Air fryers are incredibly popular cooking appliances as they are relatively versatile and affordable.
However, one of their biggest selling points is the ability to cook using hot air and therefore reducing the amount of oil required when compared to a deep fat fryer.
As a result air fryers are a fantastic appliance for those on the Slimming World plan. However, this is provided they are used correctly. You could easily cook chips, re-heat pizza, etc. in an air fryer and in that case, the cooking appliance used isn’t going to make much of a difference.
I personally have used an air fryer while on the Slimming World to spice up those basic and bland foods that you’ll commonly find yourself eating.
I’ve found this added flavor and crisp is a great way to prevent getting bored and help you to stick with the diet plan.
Is An Air Fryer Healthier Than an Oven?
As you need to use minimal or no oil at all when using an air fryer it can be significantly healthier than an oven depending on the foods you’re cooking and their requirements.
All of this is made possible because an air fryer works by heating up the inside of the appliance so it’s hot enough to crisp your food. This is something that I personally have been unable to replicate with any oven (even a convection oven!)
If you’re not adding oil to either the oven-baked foods or the air-fried foods then the nutritional composition of the foods isn’t changing, just the cooking process and in that case, they are very much the same.
However, in contrast, an air fryer is significantly healthier than a deep fryer. Deep fryers use large volumes of oil to cook foods to a crisp.
The air fryer eliminates the need for so much oil and allows you to cook similar tasting foods without so much fat and oil.
Can You Use Oil In An Air Fryer?
The whole idea behind the air fryer is to cut down on the oil and fats used to make foods crispy.
Although you don’t need to use oil in the air fryer to get great results, some foods require a small amount of oil to come out perfectly. Rather than pouring the oil into the air fryer, a small amount (usually less than a teaspoon) is added to the food before placing it in the basket.
For example, when you are cooking fries or chips from scratch, it’s recommended that you add a teaspoon of oil before cooking. The cut potatoes should be coated in the oil by mixing them around in a bowl or bag, before placing them inside the basket for cooking.
It’s important to note that although oil can be used in an air fryer, it should be used sparingly. Too much oil will actually make your food soggier when cooking in the air fryer.
It may seem logical that more oil will make things more crispy, but in reality, with the air fryer, less is most definitely more. Too much oil can also damage your air fryer by burning the food basket. It also makes things harder to clean after cooking.
Advantages of Using an Air Fryer for Slimming World
Here are some of the biggest advantages of using an air fryer for Slimming World recipes or for cooking regular ingredients while on the Slimming World plan.
1. Cutting Out Excess Fat and Oil
Using an air fryer as opposed to a deep fat fryer cuts out excess fat and reduces the amount of oil in your food. Using an air fryer can turn some syn foods into free foods.
2. Quick and Easy Cooking
Snacking on unhealthy food can sometimes occur because you’re looking for something quick to eat.
Throwing a microwave meal in or grabbing a bag of crisps is usually easier than cooking a well-balanced meal. The air fryer aids this issue by cutting cooking times in half for some meal types!
3. Makes your Meals More Appealing
Air fryers can make your Slimming World free foods more interesting. You can recreate some of your favorite syn foods in an air fryer while cutting out the elements that make them “syns”.
Whether it’s fried chicken, crispy fries, or sticky Chinese chicken you’re craving, there’s a Slimming World air fryer recipe to tickle your taste buds.
Like many appliances, you can get affordable air fryers or extremely expensive air fryers depending on features such as the manufacturer, the basket size, temperature options, and cooking methods.
However, if you’re on a budget you don’t have to rule out using an air fryer for cooking as you can get a brand new one for less than $50.
Disadvantages of Using an Air Fryer for Slimming World
Here are some of the biggest disadvantages of using an air fryer for Slimming World recipes or for cooking regular ingredients while on the Slimming World plan.
1. Air Fryers Take up Excess Space
If you live in a small apartment or have a tiny kitchen, an air fryer may take up too much room to warrant a purchase. They are bulky and most are pretty ugly, so unless you have a spare cupboard you won’t want it sitting out on the kitchen surface.
On the other hand, they’re super compact and ideal if you’re cooking for one quite often as they save you heating up the oven for a simple meal.
2. They Aren’t Ideal for Families
Again, a size issue. If you are a family or group of house sharers that cook together, air fryers are pretty inconvenient. There aren’t any huge models available at the moment, so, unfortunately, most models are only good for cooking for two people.
3. They Can Be Limiting
Air fryers are great for cooking a whole range of foods, especially Slimming World friendly foods. However, they can be limiting and are far from versatile.
You’re limited to the size and shape of the basket for a start. If you’re cooking a large meal with a few different food types, you may have to cook in batches and reheat everything at the end. This can be a massive pain and actually prolong cooking times in the long run.