Hello and welcome to our Air Fryer Buying Guide! Are you looking to make healthier meals with less oil and more crunch?

If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know before purchasing an air fryer. From understanding the technology behind air frying to considering the different features and sizes, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to upgrade, this Air Fryer Buying Guide will help you make an informed decision and find the perfect appliance for your kitchen. Let’s get started!

Air Fryer Buying Guide

What is an Air Fryer

Air fryers have made a big comeback with an evolved form and new features. It’s time to forget everything you knew about traditional frying and learn about this exciting appliance that cooks a variety of recipes with little to no oil, giving you crispy results, but through hot air.

The air fryer is a compact and simple appliance that fits easily on your kitchen counter. It operates by using hot air that is blown at high speeds at your food. Instead of using hot oil like traditional fryers, air fryers use hot air to cook your food. The device circulates hot air, without or with minimal oil, and provides a removable container for the food and a removable bottom to collect the cooking liquids.

With an air fryer, you can quickly and easily make your favorite fried foods like chicken nuggets, wings, potatoes, or vegetables. You can also reheat your pizza, pasta, or any other food you like, making it delicious. In fact, sometimes air fryer fries can be even tastier as there is no heavy oil to overpower the flavor of your food.

Furthermore, air fryers are energy efficient and can save you money compared to cooking in a large oven. With their small size, ease of use, and easy cleaning, it’s no wonder why air fryers are becoming popular all over the world.

This cooking appliance promises to improve your cooking experience while keeping you on track with healthy eating. However, it is important to gather important information before purchasing to help you choose the air fryer that fits your cooking style, diet, and budget.

Nuwave Brio Air Fryer min

Nuwave Brio Air Fryer Smart Oven

  • 15.5-Qt X-Large Family Size
  • Countertop Convection Rotisserie Grill Combo
  • SS Rotisserie Basket & Skewer Kit
  • Reversible Ultra Non-Stick Grill Griddle Plate Included

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Key Features To Consider

When buying an air fryer, there are a few key features to consider to ensure that you get the best appliance for your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Capacity: Determine how many people you’ll be cooking for and choose an air fryer with a size that fits your needs. Some air fryers come in small, personal sizes, while others can accommodate more.
  2. Cooking functions: Air fryers not only fry foods, but they can also bake, grill, and even dehydrate. Consider what you’ll be using the air fryer for most often and look for features that align with your cooking needs.
  3. Display: A digital display can be a helpful feature to keep an eye on cooking times and temperatures. Some air fryers come with an OLED touchscreen display, which is easy to read and use.
  4. Keep-warm function: If you’re cooking for a crowd or just like to keep your food warm for a little longer, a keep-warm function can be a great feature to have.
  5. Non-stick coating: Choose an air fryer with a double layer of non-stick coating to make cleaning easier and to prevent food from sticking.
  6. Size and design: Consider the size of your kitchen and where you’ll be storing the air fryer. A compact design can save you counter space and make it easier to store when not in use.
  7. Price: Finally, consider the price of the air fryer. You can find air fryers in a range of prices, from budget-friendly options to more expensive models with more advanced features. You may want to check our article on the best air fryers under $100 – if you are on a budget.

Overall, when choosing an air fryer, consider your cooking needs and preferences, and look for a model that fits those requirements while also fitting your budget.

Differences with an Oven

The most significant difference between a conventional oven and an air fryer is the way the hot air is circulated. The air fryer’s fan quickly blows hot air into a smaller cooking space, which means that the hot air reaches the food faster and doesn’t lose as much heat in transit. Most air fryers also have a grill or perforated basket that allows the hot air to circulate and hit the food from all sides.

This “super convection” provided by the air fryer results in evenly browned chicken, potatoes, frozen snacks, vegetables, and fish that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, much like deep-fried food.

So, if you’re concerned that the food you cook in an air fryer will be dry, rest assured that this appliance’s popularity is not a coincidence. You’ll get crispy, fried food without having to immerse it in oil, all thanks to the hot air.

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

  • Crisps, Roasts, Reheats, & Dehydrates
  • Dimensions: 8.5″D x 12.1″W x 11″H
  • Black High Gloss Finish
  • Capacity 4 Quarts
  • Ceramic, Plastic, Metal

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Types of Air Fryers

Air fryers come in a cylindrical shape with a basket for cooking food. Some models have two compartments for cooking two different dishes at the same time and different temperatures.

There are also digital air fryers with electronic controls and displays for easy operation.

The traditional and popular design features a basket-style drawer for placing food. The handle on the outside locks the basket in place and starts the cooking process.

Digital and manual options are available for this type of air fryer. Digital models come with touchscreens that allow you to set the cooking time and temperature, and often have preset options for cooking different foods such as French fries, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.

Manual air fryers are typically more affordable and use analogue technology. They come with indicators to alert you to cooking temperature and time, and have the option of manual or digital control. They also have automatic stirring functions to ensure even cooking.

When it comes to performance, consider both the power and size of the air fryer. You can find models with different capacities and power ranges, from 1501 to 2000w, 1001w to 1500w, or smaller models with up to 1000w.

The capacity information can be found in a separate section for you to make an informed decision.

How an Air Fryer Works?

An air fryer works by circulating hot air rapidly and evenly inside its interior, creating a crispy texture on your food. To make sure the food is browned evenly, the air fryer will need to rotate or shake the ingredients you put inside.

If your air fryer has a retractable drawer, you’ll need to give it a manual shake every five minutes or so. Most air fryers have a timer or notification system to remind you to shake the food.

Models with a stirrer eliminate the need for manual shaking. Simply press the paddle to start the stirring process, which moves the food around the bowl throughout cooking.

Keep in mind that some models stir better than others, and this feature is best for cooking food that’s typically fried, shallow fried, or baked, such as small portions of meat, vegetables, or potatoes.

Video: How Air fryers really work. Source: MinuteFood/YouTube

Some models may even come with an extra paddle-free bowl that’s great for roasting meat or baking cakes.

Rotating basket air fryers are even more versatile, automatically rotating the food inside. They may also come with accessories that allow you to broil or grill, and some models are even big enough to cook a whole chicken.

Most air fryers heat up quickly and there’s no need to preheat. The heat source starts instantly and distributes hot air evenly throughout. If you’re cooking large pieces, you may need to flip them over for even cooking.

If you’re cooking small or medium-sized food, it will cook evenly on its own. If you’re cooking potatoes, for example, give the basket a good shake to prevent extra crunch on thin pieces.

TIP: To cook with an air fryer: place your food in the basket, add a maximum of one tablespoon of oil, adjust the cooking time and temperature depending on the food, and sometimes flip the food halfway through for even crispiness.

What You Can Cook with an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is capable of much more than a traditional fryer. You can use it to cook the best fried foods such as chicken wings, French fries, cheese curds, meatballs, homemade fries, and more. These items turn out crispy and browned on the outside and juicy on the inside, making air-fried chicken a favorite.

You can also air fry fish, like salmon, which gets a crusty exterior and soft interior, as well as vegetables, pizza, bread, and more. Reheating food and leftovers is also a breeze with an air fryer.

Initially, air fryers were marketed as a way to cook pre-fried frozen foods. However, as they have become more popular, people have discovered they can use them for more than just that.

Air frying enthusiasts have confirmed that they can also be used for roasting meat, grilling fish and vegetables, baking cakes, making desserts, granola, and roasting nuts.

cosori air fryer

COSORI Air Fryer

  • 5 QT
  • 9-in-1 Airfryer
  • Dishwasher-Safe, 450℉ freidora de aire,
  • 30 Exclusive Recipes,
  • Tempered Glass Display,
  • Nonstick Basket

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Determining the Right Size for Your Air Fryer

When choosing an air fryer, it’s important to consider the size. A general rule of thumb is to allocate about a quarter of the fryer’s capacity per person.

However, size can affect cooking performance in unexpected ways. Smaller air fryers will cause food to dry out faster, while larger models provide more room for air circulation and retain heat better.

For a couple, a 2.1 to 3-liter air fryer is ideal. This size provides enough capacity for two people, while still being compact and powerful.

If you regularly cook for more people, simply add a liter of capacity per additional person. You can also find air fryers that range from small personal sizes (1-liter) to larger models (4 liters and above).

Keep in mind that you may need to cook in batches for larger groups.

When shopping for an air fryer, be sure to check the “cooking capacity” feature to get a clear understanding of its capabilities and select the right size for you.

Should You Use Oil in an air fryer?

Air fryers work by using dry heat, so you can still get crispy results without using oil. While you don’t necessarily need to use oil, adding a small amount to some foods, like vegetables or potatoes, can help keep them from drying out.

Compared to traditional frying, air frying requires much less oil, so it’s a healthier option. Nutritionists agree that using an air fryer means fewer calories and less fat in your diet.

Not only is it a healthy option, but it’s also a convenient one. Air fryers are perfect for reheating, especially if you want to keep your food crispy, like pizza. Plus, they’re easy to clean, efficient, and fast.

instant vortex air fryer

Instant Vortex 4-in-1Mini Air Fryer

  • 2-QT
  • Oven Combo
  • Customizable Smart Cooking Programs
  • Nonstick and Dishwasher-Safe Basket
  • App with over 100 Recipes

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Tips To Make The Most Out of your Air Fryer

Here are some tips for making the most out of your air fryer:

  1. Start with careful timing to avoid burning your food. Air frying at high temperatures can cook quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  2. Arrange your food in a way that allows for good air circulation for even cooking and crispy results.
  3. Lightly oiling the sides of the fryer basket can help prevent food from sticking.
  4. Stick to medium-sized cuts of food to avoid burning.
  5. The air fryer is a great way to reheat leftovers, keeping them crispy and delicious.
  6. Clean the appliance after each use for easy maintenance. Wipe down the basket with paper towels after cooking.
  7. Check your manufacturer’s website for recipes, tips, and ideas to get the most out of your air fryer’s capabilities. Experiment and have fun!

Bottom Line

Air fryers are here to stay and for good reason! They allow you and your family to enjoy delicious and crispy food without the added fat and as part of a healthy diet.

From crispy chicken and fries to reheated food that still feels fresh and with the added bonus of easy cleanup, it’s definitely worth investing in an air fryer.

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