The air fryer is one of the most popular home appliances in recent years. If you’ve seen a few cooking channels on YouTube, you may have seen a few users making a fresh batch of French fries or even cooking a whole chicken. If you’re considering adding this lovely appliance to your place, here are some benefits and risks you need to know first before shopping.
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a device that is like a countertop oven that offers “air frying” options for various foods. Some examples of foods you can cook with these devices include potatoes, nuggets, vegetables, and even multiple types of meat.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
Air frying involves a process where the device’s inner fan pushes heated air around the food like a convection oven. The circulating air cooks the outside surface of the foods first, creating a crispy coating while keeping the inside soft. This function creates a “frying” effect like many deep-fried foods. Additionally, the container below the basket where your food sits catches any grease during cooking—making it easier to clean after use.
What are Some Benefits of Getting an Air Fryer?
Many people have raved about the air fryer, and for good reason. Here are some expected benefits of getting an air fryer in your home:
1. Air fryers only take up a little space.
An average air fryer ranges between 4–6 quarts, making it one of the most convenient appliances for people living in tiny homes, apartments, and condos.
If you’re looking for space-saving appliances in your home, an air fryer may be the best option.
2. Air fryers are convenient.
An air fryer is relatively convenient because it doesn’t require constant monitoring during cooking. Nevertheless, please make sure to check during cooking to avoid fire hazards. You can make countless foods in an air fryer aside from roasting or air frying. Some examples include brownies, cookies, and even cakes. If you’re a newbie at baking but need more space or budget for an oven, making air-fried desserts can be a great substitute.
Note: It’s important to note that oven temperatures vary significantly from air fryer temperatures. Follow the air fryer recipes to a tee, and use a reliable model with rave reviews.
3. Air fryers use less oil.
Using an air fryer is healthier compared to frying in oil. Compared to traditional frying, air frying helps cut calories by around 70–80%, which can considerably help people looking to lose weight.
Aside from weight loss, air frying also reduces the harmful effects of oil frying. For instance, frying potatoes and other starchy foods create acrylamide, which increases one’s chances of developing cancer.
What are Some Risks of Using an Air Fryer?
Air fryers have a few setbacks. Like most devices, they must be used in moderation and handled with care according to its guidelines. While air fryers are generally healthier than traditional deep frying, some risks can harm one’s health when someone isn’t using their air fryer properly.
1. For instance, there’s a study that air frying fish raises “cholesterol oxidation products” or COPs. COPs are a byproduct of a particular meat’s cholesterol breaking down during cooking. These byproducts may increase one chance of developing heart disease, cancer, and other conditions.
Air frying fish also affects the omega-3 fatty acids, also known as the “good fats” necessary to lower blood pressure, while raising “good cholesterols” essential to protect the heart.
However, experts recommend that users can help lower COP production while air frying fish by adding fresh parsley or chives. These herbs act as antioxidants that reduce COPs in various air-fried foods.
2. Another risk is when users use air fryers to cook starchy foods like potatoes. While deep frying potatoes create acrylamide, air frying potatoes can also generate this compound, primarily when a person uses high temperatures. If you’re craving some air fryer French fries, consider soaking your potatoes to reduce their starch content before air frying. This added step helps reduce the production of COPs compared to traditional deep-frying.
So, should you get an air fryer?
Honestly, it depends. Suppose you are looking for a convenient, space-saving appliance with multiple cooking options to save time and energy. In that case, getting an air fryer is an excellent option in your home.
An air fryer is a superb option for many because it’s safer, uses less oil, and is relatively easy to clean. While it uses less oil, it could be better and still have some degree of risk, especially when cooking fish or potatoes.
If you’re looking for incredible air fryer recipes, check out this best-selling cookbook on Amazon. If you’re shopping for high-quality air fryers with multiple features, check out the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer here. This specific model crisps, roasts, reheats, and dehydrates various foods—making multiple quick and easy meals for people who are always on the go.
It’s also to remember that while air fryers are like countertop ovens, they are not the same since different makers may require varying degrees of temperature during cooking. Air fryers also are relatively smaller, so if you’re thinking of cooking large batches of food, you’re better off with an industrial oven.
Takeaway: Air fryers are all the rage right now, and for a good reason. Suppose you’re looking for convenient home appliances that offer various cooking methods. If that is the case, an air fryer is a valuable investment. However, it’s vital to remember that even if you air fry your foods, you should always measure your portions and lessen your use of oil during the cooking process.
If you’re still on the fence, consider asking your doctor if using an air fryer to cook your foods differently would benefit you in the long run. Remember to follow the guidelines of your air fryer’s model and avoid using the same temperature for ovens on your air fryer if you’re following a recipe. Be careful of fire hazards and stay safe.