Every kitchen appliance has its pros, cons and limitations. An air fryer is no exception.
There are a lot of questions popping out when it comes to this latest kitchen craze. Is it worth buying an air fryer? Is air fried food healthy? Is an air fryer harmful to one’s health? We’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages of using an air fryer to help you decide whether or not you should add this popular wonder machine to your shopping cart.
What is air frying?
Even though it is called ‘air frying’, air fryers do not fry food at all! Air fryers use fans and heating mechanisms that allow them to function like a convection oven where hot air is circulated rapidly around the cooking basket or tray. If you’re using an air fryer, you will notice that your fried food looks quite similar to deep-fried food, but minus the oil.
How does an air fryer work
The fan and heating mechanism allows an air fryer to blow super-hot air around the cooking basket or tray. This rapid air movement will create a convection effect that cooks and browns the food. The heat also shortens the cooking time while keeping your food moist inside yet crunchy and crispy on the outside.
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How to use an air fryer?
Air fryers come with easy preset cooking modes such as Fish, Steak, Chicken, Cake, Shrimp, Roast, and French Fry. Set the temperature and cooking mode according to what you’re cooking or what the recipe suggested. Don’t forget to preheat the air fryer for optimum cooking. Also, read the instruction booklet to get all the basic information.
If you already own an air fryer or are considering getting one, you’ll now know that air-fried food isn’t exactly the same compared with using deep fryers. But that’s not all. Let’s take a closer look at air fryer advantages, disadvantages, and limitations no matter what size your air fryer is.
Pros of an air fryer
1. Easy to clean
It only takes minimal effort to clean an air fryer compared with deep fryers. The minimal amount of oil used for air frying makes it easy to wash with just a soft bristle brush, dishwashing soap, and running water. It’s mess-free!
2. Easy to use
Easy, peasy lemon squeezy. Air fryers are so easy to use and there’s no turning back once you get your hands on this kitchen appliance. You can just throw in your frozen snacks like nuggets, fries, onion rings, and chicken fingers, set the mode and timer, and there you go! You can also reheat last night’s leftovers.
3. Safe to use
If you’re worried about the potential side effects of using an air fryer, please note that there’s NO air fryer radiation, unlike microwaves. This self-contained appliance also protects the users from heat and splattering oil. Not just that, it automatically shuts off once the timer ends to prevent your food from burning.
4. Healthier meals
An air fryer isn’t only convenient to use but you can make a lot of healthy meals using it. You use less or no oil when cooking using this appliance while excess oil isn’t soaked up by your food. That means fewer calories and l fat! There are a lot of simple and healthy meals available online if you have no idea where to start.
5. Doesn’t take up much space
Even the biggest air fryer will not dominate your countertop space. Most air fryers are only the size of a small oven or a coffee machine. They’re small enough to leave on the countertop. There are also aesthetically pleasing air fryers that complement your equally beautiful kitchen.
Cons of an air fryer
Like any other appliance, an air fryer has its disadvantages and limitations too.
1. It’s quite expensive
While there are a lot of air fryer options available out there, the high-performance and aesthetically pleasing ones are expensive. In Malaysia, a top multifunctional air fryer (works as an air fryer and pressure cooker) retails at more than RM1,500 and comes with extra features layered multi-rack for grilling or steaming. Is an air fryer worth buying? It depends on how much you’re willing to spend on both the appliance and the warranty and how often you’re going to use it.
2. Too small for large families
Air fryers are relatively small, depending on the capacity. If you have a big family, you might want to stick to traditional pots and pans or an oven. Most medium-sized air fryers allow you to cook meals for one or two people. In Malaysia, you can get an extra-large 12L capacity air fryer with enough room for a whole chicken.
3. Burn and dry food
Different types of air fryers come with different settings and modes. This means the same food is cooked differently when using every different brand of an air fryer. Your food might get burnt, dried, or even become inedible. Cooking using an air fryer is all about experimenting with different food and modes. Do read the instructions booklet before you attempt any experiments and stick to what air fryer recipes suggested.
4. Short power cable
One of the drawbacks of an air fryer is its short power cable. It won’t be a problem if the power outlet is near the spot where you place the air fryer, but if it’s not, you will need a power plug extension.
5. Can’t find the right air fryer
There are endless options of air fryers out there and you’re spoilt for choice! If you’re on the fence trying to decide which air fryer fits your kitchen, here are the 8 best air fryers in Malaysia for healthier meals and convenience. You can also check air fryer reviews from other users. Maybe finding the right air fryer isn’t too difficult after all.