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Air Fryers Shopping Guide
Not to be hyperbolic, but air fryers are magical.
What exactly are they? Well, let’s look at their short history in the world of appliances.
In 2010, Fred van der Weij wanted delicious fries fried to perfection before his eyes. He ordered a fat-free oil fryer from a TV ad, and much to his disappointment, it did not give him the crunchy fry experience he was longing for.
So, he did what any engineer would do and created the air fryer. Philips helped him patent and sell these wonderful little machines, and now you may see them popping up in your friends’ kitchens. Air fryers use quick heat circulation to completely surround your food, which gives it that crispy, all-around fried goodness. The air acts like an oil, but without the negative health effects.
Let’s just make this clear: You can feel guilt-free about eating fried foods.
No, this might not be the invention of flight or harnessing the power of electricity, but in the age of microwave dinners and fast food, it comes pretty darn close to walking on the moon.
How to Select your New Air Fryer
Are you ready to add an air fryer to your family? Looking to take one of these little guys home? You’ve come to the right place.
Air fryer manufacturers have a few variables in mind when designing their product: cost, food capacity, and health.
Expected Price Range
Being so new to the market, you’ll see these appliances constantly upgrading and adding new features before your eyes. For instance, the Philips HD9240 can keep a record of which foods you like to cook and will provide you with presets according to your meal.
This is a great feature for cooks who are creating a new recipe — the air fryer will give you the same cooking preferences as your previous attempt, and if you felt something needed to change in the previous batch, just change it on the fryer. No memorization required. This takes the idea of a simple air fryer to the next level, and you’ll see that reflected in the cost too. The Philips HD9240 sits at the higher end of the price scale around $300. However, the majority come in around $100.
When deciding on which air fryer is right for you, the desired size of your meals should weigh heavily into the decision. Each model displays its food capacity which will generally give you an idea of how many people the air fryer will serve.
An important resource that provides real-world insight into this factor is user reviews. Just like nutritional labels on your favorite foods, serving size will differ between each person. Air fryers with a food capacity of 2.2 lbs will typically be ideal for a 1-2 person household. To feed households of 3-4 people, you may want to look at an appliance with a food capacity of closer to 3 lbs. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself making multiple batches one after the other.
Air Frying is Better for your Health
One large motivation behind the invention of the air fryer was its health benefits. For most units, you can use a tablespoon or less of oil to cook your foods but still give it the same crunchy appeal that deep fryers have.
Some air fryers are better at keeping their recipes healthier.
Take the Black and Decker Purify. Its Dual Convection fans are designed to completely eliminate the need for oil. This means quick, healthy, delicious foods are available within minutes.
Every model in our top picks will use a limited amount of oil, but depending on their heating technology, some use less than others.
It’s Time to Embrace the Air Fryer
Air fryers are like little pocket ovens that are cute and functional. They sit on your counter and give you delicious, crispy fries whenever you want.
These are great for households with kids, since they can easily turn veggies into a snack. Or, if you’re a young professional hoping to wean yourself off the microwave dinners, an air fryer can help you. Compare our top 10 air fryers, and dive into a new, easy way to cook.
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