Any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon are affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.
If you're looking for a way to elevate your kitchen and perfect your cooking skills, you've probably thought about buying an air fryer. These appliances are reliable, easy to use, and require less oil. However, they also have significant downsides and may not be the best fit for you.
This article will break down the most important air fryer pros and cons to help you decide whether these sought-after devices are worth it. Keep reading to learn more.
The Pros of Using an Air Fryer
Let's look at the main benefits of using an air fryer.
Cook Crispy Food
Those who enjoy biting into crispy food but dislike handling hot frying oil should consider adding an air fryer to their kitchen countertop. You place the food on a rack or into a perforated basket so that hot air surrounds it from all sides.
The method ensures your meals are evenly cooked, allowing you to whip up crispy fries, onion rings, and fish sticks each time.
Prepare Healthy Meals
Cooking tasty meals with an air fryer requires little to no oil. If you decide to add oil to improve the food's texture, don't worry. You'll still cook a delicious and healthy meal.
The excess fat will pool at the bottom of the frying basket. Then, when you move the food to your plate, you can dig in without worrying about consuming extra calories or fat.
Additionally, deep-frying carb-rich foods lead to the formation of acrylamide, a carcinogen substance. Fortunately, when you retire the frying oil and switch to air frying, you may minimize the acrylamide concentration in your meals.
Minimize Cooking Time
Toaster and traditional ovens take some time to reach optimal temperature levels, making you spend more time in the hot kitchen.
However, this is a non-issue with air fryers. These appliances usually reach 400°F in under five minutes. Electric ovens need approximately 20 minutes to hit the same temperature.
Air fryers require minimal preheating time, but they cook food more quickly. This is because the chamber inside a fryer is smaller than an oven; it traps heat effectively and keeps it concentrated.
Less Cleanup Than Other Frying Methods
Conventional frying makes a mess of your kitchen. Hot oil splatters everywhere, sometimes damaging the floors, walls, and countertop. You should wipe the oil from all surfaces, dispose of it safely, and clean the pan.
But cleaning an air fryer is less tedious since you'll use minimal oil. Moreover, many models have baskets and racks with a nonstick coating that guarantees a hassle-free cleanup.
The removable parts are usually dishwasher-safe, so you'll spend less time cleaning your air fryer. Instead, use a wet cloth and soapy water to remove food scraps and grease from the unit's exterior.
You don't have to be a master chef to use an air fryer. If you're unsure about cooking with the appliance, the digital display will show which feature you've activated. Then, to prepare a tasty dish, you only need to follow the recipe and select the optimal temperature.
Many models arrive with guidebooks or instructional manuals that outline thousands of recipes. When modifying your favorite recipes, remember that it may take a few tries to get perfect results.
Traditional frying requires at least one or two cups of oil and is potentially dangerous. Hot oil may fly all over your kitchen and splatter your skin and clothes. Air fryers use minimal oil and cook food in an enclosed basket, minimizing the risk of accidents or injuries.
Note that the sides of the appliance can still get hot. When you're ready to transfer the food onto your plate, use heat-safe gloves or mitts to boost safety levels. If the basket gets stuck, use gentle movements to unjam it so it doesn't fall over.
Excellent for Reheating Food
The food might become soggy when you reheat pizza, fries, and chicken in a microwave. But when using an air fryer to reheat pizza or chicken, it keeps your pizza or chicken juicy and preserves the desired texture and crispness.
Be careful not to overcook the food since it will dry or burn. Always preheat the air fryer and monitor the food to ensure it's not overcooked.
Air fryers have become the go-to appliances for cooking vegetables, seafood, and different types of meat. However, several accessories can enhance their functionality, allowing you to make delicious side dishes, desserts, appetizers, and main courses.
You can upgrade your home-cooking menu to include lava cakes, egg rolls, toasted ravioli, homemade chips, and more.
Some people reuse cooking oil when frying, creating a strange odor. That's not the case with air fryers; as long as you regularly clean your appliance, there'll be no funky smells.
The Cons of Using an Air Fryer
Here are some of the most significant drawbacks of using an air fryer.
Not Always Healthy
Depending on the sauce or coating you add to the recipe, the final air-fried result may not be as healthy as anticipated. Those who want to eat healthier should avoid chicken nuggets and fries and incorporate other options like chicken breasts or seasoned Brussels sprouts.
Can Be Bulky
Although small-capacity air fryer models don't require much space, medium four-quart models can be bulky and might not fit under or inside cabinets. When placing it on the countertop, remember to remove all surrounding items to prevent overheating.
Before buying an air fryer, check whether there's enough space for it in your kitchen.
Small and medium-sized air fryers have a limited cooking capacity and may not be the best option for five-member households.
Although there are large and extra-large models, they're usually more expensive. In addition, cooking for several people with a small fryer requires time and energy since you'll have to separate the food into several batches.
Not Suitable for All Food Items
Although a stove and oven can tackle different types of food, an air fryer has some limitations. For example, cheese melts because it sits close to the heating element, and you'll have to wait for the fryer to cool off before removing the liquid. Also, avoid placing raw grains like farro and pasta inside the basket since they won't cook evenly.
Might Be Noisy
While air fryers aren't noisier than microwaves, they produce noise, which could inconvenience some users and spoil their cooking experience. To find a fryer that won't disturb your peace, check online reviews and read the product specifications before purchasing.
Air Fryers: Are They Worth It? You Decide
Air fryers are user-friendly appliances that help you quickly cook tasty and healthy food. But it would be best to consider their downsides before setting up an air fryer in your kitchen. For example, it doesn't always ensure a more nutritious diet, has a limited cooking capacity, and doesn't work with all food items. Still, we hope the above air fryer pros and cons discussion has helped you decide whether the appliance is a good fit for your kitchen.