The air fryer craze is well and truly in its prime, as more and more people buy one and realize just how useful it is. There are many benefits to owning and cooking with an air fryer. It’s not just another cooking appliance that you’ll probably send to the Goodwill next year when the craze dies down. It’s truly a useful cooking tool to have in your kitchen.
When I first bought my air fryer, I was a skeptic, like you might be. This is just one more appliance that will take up precious counter space and probably won’t get used all that often. I told myself I’d probably regret it, but I bought one anyways.
Turns out I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Not only do I LOVE my air fryer, I use it now for almost everything – particularly most things I once put in the oven.
It does take up space, but leaving it out on the counter reminds me to use it and means I don’t have to even touch the oven most days. It’s actually useful.
If you’re still a skeptic, take a look at some of the most important benefits of owning an air fryer. You will soon see that buying one for your home is a smart decision that you won’t regret.
OUR FAVORITE AIR FRYER
There are a lot of features to love about this air fryer, but top of our list are the tempered glass display, super easy to clean basket, and ability to add shake reminders.
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
An air fryer creates a high-temperature, high-speed airflow around the food, which cooks it quickly and gives it a crispy texture. It can take the place of a deep fryer, which is how it was originally marketed. Without much added oil, an air fryer can give a crispy crunch to foods like French fries and chicken strips.
But that’s not by any stretch the only thing it does well. It’s a versatile kitchen appliance that you can use for frying, baking, roasting, and reheating most foods. You can easily cook everyday staples like eggs, chicken, pork chops, vegetables, and potatoes.
Or you can take a little further and make whole meals like Steak Bites & Potatoes, Chicken & Broccoli, or Sausage & Peppers. We’ve made muffins, cinnamon rolls, and snacks like toast and pumpkin seeds.
Basically, if you can cook it in the oven, you can also cook it in the air fryer, only it takes less time and doesn’t heat up the house.
7 Biggest Benefits of Owning an Air Fryer
1. Healthier Cooking
One reason for buying an air fryer is the prospect of healthier cooking. With very little oil used in the cooking process, this is the perfect way to replace deep fried foods that aren’t very healthy with a healthier alternative.
You do still need to spray fried foods, like breaded chicken tenders and fried fish with a bit of oil so the breading gets evenly crispy while it cooks, but the amount of oil you use is substantially less. You can also cook French fries and tater tots and get a nice crispy result, without any deep frying.
» Check out this Cosori Pro LE Air Fryer Review.
2. Fast, Safe and Easy to Use
The air fryer started out as a sort of replacement for a deep fryer. And while that was great, it wasn’t enough to convince most people that they needed one, because not many people use a deep fryer on a regular basis at home anyways.
A common problem these days is that we’d all would love to cook more often but simply don’t have the time to do so. This is why ready meals and takeaway are so popular, even when we know how unhealthy they are. If you could cook foods like salmon or pork chops in the air fryer in under 20 minutes, wouldn’t you rather do that than order out?
The fact that air fryers are fast and easy to use means that cooking at home is a much more tempting option. The air fryer makes dinner uncomplicated. All you have to do is season a piece of meat, like a chicken breast (even from frozen) or a steak, put it in the basket, and set it to cook. So simple.
3. Crisp & Crunchy Food
If you cook a lot of frozen and breaded foods, like onion rings and chicken tenders, you’ll like this reason the most. The air fryer actually crisps up the food you cook, so you get a crunchy and golden exterior, rather than a soggy mess.
All you need is a little bit of spray cooking oil on the outside of the food and you’ll end up with a crisp & crunchy exterior. This is the perfect way to make anything breaded, and any type of frozen or breaded food.
Try reheating leftover pizza! It not only crisps the bottom crust, but perfectly reinvigorates the toppings as it heats the slice through. When it comes out, it’s just as good as it was the first day.
4. It’s Very Versatile
The air fryer is so much more than a healthier option to deep frying. In fact, you can cook virtually anything in this appliance, from fried chicken to whole spaghetti squash to veggie side dishes, and desserts.
- 2 independent XL air fryer baskets
- Integrated Foodi® Smart Thermometer
- Cook 2 foods 2 ways that finish at the same time
5. Faster Than Oven Cooking
A major advantage of an air fryer is that it gets extremely hot very quickly, and the circulating air helps the food cook evenly, get browned and crispy, without much intervention from you. This means you’ll be able to cut your cooking time.
An air fryer is faster than cooking in the oven not only because it can get hot quickly, but because of the smaller size of an air fryer compared to your oven. An oven typically needs up to 10 minutes to pre-heat, while the air fryer doesn’t really need any pre-heating time for most recipes.
This means you can put your food right into the basket, slide it into the air fryer, set the time and be ready to eat in 10-15 minutes.
It’s a great tool for quick and easy snacks. Whether for a party or after school treat, it’s super easy to turn it on, dump in your favorite snack, and cook it to perfection within minutes.
6. Reheat Foods with Ease
- It’s a quick and easy way to reheat food.
- It keeps food from overcooking or burning.
- It’s easy.
- It keeps the food crispy and fresh tasting.
7. Easy to Clean
Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t hate cleaning up after cooking? The truth is that this unpleasant task can wipe away a good deal of the pleasure of a great meal. Therefore, you will be delighted to see that a good air fryer is also incredibly easy to clean after use.
If you keep up on cleaning it after every time you cook in it, then it just requires a regular clean, like you would an other pot or pan you used. Just add soapy water to the basket and use a non-scratch sponge to clean the interior and exterior. Some air fryer baskets can even go in the dish washer.
You should also do a deeper clean of the whole unit, including the cooking coil about once or twice per month, depending on how often you use it. If you do it regularly, it’s not a difficult or tedious process, like cleaning the oven can be.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
- I use a Ninja MaxXL air fryer (pictured left). If you don’t have an air fryer yet, check out these options to find one that fits your needs.
- See reviews and prices for air fryers on Amazon.
- Here’s a printable Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet to get you started.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Air Fryer.
- Learn how to make fun things in the air fryer, like potato wedges, pork belly bites, and chicken wings.
Basket Vs Oven Air Fryer?
A basket-style air fryer has a basket that you put the food in to cook. You then push the basket into the machine and turn it on. It might be a better fit if you have a smaller kitchen, prioritize speed, or prefer simplicity. Though basket air fryers are sold in all different sizes, they’re generally more useful for smaller amounts of food.
On the other hand, if you often cook larger quantities, enjoy versatile cooking options, and have ample kitchen space, an oven-style air fryer could be the better choice. The oven-style is just like the old oven-style toaster ovens we’re used to, where you open the door and slide out the tray. It’s a larger, more flat surface, but also usually more shallow than a basket style.
Both of these styles work the same way, with forced circulating air, so there isn’t a technical advantage of one over the other. It’s just preference.
What Oil & Oil Sprayer is Best for the Air Fryer?
The biggest issue most air fryer lovers face is finding the right oil and oil sprayer to use on food cooked in the air fryer. A fine mist of oil will help the entire piece of food crisp evenly, so it’s very important.
My personal preference is to use canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. I use both a refillable spray bottle like the Evo one pictured below and non-propellant extra virgin olive oil, which has no harmful aerosols or chemicals.
Air Fryer Recipes
Air fryers are versatile kitchen appliances that can be used to prepare a wide variety of foods and dishes such as:
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Hamburgers
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Air Fryer French Bread Pizza
Air Fryer Vs. Other Cooking Methods
Air fryers offer a unique cooking method that differs from traditional methods like deep frying, baking, Roasting, grilling, and stovetop cooking.
- Uses hot air circulation and minimal oil to achieve crispy results with less fat. It is healthier and less messy than deep frying.
- Cooks food faster than conventional baking/roasting, with a crispy exterior and tender interior with less oil.
- Offers indoor grilling without the need for an outdoor grill. It achieves a similar texture to grilling but with less smokiness and a quicker cooking time.
- Requires less oil and reduces stovetop mess. While stovetop Cooking offers precise control, it may need more fat, and some dishes might be more time-consuming to prepare.
- Retains texture and can crisp up food, providing a more appealing result for certain dishes than a microwave, which is only convenient for reheating but may result in soggy textures for fried or crispy foods.
- Provides crispy textures and quick cooking times for various dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the disadvantage of an air fryer?
While air fryers offer several advantages, they also come with disadvantages and limitations, such as limited capacity, uneven capacity, noise, initial cost, maintenance, counter space, limited cooking techniques, and risk of overcooking.
Is air fried food good for health?
Air frying is generally considered a healthier cooking method than deep frying because it significantly reduces the amount of oil and fat used in cooking. However, whether air-fried food is good for your health depends on various factors, including the type of food you’re cooking, your overall diet, and your individual health goals.
Are air fryers worth it?
Yes, air fryers are worth it, especially for individuals who enjoy fried or crispy foods, want a healthier alternative to deep frying, and have the kitchen space and budget for one. They are versatile appliances that can simplify meal preparation and cooking. However, evaluating your specific needs and cooking habits is essential before deciding.
Owning an air fryer is a big decision. No one wants to buy something they don’t need, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one, because there are so many great benefits to owning an air fryer that you wouldn’t have imagined before you bought one.
You’ll soon be making all kinds of great foods in your air fryer and I can guarantee that if you make an effort to use it, you won’t regret the decision.
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Laura is a passionate foodie and owner of Air Fry Anytime She is dedicated to sharing delicious recipes and helpful tips for using air fryers at home. With years of experience in the kitchen and a love for healthy, flavorful cooking, Laura has become an expert at using air fryers to create amazing meals that are both nutritious and delicious.