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What Are The Pros And Cons Of An Air Fryer?

Like any kitchen appliance, air fryers have both advantages and disadvantages. 

Nobody wants another kitchen gadget gathering dust, so read on as I explore the pros and cons of using an air fryer to help you decide if this appliance is the right choice for you.

Pros Of An Air Fryer

1. Healthier Cooking

air fryer frozen chips

Air fryers use hot air to cook food, meaning you can cook with little or no oil. Less oil can result in healthier meals with fewer calories and less fat.

Also, air fryers can cook food quickly and evenly, so vitamins and nutrients remain in the food.

2. Time-Saving

Air fryers can cook food faster than traditional ovens; hot air circulates rapidly around the food, resulting in faster and more even cooking.

Air fryers can generally cook food up to 20–30% faster than traditional ovens or stovetops.

chicken thighs in air fryer on rack

For example, a chicken breast that might take 30 to 40 minutes to bake in an oven can be cooked in an air fryer in 15 to 20 minutes. Chips can take 30–40 minutes to bake in an oven and can be cooked in an air fryer in 10-15 minutes.

Most air fryer recipes don’t need to be preheated, so you can start cooking your meal right away.

However, it’s important to note that cooking times can vary depending on the size and type of food being cooked and the specific air fryer model used.

Also, some foods may need to be preheated or cooked in more than one batch, which can change the total cooking time.

3. Energy Saving

Air fryers can use less energy compared to other cooking appliances, like ovens or deep fryers. Air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around it, using less energy to heat and cook it.

Compared to traditional ovens, which take up to 15-20 minutes to preheat, air fryers preheat much faster and require less energy. 

Also, air fryers are better at cooking food because they have a smaller cooking chamber that heats up quickly and needs less energy to keep the temperature where you want it.

Air fryers use less oil than deep fryers, so they need less energy to heat up and keep the food at the right temperature. Also, air fryers use less energy to heat and keep large amounts of oil at the right temperature, which can drain energy for deep fryers.

Overall, air fryers can be an excellent way to save energy when cooking small to medium amounts of food. However, it’s important to note that energy savings can vary depending on the air fryer’s specific model and the type of food being cooked.

4. Versatility

Air fryers can cook various foods, from chicken wings and chips to vegetables and desserts. Many models come with multiple cooking settings for different types of food.

Although you can’t cook every recipe in an air fryer (see #5 under air fryer cons below!), there are plenty of foods you can make.

crispy air fryer peel above air fryer basket
You can cook many things in an air fryer – these are air fryer potato peels – the perfect snack!

Did you know you can make apple crumble in an air fryer? And bread, oh and even boiled eggs 😉

You can get additional accessories for your air fryer to make specific recipes, but check what you already have before buying anything.

5. Easy To Use

Air fryers are generally easy to use, with simple controls and straightforward instructions, depending on the model you buy.

Most air fryers come with a user manual that provides detailed instructions on how to use the appliance, including adjusting the temperature and cooking time for different types of food.

To use an air fryer, you typically need to switch the appliance on, add your food to the basket, and set the temperature and cooking time using the controls.

Some recipes will require you to shake the food partway through the cooking time.

Once the cooking time is up, the air fryer will beep or turn off automatically, letting you know your food is ready.

Overall, air fryers are easy to use, even for people who haven’t cooked much.

6. Easy To Clean

Air fryers are easy to clean. Most air fryers come with a removable basket and pan that can be easily hand-washed or run through the dishwasher.

The outside of the air fryer can be wiped down with a damp cloth or sponge and some mild soap. Additionally, many modern air fryers come equipped with a non-stick interior, which makes them even easier to clean.

7. Less Heat In The Kitchen

Air fryers use less heat than an oven because they use a smaller cooking chamber and a convection mechanism to cook food.

Heating elements or gas burners, usually at the bottom, give the oven its heat.

This heat radiates upwards and can cause the oven to become very hot, leading to heat buildup in the kitchen and making the cooking process uncomfortable, especially during hot weather.

8. Portable

Most air fryers are small and light enough to pick up and move around. Air fryers are portable and easy to transport due to their compact design.

Most models have a small footprint, making them ideal for smaller kitchens or those with limited counter space.

However, some air fryers, particularly dual air fryers, are larger and less portable.

Cons Of An Air Fryer

1. Limited Capacity

Air fryers are generally designed for small to medium-sized batches of food. If you’re cooking for a large family or hosting a party, you may need to cook in multiple batches.

A Ninja Dual has more capacity to cook more food

If you want to cook more, look for the larger air fryers on the market with more capacity. The Ninja Dual Air Fryers range from 7.5L to 9.5L in size over both baskets. Air fryer ovens, typically the ones with shelves, are also quite big.

2. Cost

Air fryers can be expensive compared to other cooking appliances, especially if you want a larger or more feature-packed model.

However, there are some excellent deals, particularly if you look at supermarket own-brand models or watch for any air fryer Black Friday deals.

3. Noisy

Some air fryers can be quite loud, especially when they finish cooking and beep to let you know!

Having said that, they are no louder than, say, a microwave beeping.

4. Learning Curve

Cooking with an air fryer can take some practice, especially if you’re used to cooking with traditional methods.

You may need to experiment with cooking times and temperatures for the best results.

From the emails I receive from readers, I have found that once they have made one or two recipes, they realise air fryers are easy enough to use; sometimes, it’s the thought of learning something new that is the most overwhelming.

5. They Can’t Cook Everything

Although air fryers are versatile and can cook a wide range of recipes, they can’t cook everything. 

Ninja Foodi 15 in 1 Hob
There are more functions on a multi-cooker

If you want an appliance that will cook a wide range of recipes, consider a multi-cooker that will enable you to not only air fry foods but also use the pressure cooker or slow cooker function for cooking stews, casseroles, and curries.

Final Thoughts

Air fryers are a great way to cook food quickly and with minimal effort. They offer many benefits, such as being easy to use and clean, generating less heat in the kitchen, and being portable and cost-effective. 

However, they have some drawbacks, such as a limited capacity for large batches of food, a learning curve when it comes to cooking times and temperatures; and being unable to cook everything that other appliances can make.

If you’re considering buying an air fryer, then be sure to weigh up all the pros and cons before making your purchase so that you get one that suits your needs best.

Air Fryer Buying Guide

Are you still interested in buying an air fryer? If I haven’t put you off and you are still thinking about getting one remember to check out my air fryer buying guide, where I let you know the pros and cons of each one, as well as the ones that I have used!

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