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How Does An Air Fryer Work?

You’ve probably heard about air fryers and been impressed by manufacturers’ claims that they produce crispy foods with less fat than deep frying and faster than a conventional oven. Is that even possible? We look at how the trendy appliance works to help you decide if it’s worth the money (and space on your already-packed countertop).

What Is the Function of an Air Fryer?

To begin with, air fryers do not fry. Instead, food is placed in a perforated basket, and the machine cooks it by blowing hot air around it. The air force creates a convection effect, which cooks and browns the outside of the food in the basket. Breaded foods like frozen chicken tenders or unbreaded starchy items like french fries or tater tots will turn brown as long as the air temperature exceeds 320 F.

What Kinds of Food Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

One disadvantage of the air fryer is that it cannot cook foods that have been dipped in liquid batters, such as onion rings or fried chicken. You can’t cook doughy foods like doughnuts or beignets because the batter will simply drip through the holes in the basket and make a big mess. So you’re stuck with breaded or dry-seasoned options.

You’re also restricted in terms of portion sizes, but more on that later. We’ll also go over one specific task that air fryers excel at near the end of this article. But first, let’s look at the alleged health benefits of air fryers.

Are Air Fryers Healthier?

Because an air fryer uses less oil than a deep fryer, foods cooked in them are healthier than deep-fried foods.

So let’s take a look at that. To begin with, we know that all cooking oils are relatively healthy. As long as you’re not frying your foods in vegetable shortening or lard, the oil used in a deep fryer isn’t particularly unhealthy.

Of course, the oil contains calories, and while calories are not inherently unhealthy, using less oil may be a good way to cut calories. Right?

That is dependent. Deep-fried foods absorb very little oil when cooked at the proper temperature (between 350 and 375 F). According to one study, french fries cooked in oil had 14 to 40 more calories per 4-ounce serving than baked fries, depending on the type of oil used and whether or not the fries were seasoned. 1 For comparison, 40 calories equals half a banana.

In other words, the extra calories from deep-frying are negligible. French fries, whether fried in oil or not, are a high-calorie food.

Not only that, but the air fryer instructions recommend tossing the uncooked fries in 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil before cooking. That’s an extra 120 to 180 calories in oil. Even when divided into two servings, which is a typical batch for an air fryer, there is just as much oil on your air fryer french fries as there is on your deep-fryer French fries.

In any case, no matter how they’re prepared, no one can credibly claim that french fries are healthy. So, in some ways, touting the health benefits of a device designed to cook french fries (or chicken wings or tater tots) may be meaningless.

Do Air Fryer Foods Taste Good?

What matters is whether the food prepared in an air fryer tastes good. What is the solution? It all depends. It will be tasty if the food that goes in is tasty. However, the problem with foods such as french fries, chicken wings, and tater tots is never that they don’t taste good enough.

The issue with those foods, to the extent that there is one, is one of health and convenience. Deep-frying is the best way to cook traditional fried foods, but messing around with oil isn’t always convenient.

Are Air Fryers Convenient?

So, consider the convenience. One disadvantage of air fryers is their limited capacity. Because they operate on the convection principle, there must be enough space between the individual items for the hot air to flow evenly around them. As a result, you won’t be able to fill the basket with nicely browned food. This necessitates cooking in small batches at a time.

Unless you need to feed more than two people at once, this isn’t necessarily a problem. Also, depending on the food, cooking time per batch can approach 30 minutes (with frequent shaking of the basket to ensure even cooking), so hopefully, those two people aren’t starving.

Air fryers appear to be well-suited for reheating previously fried foods. Unlike the oven or microwave, which will make crispy foods soggy, the hot, convection effect of an air fryer is ideal for reheating crispy foods while keeping them crispy. Is that enough of a reason to own one? That is entirely up to you. Even if its actual cooking capabilities do not impress you, it is reassuring to know that an air fryer excels in at least one task.

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The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

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