Air fryers promise delicious, oil-free fried dishes. Although they work more like mini-ovens than deep fryers, they can cook a wide range of foods that you would ordinarily deep fry, shallow fry, or grill – and some can even roast and bake. They’re also great for making homemade crispy fries, cooking frozen items like chicken nuggets, and grilling smaller portions of meat. A compact benchtop oven, similar to a wall oven in fan-forced mode, an air fryer circulates hot, dry air to make crispy food. Food fried in an air fryer, like food cooked in an oven, must be rotated or shaken on a regular basis to maintain even browning.
All air fryers operate in a similar manner. In a similar fashion to a fan oven, air is heated and blasted about the inside of the appliance. As a result, they can be utilized to make a variety of other dishes, including scampi and cakes. The model you choose has an impact on the amount of space you have to cook with and the amount of effort you must put in. Air fryers with a pull-out tray have a tray or basket to which you add food and slot it in; you can’t normally inspect the status of your food without pulling it out. Air fryers with a bowl have a larger bowl with a viewing window in the lid, allowing you to see the food without interrupting the cooking process. They may also feature a stirring paddle, however we’ve discovered that this isn’t usually the case.
Although an air fryer appears to be a large appliance, it has a much smaller capacity than an oven. You can make between 500g and 1kg of chips, which is enough for 2-4 people, depending on the capacity of the model. Keep in mind that the manufacturer’s quoted capacity can be deceiving; for example, a ’10 litre’ device may only be capable of cooking 500g of chips. To get a better understanding of how much the air fryer can cook at once, look at the specs for ‘working capacity’ or ‘cooking capacity.’
A paddle in self-stirring air fryers progressively stirs the food around the bowl during the frying process. This eliminates the need to manually shake the food, however some models stir quicker than others, and irregularly browned food or items bent or distorted by the stirrer are still conceivable. These types are suitable for deep-fried, shallow-fried, or baked dishes including tiny amounts of meat, baked veggies, or chips. Some types may include an auxiliary basin without a paddle that can be used to roast meats or bake a cake.
Take the manufacturer’s claims with a grain of salt because the indicated capacity or volume can be deceiving. Some manufacturers measure the total space inside the air fryer rather than the actual capacity that can be used. A “10-litre” model, for example, may only be able to fry roughly 500g of chips, while a “2500-gram” model may not be able to hold that much weight of food. Always look for a high quality brand like Wireandcutter.