The allure of deep-fried foods is not hard to understand. They’re tasty, crunchy, moist, and uber delicious. But we also know that regularly eating fried foods has been known to cause a number of serious health conditions – from diabetes, high blood pressure to heart failure. So how do we solve the dilemma of enjoying the crunch and taste of fried food without the risks? Enter the Air Fryer.
Air fryers have been in high demand in recent years for their revolutionizing ability to recreate the crunchy, moist texture and flavor of fried food while using only a fraction of oil. But does Air Frying hit it out of the park in all aspects, or does it come with its own limitations? Let’s find out in this detailed round up of the 16 pros and cons of air frying:
8 Advantages of Air Fryers:
- Crisp Texture With Little to No Oil: This is perhaps the biggest benefit of using an air fryer. Thanks to its unique cooking method which allows heated air to evenly circulate around the food, an air fryer is able to fry food items by using no oil, or by merely using a thinly brushed layer of oil. At the same time, it gives the same crunchy outer layer and moist inner texture like deep-fried food does.
- Cuts Calories and Fat: By using little no oil int he cooking process, air fryers can cut the calories in air fried food by as much as 70 to 80%. This, if coupled with a healthy and balanced diet, can aid in weight loss and a more calorie-conscious lifestyle without sacrificing taste or flavor.
- Safer To Use Than Deep-Fryers: Deep Frying Food involves heating large quantities of oil at high temperatures. Improper handling during the frying process can lead to fatal cases of burning and injury. In contrast, air frying is a much safer way of frying food items.
- Wide Variety: Even though air fryers are advertised as the perfect way to make french fries, that doesn’t mean it can’t be used to cook other types of food. Air fryers can be used to cook everything from vegetables, pizza, fish, chicken breast, and even muffins. Review our post on air fryer sizes to see which air fryers are suitable to the food type.
- Multiple Cooking Techniques: Most recent models of Air Fryers also come with multiple cooking modes that also let you do baking, grilling, reheating, dehydrating fruits and vegetables, and roasting as well. This makes the appliance versatile and lets you get more out of it.
- Less Messy: Using an air fryer is quite convenient – all you have to do is cut the desired food item in smaller portions and place them inside the frying basket. Then, set the desired cooking mode, temperature, and timing and then let the fryer take care of the cooking. This is considerably less messy and cumbersome when compared with frying and cooking using pots and pans with large quantities of oil.
- Reduces Harmful Compounds: Deep frying potatoes in oil causes the formation of a harmful compound called Acrylamide. This chemical is linked to a higher risk of developing cancer. However, air frying cuts the risk of potatoes forming acrylamide by as much as 90%.
- Temperature and Duration Customization: Other beneficial features that air fryers offer are customizable temperature and time knobs. This allows us to set the temperature at which we’d like to cook various food items. This lets the user choose a lower temperature/quicker settings for items that cook faster such as vegetables and higher temperatures for dishes like chicken breast.
8 Disadvantages of Air Fryers:
- Longer Cooking Time: Air fryers can often take a longer time to cook in comparison to traditional cooking techniques, sometimes taking up to 10 -15 minutes longer to cook. Air fryers may also need to preheated at times prior to use, which can lengthen the duration even more.
- Risk Of Unevenly Cooked Food: Since air fryers have limited space in the fry basket, it may lead to crowding of food, where various portions end up getting stacked one over the other, which prevents the heated air to evenly circulate around all the portions. This can lead to unevenly cooked food.
- Risk Of Dried-Out Food: Air frying works by circulating heated air around the food to even crisp it. This can often suck out the water in the food, which makes the food dry, especially since there is very little oil to provide a coating.
- Not Suitable For Large Quantities: Most household Air Fryers, no matter how big, still have limited space that can’t accommodate snacks for more than 2-3 people at once. This is quite a limitation as it prevents big batches of food from being cooked at a time. This can increase the time spent in the kitchen and be a drawback, especially for bigger families.
- Expensive: Even though there are many high-quality brands available in the market in a range of prices, good quality air fryers with decent capacities are still expensive. This puts their health benefits out of the reach of those that may be on a tight budget.
- Risk of Burnt Food: Air fryers are capable of cooking at very high temperatures and can do so in a very silent manner. As a result, there’s always a risk of leaving a food item to cook and then becoming busy with other tasks. This could put your food at risk of getting burnt if the timer is not set precisely.
- Food May Get Stuck: Even though air fryers claim to need no oil, some items like fish, vegetables, fries, and chicken may still need to be lightly coated with oil to avoid getting stuck on the fryer basket’s metal grill. A lack of this coating can create a mess and waste a decent portion of the food in the effort to pry it off the grill.
- Bulky Size: Air Fryers, especially those with larger capacities, are not exactly compact. They may require a sizeable area of the countertop for use. This may be tricky for those with kitchens where counter space is tight.
Air frying is definitely a healthier, less oily alternative to enjoying fried foods. However, it is important to know what it can and cannot do to use it in an efficient manner. An air fryer alone does not ensure a balanced diet and it’s important to incorporate a wide variety of nutritious foods and different cooking methods for a healthy body and mind. At the same time, it is a good idea to pick an air fryer according to the features, size, and price that work for your needs and preferences.
Hello there, my name is Tracey Allen from New York. I am a cooking enthusiast and a restaurant industry veteran. I have been spreading my passion for air fryers and simplified cooking with colleagues and friends for close to a decade. If you have any questions about air fryers, air cooking or healthy cooking feel free to contact me on the contact page.