Air Fryers are extremely popular as they cook food quickly, can cook a variety of foods and are advertised as a healthier option compared to deep fat fryers.
Air Fryers reduce the fat content by up to 80% compared to deep frying. They also help to reduce the amount of acrylamide by up to 90%. Air Fryers do not add calories to meals as the hot air that circulates cooks the food without the need of excess oil.
In this article, I will talk about what air fryers do, how they work and how they compare to other cooking appliance and whether or not they really do add calories to foods.
Are Air Fryers Good For You?
Fried foods are usually a delight to dig into, with their crispy crunch and moist centre. However, this delightful taste comes with a cost. There are various concerns raised about the dangers of eating deep-fried foods due to their fat content, linking them to type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.
Other cooking implements have been introduced into the market to alleviate these health dangers associated with deep frying. One of such tools is the air fryer.
Air fryers are egg-shaped or square-shaped devices, almost the size of a coffeemaker, that sits on your countertop. When you put your food inside the device, a fan pushes heated air up to 400°F around the food.
Then, the circulating air will cook the outer food parts, and it creates a crispy brown coating and keeps the inside soft, similar to deep-fried foods. So, air fryers make crispy, chewy foods people love without all the oil.
Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer
In comparing air fryers and deep fryers, we will consider different factors that differentiate them.
They are as follows:
Health is an important differentiating factor between air frying and deep-frying. For deep fryers, the food must be immersed in oil for frying, so it ends up with excess oil. Deep frying has been reported to be dangerous to health. Air fryers fries with little or no oil, which is about 70 to 80% less than deep-frying. So, air frying is a healthier option.
When it comes to taste, none does it better than deep fryers. Even though air fryers can give that crispy exterior like a deep fryer, the taste is still better with a deep fryer.
In terms of versatility, air fryers win thumbs down. Apart from frying, air fryers can roast, bake, grill, and do other functions. Even the small air fryers possess these multi functionalities. You can also have different types of food such as potato wedges, steak, banana bread and others with an air fryer.
On the other hand, deep fryers can only be used for deep-frying food for crispy deep-fried finishes. When it comes to versatility, the air fryer is the winner.
- Time for Cooking
Cooking with a deep fryer is usually faster than cooking with an air fryer. Because the deep fryer uses hot oil, it takes three to five minutes to cook food. Air fryers use hot air technology to fry food. Therefore, it takes 10 to 20 minutes for the food to get ready.
- Ease in Cleaning
Many air fryers have a non-stick basket that is easy to clean and are dishwasher-safe. Cleaning is usually easy with them because of little or no use of oil. They also contain a stainless steel interior that is easy to maintain. For deep fryers, you need to exert more effort in washing because of excess oil usage.
You may also need to tidy up the kitchen counter because of an oil spill during frying.
Air Fryers vs. Convection Oven
Air fryers and traditional convection ovens function by circulating hot around your food.
However, there are some differences.
Even though convection ovens and air fryers use a fan to circulate hot air around, an air fryer circulates air faster inside a small chamber, quickening the cooking process. Also, air fryers use a basket to circulate hot air around the bottom of the food. So, air fryers are faster than convection ovens.
When it comes to taste, it seems that convection ovens produce equally good or better-tasting foods than a countertop air fryer
Another factor to consider is capacity. A convection oven will cook more food than a standard air fryer. If you are cooking for friends or a large family, you may go for convection ovens.
Do Air Fryers Add Calories?
Air fryers are only heating elements that contain a fan. They don’t introduce extra calories. So, air frying only blasts hot air at the food for a crispy outer surface. When compared to other methods of cooking such as deep-frying, air frying helped to reduce calorie intake.
These are some of the reasons:
Air Fryers Reduce Fat Content
Deep-fried foods contain high-fat content because they are fried in oil and absorbed by the food. One gram of fat is equal to 9 calories, while carbohydrates and proteins are equal to 4 calories per gram. Researches have revealed that a high intake of fat can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
Use of Oil
Deep frying requires 30 to 50 times more oil than air frying. Therefore, it is not a good choice for people that want to save calories. On the other hand, air fryers and pressure cookers do not need oil. However, it can add some calories when you add oil or other high calories ingredients.
Deep frying requires oil and is, therefore, a bad choice when looking to save calories. Air fryers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, and most other cooking methods don’t require oil but can still add many calories if the chef decides to add oil or other high-calorie ingredients.
How Air Fryers Can Add Calories
Generally, air fryers are well marketed for their ability to reduce calories and fats. Nevertheless, there may be cases where air fryers can add calories. For instance, if you add oil to the air fryer or add other high-calorie ingredients to your food.