makes while working isn’t louder than a microwave. And the small size is another plus, as it isn’t very obstructive and closes with a good serving of food inside the non-stick basket. The 6-quart bin is large enough for a whole pound of chicken.
The Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer has its advantages, including its eye candy sleek aesthetics. There are ‘add food’ and ‘turn food over’ prompts paired with beeping noises to remind you to shake and turn food over. If you don’t have any countertop storage space, a cabinet or shelf will do as the appliance has a short stature. It’s an angular design you’ll love to eye on your counter and find helpful in making healthy, crisp one-pot meals.
I must say this fryer was a lot of fun to test out. We have yet to exceed all the things this fryer can do. While it is a heavier fryer, its functionality will exceed your expectation. In the case of this fryer, it is heavy but not at all bulky. It will neatly fit on the countertop. The programming interface is not simple but not too complicated to learn. The noise level could be less, but it will not overwhelm the user. Cleaning will take a little more effort for the interior, but cleaning the exterior is simple and can be done with a damp cloth or towel.
- No preheating required
- Reasonable priced
- Easy storage and use
- Burning plastic smell
- Short electrical cord
Perfect for individual use, this model has a capacity of 2 quarts. Though that doesn’t hold much to serve a group, it’s enough for a family of one or cooking kid-sized portions. The added benefit of the size is efficiency. As hot air moves around faster in the tiny convection oven to cook quickly and make dishes crispy.
The front-facing touchscreen is wonderfully devoid of numerous one-touch controls. The user is free to customize the cooking time and temperature by increments of 5 to their liking. It’s lightweight. Perfect for carrying on trips or gifting to a college student. Tossing the food to stir for an even golden brown crunch is also hassle-free because of the device’s lightness.
Unlike the Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer, this Crux model’s exterior shell stays cool to the touch while cooking. So, you won’t have to fear that you’re exposing other countertop items to immense heat. Nor worry, inquisitive, children will burn themselves accidentally. That’s just one of the many reasons, the Crux 2.6 Qt Touchscreen Air Convection Fryer is one of the best air fryers picks for 2020 and possibly worth a spot on your counter.
- Digital controls
- Overheating protection
- Dishwasher safe basket
- Small capacity
The 3.4-quart, non-stick basket satisfies 2 to 4 people with crunchy, tender foods. It’s preset is complete with programs to roast, air fry, bake, steam, saute, and grill. Otherwise, you can manually set the time and temperature options to suit your dish. The handle stays cool to the touch for a safe grip. Which is great because users have to lightly wrestle with the door just a little as the door does not glide in smoothly.
This model also has Rapid Air Technology to circulate hot air fast throughout the device for crispier taste and textures in a few minutes. Cleanup is a pleasure, as the coated basket is dishwasher friendly. In addition to the manual, the manufacturer included a recipe booklet. Another accessory included is a basket divider; its silicone tabs fit into the slots on the sides of the fryer bassinet. With the divider in, you can cook different foods on each side of the basket at the same time, thereby doubling space efficiency.
The price is also advantageous because it won’t set you back a bundle. The model is the ideal size for cooking enough food and convenient storage. On another positive note, the interior surface was easy to clean, often needing only a paper towel to rid it of messes. It is also safe to use tinfoil inside the basket for even faster cleanup.
- Digital settings
- Large food capacity
- Accessories included
- Coated, dishwasher safe basket
- Preheating required
- Basket hard to reinsert
- Limited information provided by manual
The performance of this air fryer was impressive, producing crispy, even results within 60-minutes or less. The Chefman TurboFry 3.6 Quart Air Fryer Oven is a sleek, multi-function appliance that can bake, grill, fry, and roast virtually anything. It boasts a large, flat basket design deep enough to hold 3.5 liters of food, and has more space than its round air fry basket competitors.
Its small footprint also makes storage worry-free. So, it is perfect for dorms, offices, RV trips, and small kitchens yet has plenty of space for families too. The dial is analog and unusual as the knob has dual controls allowing for both the time and temperature to be set. The basket includes a removable tray that serves as a divider to hold its maximum capacity.
The best detail of this air fryer is the vented, lightweight basket and tray. These vents promote air circulation of even results, easy cleanup, and dripping if you don’t discard grease buildup. All round, the TurboFry is a good buy for both families of one to four, considering its food capacity and small footprint. If you’re someone who prefers exact times and temperatures, there is a digital version available.
After testing, we found this fryer to be extremely simple. It is non-digital. You turn the knob to set the time, which does not exceed 60 minutes at a time, and it looks reasonably okay. The basket on this fryer is nonstick and easy to wash away any may that may get stuck to it. We tried some whole potatoes in this fryer, and they were fully cooked in 15-18 minutes. This experience causes me to think that this fryer may have other functionality. There is not much noticeable noise, which makes it a handy gadget to have around.
- Quick, crispy, even results
- Compact, smart system
- Lightweight basket
- Analog controls
- The non-stick coating wears away.
In a category of its own, the Chefman 6.3-Quart Digital Air Fryers comes with two racks rather than the typical basket, which has its advantages. The shelves are easy to clean and make cooking two different foods at once simple. Imagine pizza on top with hot wings on the bottom. So whether you are extra hungry or have an extra guest, there is space for the additional serving.
Just like an oven, there’s a window, interior lights, and removable parts to make space for a whole, 4-pound chicken. Its versatility is non-traditional, allowing for air frying, rotisserie, and dehydrating with eight digital presets for popular food items. If anything adheres to the drip tray, air fryer basket, or removable racks after dishwashing, easily scrub with a sponge to clean.
We didn’t like that the temperature increases by increments of ten instead of the typical five, but owners were happy with the crunchy results. If you need an air fryer with a rotisserie cooking component, this Chefman model is of great value.
- Crunchy results
- Easy to clean
- Non-traditional versatility
- Digital system and glass window
- Average cord length
How Were Ratings Awarded?
To help you pick the best one for you, we judged the effectiveness of each air cooker in the categories of noise, size, aesthetically pleasing design, cost, and ability to produce a crispy texture on the outside by the time the inside cooked. We made sure to include both analog and digital models for you to choose the level of technology that makes you comfortable.
We’re happy to hear your opinion and experience with your air fryer because your feedback means a lot to us.
Does the Air Fryer Make Food Healthier?
An air fryer’s use reduces the amount of fat and calories in food compared to deep frying. The appliance only uses a teaspoon of oil rather than complete submersion in grease. So, it is indeed a healthier cooking alternative. The circulation of hot air around food produces a chemical reaction that alters the color and flavors of food items.
The health benefits of this cooking technique include:
Cuts fat content
Manufacturers claim the device cuts fat content up to 80% due to the addition of significantly less oil to the cooking chamber. In general, deep-fried dishes call for at least 3-cups (750ml) of lard, while air-fried recipes need about 1-teaspoon (15ml) of oil. As such, foods soak up less fat during the cooking process.
Aids weight loss and lowers disease risk
Science has linked high consumption of fried food to obesity and lifestyle diseases. Switching from deep-fried to air-fried goodies reduces your intake of unhealthy oil, which promotes weight loss. This weight loss is likely because your body has fewer calories to store if not burnt for energy.
Lowers danger from burns and toxic by-products
It’s a lot safer than oil frying because it eliminates the need to heat a large container of oil. Hence, there’s no risk of burns by spills, splashes, or accidental touching. During deep frying, harmful compounds, like acrylamide forms. This compound has links to the development of cancers, but the results are uncertain. For example, air frying lowers the amount of acrylamide on fried potatoes by 90%.
What Are the Best Foods to Make in An Air Fryer?
The texture of deep-frying with a fraction of the oil, screams healthy. But what can you cook in an air fryer, you ask? We’ve made a list of what works and doesn’t work universally across most models.
- Great Results:
Ravioli and Mozzarella sticks
The breaded coating gets nice and golden-brown. Keeping the filling inside until you tear it open.
Seeds and Hard-cooked eggs
Especially pumpkin seeds heat to crispy perfection. And firm goodness in the case of eggs.
Cookies and lava cakes
Following instructions specific to air fryers for certain baked goods like sugar cookies, lava cakes, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and muffins will never fail to taste amazing.
From wings to breasts, all types of chicken perform great in the device. They come out with a crisp, breaded exterior and satisfying tender inside.
Browned and well-textured potatoes and potato skins are the end-product. Top with cheese and air-fried bacon for a real flavorful treat.
If it’s on the frozen food aisle of your supermarket is works well in this kitchen gadget. Think french fries, onion rings, tarter tots, empanadas, hot pockets, chicken dumplings, and lots more.
The crust is layered and flaky, perfect for this gadget. The machine nails the balance between a crispy shell and a well-cooked filling. So much so that you get a firm, fried texture and soft interior.
- Not-so Great Results
Raw and green leafy vegetables
Though freezer vegetables come out delicious, you’ll end up with soggy, messy vegetables, lettuce, spinach, and romaine — a texture most people hate.
Fresh cheese plus loose battered and seasoned foods
The cheese will melt in the machine, causing a mess that is hard to clean. Whereas a liquid batter will fly everywhere the minute you press start unless you use an air-fryer specific recipe.
Feeding a Large Crowd
Even huge models can’t serve more than a handful of people. It’s best to use recipes guaranteed to feed a crowd.
Tips and Tricks for Cooking in an Air Fryer
Use air fryer cookbooks. While it’s nice to have a recipe book included in your purchase, you don’t need to depend on the manufacturer for one. There are many good cookbooks to help you get more bang for your buck with your fryer’s increased use. Go ahead and experiment, churn out chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins, grilled salmon, and more.
During use, give your air oven five inches of space on all sides. The device cooks food with mainly hot air and a bit of oil. That’s it. If it isn’t well-ventilated, the quality of the end-product suffers. By all means, tuck it in a corner when in storage. But, when in use, rest it on a stable, heat-proof surface and give it five inches of space on all sides.
Preheat your air fryer. Use the manual as a guide for specific instructions. However, even when models and recipes don’t mention warming the machine, the results often benefit from preheating. Most manufacturers suggest 10 to 15 minutes of preheating. This action gives you plenty of time to prep ingredients. Plus, preheating ensures your food crisps instead of steams.
Use the right amount of oil. Always refer to recipes and the manual for oil portion specifics. It can be hard to judge oil requirements for food, especially frozen ones. For most recipes, add only 1/2 teaspoon of oil per batch. When cooking frozen foods like chicken nuggets or mozzarella sticks, use a smaller amount or just a spitz of non-stick spray. To get crisp, golden finished products that aren’t soggy.
Cut vegetables 1/4 inches wide. The basket of air fryers possesses holes to allow for maximum airflow. Unfortunately, these holes are wide enough for tiny pieces of legumes to fall through and quickly burn. A french fry’s width is the perfect width for cutting food that cooks fast and won’t drop through the basket cracks. If you have a mandoline, use it for thick, uniform slices every time.
Use thick coating, not loose batter recipes. Avoid using wet batters. Moist doughs work well in deep-fat fryers because the vat of hot oil instantly sets it in place. The air fryer instructions for corn dogs and tempura are thicker. If you don’t have the adapted recipe, use the three-step breading process of flour, egg dip, and crisp coating.
Cook in batches. Air fryer baskets are typically small. Allowing only comfortable space for two servings of protein or four servings of vegetables. It’s tempting to pack in more food. But you’ll usually be disappointed with the results. Get better, fully cooked results in less time by cooking smaller batches consecutively. That will allow for better airflow. You should note that air fryer cooking is faster, so it won’t be much longer than traditional pot and pan cooking.
Wash your air fryer often. This appliance isn’t like your microwave or oven. Air fryers cook food directly on the surface rather than in a microwavable dish or pot. So, the fry basket collects oil and yucky food residue with every use. To prevent aftertastes, smells, or blocking of vents, unplug, let the machine cool and wipe down the unit. Then wash the fry basket and pan by hand or in the dishwasher with soapy water and non-abrasive tools.
How to Clean an Air Fryer
Air fryers are incredibly convenient. The process isn’t messy as the device uses little oil, and the cooking basket is enclosed to prevent splattering. But like all appliances. It needs proper cleaning and maintenance to ensure optimal effectiveness for years to come.
So, there is a need to clean it after every use. And this makes cleaning simple as you won’t have to deal with stubborn, hard-to-clean crusts of food. To ensure appropriate, preservative cleaning, we’ve laid out the steps on how to clean your air fryer like a pro.
The Easiest Way to Clean Air Fryers
What You’ll Need
- Baking soda
- Dishwashing liquid
- Non-abrasive sponge
- Cotton or microfiber cloths
- Soft bristle toothbrush or brush
The first step in cleaning your countertop convection oven is, of course, to turn the air fryer off, unplug, and let it cool. This safety precaution reduces the likelihood of fires or electrocution. Once unplugged from the wall socket or extension cord, wait about 30 minutes for it to cool. Removing the basket and pan causes the primary unit to lose heat faster.
- Wipe down the exterior and heating element
Use a damp cotton or microfiber cloth to wipe down the sides of the appliance. Next, turn the countertop fryer upside-down. Continue by wiping down the heating element.
- Clean the interior
Use hot water and a non-abrasive sponge to wipe down the inside. If hardened food residue doesn’t come off the primary unit, make a baking soda paste with water and scrub with a non-abrasive sponge or soft brush. Then wipe it off with a cotton or microfiber cloth.
- Washing the basket and tray
The basket, pan, and accessories of most fryers are dishwasher safe. Just load them in and run your regular cycle. If not, cleaning is quick and easy with hot, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge.
- Soaking the removable parts
In instances where food residue is stuck on the basket, drip tray, or both, fill with hot water and let it soak for 10 minutes. Wash with soapy water and a soft brush or sponge after soaking. Repeat if needed.
Lay everything out to air dry for a few hours or use a soft cloth to pat-dry the primary unit, tray, and basket for reassembly.
- When cooking consecutive servings of food, you can wait until after the final batch to clean.
- Always use non-abrasive cleaning cloth and sponges to remove residual grease and stuck foodstuff from the basket or pan.
- Avoid using utensils, steel wool, or scrubbing sponges to remove food particles. The non-stick lining in the air fryer is thin and scratches off with ease.
- Only submerge the removable parts, not the air fryer. The primary unit is electrical, and water will ruin it.
- When food hardens onto the drip pan or basket, soak in hot water, soap, and optional baking soda. Soaking will soften stuck-on foods and make it easier to remove with a sponge or brush.
When properly cleaned, stored, and maintained units last for years without problems or mechanical issues. With a little care, your device will provide healthy, hassle-free meals for a long time. It is important to remember the following:
- Do read the manual – Before you set up and cook with your air fryer, carefully read the owner’s manual. There is valuable guidance on how to use it properly and contact details to ask for help.
- Don’t use perforated liners with small servings – Without enough weight to hold down the paper, the air will rustle it, causing uneven or uncooked results.
- Don’t burn your hands or countertop – Do use silicone gloves or oven mitts to hold hot components, and use tongs for maneuvering of heated food. Rest the appliance and lid on a silicone trivet or heat-safe surface.
- Do visually inspect the device before use – Ensure cords are intact, and the cooking chamber apparatus is in good condition. If you find damaged components when unboxing, contact customer service to have them replaced.
- Do inspect cords before plugging them into a socket – Unplugging a damaged or frayed cord can cause injury or even death.
- Do follow cookbook instructions – Shake and set the cooking times and temperatures per recipe specification to ensure properly cooked food.
- Do cook small batches and shake the basket halfway through cooking – This technique improves circulation for better, uniform distribution of heat.
- Don’t over grease the machine – Only use the recommended amount of oil and food approved by the manufacturer. Excess lard causes white smoke to exit the vents.
- Do listen for the click when attaching the bassinet and pan – So, you don’t face challenges sliding it into the unit or cause an unexpected fall and spillage of food.
- Don’t use salt, wet batters, or aerosol sprays in the fryer –These substances might break down the non-stick coating. However, the moist dough goes everywhere and requires patience not to scrub, which also removes the non-stick lining in the tray.
- Do cook in a well-ventilated area – Place the gadget at least 4 inches from walls, and other small appliances to prevent overheating. Make sure the hot air from the vents doesn’t blow into the electrical outlets.
- Don’t use accessories not made for your brand – Incorrect accessories can cause rusting and reduce efficiency.
- Don’t place the machine on the stove – You may accidentally turn on your cooker and melt the air fryer.
You can start achieving your goal to eat healthier in any month of the year, and the air frying technique can help, especially if your love for fried food is sabotaging your resolution. While the countertop gadget varies from affordable to pricey and takes up kitchen real estate, you get crunchy, fried bliss return of your investment. Complete with aesthetical colors, sleek designs, and dishwasher components for an easy to clean, eye-candy kitchen appliance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
Let’s be clear air frying isn’t real frying. Real frying requires submersion of food into oil. The appliance is a countertop convection oven with a fan and heating element that heats the air circulated in the cooking chamber. Unlike the standard oven, air flows rapidly in a circular motion across food surfaces to create a crisp, brown crust. The chamber’s limited space and perforated basket intensifies the heat, which makes ‘frying’ possible in 60-minutes or less.
Can I Use My Air Fryer for Non-Fry Cooking?
Yes. Just don’t expect the same results you’d get in a grill or conventional oven. Go ahead and bake muffins or cookies, but know it won’t rise evenly or brown as much. You can use different models to roast, bake, reheat, grill, and even as a dehydrator.
Can I Entirely Not Use Oil?
Manufactures and recipes recommend you spray or pour in a little oil. However, the results are just as crisp without any coating of oil. If you want to maximize the flavor of olive oil or butter on food, add it when almost cooked.
Are Air Fryers the Same?
No! From the experience of testing multiple brands, almost all will crisp and darken food. But some models will do it more evenly, have a larger cooking capacity, and are more expensive. Defrosting food, preheating the machine, and stopping to shake ingredients during cooking will improve its performance.
What Inexpensive Accessories Helps With Air Fryer Use?
The five main things that make it much easier to use your air fryer: tongs, liners, mandoline, racks, and instant-read thermometers. Tongs for easy maneuvering of food. Parchment paper for super-easy cleanup; mandoline for uniform, even slices; foods come out even crisper on racks; and a thermometer to ensure your cooking at the right heat.
How Often Should I Clean My Air Fryer?
After the use, wash each component thoroughly with non-abrasive tools. Foods with pungent smells tend to linger on the air fryer. The best way to eliminate the odor is to clean immediately. When the funk remains, soak the basket and pan for 30-60 minutes in water with dishwasher soap and baking soda. If that doesn’t work, squirt lemon juice onto a paper towel and wipe down the components.
Bubbles or Peeling on the Inside, What Am I to Do?
If bubbles form in the lining, contact customer service to ask if you qualify for a warranty replacement. The non-stick coating doesn’t pose a health risk. So you can cook just fine in it; if you accidentally scratch the pan. Spray with oil or use a liner to serve as the replacement, non-stick coating.
Difficulty Sliding in the Basket into the Air Fryer?
Try removing some food. This usually occurs when baskets are overfull. Next, check if the basket is correctly attached to the pan. Lift it out of the pan and reinsert. Listen for the click to know it’s secure.