Air Fryer Cook

Top 7 things to know when buying an air fryer

So, you’ve decided to get an air fryer, but when you start shopping for one it can feel so intimidating. The first thing you need to know is that there is a difference between a standard air fryer and a multifunctional air fryer.

A standard air fryer only uses the air frying function to do all the cooking. Some may have other functions like roasting, baking, and dehydrating but these functions still use the air frying technology to cook.

Multifunctional air fryers, on the other hand, generally combine the air fryer with other kitchen appliances. The air fryer rotisserie, air fryer toaster oven, and air fryer pressure cooker are the three main combinations.

In this article, I will be highlighting the main points to consider when buying a standard air fryer. However, if you want to buy a multifunctional air fryer, please refer to our guide for multifunctional air fryers.

how does air fryer work

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is a compact kitchen appliance that uses hot air and convection to fry and crisp foods without using oil. Air fryers use rapid air circulation to heat food quickly. This allows the food to maintain its moisture and natural flavors, without absorbing excess fat. Air fryers also reduce cooking time when compared to traditional cooking methods.

Don’t let the external air fryer size mislead you as to the amount of food you will be able to cook inside it. The measurement that you need to consider is the air fryer capacity. The air fryer’s capacity is measured in quarts or liters, as a rule of thumb, the larger the air fryer capacity is, the larger the food item that can be cooked.

Small air fryer– up to 3 quarts/2.8 liters which is ideal for single and couples.

Family-sized air fryer- medium air fryer up to 5 quarts/4.7 liters and large air fryer up to 6 quarts/5.7 liters which is a great size to make family meals.

Extra-large air fryer- up to 8 quarts/7.6 liters are for big families or regular dinner hosting.

how to use air fryer for chicken

Common shapes for standard air fryers are egg-shaped air fryers and square-shaped air fryers. The egg-shaped air fryers usually are more compact while the square-shaped air fryers provide more flexibility to accommodate more food.

How much counter space do you need for an air fryer?

The amount of counter space you need is dependent on the size and shape of the air fryer. A smaller air fryer would need around 14 X 14 inches (36 x 36 centimeters) of counter space. While a family-sized air fryer may require up to 16 x 15 inches (41 x 38 centimeters) of counter space. Lastly, an extra-large air fryer can require 19 x 16 inches (48 x 41 centimeters) of counter space.

Depending on the counter space you have available, an egg-shaped air fryer may be able to fit into non-uniform space for instance a corner space. Whereas the space-shaped air fryer is great if you have a uniform space.

What functions and settings does the air fryer have?

The number of air fryer functions and air fryer settings can vary from a manual setting appliance to a more advanced model with pre-set cooking modes. A basic unit will have you manually set the temperature and timer. This means you would need to have some knowledge on what temperature and time to set the air fryer to get the right cooking outcome.

A good value-for-money air fryer would have a few basic air fryer functions along with some cooking pre-sets. This is helpful as you would have some choices on how to cook your food by selecting the desired function. Some functions would include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat. Each of these functions would have a pre-set temperature and time (which is the recommended setting) but you can adjust it manually as desired.

 

what is so great about an air fryer

More advanced air fryers may allow you to select a specific cooking function with different pre-sets for various foods. For example, the air fryer function may have a few cooking pre-sets for different types of meat. So, where you would like to air fry your chicken, you would select the air fry function and then select chicken as the pre-set. Some advanced air fryers even allow you to select your desired temperature or time setting once, and it will record those settings for you to use again.

From our research and reviews, we have noted that the number of air fryer functions and settings generally increases with the size of the air fryer. Although, the manufacturers have tried to make it easier to use with easy one-touch buttons and digital interfaces, be prepared to spend a little bit of time reading the manuals and do some research on how it works.

The good news is that it does not require special skills or knowledge to understand the manuals and most of the time they are quite straightforward. Then it’s just a matter of experimenting with different recipes and making adjustments, if needed, to suit your desired tastebuds. This is when you will be able to get the best value out of it. It will make your cooking easy and quick while not compromising on taste.

Easy cleaning with air fryer

The air fryer was designed to make cooking quick and easy. That includes the cleaning process. The detachable parts are usually non-stick or ceramic coated. This makes cleaning easy as gentle or no scrubbing is required and these parts are generally dishwasher safe. Read our in-depth article for cleaning an air fryer for more information.

What is the cost of an air fryer?

The price of an air fryer is dependent on the size, the quality of the materials used, the air fryer functions, and features. Features such as multiple cooking programs, timers, and digital displays add to the cost of an air fryer.

The average price for a cheap air fryer starts as low as $50. A good quality air fryer ranges from around $100 to $200. If you want to purchase an air fryer with bells and whistles, especially advanced multifunctional air fryers, expect to pay $200 or more.

It is recommended that the cost is not the only factor when shopping for your air fryer as you may get something that does not suit your requirements.

What is the air fryer power consumption?

Air fryer power consumption starts at a range from 800 to 2175 watts. This range is relatively lower compared to a traditional oven that ranges from 2000 to 5000 watts. Plus, the air fryer heats up and cooks the food rapidly because of its compact size. Hence, not only will you be saving in cooking time but also electricity usage.

Conclusion

Air fryers are compact, easy-to-use kitchen appliances ready to make cooking quicker and easier. It took the idea of ‘frying’ to another level with its heating element technology that cooks food by surrounding it with hot air. There are many different types of air fryers available in different sizes, shapes, and functions depending on your requirements.

The air fryer size and shape impact the counter space that your will need. They range from small to extra-large sizes and egg-shaped or square-shaped air fryers. Therefore, consider your countertop space and design before you make a choice.

Air fryer functions and settings vary from model to model and brand to brand. There are basic units that only have the air fryer function and the settings need to be done manually. To the advanced air fryers where you have a few functions with different pre-sets to cook various types of meat. Generally, the bigger the air fryer, the more functions, and settings it will have.

Cleaning an air fryer is quick and easy with its dishwasher-safe parts.

The cost of an air fryer ranges from as low as $50 to over $200. This price is based on many factors such as size, brand, design, air fryer functions, and features. It also uses less power compared to traditional ovens as it heats up quickly.

Now that you know what an air fryer is and how it works, you can start shopping for the best air fryer by comparing these factors. Find out what our top pick air fryers are and read their reviews.