Thinking of purchasing an air fryer? I know when I looked at buying one I was really undecided as to whether or not the appliance was worth the cost, or the true benefit I would gain from using one in my kitchen.
Would it just be another wasted kitchen gadget shoved to the back of the cupboard which I’ve wasted $50 on?
Luckily, that wasn’t the case. However, to help you make the decision that’s right for you I’ve put together this complete list of the advantages and disadvantages of an air fryer.
Hopefully, by using this list you’ll be able to see if the benefits of an air fryer match up to the expectations of what you require from your new kitchen appliance. An, of course, you’ll have a chance to learn about the appliances drawbacks, it’s downfalls which may or may not be dealbreakers in your situation.
What Is An Air Fryer & How Does It Work
Quickly before we get started let’s just go over what an air fryer is, how it works and why the appliance has been taking kitchens across the world by storm.
An air fryer is an electrical kitchen appliance which is usually around the size of a toaster or coffee maker.
The appliance uses significantly less oil than deep-fat frying and yet it can cook the exact same foods. It can also cook the majority of the foods your oven can cook too.
An air fryer works by circulating hot air around a small chamber in which the food sits in a basket. This hot air circulation along with the small amount of oil allows the food to be cooked evenly and of course, in a much healthier way than other kitchen appliances.
Some people also believe that air fried food tastes better and that it does a better job of reheating foods such as burgers and pizzas when compared to a toaster oven or microwave (I’ll let you be the judge on that one!)
Advantages Of An Air Fryer
There are some incredible advantages to the use of an air fryer as a cooking appliance in your kitchen. These include the following;
One of the primary reasons people look to purchase an air fryer is because of the health benefits of cooking using hot air poses. It was in fact, the reason I chose to purchase one myself a couple of years ago now.
The reality of healthy cooking really lives up to the expectation here. You find that you can cook the same foods with less oil which of course often has a large amount of trans-fat.
Of course, with any electrical appliance, there is some risk. However, when compared to some of the other kitchen appliances that cook similar foods, an air fryer is incredibly safe.
Given their ability air fryers are relatively affordable and can be purchased brand new for between $40 and $150.
Air fryers are relatively small kitchen appliances that certainly pack a punch. Given this, they are suitable for small kitchens with a small amount of counter-top space as well as dorms, or offices for example.
Given the fact air fryers are relatively small, they are also able to cook your food fast. Air circulates the heat which only helps the inside cooking area to warm up quicker. Where in contrast an oven can sometimes take 20 minutes an airfryer might only take 5.
An of course, given the fact they cook your food in less time and that you’re heating up a small surface area (especially compared to say an oven) the appliance consumes less electricity.
Cheap To Use
Air fryers aren’t just affordable to use because they are energy efficient. They are also cheap to use because you don’t need a large amount of cooking oil.
In fact, the amount of cooking oil required is so small a 1-litre bottle now lasts us over a year. An, of course, this then comes back to the benefit of health that the appliance brings when cooking food.
Disadvantages Of An Air Fryer
There are unsurprisingly some disadvantages to the purchase and use of an airfryer when cooking food. These are definitely things you should consider prior to purchasing this appliance.
While you are able to dehydrate in some air fryers additional cooking methods are limited which is why we chose the Instant Pot/pressure cooker over the air fryer in one of our recent articles.
Only having one appliance that does one thing can be frustrating especially when you have to invest money and storage space into that appliance. I know a lot of people ask me if they can steam for example in their air fryer, and that’s not something which the appliance can be used for.
An, in fact, only some air fryers can be used as a dehydrator. It depends on whether or not the setting is built into the appliance or whether the temperature can be reduced to a low enough amount that it only dehydrates the food rather than cooks it.
Difficult To Clean
Air fryers need to be cleaned regularly to maintain optimum performance. Although the exterior of the appliance can be quickly wiped down the interior requires a little more work.
The majority of air fryers do allow for the basket to be removed and washed in a dishwasher although I recommend checking the manual of your specific make and model prior to cleaning.
Small Cooking Space
The appliance is relatively small as we discussed in the advantages section of this post. Of course, the downfall as a result of this is that you’ll struggle to cook large portions inside an air fryer.
Which makes the appliance unsuitable for larger families or at the very least difficult to use as the food would need to be cooked in batches or using certain accessories where applicable.
Food Dries Out
Despite being relatively easy to use without monitoring the food in your air fryer closely you may find that it dries out relatively quickly.
This is unsurprisingly the result of a lack of oil. In a deep fat fryer, for example, oil is able to keep the interior of the food moist while allowing it to crisp on the outside.
This is especially hard for new users of an air fryer to work out as a direct result of the shorter cooking times of an air fryer when compared to an oven or in some cases a deep-fat fryer.
Especially with some manufacturers of air fryers durability can be an issue. Air fryers are often made from plastic and a small amount of stainless steel.
Some more affordable air fryers use traditional dials to set timers and heat settings while some of the more expensive ones use electronic screens. In either case these have been known to fail relatively quickly.
Sadly given the way in which an air fryer is manufactured, there’s a limit on the number of repairs or parts replacements which can be done economically without simply replacing the machine.
This is why it’s often worthwhile to invest in an air fryer with better reviews, or an extended warranty even if it costs slightly more than some of the cheaper models. You can find the best air fryers to purchase by checking out online reviews.