Air fryers are popular kitchen appliances that promote guilt-free and healthy cooking habits. Many kitchen appliances feature the air fry program alongside other cooking programs, but you can find dedicated air fryers – these are kitchen appliances that are solely air fryers. After you’ve gotten your air fryer, you’ll probably ask yourself: what is it used for?
You will use an air fryer for cooking fried foods such as meat, french fries, potato chips, and fried chicken wings with less oil. To be more specific, you will use up to 75% less oil to fry your meals. The air fryer uses a fan to circulate super-heated air within the cooking chamber, thus cooking your meal evenly and 30% faster.
Depending on your preference, you can buy a dedicated air fryer or a kitchen appliance with the air fry function and additional cooking programs. If you love to try new recipes, a kitchen appliance with other cooking programs will benefit you greatly. But if cooking meals with less oil and in less than half the time is your goal, you might want a dedicated air fryer. Here you can read more on what you can cook with an air fryer.
Benefits of Air Fried Foods
Whether you’ve bought a dedicated air fryer or a kitchen appliance with additional programs besides the air fryer, you will benefit from air-fried meals in various ways. And they include the following:
Air Fryers Cut Down Fat Content in Foods
Deep frying a meal significantly increases the fat content in foods. For example, your deep-fried chicken breast will contain more fat than a roasted chicken breast of the same quantity. So, deep-fried meals are fattier than meals cooked differently.
While deep frying a chicken wing requires 750ml of oil (about 3 cups), you will require about a tablespoon of oil to cook the same chicken wing with an air fryer. And the result of this is up to 75% less oil in your meal. Therefore, air fryers cut down on fat content in meals.
The air fry function uses about 15ml of oil, which is 50 times less than what a deep-fried meal requires. You will then consume less oil in your diet, promoting a healthy and guilt-free lifestyle.
Air Fried Meals Could Help You Lose Weight
If you’re looking to shed some weight and trim your waistline, it might help to consume air-fried meals instead of deep-fried meals. A deep-fried meal also contains more calories besides supplying your body with more fat. And you could gain weight if you consume deep-fried meals, especially if you frequently do so.
On the other hand, air-fried meals contain fewer fats. But every gram of fat contains 9 calories (this is twice the calories content in proteins). That means your diet will contain fewer calories if you eat air-fried meals. As a result, you will keep your weight in check and even lose weight if you switch to air-fried meals.
You Could Avert Cancer If You Eat Air-Fried Meals
Meals such as French fries contain high carbohydrate levels as nutrition. But carbohydrates form acrylamide if you deep fry it in high-heat cooking oil. And this acrylamide is a dangerous compound that could cause cancer.
But air frying a meal like French fries doesn’t use high-heat oil for cooking. Instead, air frying uses super-heated air to crust your meal and cook it evenly. And the result of this is reduced acrylamide formation. That means you will eat a meal containing significantly lower acrylamide levels. And this translates to reduced risks of getting cancer.
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance you could rely on to reduce your intake of dangerous compounds. Therefore, this cooking method helps you live better and guilt-free!
How Does Air Frying a Meal Work?
All air fryers feature a perforated basket – they call this component the air fry basket. You will mix oil with your meal before placing it in the air fryer. If it is French fries you want to air fry, you will mix them with a tablespoon of oil, then place the meal in the air fry basket.
You will select the air fry function, and the kitchen appliance will begin to heat; it is the heating element in the air fryer that generates heat. Air fryers boast different heating technology, but they all achieve the same goal – to make the air fryer heat the air inside the cooking chamber.
Usually, the air fryer has a fan. The kitchen appliance uses this fan to circulate the hot air in the cooking chamber. And the perforated air fry basket allows super-hot air to get through, heating the meal in the basket evenly.
Since hot air engulfs your meal, it cooks it from all directions. And this crisps your meal evenly. Also, the air fry function cooks 30% faster, as I’ve mentioned before since the fan speeds up the air circulation in the cooking chamber. So, that’s how you will use the air fryer function for cooking healthy meals.
The Cost of Cooking with An Air Fryer
Air fryers consume various wattages, depending on their model. You can expect these kitchen appliances to consume anywhere between 800W to 2175W. But they average out at 1450W. So, you can expect your air fryer to consume 1450W of electric power in one hour.
But since air fryers are generally energy-efficient and cook 30% faster, you can expect your kitchen appliance to consume less energy. You can take between 5 to 25 minutes to air fry your meal. Assuming your meal only took 5 minutes to air fry, and your air fryer consumes 1500W, your kitchen appliance will consume 125W.
If your air fryer has a 1500W rating, it consumes the same wattage in one hour. But it consumes only 125W in five minutes. Since electricity cost averages 12 cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour), you will pay 12 cents for every 1000 Watts.
But 125W equals 0.125kWh. That means you will pay 12 cents × 0.125kWh to pay 1.5 cents. So, this is the cost of air frying your meal for five minutes with a kitchen appliance consuming 1500W per hour. Therefore, air frying is energy-efficient and reduces electricity costs.
Recommended Air Fryers for You
If you have made up your mind to jump on the air fryer band-wagon, then here are some suggestions that you can think about buying:
Cosori Pro XL Air Fryer
- It is easy to use and turns off automatically when you pull the basket out.
- It has a large capacity that can hold a whole 5-pound chicken.
- It also has a recipe book to help you get started.
- Some steam may leak from the basket which can make a puddle on the surface.
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Elite Gourmet 2.1 Qt. Hot Air Fryer
- Recommended for beginners and amateur cooks.
- Great for a small family or one-person use.
- Easy to use and clean.
- The timer knob may not be as accurate.
- It does not have an ‘off’ switch so if you want to stop cooking midway, you have to unplug the air fryer.
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Amazon Basics Air Fryer
- Uses less oil to cook food
- Versatile. Air fryers can be used to cook toasted sandwiches, vegetables, fried chicken etc.
- Capacity of 3.2 Quarts/3 Liters
- Has an inbuilt cooking timer
- Has automatic shut off
- Can fry, grill or bake with just one device
- Takes up more space in the cupboard
- Can be expensive to purchase
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An air fryer is an excellent investment if you want a healthy and guilt-free lifestyle. You will be sure to eat healthy if you air fry your meal instead of using a deep-fry cooking method. And one benefit is reduced fat and calorie intake for ideal weight.
Also, you could reduce cancer risk if you eat air-fried meals. Besides allowing you to live healthily, air fryers also reduce the cooking costs. First, you will only use a tablespoon of oil, thus reducing your cooking oil budget. Second, you will pay only cents to cook your meals. Therefore, air fryers are excellent investments for your kitchen. So, you can consider adding an air fryer to eat healthily while keeping the cooking costs low.