An air fryer is an innovative kitchen appliance that has gained popularity in recent years. It uses hot air to cook food, eliminating the need for excessive oil.
Let's check the different cooking functions of an air fryer, and further on knowing what are the must-have features as well as nice-to-have but not essential features in an air fryer. Scroll down for the details!
Different Cooking Functions
An air fryer offers various cooking functions, making it a versatile kitchen appliance. You can use an air fryer to cook a wide range of foods. With precise temperature and time controls, you can easily adjust the settings to achieve perfectly cooked, air fried food.
As the name suggests, air frying is the primary function of an air fryer. The appliance uses hot air to cook food, giving it a crispy and golden-brown texture without using excessive oil.
This makes it ideal for preparing healthier versions of fried foods such as frozen French fries, fried chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, fried snacks, and more.
One of the lesser-known features of an air fryer is its ability to bake. With an air fryer, you can bake a variety of desserts such as small cakes, muffins, pizzas, and even breads.
It offers precise temperature controls that ensure your baked goods are evenly cooked and have a perfect texture.
Air fryers also have a grilling function, allowing you to cook pork chops, chicken wings and most meats, vegetables, and seafood with ease.
The circulating hot air ensures that the food is evenly cooked and retains its natural juices, making it a healthier alternative to traditional grilling methods.
Roasting in an air fryer offers similar results to traditional oven roasting but with added convenience and faster cooking time.
You can roast a variety of meats, seafood, or vegetables such as air-fried baby potato halves, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, in an air fryer, providing you with endless possibilities for delicious and healthy meals.
5.Heating & Reheating
An air fryer also serves as an efficient heating and reheating appliance. It can quickly heat up leftovers or reheat frozen foods, making it a convenient option for busy individuals or families.
Some air fryers come with a dehydrating function, making it possible to make healthy snacks such as dried fruits, herbs, and vegetable chips. This feature also allows you to preserve food by removing moisture, increasing its shelf life.
Air fryers with a rotisserie function offer an easy way to cook whole chickens, kebabs, or even roasts. The food rotates while cooking, ensuring even heat distribution and giving it a succulent texture.
However, not all models have this function, so make sure to check before purchasing an air fryer if its has this feature.
Must-have Features For Every Air Fryer
When looking for the best air fryer, there are certain features you should consider as "must have" for even a basic air fryer:
- Rapid hot air technology: this main feature of an air fryer is its ability to cook food through rapid air technology. The heated air circulates rapidly inside the appliance, cooking the food evenly and giving it a crispy texture.
- Digital control: a digital air fryer offers precise selection and monitor over the cooking process.
- Temperature and time control: an air fryer with adjustable temperature and timer settings that automatically adjusts the time for different types of food.
- Higher Power: a higher wattage air fryer can cook food faster and more evenly, but it also consumes more energy.
- Safety features: choose an air fryer with safety features such as automatic shut-off or cool-touch handles to prevent accidents while cooking.
- Easy to clean: look for an air fryer with non-stick coating, removable parts (air fryer basket) that are dishwasher safe or easy to hand wash.
- Capacity: consider the size of your household and choose an air fryer that can accommodate enough food for everyone at once or opt for a larger one if you often entertain guests.
Nice-to-have Features In An Air Fryer
While there are many desirable features in an air fryer, there are also some that may not be necessary. It's important to consider your specific needs and prioritize the features accordingly.
- Multiple cooking functions: while air fryers have nice-to-have multiple cooking functions, some may not be as effective as a dedicated appliance.
- A built-in oven air fryer combo: might not be suitable if you already have a toaster oven.
- A built-in air fryer and steamer combo: similar to the oven combo, it might not be worth investing in if you already have a steamer.
- A large size: unless you're cooking for a big family or regularly hosting large gatherings, a smaller air fryer would suffice.
- Smart connection: features like smart connectivity and voice control may not add much value to your cooking experience.
- Accessories: some air fryers come with additional accessories such as baking pans, double air fryer baskets, skewers, and racks that enhance its cooking capabilities.
An air fryer is a small countertop convection oven that circulates hot air around the food to cook it quickly. It features a heating element and a fan that helps distribute the hot air. The food is placed in a basket and the machine does the rest.
What's the difference between an air fryer and a deep fryer?
While both appliances fry food, there are some key differences:
- The difference between deep fried foods and air fried foods is the amount of oil used for cooking.
- A deep fryer uses a large amount of oil for cooking, resulting in greasy and less healthy dishes.
- An air fryer uses hot air to cook the food, giving it a crispy texture without the excessive oil. It's a healthier alternative to deep frying, allowing you to enjoy your favorite fried foods guilt-free.
What's the difference between an air fryer and a toaster oven?
While both appliances can cook food, there are some key differences between an air fryer and a toaster oven.
- An air fryer uses convection technology to circulate hot air, resulting in fast and even cooking.
- A toaster oven uses heating elements to cook food. Air fryers are primarily designed for frying and crisping, while toaster ovens have a wide range of cooking functions.
Read more about how air fryers work and pros and cons of each appliance in our published article if you want to know the details.
The main appeal of air fryers is their ability to produce crispy, delicious food with significantly less oil compared to traditional deep fryers.
Convenience & Time-Saving
- Using an air fryer is convenient and saves time in the kitchen.
- Unlike oven-cooked meals that require preheating, air fryers are ready to use immediately.
- They also offer precise control over cooking time and temperature for the perfect results.
- Air fryers tend to cook food faster than traditional ovens, making them an excellent option for busy individuals.
Versatility & Ease of Use
- Air fryers can cook a wide variety of foods, from crispy chicken to roasted vegetables, and desserts.
- With different settings and presets, air fryer models offer versatility and convenience.
- They are designed to be user-friendly with intuitive controls, making them accessible to both experienced cooks and kitchen novices.
Read more about 10 benefits of using air fryers in our published article if you are curious to know the details.
Features Of Air Fryer FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions about air fryer's features:
What are the best air fryer features?
The best air fryer features include rapid air technology and adjustable temperature and timer settings. These features allow you to cook a variety of foods conveniently, safety, and quickly in the kitchen.
How do I use an air fryer?
Using an air fryer is simple. Just preheat the appliance, place your food in the basket, and set the desired temperature and cooking time. The air fryer will circulate hot air around the food, giving it a crispy texture without the need for excessive oil.
Are air fryers healthy?
Air fryers are considered a healthier cooking option compared to deep-frying. They require less oil, so your dishes will contain fewer calories and less fat. Air fryers can also help reduce the risk of consuming harmful acrylamide that may form during traditional frying.
Why should I buy an air fryer?
There are several reasons to consider buying an air fryer. It allows you to enjoy fried food with less oil, promotes healthier eating habits, and provides a faster cooking experience. Air fryers are versatile and can cook a wide variety of dishes, making them a beneficial addition to any kitchen.
What types of air fryers are available?
There are basket-style air fryers and oven air fryer combos. Basket-style air fryers have a removable basket where the food is placed, while oven air fryer combos combine the functions of an air fryer and a traditional toaster oven in one appliance.
What size air fryer should I choose?
The size of the air fryer you choose depends on your needs.
- If you're cooking for a small household or preparing single servings, a compact 4-quart air fryer might be sufficient.
- If you have a larger family or frequently entertain guests, a larger capacity air fryer or double basket air fryer would be more suitable.
Can I cook different foods in an air fryer?
Absolutely! Air fryers can cook a wide variety of foods, from crispy chicken to roasted vegetables, and desserts. You can experiment with different recipes and discover new favorite dishes to prepare in your air fryer.
Are there any tips I need to know about air frying?
To achieve the best results when air frying, it's recommended to preheat the air fryer, arrange the food in a single layer for even cooking, and occasionally shake the basket to ensure even distribution of heat.
Also, be mindful of the cooking time and temperature to avoid overcooking or under-cooking your food.
Are air fryers expensive?
Air fryers are quite affordable these years. You can get a high quality air fryers at a price range of $200-$300.
While some models are more expensive, there are also budget-friendly options that are under $100 available.
The cost of air fryers varies depending on the brand, size, and features. Consider your cooking needs and budget when choosing an air fryer.
Do air fryers come with a recipe guide?
Many air fryers come with a user guide or a recipe booklet to help you get started. These guides provide cooking times and temperature recommendations for various foods, allowing you to explore and experiment with different recipes using your air fryer.
Should you get a digital air fryer over an analog?
When choosing an air fryer, you may come across both digital and analog models. While digital air fryers offer precise control over the cooking process, analog models are simpler to use and may come at a lower price.
It depends on your preference and how important precise temperature and time control are to you.
Air fryers offer numerous features and benefits that make them a desirable kitchen appliance for many people. From convenience to versatility, air fryers have become popular among those looking to enjoy their favorite fried food in a healthier and more efficient way.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Need a multi-functional air fryer with many features? Check out our top picks for the best air fryers in our published article and find the perfect one for your kitchen!5 LARGE AIR FRYERS
As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more advanced features from air fryers in the future. Get ready to enjoy delicious, crispy meals with this appliance.
Happy air frying!