An air fryer coats food in a small amount of oil and then blasts it with extremely hot air. These fryers are considered the healthier way to fry food. They’re also very versatile and can be used to cook food in other ways, such as roasting, baking or steaming.
If you’re cooking for only one or two people, a fryer that holds about 1 kilogram or less will be sufficient.
More than 1 kilogram
A fryer with a capacity over 1 kilogram is ideal for a family with more than three people or if like to entertain regularly.
Immersed heating element
Deep fryers that have the heating element directly immersed in the oil allow the oil to regain its temperature more quickly when cold or frozen food is added. This cooks the exterior of the food faster, creating that crunchy shell, without the food absorbing excess oil.
Temperature control or constant temperature
Temperature control on a deep-fryer is an important feature, because oil needs to reach a boiling point in order to cook properly, but should not be overheated.
With air fryers, a constant temperature feature is ideal, because this allows you to use any kind of oil to cook, including olive oil, without worrying that that the fryer will heat up past the smoking point of the oil.
A viewing window lets you monitor the cooking process without having to lift the lid.
Oil filtering and storage
Deep fryers require a lot of oil, so models that clean the leftover oil through filtration and then store it in an air-tight container on the unit are very convenient.
Air fryer models that don’t require preheating make this already speedy method of cooking even faster.
Air fryers that have an optional stirring paddle to rotate the food while it’s cooking allow you to set the timer and not have to worry until the dish is ready. You can also use it for foods that need to be continually stirred, such as risotto.
Cool touch fryers
Cool touch fryers have an exterior wall that doesn’t heat up when the fryer is in use.