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Air Fryer: What to Consider When Buying Your First One

Margaret Minnicks is a health-conscious person who researches the health benefits of foods and drinks.

Photo via Amazon.com

Photo via Amazon.com

The first air fryers came out in 2005, but they were not sold to be used in private home kitchens at that time. They were targeted only to be used in restaurants and large hotels. The Philips Company introduced the appliance to be used in people's kitchens five years later in 2010. Air fryers were in almost every modern kitchen nine years later in 2019.

Initially, air fryers came in a limited number of shapes and sizes. The price was as low as $39 and as high as $119. Today, more companies are selling them, and the prices are much higher depending on the shape, size, and features. The five top brands of air fryers are Elite, Farberware, GoWISE, Ninja, and NuWave, according to Consumer Reports.

What Is an Air Fryer?

Don't be misled to think that just because the kitchen appliance is called an "air fryer" frying is all it does. An air fryer is used for more than just frying foods. It serves as a convection oven that bakes, broils, roasts, toasts, dehydrates, and rotisserie food when placed on racks or in a basket depending on the type of air fryer that is used.

The countertop appliance works when a mechanical fan circulates hot air around the food at a very high speed. Food is cooked evenly and moisture is locked in. Air fryers make food crispy, crunchy, and golden brown without grease.

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What Foods Can Be Cooked in an Air Fryer?

Most meats can be cooked or reheated in an air fryer such as chicken, fish, steak, and pork chops. Vegetables and fruits also turn out as well. You can make pizza, bread, pies, cakes, and cookies in the appliance. Fresh and frozen food can be conveniently cooked in an air fryer.

Cooks have found that an air fryer uses little or no oil on foods. Therefore, dishes prepared in an air fryer are much healthier than food fried in a skillet in some type of oil.

Shapes and Sizes

Air fryers come in shapes and sizes that looked like pods when they first came out. They were limited to baskets instead of having shelves. They were more like pressure cookers and toaster ovens. Today, there is more versatility in the shapes, sizes, and functions of air fryers. In fact, air fryers are so versatile that they can fry, bake, and roast several meals at the same time.

There is little or no preheating time no matter which shape and size you choose, The cooking time is much less than using a conventional oven. Because little or no grease is used, there is a minimal mess to clean up.

If you have a large family, enough space, and extra money to spend, you might consider purchasing the Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360. It is shaped like a traditional toaster oven without a basket like the smaller models. It is large enough to make a rotisserie chicken. It is more expensive than smaller ones. The appliance is a multicooker with about a dozen modes. It retails at most stores for about $250.

Things to Consider When Buying Your First Air Fryer

With so many different air fryers on the market that come in various shapes and sizes, it might be challenging to make a decision. However, here are some major things to consider to save you time and money when making your purchase.

Available Space
If you don't have a lot of available space in your kitchen, then purchase a smaller one instead of a larger model. If you are not cooking for a large family, a smaller model is a good choice.

Features
Cooks finds that an air fryer with a digital display is a good feature to have. Then they can customize their own temperatures instead of leaving using the pre-set time and duration for cooking. Some cooks prefer models with shelves or baskets.

Price
Prices for air fryers today are much higher than when the appliance was first launched and became popular. Prices may vary from as low as $50 to as high as $500 depending on which brand you choose.

This Is My Air Fryer

I recently purchased my first air fryer after hearing so much hype about the appliance. I never wanted one until I was convinced to get one. I am mighty glad I did because I am loving my Deco Chef a lot. Since I purchased mine from Amazon, I have convinced others to buy one as well.

My food tastes so much better because there is little or no oil to make it greasy. I have cooked chicken wings more often than other foods. I put the wings in the basket without having battered them. They always turn out to be crispy, crunchy, juicier, healthier, and delicious. I have also roasted white potatoes and fried cabbages in the basket.

I love having the digital display where I can set how long I want foods to cook as well as the temperature I desire. The appliance shuts off automatically when the time is up. If you do purchase an air fryer without the digital display, you will have to rely on the pre-test time and temperature.

The cooking time is shorter and also the cleanup is easy because there is no greasy mess to deal with on the detachable non-stick frying surface.

If you order the one I described from Amazon, you will receive several accessories. They include a pizza pan, a rack, skewers, and a cookbook with 17 easy to prepare recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.

My air fryer is convenient for me. It does not take up much space because of its shape. The price was only $79 when I ordered it about a month ago. Sometimes Amazon's prices go up and down by a few dollars. It was shipped to me right away, and I received it within two days after I ordered it.

If you have been considering purchasing an air fryer, let this article be a confirmation that you should jump on the bandwagon and own one like so many other cooks. I highly recommend the Deco Chef air fryer with the 5.8-quart size basket if you will be cooking for yourself or a small family. Air fryers are also available in many other sizes.

Where to Purchase an Air Fryer

A wide variety of air fryers can be chosen from major retailers such as Harvey Norman, David Jones, Bing Lee, Kogan, Walmart, Kmart, Target, Kohl's, Aldi, and Amazon.

Comments

Winnie Westbrook on October 11, 2020:

Thanks Margaret! Gonna see where it will fit in my kitchen!

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on July 09, 2020:

Louise, as you read in my article I considered getting an air fryer for a while before I finally got one. Now I wonder why I waited so long to purchase one. I love it and use it often.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on July 09, 2020:

I've never owned one, but have considered for a while now about purchasing one. This one sounds really good.