Verdict: Definitely YES! Not only do air fryers save you a lot of time, they are a healthier option to cook food as well. The Ninja DZ201 Foodi Air Frye Is the best Air Fryer if you’re looking to buy one.
- 2 INDEPENDENT BASKETS: The original Air Fryer with 2 independent baskets, the XL air fryer lets you cook 2 foods, 2 ways, at the same time, eliminating back-to-back cooking like a traditional single-basket air fryer.
- SMART FINISH & MATCH COOK: DualZone Technology allows you to choose between the Smart Finish feature, which unlocks cooking 2 foods 2 ways that finish at the same time, and the and a Match Cook button to easily copy settings across zones for full 8-qt capacity.
- 6-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Includes 6 versatile cooking programs: Air Fry, Air Broil, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate.
There is no doubt that air fryers have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. They can be incredibly convenient. Unlike its name, air fryers in fact do not fry at all. Air fryers are a new generation of countertop kitchen equipment known for creating crispy, chewy foods that everyone loves to eat without all the oil. It replicates deep frying to give your food a good crunch while using just a fraction of the oil used in deep fryers. Many people have replaced their ovens and microwaves with an air fryer. Almost 36% of American households have one and the numbers are growing each year.
Is an Air Fryer Worth It?
So if you’ve ever wondered “Do I need an air fryer and is it worth it?” then you are in the right place because this guide breaks it down for you. We are going to list down the reasons why you should or should not buy an air fryer to make this decision easier for you.
Before we get to the pros and cons of an air fryer, let’s have a look at what air fryers are and how they work. This will help you understand how they are different from the usual ovens and microwaves.
What is an Air Fryer?
You can cook just about anything in an air fryer without heating up your kitchen on a hot sunny day. You can mostly use an air fryer to cook things that you want crispy like fried chicken, french fries or baked potatoes. It also makes meat like steak or chicken extra juicy.
There are mainly two types of air fryers. One is a basket air fryer and another is an air fryer oven. In a basket air fryer, the food goes into a removable basket while in an air fryer oven the food goes on racks just like in a toaster oven. But both the air fryers work in a similar way.
Air fryers use circulating hot air to heat or cook the food. It has two cooking elements- a heater and a fan. The heater element is just above the cooking chamber and gives out heat from a close range, directly to the food. This heat penetrates deep into the food surface cooking the food. The fan helps the super heated air to get around the entire food chamber. This results in something called the Maillard Reaction which makes your food extra delicious. The food sits in a slotted basket or on the racks. It is important to note that air fryers are typically made for air frying and therefore should never be filled with oil.
How to use an air fryer?
1. Put your food in the basket or on the rack
There are various basket sizes that you could have depending on the size of your air fryer. An air fryer can typically hold between 2 to 10 quarts. If you like you can put up to 2 teaspoons of oil to get your food nice and crunchy. To make it easier to clean you can also place a foil in the air fryer.
2. Setting the time and temperature
The cooking time and the temperature that you set wholly depends on the food that you want to prepare. But the usual cooking time in an air fryer ranges anywhere between five to twenty five minutes and the temperature ranges between 350 degrees to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Allow the food to cook
Depending on what you are cooking you may have to flip or turn the food halfway through cooking to ensure that the dish is cooked evenly and is brown on all sides.
Now that we know what an air fryer actually does and how it works let’s move on to the most important part which are the pros and cons of air fryers.
Reasons To Buy an Air Fryer
1. Compact size and easy to clean
Air fryers are very compact in size when compared to bulky ovens. This makes it easy to keep them anywhere in the kitchen as they don’t occupy much space. They also use very little oil to cook therefore making it super easy to clean. They have removable baskets and racks which makes it very convenient to wash them.
2. Easy to use
Air fryers come with instructions for how to use it. Air fryers have a manual dial or a digital display for temperature control. Once you get a hang of it,using an air fryer becomes easier and you will never be able to go back.
Air fryers can bake, broil, roast and toast! It can be used to cook a variety of things like veggies, meats, seafood, cakes and the list just goes on. There are a ton of air fryer recipes online that you can refer to, to get started. You can literally make a three course meal- appetizers, main course and dessert with your air fryer.
4. Healthy Food
Air fryers are somewhat of a dream for people who are health conscious. While deep fryers use 50 times more oil, air fryers use just a fraction of it. Not only do they use negligible amounts of oil for cooking really crispy meals but they are also great for cooking tender and delicious proteins like chicken and steak. Even if you do decide to use a small amount of oil, the oil drips off the food through the perforated air fryer baskets making your food absorb very little amount of oil while making it crispier.
5. No Radiation
Air fryers cook food through circulation of hot air unlike microwave ovens that use radiation. They also have a timer to ensure that the food is not over cooked. This makes it very safe to use without any side effects.
6. Cook faster
Another great advantage of air fryers is that since the air in it gets super heated which cooks the food faster and the circulating air makes the food perfectly browned all over. They preheat faster too, which reduces your cooking time significantly. Due to their small size, the heat required to cook the food is much less compared to an oven. It is a low-fuss cooking device that gives you an enjoyable cooking experience.
7. No Odor
Air fryers avoid recycling oil as seen with deep fryers. This always makes your food smell fresh and doesn’t leave a lingering smell inside your appliance or kitchen.
Reasons not to Buy an Air Fryer
While there are a lot of air fryer options out there, a well designed and top performing air fryer could be very expensive. Some come with extra features which can add on to the cost. But if you are someone with love for fried food then this is definitely worth the investment as it is a much healthier option.
2. Small for large families
Medium sized air fryers help cook up to two servings at a time. But they do come in different sizes and capacities. Therefore, depending on the number of members in your family you could decide what capacity air fryer you would like to buy.
3. Easy to burn food
Air fryers have different settings and modes for different food types. Not knowing which mode or setting to use could result in burnt food. Not just this, but air fryers from different brands cook the same type of food differently. It takes some getting used to; to know how exactly your air fryer works. Once you have experimented and get the hang of it, using an air fryer becomes easier.
4. Bulky design
Some of the larger sized air fryers have a bulky design and can take a large amount of counter space in your kitchen. Some air fryers are also tall and cannot be fitted under the cabinets on your counter tops. It is also important to note that leaving a significant amount of space around an air fryer is essential to avoid any overheating that could start a fire.
Air Fryer Safety Tips
These are some safety tips that you must follow while using an air fryer
- It is essential to cook in a well ventilated area. Ensure that you leave enough space around the air fryer for the exhaust to ventilate. This means you cannot put it close to a wall.
- To avoid oil from burning, causing smoke or splattering on the heating element, avoid using cooking oils with low cooking temperatures.
- Clean and unplug the air fryer once you are done using it.
- Keep the appliance away from water. This protects you from any electrical shocks.
If you are on the fence trying to decide which air fryer you should buy, keep reading to know more!
There are endless options of air fryers in the market today. This makes it difficult to find the right air fryer for you. But we’ve got you covered. Below are the most recommended air fryers with reviews from users to make this a little less difficult for you.
Best Air Fryer According To Reddit
1. Ninja DZ201 Foodi Air Fryer
The Ninja is one of the best air fryers in the market and occupies the top spot for most recommended air fryer of the year. It is best suited for cooking crispy chicken wings. Since it cooks really fast it ensures that the food doesn’t go dry and gives the desired outer crispy layer. This air fryer will definitely not disappoint if you are into fries. The Ninja has a very simple interface with simple controls. With just four buttons to control the cooking mode it can roast, air fry, reheat and dehydrate the food of your choice. It has a very solid build making it last for a long time.
What Reddit users had to say about this product:
u/amygunkler: “I’m very happy with the Ninja. It works well, is easy to clean, and is one of the few that uses ceramic for its nonstick coating so it should be durable.
u/RoboticOwlie: “I’d also like to throw my vote in for the Ninja. :) Super convenient when it’s just me and my partner, plus I like that it’s easy to clean and almost every part/accessory can be replaced from their website!”
u/QueenOfBrews: “I have the really large ninja. I love the thing. I can make a whole freakin bird or pizza in there. Great for reheating food, or cooking frozen items pretty crispy. The broiler is huge for me, since my oven doesn’t have a top broiler function”
- Baskets: This air fryer comes with two independent baskets. It is an XL air fryer that lets you cook two different types of foods in two different ways at the same time, eliminating back-to-back cooking like a traditional single-basket air fryer.
- Cooking Modes: Having the Dual Zone Technology, this air fryer allows you to choose between the Smart Finish feature, which unlocks cooking 2 foods 2 ways that finish at the same time, and a Match Cook button to easily copy settings across zones for full 8-qt capacity.
- Functionality: It has 6 in 1 functionality and includes 6 versatile cooking programs: Air Fry, Air Broil, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate.
- Capacity: With an XL capacity the 8-quart air fryer lets you fit mains and sides at the same time for making quick family meals, or up to 4 lbs. of French fries or food of your choice
- Heating Zones: This air fryer has 2 independent 4-quart zones that have their own cooking baskets, cyclonic fans, and rapid heaters.
- Size: 10 X 15 X 10 inches
2. COSORI Smart Air Fryer
This is a moderately priced air fryer with digital controls. It supports Wi Fi and connects to an app for ease of use. It also has a non-stick and dishwasher safe basket. This air fryer comes with a very smooth digital control panel. It has pre programmed settings and buttons for various other functions. When not in use the display goes to sleep. To make it easier to understand the settings they are indicated by tiny icons, for example the cooking vegetables setting is indicated by a carrot.
It has an average size for an air fryer so it may not take up as much counter space in your kitchen. You need to preheat this air fryer before it is ready to use. It comes with an easy to read manual so that you don’t have to fret about how this air fryer works. The air fryer also gives you a notification once the food is cooked halfway so that you know you need to shake or turn over the food in the basket. You will definitely appreciate this air fryers digital assistant if you are into technology.
What Reddit users had to say about this product:
u/Itz_Jolly: “I love it. I’ve thrown both pieces of the basket in the dishwasher with no issue. Fully functional for about 2 years now. And I’ll also mention the excellent customer service. Got a replacement basket no questions asked (besides model/purchase information)”
u/GreggoireLeOeuf: “I recently got a Cosori 5.8qt model and am happy with it so far. Two years later still COSORI is the top seller. I went with the COSORI and yeah it makes sense. Very convenient, good frying, solid capacity for the price, easy for cooking in batches”
u/Jamminjordon: “I hope you love it! I have bought two different air fryers since that one because I thought they would be upgrades. Nope. This baby was still superior. I was overlooking the ease of clean that the Cosori has. Just throw it all in the dishwasher”
- Supports WiFi: This air fryer is powered by Vesync App. This means that you can control it on your phone. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistance for hands free control.
- Smart Features: Once you connect the air fryer to wifi and log into the Vesync App, the app sends you cooking notifications to ensure you get the best cooking results and so that you spend less time near the air fryer.
- Healthy & Efficient: This air fryer saves you 50% of cooking time as it cooks way faster than a traditional oven. It also reduces your food’s oil content by up to 85% than traditional deep-frying, giving it the same crispy taste without the health drawbacks.
- Easy to clean: It has a removable, dishwasher-safe basket and nonstick surfaces make cleaning simple and easy.
- Customer Support: There is a dedicated customer support team to help you with any issues that you may be experiencing with the air fryer.
- Capacity: The air fryer’s 5.8-quart basket fits a whole rotisserie chicken or food for 4, plenty for the whole family.
- Cooking Modes: Air frying with preset settings for preheat, Steak, Chicken, Seafood, Shrimp, Bacon, Frozen foods, French fries, Vegetables, Toast, Bake, and Keep warm
- Size: 11.8 x 13.9 x 12.7 inches
3. Instant Pot Vortex Plus
This air fryer is a conventional basket type air fryer. It comes with many presets. The Power Vortex can air fry, grill, roast and reheat. It comes with a free app which has over 2000 recipes. You can customize the presets to achieve the results that you want as well as save these for future use.
It also has default presets if you are not sure about the custom presets. It has a stainless steel finish and is square in shape with a square basket. It has a touch screen and various buttons for controlling the time and temperature. It has a maximum temperature of 400 degree Fahrenheit and you can cook up to one hour in it. This air fryer does not disappoint when it comes to cooking delicious food.
What Reddit users had to say about this product:
u/alice_notalison: “I have one and absolutely love it! Anything that needs to be reheated/ cooked to a crisp goes into the Vortex now. And when it’s too rainy to grill, it’s a great substitute – you don’t quite get the smoky grilled taste, but it’s the next best thing, and is so much faster than roasting in an oven”
u/BeautifulHindsight: “I love my Instant Vortex. It replaced my old air fryers, toaster oven, and toaster. It’s also mostly replaced my full-sized oven.”
u/kaidomac: “Puff pastry comes out great in it! Grilled cheese sandwiches. Wings. Anything frozen (nuggets, fries, tots, fish sticks, pizza rolls, etc.) Congrats, you’re gonna love it!”
- Functionality: It has 6 IN 1 functionality with air fry, broil, roast, dehydrate, bake and reheat
- Cooking Modes: With the EvenCrisp technology it drives air flow top down for a perfect golden finish and crispy, tender results. It has various modes like french fry, steaks, fish, shrimp, pizza, chicken, baking, dehydrator, roast, reheat No added oil or lard required Rapid, even heating.
- One touch Smart Programs: It has the option to customize programs for one-touch wings, roasted veggies, garlicky potatoes, cookies, cinnamon buns etc.
- Preheating: Little to no preheating time, from frozen to golden in minutes! Create gourmet meals with the versatility of a temperature range of 95 to 400° F.
- Easy to clean: This air fryer consists of a non-stick, dishwasher safe air fry basket and tray which makes it easy to clean.
- Safety features: This air fryer has proven safety features that are built-in like Overheat Protection, auto-off and more to keep your mind at ease.
- Capacity: It is perfect for 4-6 servings with a 6 quart capacity.
- Size: 12.83 x 14.92 x 12.36 inches
4. Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
Being one of the most affordable air fryers of the year, this air fryer consists of an air fryer basket as well as a crisper plate that can hold up to two pounds of French fries. It is also one of the lightest air fryers and is dishwasher safe. It can handle a maximum heat of 400 degree Fahrenheit. This air fryer comes with a one-year warranty and a recipe book. It has a digital display and one-touch cooking functions which you can also customize as per your requirements. It has a ceramic coated nonstick surface. For those who are budget conscious this is a good option.
What users had to say about this product;
u/Piovra130: “I love my ninja. It’s my first air fryer but I’ve had no issues and feel like it’s only flaws are it’s very powerful and takes up counter space. Neither of those are huge downsides for me though. By powerful I mean I usually have to cook for less time or lower temp than “air fryer” instructions call for on packages”
u/amygunkler: “I’m a devoted Ninja fan, because of the quality. The nonstick coating is ceramic, and I read of other brands’ nonstick coating not holding up.”
u/char_limit_reached: “Another vote for the Ninja here. Got it as a gift, haven’t gone more than a day or two not using it since”
- Presets: Air fry, roast, reheat, dehydrate.
- Wide temperature range: 105 degree Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit allows you to gently remove moisture from foods or quickly cook and crisp foods with convection heat.
- Capacity: With a capacity of 4 quart it has a ceramic coated nonstick basket and crisper plate which can fit 2 pounds of french fries.
- Preheating: This air fryer requires preheating before coming up to temperature. We recommend that you preheat the unit for 3 minutes before adding your ingredients to achieve the best results
- Easy to clean: This air fryer has dishwasher safe parts and easy to clean basket, crisper plate, and multi-layer rack.
- Other features: It has other features like temperature control, timer, nonstick coating, digital control and display.
- Size: 13.3 x 11x 13.6 inches
5. Philips Digital Twin TurboStar Airfryer XXL
Philips is the original introducer of air fryers, so you know you could never go wrong with an air fryer from Philips. This particular air fryer comes highly recommended for its strong build and durability. It does not require any preheating and is great for feeding a crowd. It comes with a manual to help you understand its various icons on the control panel. It has a dial which makes it super easy to adjust the temperature, time and settings. It is worth the money if you have a lot of people to feed.
What reddit users had to say about this product:
u/Paltenburg: “The Philips XXL (or the XL for that matter, they’re basically the same, despite what Philips wants you to believe) is advertised as “Family-Size”, but it’s perfect for just me and my GF, the size and space is great for everything like mini-pizza’s or bake-off buns etc.”
u/Billsgirlgina: “I have a Philips XXL & it is fantastic & made of excellent quality. I have done a lot of research & Philips is always rated at the top 3 usually #1. I believe you get what you pay for. It’s very easy to clean. Philips is the inventor of the air fryer.”
u/WuriderX: “I have the Phillips and its great. I did research and they were always near the top or #1. I am looking to get the XXL as I need a bigger one. I have been using my Phillips for going in 3 years now. I have no complaints and remember you get what you pay for. It is a premium product.”
- Capacity: With a capacity of 7 Quarts, this XXL air fryer can cook family-size meals and can serve up to six portions.
- Modes: Twin TurboStar technology circulates the high powered hot air to make crispy meals. It has a Keep Warm mode which keeps your food warm up to 30 minutes so that you can eat when you are ready.
- Control Method: It has a digital display which is easy to use and can be controlled with touch. It has a QuickControl dial to adjust the temperature and time.
- Presets: It comes with five one-touch cooking presets of frozen fries, meat, fish, whole chicken and chicken drumsticks.
- Size: 17.1 x 12.63 x 12.4 inches
So is an air fryer worth it?
Definitely YES! Not only do air fryers save you a lot of time, they are a healthier option to cook food as well. Moreover, due to the increased popularity over the years the prices of air fryers have come down making it a lot more affordable.
If you are someone who loves fried foods that are homemade or frozen and eat it regularly, if you reheat leftovers often then an air fryer will definitely be a good purchase for you. If you enjoy experimenting with new cooking appliances you should totally go get one.
Last update on 2022-08-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API